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yarncraft ufos

UFO = "unfinished object"

Interweave Press has a fun blog/newsletter called Knitting Daily. The past few days they have been talking about UFOs. Many folks seem to be buying into the assumption that UFOs are bad and you should have only one project at a time. Here's the comment I posted:

I've realized I have a multitude of different knitting desires. This means I need multiple projects going at once. So my seven or eight unfinished OTN projects aren't UFOs so much as multiple WIPs (works in progress).

I desire: (1) variety (so I allow myself to start new projects before finishing old ones, if they are different); (2) some easy *small* knitting that I can take with me to doctor's offices, on planes, etc.; (3) some easy knitting that I can do while watching movies at home (doesn't have to be small); (4) to learn new techniques; (5) to work with delicious yarn; (6) to make clothes that fit me; (7) stashbusting; (8) to practice my design skills; (9) to experience the delight of wearing home-made socks (I've only got 3 pairs so far, I need at least 14 in order to be able to wear home-made socks every day!); (10) to make practical things (hats, shawls that will keep me warm when my cat insists on having the window open in winter).

Of course one project can and usually does meet multiple desires, but no one project can meet *all* those desires. Hence, multiple projects are necessary!

One task for today is to look through my stitch dictionaries to find a colorwork pattern suitable for a band of my new sweater.



( 31 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 17th, 2007 08:04 pm (UTC)
Re: yarncraft ufos
polyamory -- it's not just for romance anymore. :)

very well said.
Oct. 17th, 2007 08:06 pm (UTC)
Re: yarncraft ufos
And my polyamory is just like my yarncraft hobby - it's all about fulfilling my NEEEEEEEEEEEEEDS.
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 17th, 2007 09:15 pm (UTC)
Ah, I should have read the comments before writing. Yeah, exactly.
Oct. 17th, 2007 08:37 pm (UTC)
Wow, I would not call Knitting Daily "fun"! I found that an interesting description.

The straw that broke my back was when they started posting crochet patterns, though. I unsubbed and haven't thought of it from then till now.

I am glad you made this point, though--it's an important one.
Oct. 17th, 2007 09:19 pm (UTC)
What would you call Knitting Daily?

What's so horrible about their posting crochet patterns? A lot of people had that reaction. I don't get it. Maybe it's because I learned to crochet before learning to knit, but I don't see sacrilege in doing both.
Oct. 17th, 2007 10:30 pm (UTC)
I think your description was accurate except the word "fun", that's all--which is completely subjective. The discussion on sizing was interesting.

My ranting against crochet is why I was Banned For Life from advanced_knit, so I guess you should take my comments with a grain of salt, but....

It's called Knitting Daily, so I expect to see knitting-related content. Period. Full stop. The End.

I also learned to crochet before I learned to knit, and it's a handy skill, but I never expect to crochet again, except maybe an edging. I don't even own a crochet hook! My time is limited, and while I willingly signed up for Knitting Daily, I did it with the expectation that I would be spammed by a certain amount of Interweave advertising. Not that there would be days of nothing but crochet content. Not only do I NOT CARE about crochet, I find it a waste of my time. Start Crochet Daily--that's fine with me. But don't clutter my mailbox with crochet content.

End of rant.
Oct. 17th, 2007 10:55 pm (UTC)
Heh. OK, I've heard that rant from other people. I still don't get why so many feel so strongly about it. (I mean, I'm not all that interested in felting or spinning at the moment. But I don't feel that the occasional such content in a knitting forum is a huge time-waster.) I guess it's just going to be one of those mysteries.
Oct. 17th, 2007 10:56 pm (UTC)
I think I unsubbed on the 3rd day of crochet content. That's a LOT of crochet.
Oct. 18th, 2007 03:25 am (UTC)

As a crocheter I am right there with you! Crochet is not just some subcategory of knitting. I am thoroughly sick of people walking up to me and asking "what are you knitting?" or having every yarn store cater to knitters and have some small redheaded stepchild section for crochet patterns and hooks.

So enough already -- knitting is knitting and crochet is crochet.

Oct. 18th, 2007 09:11 am (UTC)
The "small redheaded stepchild" stuff contributed to my decision to take up knitting - my LYS barely even carried any crochet hooks.

Thing is, I think that forums where both are talked about are a key to getting crochet more accepted.

I did argue against calling such a forum "Knitting Daily" since I thought crocheters would overlook crochet content in such a forum.
Oct. 18th, 2007 10:21 pm (UTC)

I definitely would not go looking in a forum called "Knitting Daily" for crochet content, so I agree with you.

HEY -- maybe a knit and crochet forum on livejournal would be kewl. So we can all post pics of our FOs and see how beautiful some of the work in both media are.

Does such a thing exist?
Oct. 18th, 2007 10:53 pm (UTC)
I like that idea! I don't know if there is one.
Oct. 17th, 2007 09:14 pm (UTC)
Quilting has taught me that having multiple projects on the go is an appropriate strategy to foster both my creativity and my productivity. It works the same way for quilting as it does for writing, event planning, housework, and my day job - very often, when I'm stuck on one thing, or not enjoying it, I can move ahead usefully on something else. And very often, either not-working on the stuck project or working on the other project changes the way I think about the first one and leads toward eventual success (pleasure, completion, learning) in the first project. When a new project pops into my head and won't go away, I start it. Being Puritan about not letting myself start new things until I've "earned" it is harmful to the creative risks I want to learn to take.

