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Poll Results II: Why Our UFOs Become UFOs

Oct 22, 2007

Better Than Booties, but still a bit lonely

Now that we know that there are over 69,000 UnFinished Knitting Objects amongst our collective knitting baskets (it used to be 65,000, but I updated that result with the numbers that came in this weekend!), let's look at the results of the second survey to see why all those UFOs became UFOs in the first place:

27% of you consider yourself multi-taskers: therefore, you don't have UFOs, you have parallel works-in-progress. This is not surprising: Knitters are generous of heart, and I imagine that many of these simultaneous works-in-progress are gifts for family, charity, and friends. There's a knitter named Debbie in our office who is constantly knitting gifts and charity items, and she finishes more projects in a month than I finish in six months.

I admire that kind of organization and dedication. I have half a baby sweater for a young man who is no longer a baby (sorry, Shane); one baby sock for his sister who is also no longer a baby (sorry, Jackie); and the yarn, still in skeins, for matching hoodies for my two sisters (sorry, Liz and Carol!). Judging from these projects, plus a few more, it's not generosity I lack; it's the ability to wade through acres of stockinette stitch, as that seems to stop me every single time.

I am not alone in this: 10% of you said your projects often attain UFO status when you hit Stockinette Wasteland.

Conversely, 11% of you said that you were stuck on complex projects that required more concentration than you can muster in the midst of your busy lives.

Isn't that interesting? Too much stockinette, and we get stuck; too much intricate stitchery, and we get stuck. We knitters like to be challenged, but we can't always find the time to work on the intricate patterns we crave. So it seems like projects which fall somewhere in the sweet spot between endless stockinette and intricate stitch charts are the ones least likely to end up as UFOs. (As a designer, I'm going to keep that firmly in mind!)

There was another major reason for UFOs, one that wasn't terribly surprising: 11% of your UFOs are stuck at the finishing/sewing-up stage.


Stockinette Wasteland

Over and over, I hear how much knitters hate to seam up their knitting. And the series on blocking (Part One and Part Two) that I ran a couple months ago showed me how little we know about finishing a garment in general.

As for the remainder of the reasons:

7% of the UFOs are stuck on some tricky technical bit.

3% are the victim of Second Sock (or Second Sleeve!) Syndrome.

7% are ones you no longer really like.

6% are projects where you just don't have any motivation to finish!

19% of you had other answers, but there were hundreds and hundreds of those, and I haven't finished reading through those yet. I'll share some of the interesting ones as we go along.

Cheers,

Sandi


 

Sandi Wiseheart
is the founding
editor of
Knitting Daily.

 



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Comments

Quickie49 wrote
on Jun 3, 2012 11:50 AM

I love stockinette. It's great for sitting in front of the TV and still getting something accomplished. So, I'll trade you... send me your UFO's of stockinette and I'll send you my need to be seamed cardi. It's a win-win situation :-)

RachelK@3 wrote
on Apr 9, 2008 9:29 AM
Okay I have a particularly tricky UFO question which is about the Curse of the Boyfriend Sweater problem: What exactly do you do with all of that knitting--say, a "50 circumference and 27 inchies of excellent donnegal tweed AND the sleeves, all done except the seaming, when the relationship is long gone? Is there a good felted pillow project? Can I steek the parts and make a kid's sweater? Is that cheating or bad feng shui or something?Do I HAVE to frog it or toss it? I don't have to go give it to the guy, do I?
on Nov 9, 2007 8:49 AM
I, too, am the owner of numerous UFO's. This is a recent idea of mine and may help others - if you have yet to think of this! Many of my projects lay about because I have removed the needles for yet another project ;0) and no longer remember exactly which needles I was using. This is especially an issue for me when I have also separated the knitting from the knitting instructions! A few weeks ago I was working on a key board with the small metal-rimmed cardboard tags when I thought...hmmm. I have begun working through my UFO's to determine the necessary info - needles, book, etc. and writing that info onto the tag. These tags come with a string loop or a metal ring and are inexpensively available in office supply stores. Using a scrap piece of yarn to hold the live stitches I run the threaded needle through the cardboard hole (if holding yarn is fine enough).
As I am UFO 'negligent' I have yet to know how helpful this method will be for me, but I am sure willing to give it a try! I will always be a knitter who likes to have several projects of differing levels of difficulty going at once -that's just me. So, having saved perhaps the best for last these tags come in a box of 50 or so at a very reasonable price - even I don't have 50 UFO's!
Best wishes, Deborah
AvisK wrote
on Oct 31, 2007 1:56 PM
To Danette Pratt, I also knit socks from the toe up. My reason has to do with get the foot lenght right. I found the tubular bind off the best so far. Note, you need to make sure you have a really long tail (and I do mean a really long tail) and don't pull too tight or you'll never get the sock on! I removed the bind off 3 times on one sock until I got it right. "The Knitting Answer Book" has the best pictures to show how it's done. Hope this helps. Avis Kelly
JessicaG wrote
on Oct 31, 2007 10:30 AM
Thanks for the inspiration. I am wearing (albeit with some hanging threads tucked around) my long lost, beloved but unfinished Tudor Roses sweater. I was stopped by just some button bands and buttons (there are a few fixes that would be nice, but who cares). After going into my closet and counting, I just pulled it out and finished it.
Knit Happy wrote
on Oct 30, 2007 12:04 PM
I knit Everything two at a time: Socks(magic loop style) Sleeves on one big circular. As far as the body of a sweater goes I knit it in the round or I knit the fronts and the back of a cardigan flat together until the armhole shaping then I have three or more balls of yarn. I find this to make the work so much more enjoyable and usually when I'm done, I'm done! (With a little bit of seaming of course!) The only thing I just can't seem to finish are those darn Jean Greenhowe toys I've got sooo many of then to a place where they can be played with but are slightly embaressing. :-)
BreeM wrote
on Oct 28, 2007 6:47 PM
SUCCESS! HAHA! I am currently wearing a sweater that I started 4 years ago and just finished this week! Wow, that feels good. I have a job where I spend a large portion of the day on the phone, and so I took my knitting to work to keep me busy while I am chatting. Several of my co-workers knew the sweater story and had been checking in on my progress. When I finally finished I stood up at my desk and held the completed sweater high over my head. The office errupted with applause! It was AWESOME!

