abandoned ufos image

Abandoned UFOs – A Crafter’s Number 1 Plague

by Cheryl Moreo

I discovered my missing needles/hooks in several abandoned UFOs. This phenomenon may be happening to others as well. Keep reading to learn about my findings and my actions to address this issue.

Abandoned knitting projects, also known as abandoned UFOs, are quite common at my place. How about yours? UnFinished Objects or UFOs refer to those knitting projects that have been left incomplete, while Works in Progress or WIPs describe projects being actively worked on.

Preparing for a Shawl Knit Along (KAL), I ensured I had the pattern, wound the yarn, and chose the needles. However, the tale unfolds when I reach into my needle drawer and retrieve my interchangeable needles. Here is what unfolded:

result of abandoned ufos
Missing Interchangeable Needles

Notice all the missing pairs of interchangeable needle tips. Does this look familiar?

Lesson learned– I found this excellent advice:

Don’t tie up your needles and hooks in your WIPs – If you’re going to stop working on a project for awhile, remove your knitting needles or crochet hook from your work before storing it. If it’s a crochet project, just slip in a locking stitch marker, paper clip, or waste yarn through your last stitch to keep it from unraveling. If it’s a knitting project, you’ll have a little more work to do. If you don’t have many live stitches, you can use a stitch holder. If you have a lot of stitches, move them to a piece of waste yarn.

From a former post no longer availabe in Web’s Yarn Store Blog

Maintaining control over our needles/hooks is crucial. However, it is equally important to exercise self-control when it comes to starting new projects. Being a whimsical knitter, I am aware that I have accumulated a considerable number of unfinished objects (UFOs), some of which have been neglected for quite some time.

Why do our WIPs become abandoned UFOs?

  • While working on a project, we see something on Facebook, Ravelry, e-mail, or in a magazine, and off I go and start a new project. I am sure I am not alone.
  • The pattern was more complex than you anticipated. Finally, you are so frustrated that you just put the project away.
  • You wanted to learn to knit socks. You knitted one sock and stopped.
  • You loved knitting the complex lace pattern but couldn’t find the time for concentrated work.
  • You saw a mistake you made rows back and couldn’t bring yourself to rip back to the error.
  • After knitting on the project, you realize that you dislike the yarn.
  • You ran out of yarn.
  • You have completed everything apart from the washing, blocking, sewing together, and weaving in the ends. You set it aside to finish and forget about it.

Oh, I don’t discriminate among my crafts. Because I am a multi-crafter, I also have uncompleted crochet, weaving, spinning, and other craft projects.

My inner voice reminds me that I shouldn’t buy more supplies or start a new project until I finish my WIPs. The result is that I feel guilty, resulting in my stopping all creative activity.

Because I am sure I am not alone in this phenomenon of missing tools and uncompleted projects, I think it is time we all took action.

Abandoned UFOs Begone

Feel free to complete, abandon, or repurpose your projects. Regardless of why you stopped working on a project, it’s acceptable to leave it unfinished if you no longer have passion for it. Instead, grant yourself permission to release it.

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