Personally, I do not know a single knitter who doesn't have at least one unfinished project that they have set aside for some reason. I have several myself. Starting projects when your other projects are not complete can lead the knitter to feeling guilty for not completing a previous project, create extra clutter in the home, and even lead a knitter to feel as though they shouldn't continue in a craft they love, since they do not always finish every project they have.
Knitting is a source of great pleasure, relaxation and inspiration for the millions of people who knit. A feeling of guilt or questioning yourself over a recreational activity is silly. While some knitters I have spoken with feel guilty about their UFO's, others do not. I struggle, and I am writing this article for myself as well as any readers. Here are my thoughts on the matter:
Knitting Is For Fun Knitting does have all sorts of wonderful benefits, like producing warm and useful items that are beautiful. The same way someone wouldn't feel bad if they didn't finish a movie that was interrupted, a knitter shouldn't feel bad about a project that was interrupted. Knitting should be enjoyed. Finish the project when you can.
If It Isn't Fun, Don't Do It If you are not enjoying your project, stop and ask yourself what it is about the project you do not enjoy. If the project is too difficult, set it aside until you can get the necessary skill and experience or give it away to someone who enjoys that type of knitting. If it is too simple, save it for a time when you will have other stimulation, such as listening to an audiobook or a gathering with friends.
Don't Be Afraid Of Not Finishing If you find for some reason that you really don't like a particular project because it does not suit your tastes, do not complete the project. You can always recycle the yarn into a different project you do enjoy or give the project to a friend who would like it. Some charity organizations will take UFOs for the group members to complete.
Reward Yourself For Finishing Years ago I read an interview with Priscilla Gibson Roberts in which she told of how she doesn't have UFOs any longer. She told of a time years before that she decided to complete every UFO she had before getting anything new, that it took forever and was miserable. No knitter should feel that way! Personally, I find how I choose to look at completing UFO's really affects whether I finish them. If I think to myself "I have to finish this before I dare buy anything else" I take forever. When I catch myself and think instead" I will feel so good when I finish this, and then I will reward myself by buying that other really awesome project" I work much more quickly.
Do you have any tips for finishing UFO's? Please post them in the Knitting forum!