The Courage to Count: The UnFinished Objects Poll

Part of my personal UFO collection

Knitters, take courage. Open up your plastic storage bins, throw the closet doors wide open, pull out all those knitting bags, and let's see how much knitting we all REALLY have "on the needles":

Take the Knitting Daily UnFinished Objects Poll. (Update: Voting is now closed, sorry!)

Now, I realize that facing the reality of all your UFOs might be a bit daunting. Perhaps you don't really want anyone else to know exactly how many half-finished hats and solitary socks you have secreted away in your house. The poll is anonymous: I promise, on my honor as a knitter, that we will never tell your husband, mother, sister, or boss how many UFOs you have. (What you tell these folks is between you and your conscience.)

If you have to, fill out the poll in a dark room with the door locked. Shut your eyes as you click "Submit." Whatever makes you feel comfortable.

This is a poll about unfinished objects, not about Stash (that is a completely different daunting subject to be addressed later in a poll of its own). The definition of a UFO for our purposes is: You took knitting needles and yarn and cast on with the intention of Knitting Something— Something Not A Swatch—and you have not currently finished the item.

I decided I had to set a good example for y'all, so I had an extra cup of Refreshing Beverage one Saturday and made a list.

I was pretty shocked at the total: 19 knitting projects in various stages of completion (including my current, work-in-progress project; I am not including my Crochet UFO Count because that makes the number of UFOs look completely out of hand!). I had no idea my casting-on compulsion had grown to such a state. Something had to be done.

I stepped back to assess the scene with a dose of cold, hard reality: Did I really want to finish each and every one of these 19 projects? Were there some that were simply doomed never to be completed? Could I whittle these 19 UFOs down to a more seemly number?


Join me on Wednesday as I try to figure out what happens to a perfectly good project to turn it into a lonely, unappreciated UFO.

Mitered Square Heart Sachet

In honor of our topic of UnFinished Objects, I thought it best not to tempt you with a new afghan pattern, for example, or a sweater worked on size 00 needles with 65 colors. That would only encourage those of us with Severe UFO Syndrome to collect yet more UFOs. So, this week, the featured pattern is lovely, suitable for gifts, fun to knit, charming, AND, best of all, so quick to knit that it is unlikely to add to your lifetime UFO totals: Mitered Square Heart Sachet. (You can thank me later.)

Q & A from the comments…

Question from Elizabeth: Sandi, I am trying to make a sweater that calls for 4.5 stitches per inch. When I swatched, size 5 needles gave me 4.75 st/inch and size 6 gave me 4.25 st/inch. So I used one of each size and got 4.5st/inch. Can I knit the sweater with one size 5 and one size 6?

Sandi: Yes! In fact, I know several experienced knitters who use precisely this method to get gauge. Tip: If you knit with circular needles (whether in the round or in rows), you can use the kind with interchangeable tips—put a different-sized tip on each end as needed to achieve gauge.

Question from Anonymous: I can easily get the correct gauge for STITCHES but I'm always too tight on ROWS. I've asked experts about this problem and the best response I can get is "block it". That doesn't do it for me. How can I loosen up my row gauge without affecting my stitch gauge?

Sandi: If you look carefully at knitting patterns, you will find that the length is expressed as a measurement in addition to a particular number of rows worked: "Work ten more pattern repeats, or until piece measures 13" from cast on." If you can "get gauge" with your stitch count, but not with your row count, then work the pattern using the length measurements (rather than the exact row count) stated in the pattern.

More answers to questions from the comments will be posted later this week.

Sandi Wiseheart is the editor of Knitting Daily.

What's on Sandi's needles? Apparently, a great deal more than I thought was on my needles! Those lace socks I started a couple of years ago are beginning to look downright fun to me again…

Other Things You May Like to Check Out:


Knitting Daily Blog

269 thoughts on “The Courage to Count: The UnFinished Objects Poll

  1. Hi all – I’m probably an exception, and I just finished 2 long-term projects, so I only have 2 UFOs right now. I can’t help it, I get nervous when I see too many (say more than 3) started-but-not-yet-finished projects. Yeah, I’m anal, I know 🙂

  2. someone told me i was a project schizophrenic…it seemed apt. i like to have at least one large WIP (usually a sweater) and a couple smaller ones. there are a couple WIPs hibernating right now, but 7 out of 10 are worked on regularly. and i finished 2 last week! but now that i’ve counted them i understand why i wonder if i’m a slow knitter…..

  3. Success – this morning I finally organzied all my yarn — grouped it — cotton, eyelass & fun fur, worsted, wool, etc. I labeled each drawer with the type of yarn in it. It took about an hour, but it was well worth it.

    I’m currently working on 3 projects 2 fun fur scarves, and a simple afhghan for my son.

    Best Regards,


  4. Well, I have 13 projects ‘on the needles’. BUT I have at least that many planned with the yarn already purchased. I would really love to purchase the new wooden interchangeable needles by Knitpicks. However, if I did I would then end up with 28 UFO’s 😉

  5. Do I have to include things that I’ve “mentally frogged” and assigned the yarn to other projects, just not actually yet gone through with it? Yeah, I know it does. Bummer.

  6. I have a sweater back and one front and part of the sleeves done. It’s about 4 years old and I don’t like the pattern (or the sweater for that matter) that much, but I love the yarn. It’s summer tweed by Rowan. So I’m stuck between should finish it and don’t want to work on it anymore.

    If I take it out, do I have to reblock the yarn? And if so, how do I do that?

  7. My UFO count is pretty small because I like to frog while the gettin’s good. But one UFO that I didn’t count was a sweater I completely finished but then decided I wasn’t happy with my job on the sleeves so I frogged the sleeves and I’m in the process of re-knitting them. BUT as I said that doesn’t count because it WAS finished even if it’s not now. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

  8. I don’t think my daugters 1 &1/2 slippers should count. It was getting too warm for them when I put them on hold last spring. They will come out of the basket in time for the first snow fall. (Boy we do have good excuses don’t we 🙂

  9. I had to check the ‘More than 20’ bubble, but I know the number is upwards of 35! I have one of the same UFOs I see in that basket–the Philosopher’s Wool sweater. I’m gonna finish that someday, really I will…

  10. I answered the poll but I tend not to have “UFOs” because to me UFOs are things that are not actively being worked on and are languishing in a box or closet or bin. If I like something, I’m working on it and it’s a WIP. If I don’t like it, I frog it and it’s yarn. To me a UFO is a WIP that is hibernating. So, I gave my number of WIPs but none of them is really a UFO… See how we have to split hairs about our knitting?? heehee

  11. I just took a week vacation to visit some family and “regroup”. Over the course of the vacation I finished a sweater for myself (which may become a gift), finished a skirt (again, for me), finished a sweater for my step-son, and knit a hat for my 6 month old nephew – it was a VERY rewarding process to get those projects off the shelves to make way for new projects. The only DNF I have left is a sweater for my daughter – who has probably outgrown the sizing already! If I unravel it does it count as a DNF? :o)

  12. Yes, my daughters slippers are a WIP. And that was after knitting/felting 7 other pairs last winter. I guess I only have one true UFO. A half of a sock that I feel I am knitting with toothpicks when I work on it.

  13. I recognize that partial sleeve at the top of the basket–that’s the start of a Philosopher’s Wool sweater! I did the same one in the same colorway. Instead of a swatch, we worked on the first sleeve to get our gauge. I actually finished that one…my first project in multiple colors, with pockets and sleeves. I was very proud of it! Back to the topic at hand…I’d say I have about 10 UFOs, 2 of which are projects in progress. Three are socks, 2 are sweaters, 1 is a purse and in the to be frogged category are a hat and a shawl. The shawl is mohair though, so that may just sit forever, since mohair is not easy to frog.

  14. More than 20. It sounds so much better than “I can’t count that high.”

    So I have put myself on a yarn diet, and will only finish things and knit from the stash for a time. Knitting seems to fall by the wayside in summer. Now that the cooler weather is here, knitting seems right.

  15. I guessed at an answer BUT what is a UFO:

    something you swatched, aren’t satisfied with yet; how about that peice that needs to be block but you but you are waiting to finished that other peiece first; that bag of yarn with a pattern that you haven’t opened yet….

  16. Although I only have one item on the needles at once, this is because I frog every UFO…If that’s not cheating, I don’t know what is! But it stops me feeling guilty. 🙂

  17. I don’t consider certain things UFOs… for instance my log cabin sock yarn blanket, I have to wait ’til I have enough leftover sock yarn to choose from before I can work on it. I guess I have only one true UFO, a mitten whose final thumb I didn’t finish before it got too warm to wear mittens last Spring. But I’m planning to resurrect it sometime this Fall!

  18. I have knitted most of my life, but it never occurred to me to use two different-sized needles to get the correct gauge!!!!!! It was worth getting out of bed today just to learn that! Many thanks!!!!!

  19. I had to laugh about the unfinished projects poll. While I don’t have very many unfinished projects, I just finished a sweater that I started when I was pregnant with my oldest child…….the one who will be 27 on her next birthday!!!! Wool does hold its color well over time!

  20. I could count more than 20 without actually going home and opening up those boxes! Going to a knitting retreat on the first of November and plan to finish at least 4 UFOs!
    Stash – I may be able to knit through the nuclear winter.

  21. Just a note – while knitting with different sized interchangeable tips does work great – if you are knitting in the round your gauge will really only reflect the working needle. The needle holding the stitches can help stretch out the stitches for tight knitters but won’t increase/decrease your gauge.
    As for UFO’s – a quick count came to fourteen which seems much too low.

  22. I have 4 sweaters, 1 stole, 1 pumpkin, 1 shrug, 2 totes, 1 knitting bag, and 7 pairs of socks. That is 17. (Do the socks count since sock yarn doesn’t count as stash?) 2 sweaters are at the 95% stage so they might just get done this month. I always have multiple socks going for assorted people. I can tell I’m now trying to justify to myself. Can’t be done.

  23. Is it a ufo if it’s knitted, sewn, felted, but not lined? As in bags and bags without linings or a way to close them? Ok, the answer is yes, I guess. Even though they’re off the needles.

  24. Sandi, thanks for so many timely topics. This weekend I started coming to terms with my stash and UFOs.And I need to have Gauge Matters tattooed on my forehead. I have run into so many gauge problems.

    I have so variegated yarn, and I want to know if it will stripe. How big should my swatch be?

  25. You all are cracking me up! How
    we rationalize. I have no UFOs and only 1 WIP. I don’t allow UFOs but reading all of you may give me courage to abandon the
    boring stuff to move on to something much more fun.
    Let’s not even talk stash. I have no rules about stash especially if faced with a sale.

  26. What I get from knitting isn’t the finishing of a project. It’s the planning and challenge of taking a pattern and making it better. Say knitting it circular instead of flat and making the ribbings or edges lay better. Try to not make a visable shoulder seam etc. All of the things that scream “homemade or poorly made”. It doesn’t matter if I finish the project right away, if ever. The challenge was thinking outside the box. I think I haven’t seen a box for a really long time. Playing with all of those fuzzy little balls of yarn isn’t all bad either… Annie in North Idaho

  27. I have nine projects in some stage of completion. I just want to say that there’s a fine line between WIP and UFO, and I choose to think of several of these as WIPs :-).

  28. I selected 7 in the poll – because I have 7 knitting UFOs… but I have been a crocheter longer than a knitter and would have had to say 20+ if I counted the Crochet things! I’m itching to cast on more! It’s a sickness, I tell ya!