So now, about all those other unfinished projects....
CaraT wrote
on Oct 28, 2007 5:25 PM
Okay, so I am an idiot. Turns out that all my 10 carefully counted UFOs apparently all fit the definition of WIPs. How did you all decide which one to call them when you filled out the survey? If you are working on all of them at some point or another, and you have plans to finish all of them over time, does that then turn them into a WIP instead of a UFO? How did you all determine the difference when you filled out the survey? (By the way, LOVE Knitting Daily! Keep it coming--)
KathyF@2 wrote
on Oct 26, 2007 10:26 AM
I prefer to knit large projects on a circular needle, there is really nothing to finish (when you run out of yarn the project is complete)no sewing but best of all, projects can easily be frogged and the yarn goes back into the stash for trying another day! very simple to read, listen to an audio book or watch TV, just pull out the stitches and wind a ball.

kathy
ElizabethP wrote
on Oct 24, 2007 6:07 PM
Whoah! After I went to a finishing seminar and learned how to do it right, seaming became fun. Honestly! Recently from Galina Khmeleva (aka "the Master"), I learned Russian Grafting, a weaver's technique for seaming, and it is a blast! It looks like a magic trick. I used to dread seaming, and now it is a special pleasure, an elegant task.
ChristineL wrote
on Oct 24, 2007 9:02 AM
Danette, try this sock-top loose bind-off:

Knit 1 st; *move st on rt ndl back to left ndl, knit 2 sts and pass first st on rt ndl over 2nd st (which binds off 1 st), repeat from * all the way around.

It works for me, hopefully it will work for you.

And Sandi? Just think, at least your boo-boos are educational for the rest of us. Does that help? Yea, I didn't think so :)
JodyM wrote
on Oct 24, 2007 8:42 AM
I saw workwoman's comment and noted that she was headed to Rhinebeck, so she may live in Dutchess County ~ HELP, where do you find yarn locally?
JodyM wrote
on Oct 24, 2007 8:42 AM
I saw workwoman's comment and noted that she was headed to Rhinebeck, so she may live in Dutchess County ~ HELP, where do you find yarn locally?
kimmacus wrote
on Oct 23, 2007 11:36 PM
Sandi, thanks for showing us your Bonsai Tank! Though I totally comiserate with you, I still appreciate that you're sharing your mini disaster with us. We all do it and we all feel like dunces when it happens! Knitting & humilty seem to go hand in hand. Still.............very sorry it happened to you!
ReganH wrote
on Oct 23, 2007 10:01 PM
I just went back and read the comment by Shannon J. I think I will set myself a time limit to finish things I've started - like, if it doesn't get touched in a year I'll frog it and recycle or give away the yarn, or give the whole project to someone who might be interested in finishing it. I do the same thing with clothes & shoes, why not my projects too?

