Thursday, January 19, 2006

the USOs

In the Greater World of Knitting (and crafts in general, I suppose), the abbreviation UFO has non-standard meaning: Un-Finished Object. All knitters are faced with dreadful UFOs from time to time, and many serious knitters juggle several UFOs simultaneously.

The problem with UFOs, you see, is that once they've earned themselves a place in that category, rarely do they ever escape it. You'll note a rueful tone of voice when a knitter mentions her UFOs. There's regret and embarrassment, sometimes a kind of wistful nostalgia for the enthusiasm that accompanied the start of the project, but discussion of UFOs is more akin to the confession of sins than anything else. Yes, it feels good to admit that we've screwed up, and doesn't misery love company, especially over something, in the end, as inconsequential as shared projects-off-the-rails guilt?

For some, just admitting that the UFO exists provides enough impetus to get started on it again.

Which brings me, finally, to the purpose of this post: not taking up UFOs, but finally getting off my butt to do the USOs: the Un-Started Objects. These are not projects that are mere wisps of daydreams -- these are projects for which I have purchased all the supplies and materials, and yet I still haven't done a single bit of work on them.

Starting with the longest pending to most recent, here they are:

1. DS2's baby quilt.
DD's baby quilt, unfolded 4'x4'

I made baby quilts for his big brother and sister, and when I was pregnant with him, I bought the fabric and the batting to make his quilt. (It's in my closet.) Then I had pre-term labor and was put on "restricted activity": lie down as much as possible. It's impossible to use a sewing machine when lying down, you know. When he was finally born -- five years ago, I had the usual infant-in-the-house stuff to deal with, and then when he was older and you'd think I'd have more time, my medical nightmares started up. He wasn't entirely deprived; his auntie made him a beautiful baby quilt. But it's not the same as one made-by-Mom. I owe it to him. Expected time to complete the project: about 10-12 hours, can usually be done if focussed over 2 days. This isn't the kind of thing that you leave lying around.

2. DD's cushions. A year and a half ago, I did major work refinishing our old bedroom furniture for her use. One of the things I did was take the legs off our old nightstands and put them on casters, and fit the tops with moldings to hold a cushion, so they became movable seats/footrests. I've got the foam, batting, and fabric, (they're all in the closet), but what I'm lacking entirely is the experience. I have the feeling once I get into it, it won't be that bad, but there's a steep curve to climb before I start. Expected time to complete: I have no idea! Probably 3 or 4 hours, but that uncertainty is one of the big factors holding me back.

3. Back in August, I thought it would be cool to make myself a new sweater/coat. I decided on this one:
Fall 2005, Vogue Knitting

I bought the yarn. I have the needles. The yarn sat around in the living room for a couple of months, then I moved it upstairs to my closet. It's still in my closet. Time to complete: irrelevant, really, as it would be knitting-while-TV-watching. It would work up fast, though, so probably about a month.

4. In September, my nephew became a father. When his big sister, the first of my mom's grandchildren, was born, I started the tradition of making each baby in the family a teddy bear.
DS2's baby bear, about 6" tall

When I heard there was a baby on the way, I started a bear for the new baby -- and then realized I had never made one for DS2. (I finally made DS1 and DD their bears after DS2 was born. Pathetic, I know.) Of course, DS2 loved the little bear and wanted it for his own, and he did have a prior claim, so I gave it to him. That left me without enough fake fur to make another bear. Then the whole going-to-Houston-for-surgery stuff surfaced, and I got distracted. I did, finally, at some point buy some more fur. It's upstairs... in the closet. Time to complete: about 4 hours, start to finish -- the kind of thing I have easily done on a single weekend day.

I should work on these projects. I will work on these projects, eventually. The question is, which one should I do first? DD's cushions, she could use the seats at her new desk -- but of course this holds the least appeal for me! The one I want to do? The sweater coat, of course. But my arthritis is kicking up so maybe knitting would just hurt.

Here's hoping that this incents me to actually do something about these USOs. Because what I really, really want to do is start a new counted cross-stitch, but I refuse to even look at materials for that until I've cleared the decks!
"Map of Discovery", approx 22"x15"
My last counted cross-stitch project
It only took me 6 years...


cmzaha said...

I am trying to find a copy of the cross stitch chart Map of Discovery. I wanted to finish my cross stitch after about 8 yrs and found a section torn from my chart. I need the lower section with the mermaid. I am down to the outlining and would like to finish.

Kathy said...

I'm sorry I don't still have the chart. It took me two years (1992-1994) to stitch my Map of Discovery. I got it for the 500th anniversary of Columbus's voyage. It is the most beautiful project I've ever done and I treasure looking at it every day. I bought a beautiful gold frame that was perfect for it.

Kathy said...

You might be able to get the chart from this company in England. Got to their linke: