Spring Cleaning, Part II: (Some of) the Unfinished Objects

Over the weekend, one of the #yarnlovechallengeapril prompts was hibernating.  For it, I took a deep breath and pulled out (most of) my hibernating sweaters.  Nine in total.  There are other unfinished objects lurking in my stash … even a few more sweaters … but these are the biggies.  And since I’d already been planning a UFO installment in my spring cleaning posts, now seemed a good time to get on with it!

I of course never begin a project with the idea I won’t finish it.  Many of these were abandoned at different points, when circumstances meant I set a project down, with the intention of picking them back up soon.

Some of these unfinished objects date back to when I was in college and are between nine and ten years old!  Eek!  My guess is I started them on breaks, then didn’t take them back to school … then didn’t finish them when I returned.  Pulling these out was an interesting exercise … some of them were definitely really popular patterns almost a decade ago and reminded me of what’s changed and what’s stayed the same in the knitting world.

Like this Tangled Yoke Cardigan, from Interweave Knits, Fall 2007.  I remember when I started it it seemed like everrrryone was knitting it.  And my mom had a subscription to Interweave! And I can’t remember now the last time I bought an issue — with so many independent pattern writers on Ravelry, and so many ways of encountering patterns, I feel like my relationship with knit magazines has really changed (though I do still try to buy special ones!)

Tangled Yoke in Rowan Felted Tweed

What to do with the body and chunk of the sleeve that I’ve finished?  I’ll have to go back to my paper copy of the pattern (which is currently in box in a storage unit, I think) but I have a feeling I was knitting this in a size that might not fit me anymore …. perhaps to the frog pond with this one? (Though I still wouldn’t mind having that cardigan!)

Or this Liesel cardigan by Ysolda — one of her very early designs, which I think I discovered through my devoted reading of her blog.  I remember being so inspired by her because she seemed to be around my age and was taking these brave steps into knitwear design! This was knit out of Sundara Silky Merino that I got from signing up for Sundara’s Seasons yarn club … back when it was almost impossible to buy a skein of her yarn!

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Liesel in Sundara Aran Silky Merino

Verdict? I think finishing this will take me maybe an afternoon … I have a sleeve and a half on US 10.5 needles in some very simple lace.  I dont’ know how much I’d wear it, but with so little time left to finish it, I think I might as well finish it and see, right?

Speaking of sweaters that are close to being done … how about this cabled pullover by Suvi Simola, from Twist Collective, Fall 2009.  I still remember when Twist Collective first came out … the way you could (and still can!) flip through a magazine online – I thought that was sooo cool!

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Low Tide Ripples in Tosh DK

Disposition: will definitely finish, hopefully before this fall.  I love gray, I love pullovers … no brainer.  And it’s knit out of some nice Madelinetosh, bonus!

The yarn is making me question what I should do with another nearly-ish complete project, Redhook, by Jared Flood, before he had his wonderful yarn line! (Remember his blog? How I loved it! When I started reading, he’d only been knitting two or three years, and he was creating such beautiful things!)

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Redhook in Classic Elite Moorland

The pattern is a nice, longish vest with little cap sleeves and a nice, small shawl collar.  I think it’s a wardrobe piece that I’d still enjoy wearing.  But the yarn is a merino-mohair-alpaca-acryclic mix. I don’t enjoy knitting wtih acrylic and some alpaca at least makes me itch. Verdict: undecided, but leaning toward finishing it.  It’s over halfway done, and since I won’t be wearing it next to the skin, the yarn issues are less pressing.

And the last project in this older than five years bunch, Stasis, also by Brookyln Tweed, knit in Loft:

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Stasis in Brooklyn Tweed Loft

This one’s a no brainer: definitely making.  I’ll rip this out though and start again — you can see where my colorwork was much tighter than the rest of my sleeve.  My lovely friend Kate and I are planning to make yoke sweaters for EYF this year, and she’s kindly suggested this be our pattern!  So will be feeding two birds with one worm with this sweater, woo!  (Thanks Kate!)