However, as a hobby, it's nice to know that I have a couple of things sitting around that I can pick up and work on depending on what kind of time I have to devote to it. I've got three rowdy sons, so getting into the intricate lace of my scarf is a special treat that doesn't happen every day (or week, or lately - month) but it DOES get worked on sometimes, so I'll keep it for now.

I tend to buy coveted yarns if/when they go on sale, so I have more stash & plans than I have time to begin work on in the forseable future, but I have a limited storage space too so if I want to add to it I have to get rid of something. Luckily I have knitting & crocheting friends whom I can gift these items to and know they will be cherished.

But if my hobby is truly an indication of a deeper psychological problem, then I suppose I'm more blessed than some and I can live with that. At least I don't have to sacrifice necessities for myself or my family in order to feed my "addiction".

So PLEASE don't devote a precious issue of Knitting Daily to how we SHOULD be conducting our hobby. There are enough deadlines and guidelines and rules in the rest of my life without tainting my free time with them too.
SharonT wrote
on Oct 23, 2007 9:54 PM
I think I must be a pattern AND a yarn freak. I see patterns and think "I've got to try that". I have lots of those TRIES in bags with needles and patterns stuffed in there too. I think the business of knitting bag manufacturer must be very lucretive, I have some really beautiful ones. Once I find that I can 'master' the pattern or yarn,unless I can finish it quickly, I lose interest. I'm a starter, not a finisher except with socks, I love to knit socks. Crazy, huh?
ReganH wrote
on Oct 23, 2007 9:40 PM
I prefer to think of them as 1/2 a Finished Object instead of a UFO! As for socks and the dreaded SSS - why don't you do an article on the ways you can make two socks(or sleeves) at once? Like magic loop, two sets of DPNs and my personal favorite - double knit on one set of DPNs!
on Oct 23, 2007 7:38 PM
I've tried, over and over, to make that beautiful Pine Cone Scarf...and learned, each time, that I'm not SMART ENOUGH to distinguish the 'back' from the 'front' side. What SHAME!!
JoseeS wrote
on Oct 23, 2007 7:18 PM
Stockinette Wasteland LOL. I finally have a name for my affliction. I'm just happy to know that I am not alone!! I try, I really really try not to get bored and put it down but it's so hard. *sigh*
SharonH wrote
on Oct 23, 2007 7:15 PM
Hm. I'm just thinking about Shannon J's comment.

I know that there can be a lot of guilt in hoarding of yarn. I used to feel it, but my current SO has changed my thoughts on this.

I will sit and cuddle the yarn, imagine what it could turn into. It sparks my imagination to have all that raw material lying around. Sometimes I get ideas for new knitting projects, sometimes for writing or painting or photography.

I know I'm going to end up abandoning or frogging a lot of the projects I start, but that I'll have learned something from them. Sometimes you know something isn't going to work, but you don't have the heart to rip it out yet so it just sits there and you go on to something new.

It's a hobby after all and you should be enjoying it. I don't see how collecting yarn is any different from collecting anything else. Except that I'll probably turn it into something else one day, even if it's just an unfinished sweater.
Happygoo25 wrote
on Oct 23, 2007 6:40 PM
I have to agree with Shannon J. that hoarding huge amounts of unfinished knitting projects is sad and may be an indicator of a deeper emotional or psycological problem. Maybe this should be addressed seriously in your magazine or here online with some possible links.
Happygoo25 wrote
on Oct 23, 2007 6:31 PM
I say rip out the Bonsia. It is only the bodice. Also, I like mindless stockinet when I am watching TV. Otherwise I really feel like I am wasting my time just sitting there watching programming.
Cathy Dowd wrote
on Oct 23, 2007 4:58 PM
A GOOD CAST OFF FOR TOE UP SOCKS - do it on larger needles, much larger if your cast off's are very tight.