  29. I almost always have 2 sets of “UFO’S”.
    One is on the “front burner” – meaning it HAS to be finished quick, and set #2 is what I call the “back burner” – meaning it is for no one in particular or doesn’t have a deadline. NOW for the punchline: each set of UFO’s is about 20! That’s right – I always have at least 40 projects under way. My dear husband will tell you: I finish them all! I just juggle what NEEDS to get done, what I WANT to get done, and what can get done LATER!

  30. I currently only have 3 knitting UFOs, but I’m not even going to try to work out how many other craft UFOs there are! Cross-stitch, quilting, sewing, cards, beading…. 🙂

  31. When I first looked at the poll and saw the long list of numbers I thought I was actually going to have to go count! I knew I had at least 2 dozen UFOs. I was very relieved to see the last entry–more than 20! I quickly clicked and submitted!

  32. I had to chuckle because I have 2 of the Heart Sachets as UFOs – one in Koigu and one in worsted weight yarn (I stopped knitting the one in Koigu so I could practice with bigger yarn/needles). My UFOs tend to be projects for me or projects that I do not yet have a recipient in mind. Anyway, including the heart sachets I have 14 (but a couple are currently being worked for the upcoming holidays). Sigh!

  33. Sandi –
    I only counted those UFOs that I could see from my computer (our office is also my sewing/knitting/spinning/crafts room. Counted seven. There’s probably twice that many, hidden away in those baskets on the shelves. (I don’t leave them out where my husband can see them – same for hiding all the additional yarn in my stash.) Shouldn’t there be a 12-step program for us? (Or do we really want one?) Some of these projects might be over 15 years old, but I still have hope. Please note: NEVER, EVER begin a project for a small child (grandchild, or cousin of said grandchild or favorite niece or nephew) that you don’t intend to finish. First of all, they won’t let you forget it – especially if they picked out the yarn; secondly, they’ll outgrow it before you can blink – – – so stick to it and get it done!!! (They’ll adore you for it. It’s almost as great as baking cookies together with them.)

  34. I actually cringed at the thought of ripping back the comfortable cover of self-delusion by ansewring this poll. But I decided to suck it up and went to do the count. I was astounded to discover I only have four (4!) projects on the needles at the moment. Of course I did have a Festival of Finishing just recently so I could clear my slate (and my conscience) before beginning a(nother) sock KAL.
    Still, four projects – who’d a’ thunk it?

  35. I’m so sad! I’m a monogomous knitter, I’ll only have more than one on the go if I am knitting a present and then I’ll down sticks, knit the pressie and then up sticks when it is done.

  36. I took your UFO survey, and have only 2! Fortunately, it didn’t seem like “yarn purchased for project but not yet started” fit the UFO profile. If that were the case, 10 would be a little more accurate….yikes.

  37. I can’t believe that you ran this poll today! Over the last few weeks, I organized my stash and my UFO’s. I decided that I would finish some of the UFO’s, or re-purpose the yarn. I just came from my knitting group, where I FINISHED one UFO that had been lurking for nearly FOUR years! The feeling of accomplishment is overwhelming. I now have (she whispers) only nine. Single digits! Happy completing!

  38. Hello Sandi,

    UFO’s are not my problem it is the hundreds of other knitting projects that are waiting for me to get started. I guess that is my stash. My favorite projects to knit are shawls and I have plenty of shawl patterns. Even though I have so many shawl patterns it would be great to know how to create my very own. Do you think that you could write a How To? On designing your very own shawl patterns? That would be great.


  39. I think we should SHARE our UFOs and sell them at huge discounts as a KIT!! beatuiful yarn lovable project but we have just fallen out of love with it Quilters do this at their groups and on ebay and sell at a BIG discount so everyone wins they get a wee bit of cash back ( for the next project of course) and someone else gets a great deal …

  40. Two, to be exact. But does a WIP count? Then it would only be one. Thank goodness you didn’t ask for a count of ALL UFO’s…then I would be counting crocheting, sewing, quilting, counted cross stitch, etc! =)

  41. I don’t have many UFO’s cos I pretty much have only one set of needles in each size. If I want to start something new, I either have to finish it or risk losing stitches while it sits around waiting for the needles back.
    I’m sure there are other options to hold them but I’m not going to think about them!

  42. Virtuous Me! In responding to your UFO project, I checked 0. Yup! None but the one I’m working on. Confession: An accident during a move ruined all UFOs but two. “Two! I can finish two!” I thought. So I did.

  43. I have 10 at the moment. But the mind is slipping some (HA! HA!). I have my projects to do then I have my knitting group projects. But you know going into a yarn shop is like candy to a child. What else is there…….I am GUILTY!!!

  44. Took the UFO poll, you neglected to ask how many projects are pending…yarn, pattern and needles just waiting to get together! In that category, I am prepared to retire tomorrow and knit until, oh, 2307, if I work fast, before another trip to the LYS for the next project.

    Thanks for the poll!

  45. I dear – this is making me feel so guilty – have 2 children’s sweaters that I need to put together (for more than 5 mos), two afghans to finish, 3 shawls, 6 boleros/sweaters, 2 hats that I just began and should only take a day, and 2 Christmas stockings. And that doesn’t count two crochet projects and two cross stitch stockings!

  46. UFO tally – only 11! My projects encompass varying degrees of difficulty – Shetland lace to stocking stitch a la big needles. I can choose a project to suit my mood and situation – ie. I don’t knit lace while surrounded by dogs, kids, mobile phones, etc. Jeni B.

  47. 7! A hibernating dolphin dishcloth, a lace shawl that’s been in time-out so’s I can screw up the courage to rip the little I’ve done and re-cast on around 540 stitches using a more flexible cast-on for the wavy edge, a traveling project that is soothing stockinette in Patons SWS for making a felted pillow (I’m seaming the first front & back mostly up, and crossing my fingers and felt it to see how it comes out!), a vest for my daughter from Knitting for Peace, A pair of fingerless gloves, my first pair of socks that, while my first attempt kicked my butt in the first 6 rows, I’m going to show it who’s boss, and a Christmas stocking for my daughter in red Tahki New Tweed. If the smaller stockings at the heel are giving me fits by the time I’ve mastered the leg, this bigger one should be helpful for working out my technique.

    I’ve decided from thinking about this that 7-8 projects going is my sweet spot; one or two travel projects (this one hasn’t been a travel one in its current state), a scarf for not-quite mindless enough for car knitting (until I have more experience) but just fine for television knitting and I don’t want to do any shaping, knitting . . . a headband or other small accessory for that quick, non-dishcloth finish fix, a dishcloth (I have a list of themes to make up for people as gifts, for those I know who like butterflies, dragonflies, Star Trek, etc. . . .), a shawl or stole, a toy, bag, or the like, and then whatever else I feel like. Depends on the mood and circumstance and whether I’m in a, learning a technique or stitch or construction mode, or a little bit less attentive, or want something quick, or knock something off my general gifts list. Since I have so many moods, this’ll be great, and it won’t be out of hand either. I like variety, as long as it doesn’t feel like a monkey on my back with too many things going!

  48. I am not doing too bad. I actually have 3 UFO’s but I only counted 2 because the third has been sitting for over a year and last week I decided that I didn’t like it and want to finish so I am going to frog it and wash the yarn and use it for something else. I had just spend the last few weeks finishing up everything that was unfinished. I can’t handle too much on needles but if I don’t have a couple of choices to work on I don’t like it either.

  49. Mine is in excess of ten. It’s irresistable – the buzz of starting something else. Occasionally I will take out two or three that don’t require a lot of finishing and then I don’t feel too bad about starting yet another item! It’s such a comfort – having all that yarn around, especially with winter looming on the horizon.

    Yours ‘in stitches’

    Maureen Metcalf
    Hambleton, Nr Selby (near York)
    North Yorkshire UK

  50. I once read if you know how many UFO’s you have, then you don’t have enough! Ha!

    Presently, I have about 6 UFO’s so apparently, I don’t have enough… My problem is that I get bored with just straight knitting and need a challenge now and then…so now I put one away and pick up another UFO that was set aside and complete it no matter what…It takes some discipline on my part but I LOVE knitting…and there will always be a UFO in my household.

  51. LOL! I don’t have to finish reading this article… just from my chair in the living room, I can count 7 UFOs. Oh, dear, and if I open the doors of the TV cabinet I think there are more UFOs in there. Too bad socks count, as I always have a sock in progress. Boy, I’m thinking I answered incorrectly in the poll. It’s a sickness.

  52. I couldn’t bear to actually go through all the possible places I might have UFOs stashed, so I made a wild guess at 12. Perhaps a more germane qusstion is “how many UFOs do you have that are over ___ number of years old? I have a sweater that’s been on my needles since 1979–!!! And that’s probably NO kind of a record!

  53. Ummm. Is that basket in the photo of MY UFO stash? I have a fair isle sleeve that looks just like that in my stash. Alas, no sweater. Just a sleeve. That and one pair of unfinished socks is all I have to claim. I like finishing things up and using them!

  54. Your survey on the ufo pile is not enyirely accurate. I had to answer zero, but the comment following does not always apply to me. I occasionally have more than one project in the works at a time, sometimes starting another before the first is finished.

  55. I’m in the low single digits. But the ones that niggle at me the most are the unfinished pillows from the pillow class- one intarsia, one cable, one with beads. All the fronts are finished and I”ve started on the backs of 2. Major guilt inducers, but I’m not the only one in the class who has not finished them!!

    I think my mom is the queen of UFOs, not so much for the number of them, but the length of time. I’m still waiting for my Barbie doll ice skating outfit (needs sewing up)- we’re talking decades here. Then there is the family legend- “Betty’s Sweater”.

  56. Last week I faced this issue and actually finished 5 UFO, so this whittled me down to 10 still on the needles. That’s one third complete. So far, I think all of them are keepers.
    But I must confess it is a daily and sometimes moment by moment battle not to cast on a new project. *sigh* So many WIM, so little time.

  57. I only have 4 knitted UFOs, but have to say that I have 2 crocheted UFOs (4, if you count the 2 I recently passed on to my great niece), who knows how many crossstitch and needlepoint items, and a hooked rug 3/4 of the way finished (I started it back around 40 years ago). Yes, I know we weren’t supposed to count all of that stuff, but there it is. As for my stash, I gave a bunch of yarn to the afore-mentioned great niece, but I still have boxes and bags full. May I also say that I have boxes and more boxes full of yard goods as well.

  58. “More than 20” as the highest number????? And I thought you were Serious Knitters!!! I’ll bet I have more than 100 — maybe even 150…and I’ll bet I’m not alone. Get Brave with your survey — do you wanna know how old is my oldest UFO???? Stash should be measured in square feet or maybe pounds. “How many skeins…” is way too wimpy…

  59. At quick glance I have 13… and I’m sure there are a couple more that are hidden in drawers or bags or closets that I’m just not seeing at the moment… so 15 – 20 for me.

  60. Only space for 20 UFOs? Some of us have many, many more. I lost heart after the count exceeded 40 and I hadn’t even gotten into the innermost layeers of my stash.With luck you too may have projects more than 20 years old someday.

  61. I love my stash and I love my UFOs. Thanks for all you do for us. I love your emails, advice, encouragement, and most of all your humor. thanks for being you and bringing us together. Jacquie

  62. Well, that is only knitting, and only the ones that come to mind as they are in recent view/touch. I just thought of two others that are put away in closet…. Then there are the other 75 sewing, crochet, needlepoint, and cross-stitch UFOs, do you really want to discuss this further? I didn’t think so…. PS, I also have the king-size quilt I started for my niece when she got married, hoping to give it to you as a first-anniversary gift. She got divorced and has been remarried and re-divorced and the quilt is in a bag somewhere, needing about 2 weeks of intensive quilting to finish, but she’ll never get it.