I’ve been trying to get better about perserving with projects, mostly because I have a lot of guilt when I don’t!  Even with my best efforts though, in more recent years, some projects have still fallen through the cracks … usually, a move or research trip convinced me to set a sweater down to come back to … and I never get back to it (I think almost all of these were set down early in the spring … and then the summer did not seem the time to return to them!)

The first is Grandpa Cardigan, by Joji Locatelli, which I started apparently in Fall 2014, in Madelinetosh DK Twist in Farmhouse White:

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I’m pretty positive this got left when I went on a research trip, and then I never picked it back up.  I loved the cables, I looooove the yarn. But now I’m not sure about it. It looks sort of small, so I need to get it off the needles to try it on, and decide if I should carry on or frog. I think the yarn would also look lovely in a simple pullover.

The next is a Willard Pullover, by Hannah Fettig, begun in Fall 2015:

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Willard in Istex Lopi

I was going along swimmingly with this sweater, when a combination of gauge issues (despite doing a swatch with plain and colorwork knitting, my gauge got suuuuper loose post yoke) and not realizing the pattern had errata led me to rip back to the yoke.  I kept meaning to get back to it … but then never did.  I had almost decided that my yarn substitution for this was all wrong, and that I should start again with a new pattern, maybe incorporating that amazing orange-y red …. if it could be done without looking like a Christmas sweater! But when I pulled this out on the weekend, I remembered how much I love the yoke.  So maybe I’ll press on.

And last but not least (and probably the one I need most help with), Mezcal by Thea Colman, begun in Spring 2016 and set down when we went to New Zealand last summer, knit in Julie Asselin Leizu DK:

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Mezcal in Leizu DK

I’m in a real pickle about this one.  I ordered the yarn specially for the project, and when I got it it was just … pinker than I thought! I put it up for sale on Ravelry, but then talked myself out of it and cast on.  I have the sleeves done (often the hardest part! they can be so tedious!), but a year later, I’m still not sure if the sweater will end up too pink.  The body is lacy, so it’ll be broken up …. but I just don’t know.  Thoughts?

Do you have big projects waiting to be finished? How do you decide what to do with them?  I’d love to hear your tips (and any thoughts on projects you’d keep and projects you’d frog) in the comments.

And thanks, as always, for reading.  Maybe airing out these projects here will actual help me get some of them finished!  Linking up with Craft On … because goodness knows, with this pile of hibernating knits, I better keep calm and carry on!

Edited to add: Oh, oh, oh! Unbeknownst to be, At Kat Knits has proposed a replacement for Yarnalong … Unraveled Wednesday.  Linking up this week, and next week I’ll do it properly, with a book and all! But, with all this talk of unfinished objects and unraveling, it seemed too good to miss this week! 

37 thoughts on “Spring Cleaning, Part II: (Some of) the Unfinished Objects”

  1. So true how patterns trend and sometimes it seems like everyone is knitting a certain one. I love the yarn on your Tangled Yoke! The cabled pullover is so close to being done and I can definitely see you wearing it a lot. I like the vest too–hopefully the yarn blend won’t be an issue. And I do hope the Grandpa isn’t too small–you’ve done a lot of beautiful work on those cables and it would be a shame to frog it. For the pink one–I hate to say it, but if you’ve been thinking the yarn is too pink since you got it, then I think you will end up never loving the finished product–it will always be too pink for you. I think you should frog the sleeves and focus on something you’re more excited about.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the chance to peek into others’ UFO closets, and your reasons and questions really add to this look back. I don’t have any big UFOs, but that’s mainly because I’m not a sweater knitter. I do have plenty of started and stopped projects of my own, and should make some decisions. It would feel so good to clear some of my “too many knitting projects” guilt!

