UFO's and WIP's

How many WIP's and UFO's do you guys have? How do you decide when a projest goes from a WIP to a UFO?


MMario's picture

I'm an optimist - so a WIP does not become a UFO until

a) I forget what I was making

b) I steal the yarn for the project and make something else of it

c) I deliberately put it away somewhere to be forgotten

As far as how many on the needles?

The car knitting, the living room knitting, the coffee hour knitting, the lunch hour knitting, the "emergency work" knitting, the "emergency" car knitting, the mindless knitting, the bedroom project....

usually between 6 and eight with stash suitable for an impulse project somewheres nearby

MMario - Can anybody tell me what year it is?

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

According to the rules of our house, a Work In Progress is any project that occupies a needle or meets certain exceptions. The exceptions are:

a) The WIP is not on the needles, but all live stitches have been bound off and the project is now awaiting the dreaded finishing touches. We like to knit. No one likes to sew.
b) The WIP is a sweater-type object and was placed on waste yarn and properly packed away for the summer between the first day of Spring Training and the First Pitch of Opening Day. Any failure to put this project back on needles by the final out of the final game of the World Series results in a UFO until the object is placed back on needles.
c) A single finished sock is an Unfinished Object until its mate is at least cast on.

These rules may sound pretty anal, but they evolved after a spate of attempts to rationalize a yarn spree, of course.

So after consulting this really neat little program I have called KnitAble, I see that I currently have ten WIPs (two of which meet exception A, and one of which meets exception B). I also have four UFOs, (only one of which is a result of exception C).

It's curious as to why I even have two of these UFOs, both of which are socks that either went horribly wrong, or just don't fit. Why haven't I frogged them yet? This weekend, after completing one pattern repeat of the "Aran Laptop Cover" from Knitting with Balls, I decided to frog it because the dark-colored Mountain Mohair from Green Mountain Spinnery wasn't doing the cables justice. I just didn't think about it. I ripped it all out, wound it up and put the yarn back in the closet. I got out my next project on the list of things to knit, and went to work. Why do some things get ripped out right then and there while other things spend a year in the closet, gathering dust? Now that krooks has brought this subject up, I'm actually quite interested in hearing about why we collect UFOs. If the object is abandoned, why not wind it up and put it back in the stash and let it steep a little more? What's the point in letting it lay around? Are we afraid we might change our minds, wake up one day and suddenly think, You know, I kind of like how I accidently made the left arm hole two inches lower than the right. It gives me kind of a jaunty look... What purpose do UFOs serve?

And by the way, one of those WIPs is an afghan I haven't touched in three years, but one of the panels is still resting on my 10" #8. I only mention this because it just doesn't seem honest to call it a WIP and not a UFO when I seriously can't stand the idea of working on it anymore. It's only a WIP until I need those needles.


Celowin's picture

I'm very goal driven. Once I start something, I have a tendency to go right through it and not get sidetracked (at least not by other knitting).

That being said, I have one WIP. I have one other which is sort of borderline between a WIP and an UFO... I haven't significantly worked on it in a couple of months, and I can't decide whether I want to go back to it or not. It was rather boring, and while as a whole it looks good, there are parts that I'm really not happy with.

kylewilliam's picture

I guess I'd call a WIP anything that I have worked on recently, and the UFO's would be anything that I think about and just don't WANT to finish - I have 2 UFO's - which might be ripped out sometime soon, with 9 WIP's - while I may not be "goal oriented" I am easily distracted and quickly talk myself into starting other projects even though I could do a little more work on something I already have started, and get it finished.... the joy, for me, lies also in the creating and the process; not just in the finished product. (I must admit, however, that one of my favorite moments is the actual sewing up and "finishing" - everyone can send me their projects that just need sewing up; I actually like that part too).

I keep a list (somewhat) of my projects (WIP and UFO's) on my blog - the only time to be concerned about an excess amount of WIP or UFO's (in my opinion) would be if the majority of the pieces are for yourself... (most of what I make is for other folks)

anyway, there you go - great question :) now that you have me thinking about it, I may RIP out the UFO's and call them RIP's :) haha how clever....

the biggest problem with this many projects is when you don't work on something for a while, sometimes it's hard to find your place in the pattern - I ended up knitting the back of a sweater wrong because I was feeling too confident and didn't study the pattern to figure out where I was before continuing (that and I made the back the wrong size; but we won't go there)

I think it's OK to have a few projects on the burner, but 9 might be a little much.... I think it's time to get to finishin' some of them!




Kerry's picture

I'm with MMario, I have 6 to 8 WIP at most times. I try not to think of anything as unfinishable ;-)

rjcb3's picture

OK, so, I'm on a constant knit and send off stuff -- I do LOTS of charity work and send LOTS of stuff away. So there's ALWAYS WIPs. I don't really count because most of the things that I do are for preemies and even regular sized babies; they're on the needles for a matter of hours and completely cast off and ends sewn in; empty needles ready to be cast on again.

However, I always do have a couple of UFOs floating around -- eventually ending up as a completed piece of work; a sockie waiting for a mate, a half a swatch with a new Aran or cable design waiting to maybe become a square for an afghan or something like that.

Right now, I'm kind of at the turning of a cycle again and have finished three things all at once. Now, all I have on the needles is a baby Aran cardigan. Just finished a preemie Tomten, a pair of adult socks, and a newborn sized sweater/jacket of my own design...basically, it's a very basic hooded sweater/jacket with drop sleeves, but instead of cutting into the fabric, they're knit in...

Oh, Crap! Is he kidding?
My life *is* an WIP & UFO. I'm defined by them.

1st., there's the loom - it's dressed with no place to go and I have at least two projects waiting for me to cut off that warp and re-dress the poor thing. 2nd., I have 1.5 pounds of goat on several bobbins on two spinning wheels, at least 1 bobbin of tussah silk waiting to be topped off, several more bobbins of alpaca/silk waiting to be skeined off - (and folks: we're not even going to get into what's supposed to happen with all that handspun and *when*). 3rd., The knitting Thing. Ah, yes . . . the Knitting: 4 to 8 shawls or stoles in different WIPness, 1 baby sweater (cuff to cuff), 1 mala bag, a beach tanktop (which will p'rolly end up as nesting material for the birds). 4th., about 5 lbs. of wool in and/or around the drum carder (which I WILL get to this summer). And last but not least, the things that got me into all this mess to begin with: THE SPINDLES: 1 pre-Columbian with a cop of perfectly gorgeous silk I scored off an unsuspecting vendor in Alabama, a Tom Forrester Linum with a cop of kid angora, and most of the other 30 +/- spindles have stuff on them in the works as well.

Didja want to know about the flax seedlings, the cotton seedlings, the Indigo seedlings, the Marijua . . . . well, never mind.

~Mike in Tampa
Yahoo Id: stickywarp2001

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