Thursday, April 28, 2011

UFO Spotted!

In my last post, I was mentioning how you won't find too many UFO's in my knitting basket. Still, I do have a few of these UnFinished Objects lying about. Of the three I can think of, two of them are so far in the recesses of my mind (and shelf) that I do not suffer from the guilt that sometimes attends UFO's. I didn't get into knitting to court more guilt in my life-- I've already got a stunning guilt complex (which, if you want, I'll tell you about in detail when you come to the retreat-- don't worry, I'll make it a funny story).

my friend Margaret

But there was this one project that was really eating at me. It's a sweater I started last summer, made with hand dyed angora I got from Margaret Thierry, a fiber genius friend of mine in Astoria, Oregon. This yarn feels SO good. And I am in love with the sweater pattern I'm using. I think the only reason I put it down is because I started in on a small number of Christmas projects, and then I got sidetracked from there, and I kept telling myself I'd get back to the sweater but I didn't. It's sort of like how you promise yourself that if you have a productive day you'll "let" yourself read at night, but by the time you get to the book you're so exhausted you fall asleep after three pages. I had every intent of getting back to the sweater, but the more I postponed it, the more (mental) obstacles plagued me. I told myself I'd never remember where I was in the pattern. I told myself the pattern required quiet time knitting alone so I could focus on row counting. I became not exactly afraid of it, but sort of put-off by it.

My Hermit Crab Cage/Yarn Holder

This was made worse by the guilt and self-imposed pressure. Until finally, I just couldn't take it anymore. I got out the sweater-- I already finished the back and left front and had started the right front. There it was, waiting for me in the lovely little mesh yarn holder I got at the Black Duck on Monhegan Island. (This yarn holder is one of my favorite knitting-related objects-- it calls to mind hermit crab cages.) I sat down, looked at the pattern, looked at where I was at, noticed I'd left a note in with the project reminding me where I'd left off and realized-- oh, it's not hard at all. The pattern came right back to me. Now I am super-psyched to finish it. And to add to my motivation, today I went out and got the rest of what I need to make my NEXT sweater. Knowing that project is waiting in the wings is inspiring me to keep the rescued UFO on track this time, and not let it fly off into outer space again.

Knitting Daily has a piece about why projects become UFO's. You can read it here. What about y'all-- do you finish everything you start? Do you never finish? Do you allow dreaded guilt to creep into your knitting life?


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