And I too love stockinette stitch for times when I don't want to concentrate on knitting.
GJabouri wrote
on Oct 23, 2007 1:44 PM
Hi ABBY L: The blocking board looks exactly like the one I have: check out www.guardian-tablepads.com Click on "More Products" and then on "Sew E-Z Board".
KatherineM wrote
on Oct 23, 2007 12:53 PM
My husband is in a wheelchair; blankets, etc. draped around his shoulders have been an unsatisfactory solution - it was an "ah ha!" moment when I saw the comfort shawl. A few changes, leaving out the lace blossoms and using a different colour, would be almost perfect for him. Other ideas about making it more masculine? muzzo@ Fullerton
KatherineM wrote
on Oct 23, 2007 12:37 PM
We learned the process as "tinking" - knit spelled backwards - does any one else share that term? muzzo @ Fullerton
LaurieZ wrote
on Oct 23, 2007 12:26 PM
Boo Hoo Bonsai! SOunds like nothing a little elastic or elastic thread can't fix! I can't wait to see what you do.
on Oct 23, 2007 11:27 AM
The bonsai tunic is being blocked on a pad with a grid printed on it. Where do you find such a thing?
CarolO wrote
on Oct 23, 2007 9:40 AM
I haven't commented on my UFOs, mostly because I'm not numerically gifted and can't count that high! For me, there are a couple of reasons I don't finish things -- I lose interest or something comes up to distract me. My solution? About this time of year, when I am looking for Christmas presents, I look for UFOs that could be quickly finished. And I feel virtuous for finishing them!
Meeb wrote
on Oct 23, 2007 9:26 AM
so today..be grateful for your stash and UFO's. because in southern california, that of many knitter's must now be ash. having been evacted myself a time or two, the list goes like this: kids. dogs. wallet. knitting. other stuff. may you never have to make use of that bit of knowledge.
Anonymous wrote
on Oct 23, 2007 9:10 AM
I discovered another major problem I have with developing more UFOs: There are too many great patterns! I'm a book hog as it is, but when they're knitting books (or magazines), I'm in serious trouble. And I want to make everything I see! So even though I have quite a few projects on-going that I'm perfectly happy with, I am continually starting new fantastic things. If I could just stop looking at all the wonderful patterns out there and stick with the ones I already started, I'd be in much better shape.
MILIK wrote
on Oct 23, 2007 8:33 AM
When I hit Stockinette Wasteland I make it a game by knitting 2,000 stitches per day. That way, I know roughly when I will pass through the wasteland, however it's great for knitting on plane trips, car rides, etc. My UFO's are usually for me as I am always knitting something for someone else and drop my own things as not being so urgent. Can we make it a game to reduce our backlog of UFO's by finishing them up or finally frogging them?
Mili
ShireenK wrote
on Oct 23, 2007 7:55 AM
Hello, I'm so encouraged to hear that the poll reached 69,000. My guilt is gone. Thank you. I also look at this is just an excuse to knit a few things at once.(so I don't get bored, I like variety) In response to a gal who said she knit side by side except for socks. Well I just took an online tutorial that taught me to knit 2 socks at once from the toe up in the round. Real exciting. Shireen
Mary BethL wrote
on Oct 23, 2007 4:53 AM
Hmmmmmm 11% are stuck on technical complexities and 10% are suffering in stockinette wasteland....Perhaps a massive swap of projects is called for!!

I, for one am happy to have all the stockinettes--I knit while I see patients in my psychology practice.

I'll give up a couple of design disasters that await brighter brains than mine...
Elizabeth wrote
on Oct 22, 2007 11:53 PM
My printer didn't print out all of the tulip pattern on the site this afternoon, so tonite I sat down to redo it and IT'S GONE. Still the same day here in Colorado. Did you change the post early? :(
Elizabeth wrote
on Oct 22, 2007 11:52 PM
Sandi, it is so encouraging and comforting to know that professionals also make mistakes. Please finish the beautiful bonsai project. It will look lovely on you.
JoannH wrote
on Oct 22, 2007 11:50 PM
Could we please see more Elizabeth Zimmerman/Meg Swansen and circular knitting?? I love making two TINY 8 stitch underarm seams in the whole sweater...and the only loose ends are when I add a new ball of yarn or add colors...lets me concentrate on the knitting...not dreading the finish....School House Press is such a resource, but must be the best kept secret around....Glad I found them years ago...what selection of books, yarn and knowledge....and love this site...JH
DebC wrote
on Oct 22, 2007 9:43 PM
it was heartening to hear that even very talented and experienced knitters make "well, duh" mistakes (forgetting to change needle sizes.) I will be less hard on myself the next time I do something that I think "I should have known better!" After all, this is a hobby, not life!
TFoz wrote
on Oct 22, 2007 8:18 PM
Dear Danette,
I have to agree with Melinda Kaye B about the sewn bind off by Eliz. Zimmerman. It was featured in a Toe-Up Socks Lesson (by Denise Powell) I found online a while ago and I've used it over and over. This is a very stretchy way to bind off at the top of a toe-up sock. :)
on Oct 22, 2007 8:10 PM
Change of needles needs to be in BOLD! I caught the needle change after two rows, so I did not end up with any drastic change. I like Vicki's suggestion on taking a larger seam or adding elastic.
Regarding not finishing, it would worth anyone's time to take a class, pay someone for an hour or two of time to understand how simple seaming is! Really, it is! If anyone is in the Laguna Niguel CA and wants a lesson, email me at LMLINDY@cox.net. I have not knitted that long, but I 'm a former seamstress, and understand the concepts. I found finishing the easiest part of the garment! Now, that sizing problem, whew, I still have problems.
on Oct 22, 2007 6:26 PM
My new favorite cast off for toe-up socks is Elizabeth Zimmermann's sewn bind off. I found it online via google. I just use the plain sewn bind off even if the sock is ribbed and it looks okay to me, although I think there is a fancier one out there that is supposed to "match" the ribbing.
LynnC wrote
on Oct 22, 2007 6:19 PM
If I am knitting plain stockinette socks in self-striping yarn, I have 2 to 3 pair going at one time. I start the first sock of each pair. I finish the first sock of the first pair, then the first sock of the second pair. Then I go back to the first pair, start the second sock of each pair and finish the second sock of the first pair, then the second sock of the second pair. I save my stockinette projects for the car, waiting rooms, while watching TV, etc. I do the complicated stuff at home, not doing anything else. I always have a complicated project and a crochet project going at the same time so I can switch back and forth. I keep each pair of socks in progress in a quart-size zip-lock bag with the pattern, yarn, needles, and stitch marker in it. Easy to grab and put in my purse. Lynn, Federal Way, WA
JudyM wrote
on Oct 22, 2007 6:06 PM
I am so sympathetic to your "Bonsai" problem. Forgetting to move to the larger or smaller needle is a frequent mistake of mine. Maybe someone could come up with some type of reminder.
JOANNEJ wrote
on Oct 22, 2007 5:44 PM
I LAUGHED WHEN YOU FIGURED OUT HOW MANY KNITTING NEEDLES WE ALSO HAVE TIED UP WITH OUR UFO'S BUT THEN WONDERED "HOW MANY BASKETS, TOTE BAGS ETC. DO WE ALSO HAVE TIED UP HOLDING ALL THESE UFO'S" I AM CURRENTLY OUT OF NEEDLES AND SIX TOTE BAGS FILLED WITH UFO'S. JOANNE
Jamie LeaB wrote
on Oct 22, 2007 5:39 PM
I just finished my very first sweater and it is way too big.

