abandoned ufos image

Abandoned UFOs – A Crafter’s Number 1 Plague

Last Updated on July 10, 2022 by Cheryl Moreo

Where or where have my needles/hooks gone? Well, I found them. They were in numerous abandoned UFOs. I am sure that I am not the only one who has this phenomenon right under your roof. Read on to discover what I found and how I am taking action to squash this plague.

Abandoned knitting projects (AKA abandoned UFOs) are prevalent in my home. How about yours? Abandoned knitting projects are called UnFinished Objects or UFOs, and projects you are regularly working on are called Works in Progress or WIPs.

I was getting ready for a Shawl Knit Along (KAL). I checked the pattern, wound the yarn, and selected the needles.
Selecting the needles is where this story begins. I went to my needle drawer and pulled out my interchangeable needle set. Below is what I discovered.

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.

Web’s Yarn Store Blog

Yes, it is essential to keep control of our needles/hooks. But, I am learning that one should also keep control of their urges to start new projects. As a very fickle knitter, I knew I had a lot of UFOs. But, unfortunately, some of them are very old.

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 can’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 that 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

Give yourself permission to finish, frog, or repurpose your projects. Whatever reason you’ve dropped a project, it’s ok not to finish it if you don’t love it anymore. Instead, permit yourself to let it go.

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January 16, 2022 3:26 PM

I need this so much. I joined the FB group and can’t wait for tips & inspiration! G.

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