  63. i have a confession to make. i counted 10, put in 10, then realized it was 11, because of the fingerless mitts i started for my daughter last year, and never finished because the first was too huge. sigh.

  64. sandy,
    apparently you, like me, are suffering from a severe case of startitis. there is no known cure for this, all we can do is wait until we catch the less common finishitis. good luck, i hope this diagnosis will help you!

  65. So, I have between five and seven depending on how you count them. I’m actively working on at least three of them, though, and two of them are likely going to be combined into one project eventually (a shawl and a skinny scarf which I might use as edging). The big WIP is a sweater that I have been working on for almost four years off and on, but have recently come within three inches of completing, and now the race is on. The other biggie is this enormous tote bag that I started with a vision and absolutely no pattern at all. Currently the tote and I are having a fight, and we are not speaking, but I think the stand-off is about to end. I have a Plan.

    However, what is far scarier, and more embarrassing than my UFO count is my Wanna-Be-Project count. I can’t even begin to count the number of patterns I have selected, purchased the yarn (often enough for a big comfy sweater), and even wound the yarn into balls, but have never cast on. These are grouped together in baskets and drawers all over my house, just waiting for me to start them. If my husband had any idea how much I have invested in yarn for WBPs, we would have to have a “Discussion”….

  66. I learned to knit before I started school & am 64 years old. There is no way in the world I want to count all of my UFO’s! Every once in awhile I find a fun one and think, “Why didn’t I complete this one?!” By the way, fell in love with the heart sachet when it first came out and have made them by the dozens. I add a little dried lavendar from my garden to the stuffing, give them as gifts, and put them in the containers with my wool to keep the moths away.

  67. I have been knitting for a very long time (at least 35 years)and I’m still wondering why I should have UFOs. I have 7 which isn’t really a lot but why do I lose interest and start on another project when I know I need to finish these. Any help or ideas would be appreciated. Joy

  68. I’m away from home right now, so I can’t count in person, but I know I fall into the “over 20” category (I could come up with at least 24 off the top of my head). Three or four need to be frogged and repurposed, at least two need to be frogged to correct major mistakes, several need only minimal work to be finished, and two are my WIPs that traveled with me.

    I was far worse a few years back, but started tracking how many knitting projects I completed in a given year. It drove me to finish up a number of projects, since that is often faster than knitting a project from scratch. I’m working on mostly longer term projects these days, so I track my knitting progress (“to row 73 on Ella jacket”, e.g.) on a daily basis to feel some sense of progress.

  69. I want you to know, it was hard, but I was honest on the survey. I seriously considered lying. Until VERY recently I was firm knit-one-thing-at-a-time knitter. Then I started a sweater and needed a break. We needed a new dishrag. I can’t explain why I haven’t finished it; it is just a small dishrag (And I promise to finish it before the end of the week!) Then I started on a blanket for hubby. I’ve finished 2 of 30 squares. Finally, there’s the gourd for a swap pal. That’ll be done this week too. Then I can feel more like my knitterly self!

  70. O.K. I guess it’s confession time to date I have only 4 UFO’s going (I finished up 3last week)socks, slippers, sweater, and a couple of beer cozys – ok yeah I’m a bit of a redneck -but I knit therefore I am

  71. Just 4 … whew, thank goodness you only asked me to count unfinished *knitting* objects … and not my unfinished quilting and scrapbooking projects as well. Carolyn L

  72. My My UFO happen for 2 reasons. 1.)I start to struggle with the pattern and have to “unknit time and time again. I call this bad “juju” or 2.)I don’t like the look or feel of the object. Either way these projects have to be mulled over for awhile to remedy the cause.

  73. My My UFO happen for 2 reasons. 1.)I start to struggle with the pattern and have to “unknit time and time again. I call this bad “juju” or 2.)I don’t like the look or feel of the object. Either way these projects have to be mulled over for awhile to remedy the cause.

  74. How funny about this poll!! My friend & I went to a coffee shop on Saturday & she asked me this very question. She only does 1 project at a time, so it was very awkward telling her the truth. Thanks for letting me know I’m not the only out there with several projects on the needles!!

  75. I just completed the UFO poll with an answer of 2! But only because I moved from New York to Australia recently. The only items to be shipped were baking equipment, books and my knitting – yarn, books, tools and projects. Not one item made it to Australia!! I don’t recommend this as a way to reduce the UFO pile…..excuse me while I sob into my baby jacket…….

  76. I have 12 knitting UFO’s, 6 of which I’ve actively worked on within the past week. The others are of the “Let’s just forget about them, please” variety. I also have a bunch of crochet UFO’s which would bring my total past 20.

  77. I just participated in your UFO poll. I’m the one who just had one UFO, not that I mean to rub anyones nose in it. Right now I’m working on a sweater for my large, extra tall husband. Each piece needs to be four inches longer. I started it in February. Whenever I need a break, I make some of the mitered square hearts and stuff them with the lavendar I grow. I give them as hostess gifts, thank you gifts, stocking stuffers, whatever. Thanks for sharing another great pattern. Carolyn

  78. I can’t even get into my knitting room without tripping over an unfinished project, That said, I’m a machine knitter, & my unfinished hand knit projects number less than 10, but I shudder to try and count the knitting machine ones. There are at least a dozen sitting waiting for seaming…. maybe next year when my son is in school full time…..

  79. I have a baby blanket that is now on its third recipient since I cannot seem to get the last three squares made and it seems a bit late to give a child who is over a year and a half old a baby blanket. It’s got a heart knit/purl pattern and requires I pay attention when I knit so don’t do that one muc and I got frustrated with how frumpy the cotton started to look.
    Then there is the “first Afghan” that I made for my uncle which is totally my ‘winging it’ design and hasn’t been sewn together yet. It’s three bizarre panels and I’ve decided to be intimidated by such a large stitching up project for my first such experience. I also have another Afghan on 40″ circulars since I like big afghans but don’t like the idea of having to put things together afterwards and it would be coming along a lot faster except for the WIP*
    I have some yarn on a set of needles that I use to try out stitches on but that’ll get frogged and it wasn’t going to be anything anyway so it doesn’t count.
    Oh wait, I have scarf I didn’t knit for anyone specifically – I’ve since learned to only knit with a person or purpose in mind or you wander too much mentally without benefit) and it needs fringe and a couple of loose tails sewn into it to be finished. And my current WIP* a sleeveless shell which is coming along and teaching me a lot being my first non scarf/afghan project. It helps that a friend and I started this project at the same time so that the little bits of competition keep us working at it each week so we can compare with each other how far we’ve gotten.
    My big sin? I’ve got at least 50 projects I wanna start… but being both lazy and fickle, the yarn purchased is pretending to be stash to hide my questionable character.
    So 4 UFOs. 1 WIP and 50 Projects mentally planned but not Begun. Would that be PMP-BNB?

    -Sarah on Long Island, NY

  80. What perfect timing to ask this question. I just received wooden Options needles today and was happily organizing them. Now I know where all my needles are, and just by touching them, am once again excited to finish my UFOs.

  81. What perfect timing to ask this question. I just received wooden Options needles today and was happily organizing them. Now I know where all my needles are, and just by touching them, am once again excited to finish my UFOs.

  82. I took one look at the picture of your basket with your UFO’s… and I had to laugh! I not only have that EXACT same basket, but it’s also full like yours! 😀

  83. At our weekly knitting group we have a basket of UFO’s. If you take it and finish it, it is yours. This has worked out great. For myself I find the 2 major obstacles/excuses not to finish AT THIS TIME, as opposed to NEVER GONNA LOOK AT IT AGAIN are I am tired of the color, the pattern or it just isn’t working out as planned, or I find a great new project that I just have to start.Just cannot sleep til I cast on and do a few rows, put it away til morning.
    Another theory I have researched is that almost all knitters have a touch of OCD,obsessive compulsive disease. Maybe not the germ phobia/handwashing symptoms, but the impossible to contain urgew to collect yarn, needles, patterns.
    If you study and read about OCD, many of the symptoms describe us knitters, the anxiety that is created when we are kept from performing our MUNDANE repetitive tasks.The reduction in stress and increase in endorphins as we knit.The impulse control problem( just a few more rows.)
    So don’t let the UFOs be a bother.Finish them, give them away, make doggie or doll clothes of the sleeves, rewind the yarn and find a new pattern.Ask a friend if she wants it. Life is too short to worry about the things we have not done, instead focus on all the great gifts, scarves, blankies, and tons of other finished objects that gave you joy as you knit and gave away. Now go buy stuff!!!

  84. I counted 4 UFO’s but I have a half dozen USO’s(Unstarted Objects). The yarn and patterns for these USO’s are are accumulating in various bags throughout the house.

  85. OK, after reading most everyone’s comments on the UFOs I have just figured out something for myself, maybe for someone else too.I start a project, then in the middle someone has a baby so I start knitting a baby sweater and hat, then in the middle of that someone has a bithday and I put down the baby sweater and start on a small project and it just goes on and on. I have to be strict with myself and say “no” one project at a time. Does that make sense. But I feel good knowing that I’m not alone. Thank you everyone.

  86. About one month ago, I made a list and there were at least 10 but less than 20 projects that are UFO’s. I usually have one project that cannot leave the house and 2 that travel with me but that left a bunch that were just sitting waiting patiently.

  87. I have eight UFOs, three of which I’ve since lost the patterns. Being that my homemaking/organization skills aren’t that great, I hated to frog them because I know I soon as I do, the patterns will show up. I did up the shawl I had put down because of the summer heat and I hope to finish it…soon.

  88. I think the UFO’s w/o number are the sign of a creative genuis. We can’t live without seeing the yarn we have envisioned start to be knit into the wonderful project we have planned. who cares how many there are when there is one for whatever gift we need, or what ever our current whim in knitting is????? I have more than once pulled a UFO out to finish and have a gift in half the time.

  89. I currently have 6 UFOs. 4 pairs of socks – they’re all singles at the moment so technically those are UFOs. gah! SSS.
    2 sweaters are still on the needles as well. Not too bad. Just need motivation to finish the socks.

  90. I currently have a cardigan on my active needles and The Tomato on inactive needles. I am waiting for the BUST Dart PDF even though I don’t believe it will ever be available. Top down knitting such a fitted top was new to me and I still can’t figure it out. I really thought this daily knitting newsletter was going to be more informational instead of just for marketing purposes.

  91. Ok, ok I took the poll! It didn’t look as bad as it could have – thank you Sandi for not counting crochet, it meant I could not count the cross stitch projects either!!! Of course, there is still the stash issue – but now my husband has taken up knitting I may have found the solution for that!


  92. Hi
    O you do make me feel better. I sorted out my stash before I went into hospital and released I had 11 projects on the go. I’ve decided to finished or unpick them all before I start another. I wonder now long I’ll last.
    best wishes

  93. Hi Sandi: I felt good when I discovered I only have 8 or 9 ufo’s. Four I’m actually working on now for Christmas. Two are Fassett sweaters that I can only knit on for so long, but they are moving on. One is a baby blanket – UCLA colors — for a friend who is trying to conceive so I have time. The one sad ufo is a sweater I was really excited about — spent hours picking out the really unusual colors I had in mind and whipped through the front. Then, I received a catalog put out by the lys where I had spent so much time putting the 9 colors together, only to find the store had taken my colors (they admitted it) and put a very similar sweater in their catalog. I take it out periodically and as much as I love the colors, the yarn and the front and sleeve I had completed, that they used my sweater style, colors, yarn, with just minor pattern changes and didn’t even ask my permission. I still am hurt everytime I look at the sweater and in the four years since that happened, have never returned to that store, where I had spent a lot of time and a ton of money. Elizabeth
    P.S. Item 9 is a pair of socks that are 80% finished, but I tried on the first sock so many times it is substantially larger than the one I’m presently knitting.

