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UFO' aka Unfinished Projects
You are in good company!
So what's wrong with having so many UFO's? That depends on who you ask. Personally, I feel guilty and overwhelmed when I have too many unfinished projects. I feel sorry for those abandoned and unloved projects.
Others would say it's wasteful to have unfinished projects sitting on needles. You might need those needles for your next project. But honestly isn't it easier to just go buy a new needle rather than finish what you've started?
The problem is not how many unfinished projects we have, but where and how do we begin to finish them? Isn't just easier to leave them where they are? The answer is obviously yes, but let's be honest, wouldn't you rather just get it done? Sure you would, but how do you start? Don't worry, I have a found a solution.
Gather all of your UFO's. Try to do this when your alone (that way no one will judge you on how many you actually have).
Once you have all of your projects in one place, take them out of their bags, baskets, bins, old shoes boxes, whatever you stash them in and look at each one. Pick them up. Touch the yarn.
Now decide what you really love and set those aside. We'll come back to them later. Look at what's left. Why you didn't finish? Was the pattern too hard? Do you love the yarn or did it make you itch? Is the color wrong? If you answered yes to any or all of those questions, it's time to frog (rip it, rip it, rip it) I know, you spent hours on that sweater, but if it's so great, why isn't it finished?
Here is a little trick to frogging. Instead of winding it into a ball, wrap it around a book or binder. Once you've finished, tie it in several places (at least four), slip it off, then wash it. To wash it, let it soak in cool water with your favorite brand of wool wash for about 30 minutes. Gently squeeze the fiber being careful to not tangle it and lay it on a clean towel until dry. This will help the fiber relax and be ready for use for another project. Once dried, you can twist into a hank or wind it into a ball. If the yarn is something you love, then stash it away for a future project. If not, donate or gift it.
Back to those projects that you think you really want to finish. (this is the time to decide if you REALLY want to finish. If not, proceed with the above steps.) How do you decide what's first?
Fortunately for us, Maryna at 10 rows a day has done the math and come up with a very clever knitting calculator. (click on the link above to get your free copy) According to her calculations if you commit to knit 10 rows everyday on your project of choice, you should be able to finish an adult hat in 6 days using worsted weight yarn. A woman's pullover sweater, size medium should take 65 days using dk weight yarn, and long scarf in dk weight yarn, 54 days. These calculations are based on an average knitter using simple patterns without any intricate lace or special techniques. A cardigan with a button band will usually take an additional 2 days.
Does her theory work? I can't be sure on all projects, but I did try on a hat I did finish it in 6 days. Why not put it to the test yourself? Find the unfinished project you really love and get started today! Still need a little more motivation? Buy yourself a bottle of your favorite wine, or a new pair of shoes and make a promise to open the wine or wear the shoes as soon as that project is complete!!
How do I know this process for clearing out those UFO's work? Because it worked for me. Last June, I had 16 unfinished projects and I now have 8. It felt good to get rid of those projects I knew I would never finish and even better to be finishing the others. Will I finish all 8 before I cast on another? Probably not. As the owner of a yarn store, it's hard to resist those gorgeous new skeins of yarn that come in. But I do know I do not want to be overwhelmed again, so I'll finish at least 2 more before I reward myself by casting on a new project!
*calculations are estimates only