Everyone has them, some people call them WIPs, some people call them UFOs, and some people call them those bloody things with 100 ends to sew in or 1000s of squares to sew together. That’s right.
The Unfinished Project
It might be that bag full of beautiful crochet squares which need to be sewn together, that cardigan that needs one sleeve finishing and it all putting together, or that shawl that just took too long to finish. It’s nothing to be ashamed of – in fact, I think it’s good to have a few projects on the go. It means we can vary what we are working on and never, ever, get bored (As if we ever would!). Sometimes though, WIPping can get serious. Take for example my wonderful mum, she has a baby cardigan (still not finished) that was destined for a child that is now 9 years old and she recently completed a mohair cardigan that was started 30 years ago! I vowed I would never be in that situation but it turns out, I’m not much better and I think there are many other crocheters/knitters out there in the same situation!
So, a couple of days ago I was listening to The Crochet Circle podcast. Fay & Lynne were talking about how many Work In Progresses (WIPs) they have. It got me thinking about my box of unfinished delights and the queue of projects that I have lined up too. I decided to investigate further….
Once I had sat down, trawled through my project/yarn ottoman and assessed the WIP situation, I realised that most of them could probably be finished in no time at all. I thought ‘this would leave me free to start exciting new projects and free up valuable space for more beautiful yarn’ (and with it more projects). Brill I though – let’s get cracking!
So, below I confess to you my deepest, darkest WIPs and share with you my plan to liberate my WIPs and make them into beautiful items that can be enjoyed by more than just the inside of a dark box!
Starting with the oldest then…
The Blanket from the Beginning of Time.
This is a very large Granny Square blanket that was…. wait for it…. my very first crochet project EVER. That means that this has been a WIP for roughly 4 YEARS! When I got it out of it’s bag, from the bottom of the ottoman I thought…. ‘this is actually much bigger than I remember & probably only needs another 8 rounds or so to make it the perfect snuggly companion’. Despite its ancient status, I think this one will be relatively quick to finish & should be finished in time for those cold winter nights that are drawing in so quickly!
2.) The Moss-Stitch Snood
I don’t even know when I started this but I have a sneaky suspicion that it might have been in my second year of university (3 years ago). I was really surprised to find a knitted item amongst my WIPs as usually I am a crochet gal, but there you go. When I opened the bag I was greeted by 2 more balls of the wool (fab, I hadn’t lost them!), the snood itself – with no dropped stitches (miracle!), and a snapped needle (not so great…). I couldn’t get over how colourful and exciting the yarn was and couldn’t understand why I never finished it. I definitely think it would bring a smile to my face on every dreary winter Monday as I put it on! For this reason I plan to finish this after the blanket and use it as a project by which to develop my knitting skills – which I can only assume was the original intention of starting this project anyway.
3. The Drives-Me-Loopy Lace Shawl
Now I started this one in February this year so it isn’t too old but oh my, it doesn’t half drive me loopy!! I had never worked with lace weight yarn before, or a hook so tiny (2mm), so I was treading new territory. It wasn’t hard: the stitches were simple and the pattern was well written but Jesus, the stitches were so small and in such a dark colour that I couldn’t see the bloody thing! I decided I could only work on this in daylight hours when the sun was out and as we live in a country where days with bright sunshine are few and far between, this became a forgotten WIP pretty quickly! I promise, with all of my followers as witness, that I WILL finish this project because it is so beautiful, wonderfully delicate and I know when I finally finish it & drape it round my shoulders I will beam with pride. However, I do fear that this might be one that takes a rather long time!
4. The Hexagon Blanket/Rug
This one was started on a Holiday to Majorca in May. The hexagons were made separately and therefore were something quick and easy that I could work on by the pool without having to think too much. As usual I finished all the hexagons and edged them with white but when it came to sewing them all together, and all those bloody ends to sew in, I lost motivation VERY quickly and it became another victim of the project ottoman, buried deep and forgotten about! After uncovering this project I started working on it immediately and I actually finished it the very same night. When I had set my mind to it, it actually didn’t take too long and the pride of finishing it was so liberating!! I must admit, what was intended as a blanket actually feels more like a rug… but I have finished it, and no matter what it becomes – I’m really happy with the outcome!
Now, I also found half a baby shoe & what I can only assume was the very beginning of a corner to corner blanket. I decided to unravel these and save the yarn for some exciting future projects because sometimes not finishing a project, and unravelling it, is just as liberating as finishing it!
Over the next few weeks I will be working on these projects and finally turning them into the beautiful makes that they deserve to be! As I finish each one I will post a picture of the item and how it felt to finally finish things that have been lurking at the back of my creative mind for years.
So, those are just a handful of my WIPs! I have excluded some things that I am working on, but as those are pattens in the making I don’t want to give away too much. Rest assured though, finishing the items above will give me buckets more time to develop my patterns and (hopefully) give you some wonderful ideas of things to make!
I hope that I have inspired you to delve into the darkest corners of your yarn stash/project cupboard and liberate some of those items that are destined to become beautiful things – I bet it wouldn’t even take you that long to finish!
Why don’t you share with me some of your oldest WIPs? What have you had buried in your project bag, half forgotten for maybe decades? Share it on Twitter & tag @cherryfloss, or comment below!
As always, Happy Stitching!
Cherry Floss X