  94. Ah, yes, well, of course the question is at what stage a WIP becomes a UFO. Is the criterion simply length of languishing time? How do we quantify levels of indifference, disgust, frustration to know when a project crosses the line from IP to UF? I think we know in our heart of hearts when we look at some things that we are just not ever going to finish them, and those are the true UFOs. SO funny that there are all these recognisable camps – one of the things I love about this online knitting thing is that you realise that whatEVER you do there are a whole lot of others out there exactly the same!

  95. My worst nigthtmare .. UFO’s. Thanks for my everyday email. I LOVE them. I race from from work to read my Knitting Daily. A sincere thank you for the pleasure of a great read and technical help given.
    Aussie Knitter

  96. My UFO list is shoorterr than usual now because I’m in full swing production for Fall craft fairs and charity knitting – not to mention grandchildren who can’t wait ( or they’ll be another size!) I cheat though- I set aside pattern, yarn and notions in a bag and stack them up. Technically, they are not on the needle so don’t count – I’m up to about 20 now.

  97. You only COUNT UFO’s. There should be a scale for AGE of UFO’s. For instance:
    How many UFO’s have been waiting more than a year?
    How many have been sitting more than 2 years?
    More than 5 years?
    How many have been sitting so long you’ve lost the pattern?

    I qualify for the last as well as the others. I started an intricate aran cardigan about 10 years ago and when I took it out last fall determined to finish it, I couldn’t find the pattern……so I put it back in the bag and went on to something else. Sooner or later I’ll find that pattern…..I hope.
    And then there’s a fantastic Dale of Norway sweater that never got any farther than purchasing the pattern and the wool. I’m definately going to do that one….someday. Right now I am working on a pair of wool socks (winter is fast approaching) and a baby blanket for my next grandson, expected in January. And a…well, you know the drill.

  98. I have multiple UFOs, but I think we need more categories than that. What do we call the projects for which we have the yarn ready, but haven’t allowed mourselves to start with? Or those projects that have been in my head for so long that they feel like UFOs before even started? Counting UFOs simply doesn’t do the measure for unfinished knitting…

  99. Sandi–

    Bless you for your honesty. I filled out the poll and found that it was somewhat like putting my weight on my driver’s license–my urge was to fudge a bit, but I changed my answer and clicked submit. I was feeling guilty about 6 unfinished projects, so thank you thank you for your number 19. I can knit guilt-free, once again. I am currently forcing myself to finish a sweater even though I have all the materials in the wings for the gorgeous Mags Kandis shawl you posted not long ago. I imagine this is taking more willpower than giving up cocaine or nicotine. It’s a good lesson in restraint and follow-through and I liken it to some kind of spiritual quest. Thanks again.

    Sharon M.

  100. I always keep one easy project for travel or knitting in public (socks most of the time) and one at home project which is more complicated. Since I’m working on both, I don’t count those as UFO’s. I hope that’s not “cheating”.

  101. Well, my absolute number of UFOs is 17, BUT……..

    If you don’t count pieces that are already off needles and waiting to be blocked, the number goes down to 7.

  102. Hi I just wanted to add how I finish many of my ‘unfinished’ projects. I like most moms am the family’s driver. I also, like most moms, sit and wait for them to come out of school or finish with music lessons or wrap up sports practices. So I take my unfinished projects in the car and believe it or not most of them get finished. I see parents read or write checks for bills or do a little office(in the car) work. I knit and crochet. Some of the other moms have started the same thing. Try it – it really works. I have finished off a sweater, an afghan, and a few little projects. It’s really easy to make blocks or granny squares for a quilt pattern.

  103. I have racked my brain on this UFO count and think I have submitted the correct answer on the poll. My husband likes to ask me occaissionally “Have you finished that—– that you were working on” (knowing of course that he has never seen it on my body). I try to explain to him that because I knit for FUN I have to work on things I am in the mood to work on. I have deadlines at work but with knitting I either finish it when the spirit moves me, when I really want to wear it or it languishes until I decide it is time to rip it up and use the yarn for something else.

  104. I think your terminology is unclear. To me, a UFO is something I started but haven’t worked on in a long time. Projects on the needles that get worked on daily but are not yet finished are, to my mind, Works in Progress (WIPs).

    Socks that I started two days ago and have worked on each day since then are not, according to my definition at least, “lonely, unappreciated UFOs” even though that’s how you seem to classify them (they’re on the needles, they’re not a swatch, and they’re not finished).

  105. Those lovely UFOs ? all 10 of them ? in my basket are sitting there with some of my favorite needles wrapped in the warmth of the stitches lovingly cast upon them in the heat of my passionate love for a project that, once worked, became unlikable and then became unapproachable. Sure I need the needles ? but I can faster sneak needles past the Yarn Control Officer in my house than yarn. Did I mention that he forced me to sneak out to my car in the middle of the night (more like 7:00p), fetch yarn out of my trunk and bring it in 2 or 3 skeins at a time in the sleeve of my jacket?

    It?s just that frogging, while freeing up your needles, is work in and of itself! First you frog, then you soak, then you hang, then you wind them into usable balls that don?t look anywhere near as delicious as when you bought them. They will be added to my mountain of stash (75 skeins or more) which is cleverly hidden inside of my 15 knitting bags.

    I?m beginning to see a pattern ?

  106. i, too, have a philosopher’s wool partial sleeve. two of them actually, since i do sleeves and sox and gloves – anything paired – at the same time. i only have four knitting UFOs….but that’s not counting the spinning, weaving and sewing UFOs. some of which all represent the same UFO… sigh.

  107. I currently have 6 (first I thought only 5, until I looked in another drawer! Oops!)One is a sweater that just needs to be seamed, the only part that I dislike about knitting; a shawl that only needs fringe, 2 scarves and the neverending sock project that I always carry with me whereever I go. Now working on the Christmas gift socks for the grandkids, nieces, nephews, daughters and sister. I am also a spinner, just finished spinning 3+lbs. of beautiful blue-faced leicester into 1400+ yds. of 2-ply yarn that I can’t wait to get on the knitting needles!! As someone said “So much yarn, so little time!!!” And there is a sheep and wool festival this weekend!!!!

  108. My “UFO”s consist mostly of pattern pieces knitted up, blocked and then laid to rest…. I just can’t seem to muster enough zip to stitch them together and complete them! Surely these don’t constitue UFOs as they ARE off the needles..Do they…??!!! OH DEAR!

  109. Hi Sandi–we’ve been having a fun discussion on my local (DC) knitting listserv regarding your Q&A about needles sizes. Here’s what I wrote:

    “In my experience, the needle in your RIGHT hand determines gauge, so if you have a larger needle in the right hand and a smaller one in the left, you would still get a consistent gauge. (This can be a good technique for “sticky” yarns that are hard to slide off the needles). But if you were switching your right-hand needle to be larger on one row and smaller on another, you might get an average row gauge that’s in between the two needles, but you’d have inconsistent looking rows. Now, where switching right-hand needles might come in handy would be if you usually “row out,” i.e. you purl loosely, so your purl rows are already bigger than your knit rows. If that’s the case, it might be useful to go down a needle size in you right hand on the purl rows.”

    I’ll add that I do know of a designer who has used two needles to create an elongated stitch effect on purpose–using an extra large needle every few rows.



  110. I *think* I only have one UFO, a half-finished Child’s Placket Sweater from Last Minute Knitted Gifts, which I started for a baby-to-be-adopted which didn’t pan out (they did end up adopting an older child though, so the story still has a happy ending!). Everything else I consider a WIP, including a Noro Silk Garden afghan that I’m S-L-O-W-L-Y collecting the yarn for, I don’t consider that project abandoned per se, just on hold until I can accumulate more yarn for it! =)

    This is a great topic, can’t wait until we start talking about our stashes! =P

  111. I was embarrassed to even begin this survey but then when you said stitches had to actually be cast on… Whew! I think they are countable now. But in defense of UFO’s. I bore easy. I have to have at least four or five going so I can knit on what I feel like at the moment. I always have a couple of lace shawls going since they take so long and they usually require no small children interruptions. That means I can’t work on them until the kitchen remodel is finished which is currently using up all my post-bedtime time. There is alway at least one sock waiting for a mate, usually a few of varying sizes. Then Christmas is coming… Oh well, no surprises and you get the idea. Love the post!

  112. So, if I count spinning and knitting there’s definitely 10. Maybe more. But sometimes I do turn UFO’s into unstarted projects. Rippit, Rippit! Some projects just were never meant to be.

  113. OOOPS i underreported. I am at work & thought I could remember all the UFOs at home — so i entered 9 in the survey — but just thought of 3 more. There are probably even more somewhere. Sorry to mess up your results (but i bet i am not the only one!)

  114. I only ever have two projects in process (occasionally 3 if someone around me has a baby). But it isn’t because I’m anal – quite the opposite! I never really follow a pattern and track changes in such a cryptic way that I would never be able to reproduce the results if I put away a pattern for more than a few weeks. Ultimately, it’s the slacker in me. One additional motivation – I am so obsessed with finishing projects so that I can wear them that I resist the urge to put something else on the needles.

  115. Let’s figure this up:
    3 baby blankets
    3 cross stitch projects (that I can think of off the top of my head)
    Some stained glass ornaments I want to do.
    7 – That’s not as bad as I expected. Although, if you had asked this question a month ago it would have been worse. I’ve finished 3 baby blankets and a xmas tree garland this past month from my UFOs.

  116. OK, as its said, confession is good for the soul. I HAVE “9” UFO’s.But I can look on the bright side with 4 of them, as they are in the various stages of being ripped out. The remaining 5 areactualy being worked on, slowly but worked. One is a secrete project for my daughter, a tiny elephante. One is an panda hat with the ears, nose and eyes just have to be sewn on, 2 are pairs of mittens waiting for thier seams to be woven, and last is an ongoing Bag that will be felted, its my carry everywhere project. I do however have about 10 projects waiting in the wings. Either I haven’t found the right pattern for the perfect(handspun wool),yarn or I just haven’t found the time to cast on. Swatches have been finished but I’m without a spare moment

  117. I was pleased to find I have only ten – less than half of which are from the first time I started knitting over ten years ago. I started knitting again this year and of my six current UFOs – half are socks. (3 Different pair!)

  118. I only have 1 UFO at the moment, but that is out of character for me. I usually have about 4 projects going. I recently felt guilty about 2 very lonley UFOs so I (gasp!) frogged them. This included a ribbon-yarn tank that was miles too big on me and a shawl that just needed binding off. I decided I didn’t like the triangle shape – so off it came! It was scary at first, but now the yarn is back in my stash and ready for some wonderful new project! It was actually theraputic – no more guilt!

  119. I need to deal with my UFOs – I actually feel nagging guilt over them – what’s up with that.
    Love the pattern. I actually used that to make a swell heart to submit to my county fair and won a blue ribbon! Yea!

  120. Re: about row count. If your row count is significantly different from the stated row beware that you may need more or less yarn than the pattern requires. Even significant amounts. I found this out the hard way.

