UFOs and PhDs
Aliens and Academics in Your Stash?
Do you have UFOs and PhDs lurking in the depths of your stash?
These particular monsters are neither aliens nor academics. They are Un-Finished Objects and Projects Half Done!
Let’s start with a favourite beastie of mine, the Unfinished Object.
This is usually something you have worked hard on that needs attention to turn it into a useable item. There are several obstacles that stop you finishing a project, right at the very end.
Some of the most common reasons:
The work is a weird shape. Sometimes when we look at our work once we have finished knitting we feel, not a sense of accomplishment but one of deep despair. It looks nothing like it should! It may be a funny shape, our stitches look uneven, there maybe puckering in places. We panic. Shove it back in the stash and hide it away.
It needs to be sewn together. This is a very common stumbling block. We are, after all, knitters and we sometimes see sewing as a chore. Often it’s something we don’t feel confident doing.Sewing stretchy knitted pieces is quite a specific skill. Again, into the stash it goes to lurk and niggle at us.
It needs buttons. I know this sounds trivial but that’s sort of the point with UFOs. They are sneaky little tasks that just derail us.
A No Shame Zone
This first thing to say is that none of this is shameful. It’s all perfectly reasonable and happens to most knitters, no matter their level of experience. You did all the hard work! Now you just have to do the last little bit and then you will have a lovely FINISHED OBJECT
Finish It Friday or Sew it Sunday?
The best way to tackle it is to set up one day a week to retrieve and work on one single UFO from your stash.
Pro Tip: Prepare in advance by watching YouTube videos for mattress stitch and blocking techniques if you are not sure or need a refresher. (Watch out for distractions!)
Take it out.
Check you have all the bits.
Decide if it needs blocking and/or reshaping.
Block as needed. Often pieces for sewing up benefit massively from blocking and reshaping first. There are lots of helpful videos on YouTube.
Get your sewing kit ready
If it’s too much to finish this time, don’t panic.
Just pick it up again the same day next week and carry on with it.
If you are prone to UFOs then you will likely have several in your stash. Try to make sure your current projects do get finished and don’t add to the alien invasion fleet
🛸 🛸🛸 🛸🛸 🛸🛸 🛸🛸 🛸🛸 🛸
Interrogate Those PhDs
Projects half done are trickier. The chances are high that there is a genuine reason you didn’t carry on and finish the project.
Pull one out of your stash and let’s ask it a very important question.
So, PhD are you worth finishing?
“No, the baby is now a teenager. The yarn is hideous. No one has worn this shade since 2008 etc...”
You know what to do, right? 🐸 🐸 🐸 🐸 🐸
“Yes, I’m lovely and you will enjoy working on me.”
Great, you just got distracted by a shiny new thing and forgot this one. You now have a lovely project to work on.
“Yes, you have already invested lots of work in me. You will feel awful if you rip me out now!”
Hmm, this one is trying to guilt trip you. You are going to have to look carefully at this project and see if you still like it.
Often you will find that you don’t actually want to finish it.
Great! Free the Yarn! Rip it out and add the wool into your stash or give it away if you don’t love it!
If you do still love the project but are daunted by the amount still to do, just work on it once or twice a week. A row or two here and there adds up over time. Once the end is in sight your mojo should return and you’ll get it finished.
“ Yes, you still love me. You just didn’t try hard enough”
OK so with this one is trying to make you feel bad too. However, this time you probably hit a technical problem with the pattern:
Check Ravelry for Errata. Published patterns can and do have mistakes. Make sure that it wasn’t a mistake that derailed you.
Look at other people’s projects in Ravelry and see if they had problems. Learn from their mistakes.
Look for YouTube videos if it is a technique or stitch that you found difficult.
Pull the work back to where you are sure there are no mistakes and try it again. This time count your stitches twice, use stitch markers, life lines and take notes. There is a good chance you just made a simple error and it will actually all work out fine this time.
If you get really stuck hit Reply and ask for help!