We all have them, those UFOs (unfinished objects) that we like to refer to as WIP (work in progress).  Except that they are not, in progress that is.  They are sitting in a box (what did I say about storage boxes) or a “craft bag” (aka black hole of UFOs).  And they are not making any progress at all.

Be honest.  Even though you were really into cross stitch when your eldest was born 25 years ago and made beautiful samplers for every wedding and birth amongst your nearest and dearest, when did you last pick up a piece of aida?  Give it away.  Now.  It is not going to make itself and you are not going to make it either.

I have been culling the UFOs.  I love looking at patchwork and I am immensley impressed by the work that people do but I have to be honest, it’s not really my thing.  I have kept some stunning quilting squares which I used to make bags and totes (so now you all know what I’m giving everyone for Christmas).  But the half finished quilt, which I don’t even particularly like so can’t imagine using even if I did finish it is out.  As are two unused tapestry kits.

On the other hand I do like to knit, I just am better at starting than finishing.  Well until yesterday!  I finally sewed up my granny squares and even the Dancers thought it was beautiful (which really is praise indeed).


This is not a skirt, although I have been wondering whether to try it on.  No, when complete it will be felted to within an inch of its life and then will be lined and will be a rather gorgeous tote.  I have one already.  This is earmarked for a friend.



The rest of the knitting UFOs will be frogged.

So what UFOs do you have lurking in your cupboards and what are you going to do with them?







32 thoughts on “UFO or WIP

  1. Oh dear…. guilty as charged! A needlepoint peacock with about 2 inches left to go (really, cannot throw it out. It’s 3 feet tall by 1.5 wide! All I’ve left is a mere 2 inches…. one day….)
    A “beginner’s quilting kit” unopened, sitting atop my closet shelf (one day, when I have time….)
    I did throw out the knitted sweater I had started for my son, when he was 5 and he’s now 14…

    What can I say, I’M a WIP!!! 😉

  2. UFOs? At one time I had them counted and organized…I started counting them in my head. I refuse to disclose the number on grounds that it might incriminate me of UFO neglect.

    One issue I have is that people know I am a charity knitter, so they gave me bags of yarn to use in my knitting. My policy is to take it all with the understanding if it doesn’t work for the knitting I can dispose of it in any way I wish. So I do have a lot of yarn around. Yes, I have taken those bags of yarn from people clearing out their parents’ home and the projects from my 86 yo neighbor because she can’t see to knit anymore. (In my defense though, I belong to a fiber/weaving/spinning guild and my stash is ‘nuthin’ compared to most of my friends who have ROOMS and STUDIOS devoted to fiber.)

    I have enjoyed going back through your old posts and reading about your minimalism journey.

  3. I think you are perfectly within your rights to have considerably more UFOs than the rest of us:) I remember reading a book by a well know knitter (and blogger I think) who had freezers and wardrobes full of yarn. Her daughter opened the freezer at a friends house and was astonished to find food in it!

    1. Ha! That’s funny! And I wouldn’t be surprised if some of my guild members have similar stashes.
      I do work constantly on knitting down the stash, but it seems to be an never ending battle.
      I also do custom knit projects for people, so I will have to purchase a skein or two of yarn and then I have left over yarn, and the cycle starts over again

  4. I, too, am a knitter, but I’ve justified my “yarn barn” (as my hubs calls the 8-drawer cubby that takes up loads of space in our bedroom) by teaching a knitting elective this semester. So between demonstrating and selling skeins to students, I think I’m allowed several WIPs and UFOs as well as the boatloads of yarn I’ve got. ;p

    M @ http://www.myclosetcatalogue.com

  5. I love this concept of a UFO 🙂

    I too have been culling many of these UFO’s and similar projects.

  6. I managed to knit my way through loads of WIPS/UFOs last year, so all but one of my current projects are no more than a month or two old. However, the one that is older than that is from, erm, July 2011…! I really should crack on with it!! It’s a fairisle jumper, and is very pretty, just time consuming. I am considering ripping it all out and starting again, though, because my fairisle skills have improved since 2011 and it’s a bit puckered in places..hmm!

  7. I confess to having a pullover sweater (what do you call those in British English?) that is missing only one of its arms. I spun the wool, knitted it that far and decided I don’t like the pattern, so there it sits. And now I’ve lost weight and it won’t fit. I can hear TINK TINK in its future.
    Nicola, if the fair aisle is a bit puckered, you can probably smooth that out when you block it.

  8. Oh, now I feel caught out!! I do have rather a lot of WIPs. Occasionally I get radical, as you describe, and unravel, yeah, even wash and rewind the wool – and then it sits there again as Stash… Eventually, I still get rid of it if I decide it’s really not going to work for me. So tempted by our gorgeous, colour-coordinated yarn shops and often, just the idea of something!!
    Sigh, I’m on a permanent mission to finish things and some take a lot longer than others ;o
    (and Willow? I have a beautiful silk-alpaca cardigan that needs no more than half a sleeve and buttons – it’s top-down, so not even any sewing up necessary…!)

  9. One of my new year resolutions is to finish as many WIPs as I can. Ten years ago I promised to finish some of my mums cross stitch WIPs. I recently found them at the back of the cupboard and so far I’ve finished three cathedrals and have another to finish and frame. Needless to say I never want to cross stitch another cathedral in my life, but she is more than pleased to finally have them hanging on her wall.
    Now time to get on with finishing two quilts and my scrapbooks!

  10. Ah scrapbooks. Once, I used to completely up to date with all my photographs. That was back in 2000 when there was little in the way of scrapping stuff in the UK. Then suddenly it all took off at the same time as digital photos and there was too much of everything. I am quite minimalist in my scrapping now. Well done on the cathedrals!

  11. Oh yes, I have a retirement blanket, as I like to call it, that I have been working on for years lol.
    It is amazing how easily those little projects are to forget or put off~

  12. Oh, Gillie. Guilty as charged. I have so many of these unfinished objects, you just wouldn’t believe it. I have antique quilt squares that I love (Granny’s Flower Garden) and piles of fabric and piles of wool and quilts that I have started, and also knitting projects half-done. Thank you for bringing this up. Although I don’t think I can get rid of all these things (not yet), at least I can give it some thought . . .

    1. Don’t get rid of them then, Finish them. I am working my way through my yarn stash by making felted bags either for presents or for sale on Etsy. I have completed two already. They are dead easy, great fun and at last that yarn is being used.

  13. I gave myself permission last summer to get rid of all the unfinished projects and the “maybe someday I’ll want this” supplies. It felt great! Haven’t missed any of the supplies, and getting rid of those projects that felt like silent accusations felt like throwing weight off my life. Highly recommend!

    1. I have scrapbooked for about 15 years. At first, here in the UK there were no suppliers. We had to make do with almost nothing. Then suddenly it took off and there was masses. I have far more scrapping stash than I will ever use in my lifetime yet I scrap less than when I had nothing. So I am going back to nothing. Just a few key tools, some cardstock and paper and a few bits and pieces. When I have so little choice I am so much more productive.

  14. I have a half completed wedding sampler. I started it when we got engaged. I hope to complete it for our silver wedding. (17 years so far).
    And a quilt top I made last summer (2012) but I don’t know how to quilt it, so it’s sitting there mocking me.

    I have a lot of paper stash but no ufos. I do very little scrapping but I tend to finish what I’ve started.

  15. I most;y have unfinished drafts, articles and stories… I am not sure what I should do with them. I hope that, one day, it will be of some huge…Well, maybe!

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