  121. Ja, my UFO’s are 7 in number. 2 sweaters started over 20 years ago, when we lived in Alaska and I was pounds and inches smaller! Now in southern California I started curtains for a window the previous owner had left between the added on family room and the kitchen, that is now a full blown door so no need to ever finish! The ? finished “twined knitting” sock started some time after arriving here in the south. I attempted my first spun yarn for them and don’t remember which of the skeins is meant for that project.

    My take on the starting of new projects while there are others waiting for finishing is that the new skill or design idea is so powerful that it “must” be started before the desire to do it dims. Then when I discover I can do the skill or have solved some design, I lose interest or am on to some other project.


  122. Sandi, you’ve inspired me to finish the sweater I started three years ago and never finished. Christmas knitting came along and knocked it off the “current” list and into a dark corner of my knitting trunk. I just never got back to it. Now I need to try to hunt up the pattern for it…which should be fairly easy, since I got it off the Knitty website (Madarin). I guess if I’m going to leave projects laying around for years, I’d better get a little more organized about it!

  123. I must say, I was just thinking about this very subject the other day! I started a new hat for my 8 1/2 month old son, and suddenly wondered whatever happened to that bunny hat I started for him a while back? Hmmm… found it in the closet, and was quite surprised to find that it was finished except for the finishing. So, in a couple of days I finished the new hat I started. And now I’m staring at it wondering if I’m going sew the bits together while it will still fit him. Aaargh! I’ve discovered my weakness. I hate finishing!! It used to be that I hated to weave in ends. Now that I’m a self-proclaimed pro at that, I’ve discovered a new Foe: stitching pieces together. (I have an embarrassing secret: I started a sweater for my then 4 month old boy, sized for 6/9 months. I got one sleeve sewn on and lost my will to finish. My son now wears 12-18 months. Maybe I know a friend that’s about to have a baby…?)

  124. Ja, my UFO’s are 7 in number. 2 sweaters started over 20 years ago, when we lived in Alaska and I was pounds and inches smaller! Now in southern California I started curtains for a window the previous owner had left between the added on family room and the kitchen, that is now a full blown door so no need to ever finish! The 1/3 finished “twined knitting” sock started some time after arriving here in the south. I attempted my first spun yarn for them and don’t remember which of the skeins is meant for that project.

    My take on the starting of new projects while there are others waiting for finishing is that the new skill or design idea is so powerful that it “must” be started before the desire to do it dims. Then when I discover I can do the skill or have solved some design, I lose interest or am on to some other project.


  125. I got quite a kick out of the poll, but I feel you should have had a category: who knows? I don’t have a clue as to how many unfinished projects I have. I know a have some in the basement that have been there for at least 20 years.


  126. Am I really a knitter if I doun’t have UFO? I had this sweater that I was working on when my world blew up and everything changed. I even stopprd being able to knit for awhile. When I started knitting again I kept that sweater always within my sight and I had this irrational idea that it was so complicated I could never start on it again and successfully finish it.One day when I realized that my life was going to go on and maybe even be better, I got cozy in front of some movie and began work on the sweater. It proved to be a breeze, a joy and a beautifel FINISHED object. I hate UFO. They call to me like a baby with dirty diapers or a sink full of dirty dishes. These are just my personal feelings. I think the whole thing just has to do with your own individuality…no value judgements. BUT..the discussion can get pretty comical.

  127. I was surprised to count only 4 UFO’s of mine (1 crochet project not included)that just might be collecting dust. Just a couple weeks ago I actually undid (OH NO!)3 UFO’s back to a ball. And just this past weekend I actually FINISHED 2 projects!! Boy did that feel good. The problem is I can’t knit/crochet fast enough to get to the next project. All those lovely patterns I keep finding…which results in the unmentionable. I’ll have to be very careful, I now have a couple EMPTY knitting bags! Monika.

  128. I went through, counted up to 20, knew I had more than that, but had to stop due to the parameters of the poll. 😉 The major difference, though, is that maybe half of my total has been put down because it needs to be frogged and re-started. I’ve been on a finishing kick lately, though: my Ravelry account is helping me keep track of what’s still out there that needs to be finished.

  129. I have 4 unfinished projects; after a hiatus from knitting I have returned, and have finished 1 project out of 5 attempted. Out of 4 unfinished, 1 may get finished someday in its present form. One thing I learned from quilting, though, is that if you’re not satisfied with something, it’s not worth finishing! Your time and peace of mind are valuable.

  130. Call me weird, but I rarely have more than two UFOs on the needles at once: Something elaborate (lace, a sweater) and something simple (usually socks).

    Oh, wait: Make that three. There’s the top-down Aran cabled cardigan that’s languished at the bottom of my knitting basket for … hm, three years, after I joined the underarms and realized I’d managed to get the big, central back motif staggered by several rows. I should really just frog that and start over…

  131. I think the UFOs are every knitters ‘Dirty Little Secret’. I hide them from my children and my husband, who was a fellow knitter. And then the guilt of doing so almost prevents me from finishing them. Is there a patron saint for knitters that can help me??
    But I think the hardest UFO I have is the one I inherited from my husband who died last December. He too could not admit to having them and so I did not know that he was knitting a sweater for me for, what looks to be, the past three years. I found it sitting, unfinished, in a desk drawer in his office. So that shall be something I will need to finish or frog someday – when I get around to it :-)!

  132. My UFOs usually happen because something isn’t quite right. The yarn isn’t right for the project; the project isn’t right for the recipient; there are a few too many mistakes; etc. As hard as it is to rip something out, I have never regretted doing it. Sometimes (maybe even most times) that’s the best thing that can happen to a UFO.

  133. I must say I’m one of those that made myself promise not to start another project until I completed the one I was on. But, I must say I’m one of those that has quite a few projects waiting to be started. My husband often shutters when I see a new yarn store or asks him to stop.
    Perry Delaney

  134. I have to say, that while I took your poll, I disagree with your definition of UFO. I have about 25 WIPs (works in progress) — projects that I work on but might take awhile to get done. However, I have some other number (smaller but packed deeper away into The Doomed Closet) that are true UFO’s — they have been begun but may never again see the light of day.

  135. Oops. I submitted a “3” in your UFO’s poll, before I read your definition of UFO’s. My 3 should be a 0.
    My problem has been putting the finished knitted pieces together.

  136. I was on my lunch break when I saw the poll & started a list. I got to 18 before leaving work. While driving home I realized I had forgotten a sock project (that’s 4 sock pairs in progress), a pair of beaded cuffs, & a moebius cat bed. No, I’m not kidding, a knitting student got too far into a Cat Bordhi book and I had to start one in order to be able to help her. I’ll get back to it some day, when I figure out who to give it to. And an afghan that I’m doing on a knitting machine. OH! There’s a lavender moebius scarf too. I think I’m up to 23 now.

    Thanks for making me think about UFOs. No wonder I have trouble find needles when I want them. I think I have the incentive now to pare down the list and free up some needles. Imagine the stash of needles I’ll have when I get the UFOs done.

    Karen F.

  137. I had to giggle about your UFO segment. I discovered my inability to finish has spilled over from craft to craft. I only have 4 knitting UFOs, but I’ll NEVER admit to how many unfinished garments I have in my sewing room!

  138. Please don’t make me count my stash. Please, Please. Does a fininshed shawl which then self distructed ( with help) count as a UFO? I’ve been trying to forget that one.It was one of those “unravel the five edge stitches” ones. Well one side went just fine. I’m now ignoring the remains. the fix is to painful to think about right now.

  139. What’s your oldest UFO, Sandi? Mine is a baby blanket. I started it just before Christmas of 2002 when I learned I was pregnant. It was going to be my first “big” project. I put it down when I lost the baby. I can’t bring myself to frog it, nor can I finish it.

  140. I’ve been thinking about UFO all weekend. I’m a full time potter and a fairly new avid (or obssessive according to my husband) knitter. I had to experiment alot and make alot of bad work before I found my voice in pottery and before I can make great work. Perhaps that’s how we should view UFO’s. I mean, how can we knit that perfect sweater without experimenting to know what we like? How do you know it’s not good if everything is perfect?


  141. I love reading all of your posts and I just want to share a rather appropriate UFO. A very dear friend of mine recently asked me to finish an afghan she started back in 1972! Thank good acrylic holds up well! hahaha

  142. Whoa! looks like you hit a sensitive topic here! I haveto agree with some who have several UFO’s but even more wannabe’s I fall in this category and they aren’t only in knitting, My mother tells me I’m craft ADD. I don’t really care except if I die and don’t get to do them all I’ll be sad. (So will my husband when he finds out!)

  143. I was thinking about this UFO poll as I was driving to work this morning and realized that the beautiful sweater I am wearing languished as a UFO for about a year. It is a tunic designed by Elsbeth Lavold. I made so many mistakes and had to rip it back so many times that I got totally frustrated with it. Then one day it hit me that once finised it would be a beautiful and unique addition to my wardrobe. I picked it up and finished it without a problem, breezing through all the complcated twists and turns. Sometimes a little time on the shelf is the best antidote when frustration sets in!

  144. I have totally enjoyed everyone’s take on UFO’s. I took the pole and put 2, but in fact I only have one – the second sock that was a practice for toe-up knitting. I’m currently working on a cardigan for myself. I guess I’m one of the ones who doesn’t like UFO’s. That and I have no extra needles laying around.

    I do have a question for anyone who can answer – when counting rows do you count the stitches on the needle as a row? or does it not matter as long as you are consistant? the pattern I’m working on calls for counting rows rather than inches.

  145. Being new to knitting, again, I only have 5 knitting and 1 crochet projects but I am sure I probably have 50 ceramic UFOs. I think any craft develops its own UFO and the “craftier” you are the more you have till you have to rent a shed to store them and/or the waiting yarn/paint in. When I get in a “finish” mode I sit down and do several at a time making room for new UFOs.

  146. At the UFO critical mass, around 5 started projects, I begin to finish them off one by one until they are all done. Then I can begin my ‘whims’ all over again. It is always necessary to have a ‘mindless’ project, a challenging project, a gift project and a few small ones to fit my daily knitting moods.

  147. Of my 11 UFO’s I found 1 purse that just needs to be felted, 1 purse needing embellishment, 1 shawl needing fringe. I counted these even though technically they are “off needles”.

    I read lots of different books at the same time too. ADD-grrl


  148. Most of my UFO’s are bags and purses. Though most of them could be counted as ‘finished’ because I have assembled the pieces, and/or sewn side seams, they are not ready to gift away or add to my ever growing pile of “some day I’ll set up a table at an artfair projects” because they need to be lined. I did not count the “I plan to or need to make projects, or the already downloaded patterns, but haven’t started yet.

    I just discovered Knitting Daily and have begun reading past issures. (Loving the ones RE: knitting bags and lining said bags) I am having a panic attack because I can’t decide whether to read or knit. Too many ideas, patterns, links, posts, etc.

  149. I was pleasantly suprised that by “definition” I only have 2 UFO’s and 2 WIP. One WIP I take with and one needs more attention so it stays home. However the stash wannabe’s…. are another topic. There are at least 50+ with yarn/pattern in a bag together some with their needles! Oh and that poor woman who sneaks out at 7pm to get past the yarn officer.. get a bigger purse Hon! Mine use to hold 5 skeins of acrylic easy!!!! And no one was the wiser :)!!

