I’ve been catching up a bit on my unfinished knitting projects the last couple of days. Usually I have at least one straightforward one that I can take to my knitting group, as it means that I can have a chat without losing the pattern (this isn’t infallible – during a good bit of gossip at last week’s session I suddenly realised I had knitted 2 thumbholes on my glove – oops!). Then I might also have something I’m making for another person, a more challenging project using a new technique to stretch me a bit, and perhaps one that I started, hadn’t realised how long it was going to take, and have got bored with.
This is such a common trait of knitters that they use the acronym UFO (Un Finished Object) to describe them on forums and the like. It’s particularly bad with things that come in pairs like socks or gloves – once you’ve made one, then doing the second one just never seems as attractive.
I think this seems quite odd to non knitters – surely the point is that you’re making something, so why have all these projects on the go without completing any? However, I think that nowadays, knitting is not as much about creating the end product as it is about the act of creation itself. After all, it’s much cheaper to buy a wool hat/scarf/jumper in the shops than it is to buy the yarn to knit it, so enjoying the process has to be a big part of why we do it. And we like variety as part of that process, so it doesn’t really matter if things don’t get finished as quickly as possible. This is possibly why I enjoy knitting so much – it isn’t target/completion driven, like a lot of other parts of my life, and it reminds me that sometimes it’s all about the journey, not the destination (as was certainly the case with some hideous pink/yellow/green socks with bobbles that I knitted earlier this year. Loved knitting them, wouldn’t be seen dead in them.)
However, every once in a while I do like to have a bit of a finishing blitz, which also allows me a bit of anticipation in planning what will be on the needles next (got my eye on a cotton/alpaca blend for summer).
I love this yarn – the colour makes me think of autumn, all golds and mauves – not at all appropriate for this time of year of course, but it would have been when I originally cast on…hand dyed yarn that I bought at The Woolclip when I was last on holiday in the Lake District. So I’ll have a reminder of a great holiday as well every time I wear these socks. What better incentive to get on and finish them?
This sock’s been lonely since last October, so hopefully by the end of the week it’ll have a friend to keep it company.