No, not the kind that contain little green men. I'm talking about UnFinished Objects. If you are a crafter of any kind, you know what I mean. Those projects that you started with the best of intentions....then, somehow, you got distracted. Maybe you visted the yarn shop and a new yarn called out to you. Maybe you picked up a new magazine or book and that sweater looked so much more interesting than what's already on your needles. Or, maybe you realized how much you detest the yarn or stitch pattern or whatever. No matter what the reason, you've moved on. That well intended project is now abandoned and forgotten.
Well...maybe not forgotten. Some of us have friends (*cough* Michelle *cough*) who won't let us forget about those UFOs. And now, gentle reader, you too will know what Michelle means when she asks me, "So, how about that Gefjon?" Or "When are you going to work on Ene's Scarf again?" If you aren't sitting down, you might want to. Especially if you are one of those Type A people who always finishes things. Are you ready?
That's my pile of UFOs. There's the beige cabled Denmark Gefjon, the red and white Russian Prime, Ene's Scarf worked in blue glittery handspun, the diagonal rib shawl, Faina's Scarf, Baby's and Bears for Grown Ups, Lift and Separate, Angelina jacket, an afghan, a pi jacket, and a few things I found on the needles, but I'm not exactly sure what they were intended to be. Missing from the picture because I forgot about them until I sat down to write: The Fair Isle knee socks I worked on for the Knitting Olympics, the Wonderful Wallaby for my son, Komb afghan, and the Kinki Jacket...oops.
What's the lesson here? I think there are a few. First, it's important to enjoy the PROCESS of knitting, not just the end product. Yes, I started each of these items because I thought the finished product would be nice, but that's not why I knit. I'm not going to force myself to work on something I hate knitting for 60 to 100 hours just so I can have the finished item. I don't work that way. That's also not to say that I grew to hate all of these items. But, each of them have something counting against them. The Russian Prime curls at the bottom because I used the wrong cast on method. I know how to fix it, but it was a glitch in my plans. Someday I will fix it, but not today. I *love* the Denmark Gefjon. But I don't love the yarn or working cables. So, every once in a while, I pull it out of the closet and work on it until I can't stand it anymore, then I put it back. Most of the others were just abandoned out of boredom. I learned what I wanted to learn from the pattern, and I moved on. Those projects will probably eventually be ripped out so I can use the yarn for something else.
Second, based on the first lesson, it's okay to abandon a project. You can reclaim the yarn for something else. Or, if you don't like the yarn, get rid of it. Donate it or sell it or trade it online. Whatever. Don't feel bad about leaving a project behind. As long as you learned something--either about knitting or about yourself--in the process, let it go.
Finally, we get enough guilt from other parts of our lives. Don't ever feel guilty about your knitting. Life is too short.
My next post will be about the shocking lengths I have taken when I finish something and absolutely hate the final garment. Stay tuned.