03 November 2006


Greetings and Salamanders, my loyal readers.

{pause to listen to the echoes and sigh}

UFO. To most people this signifies flying saucers and little green men, or perhaps large gray ones. Unidentified Flying Objects. Everyone knows that (thank you X Files). However, to the quilter, the crocheter, the knitter — any person who makes stuff, really — this acronym has another, more sinister meaning: UnFinished Objects.

Like any good needleworker, I have my share of these things. By comparison, it's a small number of projects, really. They doesn't spill out of storage, threatening to bury unwary family members. Mostly they sit quietly in the corner of this room or that closet, nagging me with their unfinishedness (it's a word now).

The "Angel of Love" cross stitch I started before Mairi was born I don't worry about much. I have no delusions that I will be doing counted cross stitch any time soon. It requires (for me at least) a level of sustained concentration I find utterly incompatible with sharing a house with small children.

I work sporadically on the "Blanket of Snow" afghan that I started when I found out that my friend Amy was engaged, but given that she and Alex have been married ... I think it will be ten years on their next anniversary. In any case, long enough that it feels silly to still be working on the afghan. Besides, I have come to loath motif afghans (for those of you not in the know, that means an afghan make in smaller pieces and then sewn together). Still, it is a beautiful afghan, and I hope to finish it someday.

The motif sampler baby blank suffers from both the aforementioned loathing and the fact that I thought, "Oh, I can just figure out a way to stitch them all together later." Yes, that's right, it's free-form crochet, no pattern anywhere in sight. I pick it up occasionally, lay all the unattached bits out (trying to determine a good arrangement), and then either stuff it back in a bag or, at best, attach one or two motifs to the all-too-small center and then stuff it back in its bag.

Then there's the mosaic afghan I started several years back, working in gray and green and thinking I would give it to my cousin when she graduated from MSU. You work into previous rows to create the pattern and texture, and it's beautiful, but so time consuming! Erin graduated several years ago (four maybe?), but the afghan languishes.

There are others, too. A couple more motif afghans that were in progress when my abhorrence of such things arrived full formed. The tank top from cotton yarn which I loved (both the yarn and the pattern) but which fell prey to my usual inability to work to gauge. And don't ask about the sewing projects, please!

In my own defense, I have finished many projects — at least four or five baby blankets, a poncho, two shawls, and a couple hats in the last, say, five years, and that's just what I can think of immediately. And every time I finish something, I try to then finish a UFO, really I do...

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