My crafting walk of shame - how many ufos are enough?

in needleworkmonday •  2 years ago  (edited)

This #needleworkmonday I will not spoil you with beautiful photos of finished sweaters or humorous explanations of knitting stitches – no today is my day of shame:

I am the queen of unfinished objects (and maybe I watched to much GOT)

Not only do I really dislike knitting or crochet for other people, I also do not like to correct mistakes in my own projects. I simply want the pleasure of a fast, easy, and wearable garment. If I encounter mistakes at a later stage of the project I often simply put the item in a box and let it sleep forever. And I likewise hate to do the same thing twice, which makes socks impossible and a seamed bottom up sweater very difficult for me. My beloved top-down construction often waits for the second sleeve or the second button-band.

I think I am a super selfish crafter and I must confess (while writing this I am prepared to shave my hair…if you do not know why – watch Game of thrones)

Here are all some of my unfinished projects


Last autumn I started this great cardigan pattern (Ramona cardigan from Elizabeth Smith) with my hand dyed dragon breath wool. I went through in a rush. I thought I am so clever and made the button-band and the neckline before I started the last sleeve, which then, so I thought, would be a pleasure to knit… yeah, I am still waiting for the pleasure to hit me.

Do you remember this soft pink cardigan? I wrote about the mistake I made with the neckline. I corrected it only to notice, that the sleeves will be very small too. Guess what: I haven’t done anything on this cardigan. Half the button-band is still missing, and I must sew the sleeves. The pink striped sweater has a similar problem, I am unsure how to achieve puff-sleeves which then narrow down. I tried and frogged two times, now it wanders into a box.

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And then there are the presents: a lovely knitted shirt for my mother, where I for the first time tried out to knit lace (back is finished, front is halfway finished) Or the crochet shirt which awaits its sleeves (I know… sleeves again) and the crochet cardigan completely without sleeves, because I want to publish the pattern and found a mistake…

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Now you will ask ‘why doesn’t she finish these shawls? There are now mistakes, and nothing has to be made double?’ And here you are wrong. The grey and pink shawl was my first Tunisian crochet project and it is meant to be like a faux plaid. I only finished one part, but there are many more to crochet and afterwards to be sewn together. I still love the wool (so soft and squishy) and I also love the colour (naturally, it’s pink), but the prospect to make this thing multiple times – gag 😱 Perhaps I will start another attempt around October next year, or the year afterwards.

The light blue shawl on the other hand suffers from a different illness: I forgot which hook I used and I do not want to guess or make another tension square. Besides I am sure I have taken a photo with the hook on it, but I cannot find it anymore…

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Now you have gotten a deep insight into my rotten core. My crafting heart is bleeding and I must repent. I will await your punishment ….

Happy #needleworkmonday to you all....


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So many beautiful pictures... I know from experience how haunting an unfinished project might be. There it lies, on the shelf, this faulty drawing, serving me some guilt trips... You know, I had a rough moment couple of weeks ago. I was very very frustrated with how I organize myself and how I'm always working without having anything done really. I've changed my modus operandi a bit and decided to FINISH what I started, and do one thing at a time. Works really good for me, but it's not easy to stick to this strategy. The minute I get bored and frustrated, or unsure what to do next while I'm sitting on a task/project/artwork etc. I tend to abandon it and I had some hard time changing this habit. But I'm getting used to it, so there is hope haha!
As always I adore your sense of humour and I'm very glad that those unfinished goodies could be used as a fantastic content for this heart-warming post.

