What Has Gotten Into Me?

This week, I finished off four — count ’em, four — UFO’s in the stack.  Not only that, I have a good shot at finishing off a fifth.

I’m as shocked as you are.  Probably more so.

Admittedly, none of them was a great deal of work.  (That part is somewhat more shocking, actually.  This project has been sitting there how long and all it needed was that?)

The first two new FO’s were pairs of DH’s socks that needed toe repairs; the third one was a project that shall remain nameless, but it was decided that it really wasn’t, well, sassy — so it has gone into the box o’ stuff to get rid of.

Hey, that counts.  It’s out of my hair, isn’t it?

Item number four was a fixer that I thought would need a belt, or something, and it turned out that really, all it needed was some buttons — which I had already put on it — and a touch of crochet to create some accompanying buttonholes.  I wore it yesterday, in fact, and garnered several compliments around town!

And number five is my trusty old green ski sweater, which over the years seems to have somehow gotten shorter in the sleeves, and now needs about an inch or two added onto them.  Fortunately, it’s a top-down sweater with a simple rolled edge at the cuffs, so this is easily accomplished.  I’m already about halfway there.

The "I will finish off existing projects before casting on new ones" oath is one that almost every knitter swears to at some time or another, and I seem to hear it mentioned a lot these days, what with the New Year’s Resolutions and the state of the economy.

I’m practically ALWAYS on a "new project diet".  Personally, I just find it difficult to cope with the guilt of having too big a pile of knitting projects.

But how big a pile is too big?  Just how many UFO’s can one knitter have?

Well now, that’s rather a personal question.

How many of us started out naively vowing, "I will only have one project going at a time"?  It’s just a short step to project #2, and then I suspect that most really sincere knitters go from single digits to double digits with hardly a blip on the radar — and I was no exception.

Perhaps every long-time knitter has been in this position at least once:  having a number of UFO’s that is just too darned many.  A number so embarrassingly large that it would cause discomfort, if not actual shame, to confess it publicly.  A number you would not dare tell your husband.  (Personally, the thought of triple digits scares the crap out of me.)

A couple of weeks ago, I was at one of the LYS’s and ran into my friend Nancy, who also happens to work there.  Nancy gets way more stuff done than I do, but she faces way more temptation on a regular basis than I do, too:

job at yarn shop + employee discount + being only human = too many UFO’s

Apparently, things had gotten a little out of hand lately, and as a preventive measure she actually wrote down her UFO tally and pinned it to the front of her clothing to remind her NOT to pick up any new projects.  And I about fell over laughing when she referred to it as her "Scarlet Number"!

I sobered up pretty quickly though, because I had recently tallied my own number — and for a minute or two I was a little worried that mine would be higher than Nancy’s.

But it turned out that her Scarlet Number was in the high 30’s — which really isn’t all that bad, given her special circumstances.  For myself, I was feeling embarrassed about 24.  Something about "two dozen" seemed like an awful lot.  My comfort zone seems to be somewhere around "under 20".  Any more than that, and I start to get guilty feelings.  But as of right now, I’m pretty relaxed about what’s in the stack:

  • one bag
  • two scarves / wraps
  • two "second socks" for me (that probably are not ever going to be finished, if truth be told)
  • two pairs of DH socks
  • two socks in the design process
  • the infamous bunny slippers (I really need to order the eyes for them someday)
  • three sweaters that just need finishing work — including the green ski sweater that should be finished this week
  • four sweater projects that are "on deck"

A grand total of 17 UFO’s, with the end of one in plain sight.  That’s really not bad at all!  And actually, the four sweaters at the end there kind of don’t count, according to Nancy’s very clear definitions:  the Scarlet Number only counts projects that are actually on the needles.

So, what’s your Number??

  1 comment for “What Has Gotten Into Me?

  1. Sheryl
    03/06/2009 at 8:46 AM

    If I actually could FIND all the projects, and could count that high, I’m sure I’d end up in therapy!!

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