  150. Well, without really looking around, I said I have 4 UFOs. Now, sitting here reading everyone’s comments, I have already remembered 2 more!! I don’t want to count one because I think it’s dead on the needles, but I have not taken it apart after 4 years. It was one of those “I think it should be longer” sweaters and I did not write down what I added where. I also changed the cute little lace pattern around the edges and don’t remember what I changed. Wow! I really does sound hopeless. But it is fuzzy yarn, and we all know how hard it is to take that stuff apart. AAAAAKK!!!!!!!!!! Now what do I do? The other quite old UFO I have is the first sock I ever tried, and it is more of a souvenir now. It only lacks a few toe decreases, but it looks huge, so it is now part of the decor. I found out that I don’t like the needles, so I don’t miss them.

    So, there are my rationalizations for the subject! And I can hardly wait to have to come clean about planned projects. I hope your numbers go to at least 100!

  151. This is to Martha who organized her yarn in one hour. Please come to my house – I’d like to set you loose on the two ROOMS of yarn I have. And it was easy for me to count UFOs: I only had to count the number of empty circular needle envelopes – w-a-a-a-y over 20!

  152. I have 4 or 5 knitting UFOs, but I was delighted (and comforted) to discover that there are others out there, who, like me, also have quilting, cross-stitch and needlepoint UFOs. Lucy

  153. My UFO is the Peapod cardi set for a baby. I’m in the UK and have never used a chart like in the instructions. Result: the ribbing has been redone 3 times and I’ve given up doing it again and I’m now in crisis over the front lace panel as it’s not working on line 6. I have retreated to Paton’s sublime swing cardi.

  154. In my opinion, since you only have two hands, you can only have one WIP. The rest are UFOs. Sorry….

    I went looking for some yarn for a knitting class I am taking (my one WIP) and found the yarn along with 3 more UFOs, so my poll yesterday was incorrect. Do I need to resubmit?

  155. I can’t count them – not courageous enough PLUS I wouldn’t be able to find them all. Answer is MORE THAN 30 probably. I always get more than half finished or even as much as 90% finished and the next project just begs me too hard to get started and I give in. Getting back to that UFO DOES happen, but nearly as often as it should.
    ALL of the reasons cited in your UFO Reasons poll apply to one or more of them and then there’s additional reasons: A heavy wool one-piece afghan just got too big to carry or it’s too hot to have it in my lap; the sweater is obviously going to fit a 400 lb football star and not me or it’s not going to stretch enough to go around my hips; I discovered the wool actually itches me too much to wear (like a scarf)so lost motivation. I have an AB FAB Colinette afghan I was knitting in a dark hotel room while falling asleep. When I got back from trip I discovered about 20 dropped stiches way back and it’s got all that mohair and it’s too hard to frog (SOMEDAY I WILL, that’s too expensive to throw away! Any ideas anyone? Ugh, yes, tie the loose stich and know that the knot will get lost in the fuzzies! I’ve done that before….MOHAIR leads to dropped stiches and I know why, but I don’t often do what it takes to prevent it – KNIT SLOW AND LOOK!).
    And there’s many more reasons. But the most COMMON REASON IS: The next new project was too tempting and I started it before finishing a UFO or the current UFO and it becomes a UFO. This a HOBBY RIGHT? Not a necessity of life, right?

  156. Anyone out there have any thoughts on why we all have so many, many UFO’s. I’m really serious – I’ve tried to figure out why when I’m almost finished with a project, my mind starts to wander, I start going through my folders and before I know it, I’ve found my next (I have about 14 “nexts”). Problem is that many times, I’m so excited about the next project that I begin it before finishing the last one and that drives me nuts but I can’t seem to do anything about this obsession!
    Hearing from anyone would be better than sitting on someone’s couch (someone who doesn’t knit) for an hour
    trying to explain all this!

  157. I have preschool children, and their older brother who just started kindergarten, that’s why I have UFOs. They haven’t clued in that pulling the needles out of the yarn is a bad thing. Or that my knitting needles are not toys – they’ve broken lots.
    Then there’s my patterns. They love destroying my patterns whether they are in magazines, books or booklets. Grrsnarl. My photocopier is my friend when it comes to the kids. I can take the original and store it and if they ruin the copy, I can go make another. I also stuff a copy of the pattern in the bag of yarn – when I remember to! That way when I find the ufo after X time, I don’t have to hunt my original pattern down.
    I’m basically stuck to simple patterns if I want to get anything done with these kids.

  158. I gues I’m a freak. I try really hard to only have 2 projects at one time going. One knitting, one crochet. It drives me crazy to pick up something later and not remeber the patern or hook size or worse find out that my gauge has changed over time.. So I put my foot down and limit myself to just 2 projects.. (but of course I’m a big fat liar and have 2 scarves and a baby blanket still unfinished in the bottom of my bag!)

  159. Hey Martha,
    I counted my empty Diana needles (2 sets), Knitpicks Options Needles (full set) and my empty circular needle packages and I gave up at 40.
    Hmmmm. Where are all these UPO’s? (when we move I’ll find them!)
    2 rooms of yarn? I have it ALL OVER THE HOUSE HIDING.
    My husband discovered that I was hiding a bunch under the plastic steps for the arthritic kitties to get up on our bed and nearly blew his stack. I told him it was there “purposely to make the steps more stable” …creative, huh?

  160. One of the problems with picking up a UFO and finishing it is re-acquainting yourself with the pattern and it’s idosyncracies (like the fact that you added 4 stitches at the edges, etc). Sometimes it seems that you just can’t re-start a UFO easily. Sometimes you can’t tell where you left off – and sometimes I can’t find the pattern (it wasn’t with the UFO!). That’s why many UFOs stay UFOs for me. I’ve started to frog some of them.

  161. Ha, I feel like a slacker with only 5 UFOs… I’ve forbidden myself to start another object until I get a particular pair of socks finished, though. I may just finish everything else in order to avoid those socks, though!

  162. Based on the number of UFOs I had when I could see and was hand quilting, I decided I needed to make a rule about my knitting UFOs. I am having a hard time sticking to my rule of 3 (I count the one on the needles as a UFO) because there are so many inspiring items I have added to my list of projects to start and I don’t want them to fall off the list. The result of my rule of three… an ever increasing stash and and ever increasing knitting library. I am very close to writting an amendment to the rule; maybe a rule of 5 would work. I absolutly do need a rule, if I don’t have one I will lose interest/enthusiasm for any items in the UFO pile.

  163. I have a sweater I designed & started 2 years ago. I got stuck at cabled saddle shoulders and keep meaning to bring it to work on the night they have “pattern help” sessions at my LYS. So it’s still in it’s pieces with stitch holders at the very end of the sleeve tops. It’s getting cold outside so did I pick it up? Nah, I started another sweater, but this time top down raglan. Someday I’ll finish it.

    We won’t even discuss the number of lace projects I’ve attempted and then thrown into the Aaargh basket.

  164. Well…okay…
    Um, sometimes it just gets boring, & I decide I need a boost from a lovely bit of chocolate. Other times it becomes mind-numbing working on the same thing day-after-day but, eventually it gets finished, & then I feel accomplished – finally!!
    If the InterNet didn’t exist,(darn that Al Gore), then I might not take such long breaks to surf & drool checking out all those wonderful, seductive yarn websites or, I will be in a craft store or drive past a yarn shoppe, & ya know, I HAVE to go in, & there the trouble begins!! ~all that fresh, new, untouched yarn just waiting there, nay, YEARNING to be added to my stash…*sigh*

  165. I checked “7”, but I’m sure it’s more. At least one has been on the needles more than 12 years (I started it before I was married). And I’m sure there are a couple hiding in boxes from our last move 5 years ago.

    Please note: I only tried to count knitting UFOs. I don’t even want to think about the quilting, weaving, and embroidery that is languishing.

  166. What about spinning projects as UFOs? Or fleeces started to spin, with the sweater they will make in the planning stages? Then I have to change my answer to “More than 20.” (I was afraid to count, but I conquered most of my dreaded Second Sock Syndrome last year, finishing a lot of second socks.)

    Anybody have a suggestion as to how to know which size needles you were using on a pair of socks? I have a pair that is distinctly two different sizes–I made the second one after a 4 year hiatus from the yarn, guessed at the needle size and clearly guessed wrong. I still wear them…

  167. I think it must be more than 20. And that doesn’t count the yarn I have purchased with a particular project in mind that are languishing as USOs (unSTARTed objects)…oh the pain…

  168. I have some thrum mitten which don’t even fit. Why did I think I even wanted those things to begin with anyway. I have tried to give them to my daughter to knit and she won’t take them. Blast it! Giving stuff away is such a righteous thing to do and it cheers me up!

  169. You know, it’s funny… last year alone, I actully started AND finished 1 pullover, 3 cardigans, 19 hats, 2 scarves, and 1 pair of baby booties! This year, I’m having trouble getting through 1 scarf and 1 cardigan! UGH! All those projects I finished last year were for family & friends, but the cardi I can’t seem to finish is for me, and I think that’s where I’m hitting the road block. I’ve always had trouble knitting for myself. I think it’s knowing that I have no real time limit, and that since it’s for me, I can finish it anytime. Hmmmm… Have to start making myself a deadline for “me” projects! Yeah… that’ll work! Pshhhh!

  170. Ok. right now, I feel like I’m the queen of UFO’s. I currently have 17 projects on the list. Most are almost done, but I am now in finishing mode. I have finished 3 in the last month. (ok, I also started 2 more…) The only good part of all of this, is I have 5 non-pair of socks. It isn’t second-sock syndrome though, because I have a cast on one foot, so I only NEED one sock! I’m LUCKY!

  171. Well, I’m feeling great after reading these posts. I’m still a fairly knitter (so I don’t have years and years of stuff languishing!) and we’re on a fairly tight budget, so I promised dh that I’d not buy lots of yarn till I used what I have (unless it’s on sale, of course). So really, my 4 UFO’s are really 3 WIP’s and 1 UFO, that may get frogged because the need for it is no longer. Whew!

  172. I like to take the approach that I am foster-parenting all my UFOs until they can find proper homes. They are certainly more comfortable and warm in my house than they would be in a cold trash barrel somehwere. Unfortunately, I keep creating more and more “children” that are awaiting the proper “nurturing” so that they can go live with someone. I see a cute pattern on Knitting Daily or on some other site and its sad eyes and extended tummy make me have to bring it into my home. Now I just have to work on that “proper nurturing” part so these poor little things can go on to live a nice life. Yet, there is some comfort in knowing that I’ve brought all my little “children” from a sad picture on a blog or in a book to at least a partial life in a warm home.
    Sharyn T.

  173. Luved reading these, but I’m glad someone else asked this question “What is frogging”? I’ve knitted for more years than I want to admit but don’t know that term. I have to admit I checked about 17 UFOs but that’s probably on the short side. Some of these things I cannot even remember or find…..
    bev kapp

  174. Luved reading these, but I’m glad someone else asked this question “What is frogging”? I’ve knitted for more years than I want to admit but don’t know that term. I have to admit I checked about 17 UFOs but that’s probably on the short side. Some of these things I cannot even remember or find…..
    bev kapp

  175. i didn’t really want to count. but i did – in hopes of actually finding some things i could get rid of – and found only 4 UFO’s!!! now, that’s just knitting projects. i found numerous repairs, unfinished craft projects and countless i-have-all-the-stuff-i-just-haven’t-started projects. whew!

  176. Hi! I’m new to this great forum…I am SOOO reassured reading all this! my question is, you must have lots of sets of needles in order to have lots of things UF! so many pattterns ask for 4mm & I have only 2 pairs! hehehe!