This sounds like a major change and I this is always hard. I do not know if you work as a freelancer but if you do (like me) I think one of the most difficult tasks is the self-organization. To find a balance between discipline and being content without having tackled everything. I very often feel like I did not do enough, because there is no one I can compare myself with, I only have the (sometime unrealistic) goals I set myself. So, I understand your wish to finish something, to have a product in your hands - but while painting, filming etc. I seldom work on more than one project. Often these projects are not doable in one sitting (especially with filming which sometimes take half a year to be concluded), but I normally do not start something else.
As you read, this is completely different with knitting or crochet. Although I wrote of shame and repentance, in reality I am a shameless wool and new project addict 😁😁 (if not, there would not be so many projects) Only my wish to wear the sweaters is driving me to finish them ... if not for this drive, I probably would star daily a new project...
I so hope your new technique works and you are fine (if you anytime want support or simply whine together you can write me on steemit chat or discord😊 )
big hugs to you

It took me this long to respond because I didn't know what to say @neumannsalva... To me the question is whether you really want to finish those unfinished projects or not... perhaps you were put off and it's always good to just keep going forward.
So, what would you like to do ? unravel ? The number of times I've added bits of knitting to garments that were too tight ... but it's really to do with the pursuit of perfection... Do you want them to be perfect ? You know (deep inside) what to do... If not, join us in the dark side and knit/crochet rows to add missing centimetres... often it doesn't even show...

I think you found the point... it is not always so clear (to me) if I want or am able finish the projects. Although the post may suggest that I am a perfectionist - which I absolutely am in some parts of my life - in knitting and crochet I am not (so much). But with the projects in my post there are many things which come together, which I not all mentioned. For example: since half of a year, my fingers hurt very fast, if I crochet. That is a reason I started to knit more and why I am not so motivated (besides the mistakes, the forgotten hook size and the second sleeves) to finish the crochet projects. I hope this will get better eventually.
But I made the bigger mistakes in the knitted items. Unfortunately, I am a Jedi not so accomplished in knitting, so that I have currently no idea how to follow you on the dark side neatly correct the too small sleeves in the pink sweater and the vastly different tension in the striped grey / lilac cardigan (besides this striped cardigan has additional problems, I think it will be too short and the cotton yarn is not very nice to work with)
So, some of these projects must wait till I find a solution (or unravel them). Hopefully I find a solution, because I think I would love the finished items (if they fit).
Nevertheless, I want to join you on the dark side :-DDDD

Oh, yes @neumannsalva... and we've got cookies...

Two things really... As I say I adlib a lot, so for some of the projects I pick up stitches / crochet to lengthen often making a 'design feature of it'. The other possibility is cutting the knitting to widen, say, where the sleeve needs to go as long as you 'reinforce' before cutting you will be fine...
If the yarn's not so nice to work with .... that's tricky, because does that mean it's not nice to wear ?
I personally had to almost relearn crocheting because of tingling in my hand. I have to hold the crochet differently (and use plastic often too) to avoid issues, but I can totally understand you and not judge you 😆

Hi @neumannsalva, I just stopped back to let you know your post was one of my favourite reads and I included it in my Fiber Ramble. You can read what I wrote about your post here.

Join us on Mondays for Coffee Hour at 3pm EDT in the Steemit Fiberartists on Discord.

Thank you so much! I love to be featured by you and I am feeling very honoured. And I so want to join on discord, but I am not totally sure how this works. I already read one of your post, but I am still not sure, if I must register somehow.
Besides I will be with my family, because its Easter Monday - so I have to try it the next Monday (I cannot post and comment on Monday too - I am really sorry)

When you come in to the discord don't worry. I'll keep an eye out for your user name the Monday after next, or when you come, and I'll help you through. It's easy.

Thank you so much - I would totally appreciate this. I hope you had a relaxing weekend (and if you celebrate it a lovely eastern). <3

These look to me like the start of the pieces of an exhibition, each one telling a story. I was taken with the one-sleeved amber piece - what story has that to tell? It could be a feminist exhibition - representing the shame heaped on women when they are themselves; or a artistic exhibition - looking at the creative process; or a social exhibition - commenting on life, unfinished business intertwined with creating new things ... or all of them.

Yes, let's do this (together? I hope you also have some unfinished projects) I would never have thought about these unfinished pieces in a context of feminism or sociology. I love it. I very faintly remember an artist who works with sewing, knitting, and baking (yeast bread) ... but I absolutely cannot remember her name (or google it). But I see us all performing with the handcrafted objects and the arising associations. 💕💕

Ah, performance and installation art ... perhaps we could get a grant? 😊

Oh sweet deary, so many beautiful yarns and started projects!! Oh how I would love to see each of these beautiful pieces you’ve started finished...but of course it’s easy for me to say because I’m not the one working on them.