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  3. Oh my…I’m looking at all your sweaters and thinking of all that knitting time! I only have four projects in my UFO pile, one being a cardigan. They keep getting looked at in between baby making knits and get worked on a little here and there. I love each and every one of your sweaters and can’t wait to see which ones you finish and which ones you frog.

    I personally love the pink yarn and love to wear pink; however if you think it’s too pink for you, I don’t know that I’d continue with the sweater. It is so gorgeous though! Have you thought about using the yarn as maybe an accent color in a shawl? Or do you have any friends / family having a baby girl soon? Or maybe the pink will grow on you as you continue with the lacy part of the pattern?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Paula! I love pink as well … there’s just been something about this shade that everytime I see it, I’m like hmmm …. I just can’t decide what to do with it! I think since I got it last year and I’ve felt that way pretty consistently, I might frog and either put it for sale on Ravelry or do what you say .. use it for some different projects — gifts, accessories, accents … we’ll see! I am going to have one more look at it in good light and decide! Thanks for helping me think through it!!

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  4. Wha a great post! I’m full of admiration for you for putting all of this out here. Lol! Lots of gorgeous work! The thought of frogging that Grandpa Cardigan after all the effort you’ve already put into it makes me sort of queasy, but you definitely don’t want to continue on if it’s no fun. I had no idea there was a new version of the Yarnalong! Thank you for clueing me in!! 🙂

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    1. The funny thing is, I really enjoyed the knitting of the Grandpa Cardigan … I just lost momentum on it. Cables are probably the knitting technique I find the easiest/most intuitive. I need to just give it a good try on and make sure the fit will be okay. It looks small to me, and I definitely don’t want a too small grandpa cardigan!! I was so surprised to find the new “Yarnalong” — and so excited! Hope you have a great weekend 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  5. The Tangled Yoke Cardigan! I still think about making that once or twice a year. I was an Interweave subscriber for 2-3 years back then and still have the magazines – let me know if you end up needing the pattern! 🙂

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  6. So seeing this many unfinished projects almost breaks me out into hives. LOL I’m such a Virgo and so anal about finishing things. I have that one cardigan, Flaum, that I still haven’t frogged because I put so much work into it. For the pink cardigan, just try finishing it because you might love it or might love giving it to someone else. I have that pattern in my favorites and my need to make it for fall in one of my favorite Babs of Madelinetosh colors. But I say hey, if the projects don’t move you, if you don’t love the yarn frog it and move on to something better.

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  7. I did knit the tangled yoke cardi before ravelry days and it is one of my favorite sweaters!! I should re do the button bands since they are a tiny bit wonky but I don’t. I loves seeing all of your unfinished projects 🙂 I rarely have more than four on my needles at any given time!

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  8. Oh my goodness…the days when Interweave had that photostylist that made every sweater a must-have! I remember those days, and when Ysolda came out with Liesl…You’ve got so many lovely sweaters in progress, I want to go out to the stash, pull out all my sweater quantities, and start casting on!

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  9. I needed to see this! I started my first full-size sweater two years ago (made a few baby cardigans, fit isn’t as important!). It seemed like a simple first sweater, but…it’s a bottom-up, which I’ve learned is not ideal. I finished the back, started the front, set it aside, made a mistake which required frogging back to the ribbing, picked it up again, got to the armhole decrease, and just wasn’t loving the pattern or the yarn any more. Then I realized I was missing one skein I’ll need for the sleeves – don’t know if I lost it or just miscounted. Yarn is discontinued (inexpensive yarn for a first sweater). And I’m not loving the yarn any more either. So I’ve set it aside (again…) and have just about decided to frog the whole thing and turn the yarn into (many) hats or scarves or a blanket to be donated. I’ve learned a lot through this whole process!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I recently had to rip out my Tangled Yoke from eight years ago, because moths got into my project. 😦

    Yours looks lovely, and I still want to make one for myself.

    Liked by 1 person

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