I was very careful to keep track of my stitches and I did change to larger needles when the pattern told me to.

Now I need to find a 2X gal who wants a Gatsby Girl Sweater in RYC Cashsoft 4 ply yarn in their dark green.
Pegperson wrote
on Oct 22, 2007 5:26 PM
I love all the tips and comments on here. However, I do have one gripe. Why is it all the models male or female are always shown wearing a DARK article where you cannot see the details? Could they have a lighter color and definitely a different background when they do these photographs.

Peggy in Edgewood, NM
BarbaraF@3 wrote
on Oct 22, 2007 5:06 PM
Sandi -
Could you give us a better picture of the pattern in the pine cone scarf? (Often projects made in dark colors do not photograph well.)

I really enjoy your newsletter.

Thanks,

Barbara
JenniferS@8 wrote
on Oct 22, 2007 4:47 PM
Sandi,
I love knitting daily and just had a ? about the "stitch of the day". Did it end early? Did it get moved to another page?

Thanks
Coley J wrote
on Oct 22, 2007 4:46 PM
The stitch of the day link is located on the right hand side of the page under "Knitting Help" - and the reason why it's called Frogging is because you "rip it, rip it". :)
EmilyR wrote
on Oct 22, 2007 4:39 PM
OK two questions: 1) Where is the Stitch of the Day link? and 2) While I understand what frogging IS, I don't understand why it's called frogging. Is it because it makes you want to croak when you have to do it?
on Oct 22, 2007 4:39 PM
How to get over Second Sock Syndrome: "Leap-frog" the knitting from one sock to the other. Having two sets of dpns or whatever really helps. Also, because I knit toe to top and go 1 size larger for the upper cuff, the needle switch frees the original size so that the second sock can be started. The trick is to finish both at the same time. Finishing one gives a false sense of completion. If that's what's going on, knit Christmas stockings!
SeannaL wrote
on Oct 22, 2007 4:33 PM
One of my UFOs has finally become a FO only to fall on one of the more unfortunate snags. It no longer fits! It is a bit too big (it's a skirt, and I'm lazy, so I will save it with belt loops and a belt even though I dislike belts).