I wish I had words of motivation but I run into the same dilemma...I tend to have a few UFO’s laying around at time. I can relate about the hook thing. Sometimes I forget which hook I worked with and trying to guess is a pain!!!! Most of the time I won’t have a picture of it with the project. What to do what to do? Definitely don’t shave your head as a solution. Have you tried looking at a pattern that will help you achieve the puff sleeve? That is going to be sooo cute!!

From the looks and sounds of it, fixing a mistake in knitting is much harder than in crochet. I’m rooting for you!! I hope one UFO at a time you will revisit (when you’re ready and after you’ve had your coffee) and tackle the issue at hand. Warm hugs for you!! 🤗🤗🤗

I think hugs are the best motivator (for me) ....and coffee 😄. The puff-sleeve project will be the next in line and you are right researching for a pattern might help. And because of all the nice comments I yesterday proceeded with my mother’s shirt (but it is sooooo slow, I am working with two thin yarns hold together and it's splits a lot)
The rest will have to hibernate 💤💤
And the hook guessing... ahhh, still no solution ... but be reassured, I am much too cowardly to shave my hair (I did it once, when I was so much younger, but now I no longer dare)
Hugs und sunbeams to you 🌞🌞

Great I’m glad my hugs could help :D Cool, I hope you find a pattern that’s suitable! Oh no, it splits? I hope you can manage to continue on without it splitting too much.

Whewww that’s good to know about the hair shaving! 😄 You had me nervous.

Thanks for the sunbeams!!!!

Haha, you need to make knit tank tops...I mean, look at all the yarn!!!
Or maybe just sew all the unfinished projects together and make a crazy quilt style afghan? That would be interesting...

Orrr, put fabric sleeves on those cardigans, and lace fabric to finish the pretty lace sweater...there are no suffer or cut your hair off rules here ;)

Great ideas @elew!! 👍🏽

☺ I don't believe in shame...if the box doesn't fit? Step out of it ;)

I pretend that the boxes are little sleeping places for the projects 😆 and I did not admit it in the post (it would have destroyed the drama...) I normally finish all these projects, they just need time. If not, they wander on the frogging pile.
But your afghan idea is very tempting.... If I than wear this Frankencardigan-afghan I will perhaps become very infamous very fast :-D

Lol. This is awesome.

Thank you and happy you liked it.

My gosh, I totally relate to this . I dislike amendment, I feel like its the worst kind of punishment . If I was given a dress and I need to adjust it before I put it on then have a nice life dress . Then one day my mom asked me a question. What if someone threatens to take away one person you love if you don't finish up your work, if you don't amend a piece of clothing like taking the person away for ever? That motivated me , a healthy dose of scare is what I needed lol!

I see a blog post: 'the amendment of hell' 😆 Amendments are really like my 'second sleeve' problem: inwardly we think the project is finished, but in reality, there are many more small steps to do, before it is finished. I hope all your beloved persons are still in your life and not devoured by amendments 😱

There's no way I'll let it take my people!!

No. Don't repent! I'd love to see how many of us share your shame. NO...sorry I'm not shaving my head. You just had the guts to show us...GRIN. Thanks for sharing! (BTW: Some nice work in that box though)

Maybe I only need an excuse to cut my hair :-D ...but I am much to cowoardly to shave it (I have done it many years ago, but today....sigh)
And thank you for the praise, I also like this projects, which is one reason, why they are not on the frogging pile. I still hav ehope that they will be finished eventually.

Oh, that pink cardigan... I like it so much, that I really wish you finished it))) Maybe my hopes will come true? I think, it is sometimes difficult for you, so to take and remove your projects in the back burner. But you know what, I believe you'll get it done, but when the time comes. I believe, that it is not necessary to do handmade by force , to irritate you, this work wouldn't be good. Better to postpone and then come back with new strength! I believe in you, my dear!

