Knitting Blog

5 Notes You Must Attach to UFOs Before Storing!

Did you make silly mistakes early on in your knitting career that you now regret? I usually put those mistakes behind me, but last week one of them came back to haunt me.

Today is, in fact, World UFO Day. And while it marks a different type of UFO (more ET than Crafts-y), we wanted to celebrate this day in our own way, with a few tips to help prevent your knitting UFOs from becoming unidentifiable fiber-arts objects.

Knitted project cards

Photo via Craftsy member Sheila Zachariae

I shove a lot of UFOs (UnFinished Objects, for you newbie knitters) into the deep dark corners of the closet, but one sweater has been back there for almost ten years — I know. It's shameful. Last week I had an itch to get it out and finish it, but when I pulled it from its hibernation, what I found was very disturbing. Parts of it were unraveled. Yarn had tangled in yarn and wrapped itself around different parts of the sweater, creating massive knots. And what's worse, I had many questions about where to even begin completing the UFO.

This drama shouldn't befall any other knitter. Next time you temporarily stop working on any project — even if you think it's just for a few weeks — attach these notes to your UFO so you can easily pick up right where you left off.

5 notes to attach to your UFO before storing it

How you attach these notes to your project is up to you. Type them up, print them and stick them in a bag with the UFO. Attach handwritten notes. Save the notes in a file on your computer. Craftsy member Sheila Zachariae makes it super easy by offering a free download — the project cards pictured above. No matter how you choose to attach them, you'll find them valuable when you reach back in that dark UFO black hole.

Here are a few notes I wish I'd taken before I stashed my UFO:

1. Where did this pattern come from?

Lucky for me, I remembered that this particular sweater was the Clover Lace Wrap from the Stitch 'n ##### Nation book by Debbie Stoller. However, I have not been so lucky with other UFOs.

If you're using a pattern that you printed from Craftsy, for example, be sure to store the pattern with the UFO. I like to put mine in sheet protectors, just in case.

2. Which yarn did I use?

Why on earth did I throw away the yarn labels?! My UFO's bag was packed with extra yarn, but for some reason I had thrown away all the labels. Did I use the yarn recommended in the book or did I substitute? This information can be invaluable, particularly if you need more yarn to complete the UFO.

3. What size needles did I use to get gauge?

Here's the most embarrassing part of all: Apparently I only had one pair of whatever size needles I used to make the wrap because I had removed the needles from the work. As in, I pulled the stitches right off the needle without even securing the stitches on a holder. The work was unraveled, no needles in sight. Now not only do I have an unraveled sleeve, but I also have no idea what size needles I used to get gauge.

Knitted clover sweater

My abandoned Clover Lace Wrap UFO

4. What size was I knitting?

My body has fluctuated a lot over the past ten years, and I'm not sure the size sweater I was making. I'll be able to measure and figure it out. But, wouldn't it be easier if I had just written that information down and stored it with the UFO?

5. Where did I leave off in the pattern?

I'm seriously lucky to have remembered that this sweater was from the Stitch 'n' ##### book, though I must admit that I thumbed through two different SnB books before I found the matching sweater. It also helped that I used the same color as the sweater in the book, so it was easy to spot.

Make planning, organizing and labeling your knitting projects a breeze with our FREE knitting resources! From printable planning guides to downloadable handmade care tags, completing and taking care of your finished knitting projects just got a whole lot easier!

What's the oldest UFO you have hanging around? How long has it been a UFO?

5 Comments

janet stearn

I have a ufo I bought with my Mother when she visited me in the UK before I had my daughter that is now 33yrs old. I will finish it lol Kept the pattern etc together and it was very expensive,

Reply
gail

Fortunately last fall my knitting group held a challenge….we were all to finish ALL-UFP (UnFinished Projects) before starting new ones in 2015. So my oldest project is from December 2014, prior to the challenge it was 15 years.. I don’t think I know anyone who will best Jane’s 33 years. When I store my UFO I photocopy the pattern, circle the size and annotate my guage, needle size, and row. A very wise knitting coach taught me that in 6th grade, thank you Mrs.Sweet!

Reply
Spalover

all that information is in KnitCompanion an app on my iPad. I can pick up a 10 yr old UFO and be knitting in minutes.

Reply
Mari Adagha

Twenty two years. I had done a gorgeous cabled tennis sweater that I left in finished pieces in a bag. It moved with me everywhere, and went through two divorces. Thankfully, it was packed with extra yarn and with the needles I’d been using stuck in it, but no pattern. The yarn was a cotton blend I’d picked up in Germany, so matching anything close would have been impossible. It was a basic vee neck construction, so I just stitched it together and dropped down two needle sizes to do the 1×1 neck ribbing, same as the wrists. It was a classic style and still fits! So its a nice, if belated edition to my Spring wardrobe!

Reply
Mary Beth

I keep all this information on Ravelry. Admittedly my project notes can sometimes read like blog entries, but I always know why I’ve stopped and what I need to do when I resume.

Reply

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