Too big or too small is always a possibility if you wait a few too many months in finishing land.
AnitaM wrote
on Oct 22, 2007 4:18 PM
Sandi, Thankyou so much for doing these polls. As a relatively new knitter it's very encouraging to hear that other, more experienced knitters run into the same problems I do. At least I know I'm not doing anything wrong! Oh, and you can add another UFO to my pile - had to put down my Looking Glass Sweater to play with the gorgeous dusky pink mohair that just arrived in the mail. It's so beautiful - I've started a shawl already! It just didn't seem right to leave it sitting on it's own! :)
AnneD@2 wrote
on Oct 22, 2007 4:14 PM
Sandi ~ My favorite antidote to stockinette madness is a stitch I call "Broken Seed Stitch" which is a nice easy kind of mindless stitch, but does not have the boredom quotient of Stockinette. AND, it creates a nifty texture with all yarns. Put simply, it's rows of seed stitch with single rows of stockinette between. Got it??
Coley J wrote
on Oct 22, 2007 4:08 PM
No - it's not a mistake. When you knit it and it's surrounded by the other colors, it will look pale blue. It's a transformation before your eyes. :) You have the right color.
on Oct 22, 2007 4:07 PM
PINE CONE SCARF: I just looked at the instructions, because I thought, "Oh, Goodie!!!! A new scarf that won't knit me to sleep..."

All I have to say about the instructions is, "Um, what?"

Do you think the not-so-genius knitters (like me) could get a, you know, real pattern? Cast on 50 stitches and then repeat these 20 rows?
I'm not even on the same knitting planet as these instructions, and I've been knitting a really long time (like practically since birth).
ShannonJ@2 wrote
on Oct 22, 2007 4:03 PM
As I read the results of the UFO poll I could not help but feel sick to my stomach. I understand having a few projects on going but to have so many seems wasteful and a symptom of a bigger problem. Obviously, buying more yarn and more patterns and beginning more projects that will never be finished doesn't lead to contentment. Maybe we should look at what motivates us to continually purchase things that have no purpose and ultimately don't satisfy. Maybe we should learn to enjoy the process and be thankful that we can and are able to knit even when it is miles of stockinette. Maybe if we are so fortunate to be able to stockpile and hoard yarn that we should seam up those garments and make the other sock that know longer appeals to our fashion sense and give it to someone who can't afford a sweater or a pair of warm socks. I don't know but I don't think this is cute or funny. I think it is sad.
Sdombro wrote
on Oct 22, 2007 3:48 PM
I don't know if anyone else has had this problem, but I have been rounding up the necessary colors of Kidsilk Haze to make the Modern Quilt Wrap that you featured a month or so ago. So I finally got them all, but find that the #581 meadow is not pale blue as shown, but pale green. Is this a mistake?
KatP wrote
on Oct 22, 2007 3:36 PM
I personally would love some tips on seaming. Seems mine always look 'off'. I love the easy to intermediate stuff and stockinette doesn't bother me. A little bit of fancy stitching goes a long way for me.