I am so with you, I also love this pink cardi. But I am still brooding how I can save it from unravelling. Forcing oneself to do something which feels wrong is seldom a good idea, but I really want to finish the shirt for my mother (because it’s a gift) I started yesterday evening on the body... but it is slow going, because of the thin and splitting yarn.
Thank you so much for your encouragement <3

Definitely agree with the post that you should sew it all together and make one big Afghan!
My Pieces of Shame is two big projects that have been sitting for quite a while. One for 25 years, one for seven years. I'm happier working on what I'm working on now, but might go back to them someday!

I already followed this way in the other direction meaning: I started some years ago a afghan, but noticed, that I am not made for such big projects, so I used some of the squares and made a cardigan with them... I forgot if you are on ravelry (if yes, here is the link 😁
But now back to your projects: 25 years ????!!! This is amazing... you must be crazy experienced, if you have unfinished projects this old. I am envious.... I only crochet for about 6 years and started knitting around 2 years ago (I learned it as a child, but hated it)
Now I am curious to see your old projects :-D

When I'm home I'll have to drag them out and take a picture or two. I started a baby blanket cross-stitch when I was in high school, thinking I might have kids someday. I left it at home when I went to college and it's been in a drawer for 25 years! I actually have no idea how much I have left on it to do. So it will be interesting to pull it out and take a look.
Then I started a geocaching cross-stitch about 7 years ago for some friends. But then they moved away and another friend was getting married so I put it off to the side and I never really picked the piece back up.

Yes please, this would be very interesting (for me) I am curious if your taste has changed and if the project could be converted into something different, you might use.

I laughed SO HARD through this....I can relate!! I love the way you wrote it :)

And I likewise hate to do the same thing twice, which makes socks impossible and a seamed bottom up sweater very difficult for me.

I have the exact same attitude toward using patterns! Which is why I have clothing patterns and fabric and zippers and buttons that have been sitting in my chest for years on end. It's also why I do crazy quilting and not established block patterns. I get so bored!!

Now I want to see your "crazy quilting"!!! I have never heard of this. Do you use irregular forms?
And now as you wrote it first... maybe I also have a box with fabric and zippers - but if someone asks me, if this box is mine, I will renounce every connection. 😁

hee hee hee !!!!! you made me laugh. you take your mistakes very seriously. you have very beautiful projects. the lace is wonderful! very beautiful shawl. if you do not like to knit sleeves then do it with a short sleeve or completely without them. I had it so: I changed the idea of the project if it did not work for me

Happy I could make you smile :-D
You are right that short sleeves are an option....but I noticed I seldom wear knitting things with short sleeves, for me they are not so practical (warm wool, but short sleeve). I think I just have to be patient, eventually I will get these projects done

you're right! for woolen things with short sleeves needs a certain climate

This is my favorite needleworkmonday post EVER. I’m giggling before reading the comments. Those projects are never to be finished, because now you’ve DONE something with them.



I love beautiful yarns.

Thank you so much for this kind feedback <3
And you are right I created a philosphical dilemma: the unfinished is finished but not really :-DDD
Oh dear, I did not know that crafting could be so complicated :-DDD

I knew the comments section would be encouraging you to finish, but I know what it’s like to be “over” something.

It’s ok not to finish stuff. It’s ok to only craft for the enjoyment of crafting and not for the finished product.

Hey @neumannsalva, you have so many lovely projects!! And I totally get you too.. Nothing to be ashamed of. I have tons of half completed projects lying around too. But you know what, your projects, even though they are not finished, they are beautiful! Wished I could knit like you. I especially dig the cardigans and all the lovely yarns! It is ok, we can do it. We can finish them. Just a matter of time :)

YEEEESSSS.. thank you so much for your encouragement 😘 and I did go back to two of the projects: I think I found a solution for the puff sleeves of the pink striped pullover and I kicked gently persuaded myself to continue the shirt for my mother.

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