Knitting has also taught me to be gentle with myself about unfinished projects (as opposed to projects in progress). If I don't want to be working on it right now, I put it away in a box with the instructions and the rest of the yarn. I don't leave it hanging around visible making me feel guilty and less productive on other things. Later it may become clear to me whether or not I want to finish it.
Oct. 17th, 2007 09:21 pm (UTC)
Every time I do a project I go through a period of hating it. Having another project to work on makes that time easier.
Oct. 18th, 2007 01:48 am (UTC)
I think that is why I switch between my cross stitch and knitting projects, to get me over the hump of hating it, or till I can get my head around the part that I am stuck on.
Oct. 17th, 2007 10:29 pm (UTC)
I really like the way you said what I feel. *grin* Knitting is a creative outlet for me, and the idea that I *must* finish one thing before starting another would absolutely stifle that part of me. Work and daily life impinge enough.
Oct. 18th, 2007 09:12 am (UTC)
Besides, it's supposed to be fun.
Oct. 17th, 2007 11:50 pm (UTC)
I haven't been keeping up with Knitting Daily, for no particular reason, so I haven't seen this discussion. But I've seen the term UFO used to mean not just projects you haven't finished yet, but projects where you're stuck. Projects you don't want to finish but can't seem to get rid of. Projects that aren't coming out right. Things like that.

I usually have one big knitting project going but will put it aside to make a hat or some other small thing. Right now I'm working on a sweater, but I've put it aside because I just wore the sweater I finished in July and its sleeves really are too long for comfort, and it requires surgery. After I finish that I think I'm goin to make a scarf just because I feel like it. So I guess I don't have a lot of projects going at once, because I finish the small ones then go back to the main one.

I do have a lot of unfinished cross stitch projects around, including one that I really hate, but it's for my mom so I do want to finish it for her...

I hadn't realized that Knitting Daily had crochet. I also consider crochet to be a separate thing (inferior, too) and don't want to see it there.
Oct. 18th, 2007 12:02 am (UTC)
Yeah, in that case perhaps UFO stands for "Unfinished Frustrating Object".

Enough people screeched about the crochet content in KD that perhaps they decided not to include it after all, because I haven't seen any after the three days that karenkay mentioned.
Oct. 18th, 2007 03:27 am (UTC)

Oh, my. A bonafide out-in-the-open knitting snob.

I am so happy to have found you! Can you please tell me why you think crochet is inferior to knitting?
Oct. 18th, 2007 09:55 pm (UTC)
Okay, I apologize for saying it's inferior.

I think it has sort of an unfinished look, just the stitches themselves. Maybe it's the way they're assymetrical compared to stockingette stitch. I've not seen crocheted garments that looked as professional as knit garments do.

I have crocheted in the past and I think a lot of the amigurumi crocheted toys are appealing. But for garments and projects I'm going to spend a lot of time on, I prefer knitting.

(karenkay outed herself as a knitting snob, too)
Oct. 18th, 2007 10:19 pm (UTC)

Ah! Thank you. Seriously. I have always wondered what it is that bothers folks about crochet.

I love thread crochet. I am working my way up to making garments with it. I have this pattern for a butterfly shawl that is just outrageously beautiful. Not for the feint of heart. But gorgeous, and intricate, and certainly not sloppy or unprofessional.

For yarn crochet, I gotta mostly agree with you. There's a lot of crappy patterns out there that look like a bunch of potholders sewn together. Hideous. But there are starting to be some beautiful patterns for crocheted garments that look smooth and professional.
Oct. 18th, 2007 10:45 pm (UTC)
The icon I used for this post is thread crochet.

Crochet makes beautiful lace garments that don't look at all unprofessional and the lace process with crochet is way easier than knitted lace.

Here is a crochet shawl I did.

Is there a picture of the butterfly shawl online somewhere?
Oct. 24th, 2007 10:57 pm (UTC)
Is there a picture of the butterfly shawl online somewhere?

It's from Noreen Crone-Findlay. And look -- there's even a fatloving picture!


And here's another pic:


She doesn't sell the pattern off her own site, because she sold it to knit1 (heh, knit) magazine for their summer 2006 issue. I bought that issue. :-) Knit1 has it envisioned as a Frida Kahlo shawl, with long long fringe.

Noreen made it for her daughter's wedding, in silk. Which makes me drool.
Oct. 24th, 2007 11:02 pm (UTC)
That's beautiful!
Oct. 18th, 2007 08:49 am (UTC)
Yay for craft poly! I probably have 10 or 12 knitting WIP, 3 quilts, and 3 or 4 sewing projects. I'm trying lace just now, and working on getting two sweaters completed before it's warm again, and working though my basket of leftover sock yarn - I'm gonna have mix and match single socks, which makes my happy!
Oct. 18th, 2007 09:15 am (UTC)
My craft relationships are with knitting, beading, poetry...and then there's the T-shirt quilt, maybe that's more like a "same time next year" relationship.

Yay mismatched socks! The sock design class I took a few weeks ago had some other interesting suggestions for partial balls of sock yarn.
Oct. 18th, 2007 09:07 am (UTC)
Sounds to me as though you're polyknitterous.
Oct. 18th, 2007 09:16 am (UTC)
Perhaps once you're poly-something, it's easier to be poly-other-things.

The same seems to go for being bi. I'm bi-petual (like both cats and dogs), bi-craftual (like both knitting and crochet)...
Oct. 26th, 2007 01:06 am (UTC)
This afternoon I was in the local fabric store with my younger son getting some costume supplies, and at one point he came up to me excitedly saying he had just heard a woman say she had too many UFOs. He was not too pleased when I passed on the definition above.
( 31 comments — Leave a comment )

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