txkat
Libraryhag wrote
on Oct 22, 2007 3:32 PM
The moths ate my UFO. I was going to say that I never finished a project but like others it just sometimes takes a while to get things done. But I did find one not too long ago that had been shoved into the recesses of my closet that I had completely forgotten. It was completely trashed by moths. Even the yarn was chewed to tiny pieces. Oh, well, that's a goner.
JillS wrote
on Oct 22, 2007 3:26 PM
I always have 2 projects going at once, stocking stitch for when I am too tired to concentrate and something more complex when not so tired. As for the sewing up we have excellent works by Elizabeth Zimmerman and Priscilla A Gibson Roberts showing ways of knitting without the seams. I find their works very stimulating and have enabled me to understand knitting in a whole new light. Oh and UFOs just a couple.
Jill, Australia
Workwoman wrote
on Oct 22, 2007 3:23 PM
I guess I am somewhat ashamed to admit that that I love miles of plain stockinette. I enjoy a challenge, don't get me wrong, but I don't often have the mental space for it at the end of the day. Stockinette is my "chop wood, carry water" and I never seem to tire of it. I do find, however, that the unfortunate side-effect of loving plain knitting is FO shame: as in, I am heading to Rhinebeck and realize that I don't actually have anything impressive to wear. I am also a bit perverse in that I very often knit everything twice--once to see how it comes out one way, then frog the whole thing and try again with a different set of options to refine the design. I figure that since I love to knit, knitting something twice just gives me that much more to love (and saves me the cost of buying or spinning more yarn).
Repels-72356 wrote
on Oct 22, 2007 3:19 PM
PS--I forgot to say that my three UFOs all resulted from indecision about solving a design problem, because I don't always finish things as intended if I have a better idea as I go along. For instance I have a felted purse all finished except for some embellishment I had intended to add with a felting needle. Now I can't decide what color or colors it should be. I'm letting my subconscious mind solve this problem in its spare time. --CH
LindaA wrote
on Oct 22, 2007 3:16 PM
Here is my question: Why are so many patterns set up to knit everything in separate pieces??? Sweaters, for example - a pullover could just as easily be worked in the round to the sleeve openings, and cardigans could be worked as a single piece to the armholes. Why, why, why aren't more patterns written this way? Seamless looks so much nicer, and it is so unpleasant to have to sew things together. Sleeves are understandable as separate entities, but not the body of the sweater. You could even eliminate sewing shoulder seams by doing a double needle bind-off. Linda in Boulder, CO
Repels-72356 wrote
on Oct 22, 2007 3:08 PM
I learned to knit when I was six years old (nearly 70 years ago) but was never compulsive about it--too busy raising five sons--until several years ago when I learned to knit socks. Now I have made at least 20 pairs of socks, plus several sweaters and uncountable dishcloths and a box of squares for warmupamerica.org. The most fun I have is trying out an unfamiliar stitch pattern on a dishcloth or wua square, and I have found several that I plan to use in sweaters. I have also started a little group of knitters who come to my house every Monday evening to knit and exchange our bits of news and knowledge. I love it! and I love all the things I have learned from Sandi and from all the knitters who send in their often funny comments. Thanks to all, CH
MaureenC@2 wrote
on Oct 22, 2007 3:06 PM
I also hate to sew pieces together- and all those ENDS to weave in! I love knitting on circular needles;whether it's a cardigan or another pieced pattern I change the pattern to make it without seams if at all possible. I'm surprised that more designers don't create seamless garments.
ThornR wrote
on Oct 22, 2007 2:55 PM
dude. i just frogged an *entire, completed and blocked rogue hoodie*, right down to the hems. kept the hems so i wouldn't have to cast on again. because i'm knitting the whole thing right back up again. (a co-worker had pointed out that i could at least have the yarn back if i just frogged. felt she had a point.) i got quite the giggle ripping away in front of the tv -- with the appropriate adult beverage. away went my gauge problem, right before my eyes. one of the more spine-building experiences of my life, to be sure. i slept on it, and started again, with bigger needles. this time, i started with the sleeves - halfway through with both (i'm a side-by-sider, too), and psyched to keep going...
Barb Rickman wrote
on Oct 22, 2007 2:45 PM
I have multiple projects going right now. I am working on all of them. They are late. I started way to late on the socks. My poor son will be home in December and...well...I just did not get up off my duff and get going on some of these and now..I am in overdrive!! Too lazy, too late, too many UFO's!!!

bjr
Vis Major wrote
on Oct 22, 2007 2:38 PM
Today's free pattern seems like just the right choice given the recent UFO discussions. Thanks for putting so much thought into what patterns to give us, and for making them correspond with your topics. You really do a good job of looking after all of us...
LisaB wrote
on Oct 22, 2007 2:34 PM
I'm with Beth G.: Seaming is annoying! I would love to see more patterns in IK that don't require seaming, or a Knitting Daily tutorial on rewriting a pattern to eliminate some or all of the seams.
MaryG wrote
on Oct 22, 2007 2:33 PM
Frogging a sweater or half a sweater seems daunting. A good reason to become a UFO.
But why not cut the waist off and knit it on smaller needles and then graft it to the top.
on Oct 22, 2007 2:14 PM
I have an identical baby sock in my UFO collection...but green instead of pink!
VickiB@2 wrote
on Oct 22, 2007 2:09 PM
Don't rip out the Bonsai. Try taking a slightly larger seam in the waist/bust area or run multiple lines of stitches with elastic thread on the inside ribs of the waist; no one will see it and you can cinch it in evenly to fit.
Anonymous wrote
on Oct 22, 2007 2:08 PM
I just completed the Pine Cone scarf to give for my Dad's birthday on Friday. This is a wonderful quick pattern, and looks so lovely in the Mountain Colors Mountain Goat (i chose 'elderberry' as the shade - gorgeous). One caution for anyone using this handpainted yarn... each skein is different...some dramatically so...The pattern requires yarn double through out, be sure to mix the skeins as uniformly as you can... I didn't realize that I hadn't until the scarf was done. One side is definitely 'brighter' than the other. Still beautiful, but I notice the difference immediately. Hoping Dad won't!
Louisa wrote
on Oct 22, 2007 2:01 PM
I'm with Melinda & Danette! I always work on socks alternately. (I'm a top-down double-pointer so knitting them at the same time on 2 circs is not an option.) And for sleeves, fronts etc. I knit them side-by-side on one circular. The decreases/increases come out accurately and the two pieces match properly. I don't have to remember later how I did something because I did them pretty much at the same time!
BethG@2 wrote
on Oct 22, 2007 1:55 PM
Maybe another area that you might cover to address the black hole of unfinished garments is seamless knitting and how to convert standard patterns to seamless patterns. I just knit the cobblestone sweater (from the most recent issue of IW Knits & loved the lack of seams, as did lots of other knitters: my husband recently wore that sweater to work and at least 4 knitters stopped him to ask where the seams were & how they could get the pattern.) I think I'd have far fewer UFOs if I didn't have seams to do!
DonnaL wrote
on Oct 22, 2007 1:54 PM
I wouldlike to say that UFO's pile up because I work Monday through Friday. There isn't enough time on the weekends for knitting? That's my biggest complaint. Work gets in the way. I'd rather knit 24/7. If I could make a living at it, I'd be one happy gal. Donna from Wrentham, Mass.
MelindaP wrote
on Oct 22, 2007 1:52 PM
Regarding the "Second Sleeve Syndrome"... I, too, am less than enthusiastic about attacking a second one of any kind of pair (sleeves, socks etc.). I now knit both sleeves at the same time, side by side on the same needle, using two skeins/balls of yarn, one for each sleeve. When I'm done, I'm done with both sleeves - YAY! I've also done this with left and right fronts of cardigan sweaters, just keeping track of the pattern reverses for sleeve and neck openings. I know it takes the same amount of time and effort to knit them two-at-a-time rather than singly, but it just feels faster! Obviously, this doesn't really work with socks, (unless they're knit straight instead of in the round), but at least it fixes a lot of the other "second item syndrome" issues.
GwenG wrote
on Oct 22, 2007 1:40 PM
You said: I am not alone in this: 10% of you said your projects often attain UFO status when you hit Stockinette Wasteland.