  177. You mean that counting the second sock that you didn’t even start as a ufo? I finished the first one… I usually abandon my project because some new type of yarn comes into my yarn shop and I just have to knit something with it. Sue

  178. You mean that counting the second sock that you didn’t even start as a ufo? I finished the first one… I usually abandon my project because some new type of yarn comes into my yarn shop and I just have to knit something with it. Sue

  179. Well, I had to click the 20 bubble. This particular newsletter started me thinking about all the UFO’s I really have, not just the WIP’s, which of course is any thing in a basket, bag, box or bowl living in the living room, bedroom or closet. Because of course I’m getting to those right away. My truly truly UFO is a lovely little cardigan I started for my 7 year old daughter who turned 34 last July… no its not a type-o 🙂
    Sandy S

  180. I usually have several things going at once (8, I think) because some are portable, some are watching-tv-able, and others just aren’t. The problem UFO’s are the ones that went on unfortunate trips. The one where that business deal went south so who COULD finish that sock? Or the road trip vacation when DH won’t ask directions… or the rainy beach vacation. or the “didn’t I tell you I’d invited ___ along to camp with us for a week?” I guess these are the bad vibe projects – usually socks, lonely socks. Perhaps frogging, scenting with lavender and passing along the yarn will destroy the karma??

  181. I have 19 UFO’s, but you wouldn’t believe number of boxes of yarn – 24 large plastic boxes PLUS a 6 foot cedar chest full of wool processed from the sheep I used to have. Talk about getting through the nuclear winter!

  182. What a hoot! Now I don’t feel so bad. I have a huge knitting closet full of stash and I am sure at least 12 UFO’s. Some are because i lost (misplaced) the pattern, or I hate the way they look, or I am close to done and can’t figure out something, or am too lazy to frog them or they are done except for sewing together-which is really my biggest problem. On second thought I must have more than 12? Now if you count hand quilting too……

  183. Sandi
    I have been reading some of the comments and the one that took my interest was where it took a knitter an hour to sort out her yarn. I am mainly a machine knitter and my yarn supply is located in a room 14’x4′, plus several 12″x6′ shelves, a closet. 2 cupboards,a bank of 16″ storage units and 2 highboys, plus a dozen or 2 plastic bins.You can see I’almost a yarnaholic !!!—-a couple of days for me to sort things out so I won’t. Can’t seem to pass by any yarn, but then of course I’m going to live to be at least 150 to get it all knit up. ha ha.

  184. I took the UFO poll, but it might have been a bit of a lie since all objects are safely and cleverly hidden here and there and who can count all those? The reason we don’t finish–one just loses interest! And there are myriad reasons for that, several of which you have listed.

  185. I used to speak harshly to myself about the number of unfinished projects I’d accumulated; then I noticed the sun still came up. Now I wallow in well-being and wads of yarn. M.

  186. Loved reading the posts on UFOs. I thought I was the only one, what was I thinking??? I just finished a Christmas stocking for my grandson and realized this is the first item I’ve finished in years.

  187. OK, after reading those comments I am feeling really good about my UFO count of fewer than 10! There is something really exciting about all that energy on the needles, though.

  188. My students and I want to know the best online knitting help website. I’ve been using Oh, can you give me some helpful hints to not get those loose, hinky stitches when binding off.

  189. I sopped counting UFOs a long time ago. I have found that I either run into a problem I don’t want to tackle, or (as usually is the case) I’m working on a particular technique or design issue and once mastered, I abandon the project. The new question is, “why don’t I rip it out and do something else with the yarn?”

  190. After reading all the comments about frogging WIPs, I suddenly remembered that cotton sweater I started 2 years ago, put it down and promptly moved on to much more interesting things. Designing as you go is a bad bad thing. How about more polls: to be frogged piles, stash count (really, truly), stash organized into separate projects but not yet started, the lists could go on and on! We are sick sick sick…

  191. I started a sweater when I was in college in the early 80s. I didn’t count it as unfinished because last winter I put all the pieces together and blocked it to fit. (It actually still fits). But, it needs to have a hem put in with an I-cord drawstring in the sleeves and body so I guess technically it is still UFO. I may just wear it anyway, just like it is, because I don’t have any idea how to do either. So it hoovers between done and undone. One pair of socks on the needles is an active project. The others, two shawls, I no longer love and will jump in the frog pond when I get a chance to give them a push.

  192. My mother recently cleaned out her yarn stash and blessedly passed it to me, In it was a UFO sweater from probably 1984. I glad to see from the other comments that’s it is not just us. My knitting and crochet projects are usually started and finished or frogged, I have a very short attention span. But, in the way of cross-stitch, embroidery and sewing I probably have 50 to 75 items started. Gotta love us crafters!!!

  193. Well, I only have 4 projects on needles….. but then I’m not counting all the projects that I really didn’t like after all, or they weren’t looking like I thought they should, or I frankly got board to death. They are now sitting nicely rerolled into balls and back in my yarn stash again waiting for the next inspiration.
    Knittingly Yours (???? Is that a real word, sounds good though)
    Virginia D

  194. Very fun to read the comments — I envy anyone with fewer than 15 UFOs and feel much better now that I don’t fell so alone . . I have upwards of 35 as well . . with a roomful of yarn waiting to become UFOs.


  195. well it is like this….sometimes you feel like working with certain colours on certain items and other times you don’t..therefor you need to have projects you can pick up and go with, and when you do eventually (?) complete them, you will have something you can gift.After all, the creative process takes time!

  196. I answered to poll with 7 but the more I thought about it there must be at least 12. (Counting the snood in the bathroom cabinent). Glad you didn’t ask about ALL the UFO’s. I must have another 10-15 sewing projects which are WIPs. I blame it on being a Gemini.

  197. I think I only have 2 UFO’s in knitting –(many more in X-stitch & sewing) at the moment. When we moved from a house to a 2-bedroom apt. (due to job transfer) I had to pack my supplies & stack up the boxes. This forces me to finish a current project before I dig out more. Some supplies are also stored offsite.

    If you’re an outgoing person like me, you get distracted easily & it’s more fun to start something new. My DH is quiet, hard-to-get motivated, but he finishes…

    Time to put away the summer fabrics.

  198. I am contantly having to buy new cables for my interchangeable needle sets becuase I put the caps on and use the cables as needle holders so that I can use that needle size for another project. I have four UFOs that require size 6 needles right now that are waiting on the cables…I even started an afghan designed to be a terminal UFO (made out of my leftover yarn). I have over 20 that are stashed around the house and even my car…

  199. What’s a UFO? Just KIDDING! I don’t have too many (4) but friends have given me their projects to finish. Sheesh! The Kaffe Fasset one is still languishing…
    Jeanne in California

  200. I think I have the ultimate UFO.

    My mother took a knitting class at Sears before my first son was born… She knitted strips for an afghan. They needed to be croched together, and she didn’t know how to crochet.

    She vowed to take them to my grandmother’s house to have her crochet the strips together. Then, grandma got too old to keep her house, and she moved in with mom. Mom said she was going to have Gram crochet them together…

    About 12 years later, Gram passed on… Mom said she still needed these strips crocheted together. I told her to get them together and get them to me.

    Just under 2 years ago, Mom passed away. My father told me that Mom had “some yarn” at the house, and asked if I wanted it. (Since I’m the only one of 3 girls that does any of this stuff.)

    In the “some yarn” (that filled a huge plastic box), were the 8 strips that Mom made before my son was born… So I am now crocheting them together to give to my baby sister.

    Oh, by the way, my son will be 34 in April.


  201. Okay, I have 12 WIP, some near completion, some not; wrong season; excited about something new; too much concentration needed for some so need the “right time”; Yikes, you know the drill!

  202. Wow! I knew it was going to be bad when I remembered the two hats from the year that everyone got hats and scarves for Christmas, and that was four years ago. Oh, and the two pairs of matching mittens from the next year and only three odd socks from the year after. I really question the projects where the knitting is done but the sewing together may never happen (the children have grown bigger than the size knitted and the baby was born too big for the seater set knitted for a shower present). I hate sewing the knitting together! I wish for a matress-stitch fairy to surprise me some night. Can I leave those off the count? Twenty knitting projects is probably conservative considering the eight mesh shopping bags not sewn together. I refuse to count crochet projects, counted cross stitch or quilting in this UFO count, that is for another, higher level craft site. I have three sets of certain size needles and have used the excuse that bamboo is “different” and sometimes better for some projects. My husband bought that one…. Stitch holders are a blessing. I feel as if I’ve been to the confeeional – thanks for that.

  203. I answered the poll with a low number, but unfortunately it looks as though I lied. Yes, denial is not just a river in Egypt. So…I have a lot of UFOs. I think that they make up the fiber of knitters (get it? HAHA!). At least I finished the pair of socks I was just knitting and I may actually complete a bag I’m making, even though it is incredibly boring. I inherited a “box of yarny stuff” from my grandmother-in-law. There were parts from an unfinished afghan in there. I think they were older than my father-in-law. Actually, I’m pretty sure they were older. Remind me to at least finish everything before my time. I don’t want anyone to think the things I thought when I saw her yarn choices.

  204. Can you count by the 40 gallon rubbermaid container? I have at least 3 of those. I still have as a UFO the very first sweater I started to knit. The class was so long ago the shop doesn’t even exist anymore! Fortunately, I go for rather timeless pieces, so IF I ever finish that sweater my 13 year old daughter could still wear it.

  205. I will never again let someone else pick a pattern and yarn for me to knit. (Repeat) I will never again let someone else pick a pattern and yarn for me to knit.(Repeat) I will never again let someone else pick a pattern and yarn for me to knit. (Repeat) I will never again let someone else pick a pattern and yarn for me to knit……

  206. I loved reading all the comments. I only have the afghan I’m making my grandson. I used to be like alot of you having several UFO’s. I guess when in 2005 my second grandson was born a special needs baby alot of things changed. Sheryl Thompson

  207. LOL, I guess my UFO’s aren’t so bad after all. Just 6!! Really, I do finish about 80-90% of my started projects. Um, maybe not realy. I have been known to send PIGs to the frog pond to recover the yarn. Once they’ve been totally ripped out and rewound to NEW yarn, do they still count as UFO’s? I say NOT. (shrug)

  208. Thank you all. I am a fairly newby knitter, but I wondered if I was alone in those many sets of needles with half finished projects. My Queen of the UFO’s is the purple mohair afghan that’s now almost 3/4 done… but now the final two skeins of yarn for doing the Modern Quilt Wrap are in the mail, so it will sit for a little while longer.

  209. My mom still has the baby sweater she started for me when I was in utero. My sons are 22 & 24. (Cleverly circumventing the need to tell you MY age!) So it’s not my UFO, but I’ll undoubtedy have to deal with it one day….

  210. I could not believe how many UFO’s others have. I never start knitting something until I have finished what I am working on. I never like being bored, so I go from one type of project (knitting,cross-stitch,plastic canvas,rug hooking, etc.) to a different one. Most of my projects are being made for someone else (I get bored when making something for myself). I would really like to know “What is Frogging?” I certainly would never have enough needles to be able to have as many as 40??? UFO’s. I know this confession probably makes be very anal?? or maybe part OC? ADD? Who cares?? I enjoy my crafts.

  211. Is there a reverse syndrome here? WE under declare the amount of wine we drink per week because we know it’s actually quite a BAD THING. Do we overdeclare the number of UFOs because we are secretly proud of being talented multi taskers and that is a GOOD THING?

  212. I don’t have any UFO knitting projects – at least not any that are on the needles. I may have a basket full of projects that still need to be sewn up, but since they’re not on the needles, they’re not UFOs, right?