Conversely, 11% of you said that you were stuck on complex projects that required more concentration than you can muster in the midst of your busy lives.

It would make a lot of sense if these folks could mail their projects to someone in the opposite group to finish up where they are stuck! LOL
EmilyM wrote
on Oct 22, 2007 1:30 PM
Pleeease do a post on finishing techniques! This is my number one reason for UFOs, and as a newbie, I'm totally clueless as to the various seaming techniques out there. I am, unfortunately, acutely aware of how bad I am at it! LOL. Thanks for sharing your foibles, as well--it makes me feel more human when I make similar mistakes!
DanetteP wrote
on Oct 22, 2007 1:30 PM
I can help with the 'make the second sock' hohumms....I always have TWO sets of double pointed needles and start both socks at the same time(knit cuff on one, knit cuff on two)(heel flap & turn heel on one)(heel flap and turn on two) ect.,until you are finished! amazing two socks done at once!
I have also done this when working 2 sleeves for a sweater.

2 sets of needles work for me!
and I love to knit socks...

question ....does anyone have an easy LOOSE cast off of a sock that is knit from the toe up. I have tried a couple different ways with no success. I have large ankle and lower leg and socks that are knit from toe up just are to tight on the cast off a ribbed cuff... help please! (please edit anyway you like I know I am a lousey writer. thanks)

Danette Pratt
DanetteP wrote
on Oct 22, 2007 1:28 PM
I can help with the 'make the second sock' hohumms....I always have TWO sets of double pointed needles and start both socks at the same time...(knit cuff on one, knit cuff on two)..(heel flap & turn heel on one)....(heel flap and turn on two)..ect....until you are finished! amazing two socks done at once!

Thia always helps if need to remember if you have make any major or minor changes as you go too. I have also done this when working 2 sleeves for a sweater makes remebering decreases and increases better and matching up rows of color work.

2 sets of needles work for me!
and I love to knit socks...

question ....does anyone have an easy LOOSE cast off of a sock that is knit from the toe up. I have tried a couple different ways with no success. I have large ankle and lower leg and socks that are knit from toe up just are to tight on the cast off a ribbed cuff... help please! I love knitting from the toe up.
(please edit anyway you like I know I am a lousey writer. thanks)

Danette Pratt
Shannon wrote
on Oct 22, 2007 1:11 PM
Ooohhh, I love the Bonsai and have it on my list of things I really, really want to make. Large or not, the piece you show in the photo above looks beautiful. I'll be interested to see what you do to fix it!
SharonC wrote
on Oct 22, 2007 12:46 PM
Oh, Sandi...you poor dear!If it helps any, the Bonsai "oops" is one of the reasons we readers love you. You make mistakes like we do, and you admit to them! That makes us all feel better. Can't wait to see what you decide to do.
AnneB wrote
on Oct 22, 2007 12:11 PM
Looong stretches of stockinette stitches are meant for watching TV, or "Stitch and Pitch", or waiting before meetings (or during meetings), or waiting at/for doctor's appointments..........