  213. I only counted 6 UFO’s which I suppose isn’t too bad, but interestingly these are all projects for me! I seem to a) see lots of lovely patterns that I want to start, and b) find it much easier to finish projects when they are gifts for other people as there is a time limit, plus there is more satisfaction seeing their face when they realise you made it yourself! However that said, the last foray into knitting an adult gift was a ‘designer’ dress for my sister last year for Christmas. She saw a magazine picture, it was garter stitch & chunky, fairly easy I thought – no actual pattern to work from (well I cobbled a sweater pattern and a dolls skirt pattern and had help crocheting the two together!) The maths on making the skirt real person size were beating me (I had only been knitting a year!), so I put the dress down, gave up and bought a back up present. Then my hubby said ‘but you got so far with it, why don’t you finish it?’ So I steeled myself, camped out at my LYS for a while and found myself knitting in a panic stricken state for literally 2 WHOLE days to complete it by the skin of my teeth on Xmas eve! My sister was delighted – I was exhausted! I figure at least my own UFO’s will be completed eventually, and won’t necessarily need a knitting marathon to do it!

  214. I end up with alot of ufos because I see so many I like get them started and then see somthing else I like and then the list goes on. I am going to stop this and finish the ones I have going!!!! This will help me get Christmas gifts off and running.

  215. I just posted that I have 13 UFOs but I’ve remembered 3 more! And if “yarn purchased and mentally assigned” counts as a UFO — well, is there a “well over 30” category? Good thing my family doesn’t read this blog!

  216. I laughed when i read about the UFO’s. I knit with a group of ladies and they are always complaining about them. I have two. One-that actually I ripped a whole sweater out, and never got back to knitting a new one in a size that fits (don’t we all hate that,oops I put on a few pounds feeling? everytime I look at the yarn, I remember I used to wear a smaller size, uggh), and the second one, a cable and intarsia sweater that half way thru I realized i had enough yarn for a bigger size,(forDD) and I should have actually knit it in the round and steeked the sleeves. sigh..
    I only knit what i really really love, so if it isn’t working, i rip, rip, rip. The other knitters sigh and laugh at me a lot. A Lot!
    But I do finish, so I get the last laugh.
    I also find that contrary to most knitters, I don’t like to have a lot of stash around. I find it burdensome.I love the first sight of a fabulous yarn, the touch, the orgasmic,”I gotta have this, and get right home and start knitting right away through the night,” feeling.
    If I have stash, I feel like I shouldn’t be buying,looking etc. because I already have yarn/projects at home to do. -Of course those balls at home, have lost that, “I gotta”, feeling after sitting on my den shelf for months. The “I gotta”, feeling is, I think, half the reason we knit to begin with.
    Yes, I acknowledge I don’t operate the way most knitters evidently do, But hey, my sweaters get finished, and I get to buy new yarn, guilt free, with no explanations to DH, and knit excitedly throught the night. sz

  217. Guess it took me a bit to count the U.F.O’s. (I had to look for them) But I only have 5. (Big releif) I have the same problem as most others, I see something that I just can’t wait to start, or there is a sale on the perfect yarn to do the project I have been waiting to do, or someone needs something and I put aside my current project and start another one, my husband can’t understand the U.F.O problem, but he doesn’t mind all the things stashed around the house. (in closets, baskets, under the couch, you know)

  218. I answered 7, but upon getting home I discovered a few more. But now there are 2 less than there were. YEA~!
    I’m not counting things that I have no intention of finishing. That is just another way of storing yarn, and it doesn’t really count as stash, either. When I’m ready to use it for something else, it will be ready for me. Coming directly out of one project, passing across the needles, and becoming another project. (Hopefully one that will get finished this time. LOL) The way I look at it, leaving an un-done project un-frogged and waiting means more knitting time because I didn’t spend it pulling and winding. 🙂

  219. I have five: two socks, one summer sweater, one vest, and one intarsia bag that hates me. I just got a shrug off the needles, but haven’t sewn it–it doesn’t count. Besides the shrug is my oldest UFO–I’m just pleased to finally be done knitting it. I have three UFO crochet projects: one hat, two string bags. I do have three projects set for frogging–they definitely do not count as UFOs.

    After looking at the numbers and reading the comments, I actually feel better about my UFOs!

  220. i actually don’t have that many long term ufo’s but they always seem to be the same 4 projects lurking in the background i guess i have to really sit down ad think about them 🙂

  221. First of all, thanks for all your stories about your UFO’s. I have between 7 and 10, and occassionally feel guilty about them, but after realizing that I’m not only not alone, but in some very great company, I’m now looking at them as a rite of passage into the society of “real knitters”. I have to report that I have one UFO that’s become a running joke with a firend of mine. She’ll occassionally ask me about the “Chopstick Sweater”. It needs one more sleeve, and when it’s done I plan to give it to my friend for so many hours of fun we’ve had discussing it over the past year and a half.

    The other thing I wanted to add here is regarding the many posts about losing patterns for things. I had that problem, but last year I bought myself one of those all-in-one printers, which has a scanner, fax, and a copier! Now, when I start a project, I make a copy of the pattern and stick it in the bag with the yarn and needles. If I make adjustments to the pattern along the way I write it on the copy instead of in the book or magazine the pattern came out of, and I have it six months later when I go to do the second sock, sleeve, whatever. It’s saved the life of the chopstick sweater and many other projects that would have otherwise been frogged a long time ago. Hope this helps. Linda, Winthrop, MA

  222. UFO’s… a baby sweater (I HAVE to finish it before it’s too small for her – but after reading the other posts I’m beginning to wonder if that will happen…) a pair of gloves for the boyfriend, a sweater that I started four years ago and will finish “some day”, a lace cowel (sp?) that I forgot the “easy to remember pattern” for, 3 scarves, another sweater, …I guess that’s only 8! I did just finish a pair of gloves that I started in January!! Woo hoo! I made a dent!
    Thanks for the laughs, and the consolation that I’m not alone.

  223. Ok I’m late in adding my comments, and I’m not at home, but if my memory serves me I have the following UFOs: One pair of socks in progress, One scarf that I ran out of yarn and am trying in vain to find more, one baby sweater, one triangle scarf for me, one cabled scarf for hubby for christmas — not bad I guess, but truth is I’M SICK OF SCARVES. With My knitting needles as my witness I will NOT — EVER — AGAIN knit another scarf. For the Love of all things wool, it’s time to move on.

  224. In reading all the posts, I realized I have more UFO’s than I put in the poll… but it’s good to know I’m not the only one who miscalculated their UFO’s. I submitted 6, but remembered a few more 🙂

  225. I have not only my own UFO’s to work on, but also I’m trying to finish a lot of my sister’s UFO’s after she died in June 2006. So 3 of my own, and 4 of hers (though there are more of hers I haven’t had the courage to tackle yet). Jean

  226. I refuse to count UFO’s. It would take to much time that I can spend on creating another. I like many of you have not only knitting but quilting, embrodiery, cross stitch etc. The worst part is I have UFOS from relatives who have died and left them behind. I am going to leave quilt tops behind just to let somebody like my daughter finish it.

  227. I think I answered 6 on the poll, but it’s really 8, and I am thankful that the oldest is less than 2 years after reading all the comments:
    –a teddy bear that needs to be stitched up, stuffed, and embellished
    –A sweater for my hubby that I started a year ago, just needs a fastener at the neck that I can’t find anywhere
    –an afghan worked in squares, begging to be blocked and joined
    –a felted purse waiting for embellishment
    –that Fair Isle sweater that is waiting for me to get the courage to cut the armhole steeks and start the sleeves
    –and 3 that I’m actually working on!

  228. Hi–

    I am very excited to find out the results of this UFO poll (I’m just gathering my results this morning), but when I went to fill out the poll, I was disappointed to see that we only give a number; we don’t give any explanations. I am even more interested in WHY people have UFOs than I am in how MANY they have. For example, some personalities are more ambitious than what their knitting time allows, so they have complex projects sitting in lonely in corners. Other personalities might enjoy starting more than finishing. Still others might have cast on to a project that they eventually got stuck on, as they didn’t yet possess the necessary skills to finish it. Sometimes you might run out of yarn, or you might lose the pattern instructions in order to finish it. In other words, I would love to find out the “why” behind the respondents’ numbers. Thanks for doing this, by the way! I just love Knitting Daily–

  229. Okay, people. I must confess that I made an exception on the UFO poll I just completed. I had 10 UFOs if I didn’t count the dishrags/bathrags that I am constantly churning out. I produce a couple of them a week (in spare time while standing in line, etc.), and I take one or two WIP washcloths with me on errands to knit while I wait. I will sometimes collect up to 5 of them that just need finishing while I stand in lines and knit. Then on a car or plane trip I’ll take the to-be-finished ones and weave in all the ends. Because they turn over so quickly, I didn’t count them. But if I would have, it would raised me to 16 UFOs instead of 10. Of the 10 UFOs I spoke of, however, they date anywhere from 3 years old to 2 months old. Several are finished except for the literal finishing (weave in ends, etc), 2 or 3 are just taking a lot more time to finish because they’re big and not portable (bath mat, sweater for my husband, large baby afghan, etc), and in my life, what’s portable gets finished quickly: what’s not portable drags on and on. Another UFO is a felted bag that was once finished but so ugly I cut it apart and will now sew it together in a smaller and more chic way on my sewing machine; another is the first pair of mittens I’ve attempted (that I will hopefully finish in the next month!) That pretty much sums it all up.

  230. To frog mohair, put it in the freezer for at least an hour. (No, not as a hiding place – don’t hide things where they’ll be seen so often!) Anyway, freezing seems to make the little hooks in the fiber less sticky. You might have to put it back in again if it warms up too much before you finish frogging.

  231. I’ve already given my count days ago but then my daughter reminded me of the UFO’s That my mother handed down when she passede away. OH MY GOSH!!! My mother didn’t really knit more than ribbing, st. a few yo’s never cables but we would tease her on how fast and that she could watch TV and never drop or miss a stitch. I wasn’t left a quanty of ufo’s but its what they are and the yarn used,1 from the late 60’s and 3 from the early 70’s and 2 from 77-81. A Heavy chinelle(yes, thats how the pattern spells it)Halter top and a “HOT PINK” strange looking sweater thing of unknown fiber, and oh yeah a chrocheted flower bath rug of Wool Rug yarn. I’ve stored them in plastic sweater bags and their at the bottom of one of my stash barrels. Yes, I said barrels.Yarn is a member of the family and it has its own room, it a reluctant roomate of fabric.

  232. If each of my UFO’s has a pair of neddles in, each bag also probably has a pair of scissors, sewing up needle and I know all my stitch holders are in various bags waiting in vain for those stitches to be picked up sometime soon!

    My UFO’s also reside in cotton grocery store bags, so each time I go food shopping I have to buy more bags to put the food in.

    It might be cheaper to actually finish some off these things, recover all those lost accessories and regain some bags!

  233. I knit for afghans for Afghans, an organization that distributes handknit and crocheted garments and blankets (they ask that you use wool or another animal fiber, for warmth)to needy families in Afghanistan. I would like to suggest that everyone choose one UFO that would be appropriate, finish it, and send it to them. Please check out their website at
    They are a wonderful organization.
    Susan in Portland, Oregon

  234. I have 15 UFOs. Just finished counting them and was actually surprised to find the number that, um, low! I’ve recently started 5 of them, and I tend to finish 4-6 projects a month, so I didn’t find 15 too bad.