Sidetracked from a UFO

Do you have UFOs in your house? I sure do! I remember the first time I heard a crafter exclaim about all the UFOs in her house. I thought, “Oh no. She’s seeing things.” She laughed as she explained that it stands for UnFinished Objects. You know, all those art and craft projects you started but never completed? Well, it took my friend, Robin, coming over and asking about crochet stitches to renew my interest in one of my UFOs. As I admired the squares that she planned to stitch together into an afghan, I wondered if I should attempt the stashed away project again.DSC_9712 3

Crochet is a love of mine and after making afghans for each of our three sons I wanted to make one for our living room. It’s a big project to take on for yourself and seems much more fun to make them for someone else. But six years ago when our son, Jeremy, signed up for the Marines and left for boot camp within a month, I needed something to do. This mama’s heart was in shock! And I don’t know about you, but the act of creating helps to not only get my mind off of things but also to bring healing. After choosing a pattern and a color, I became a mad crocheting whirlwind! Square after square piled up. The progress was quite exciting! But I guess I overdid.DSC_9713 3

The project was doomed to become a UFO. Maybe I should have taken more breaks, even though I found working on it so therapeutic. Not so for my wrist and arm. Pain radiated all the way to my elbow. I remember one of my sons saying, “Wait. Isn’t crochet something old ladies do? And you injured yourself crocheting?!” Yeah, I got a lot of sympathy. I tried taking a break and letting my arm heal, but each time I attempted a square, the pain came right back. Out of the 48 squares needed for the afghan I had completed 38. How could I stop now?! But sadly, I stacked them neatly into a plastic bin and hid them in a storage area. DSC_9704 3

Robin’s project renewed my interest in the painful UFO. During those years, I had found a way to crochet. I wasn’t the only “old lady” that had pain from the repetitive motion. I tried several ergonomic hooks from the craft stores. And even some wrist braces. Finally, I found the perfect solution online – the Eleggant Hook set. DSC_9725 2

This wooden “egg” handle kept me from clutching so tightly and it really eased the pain! Using this system, along with a wrist brace and taking it more slowly allowed me to make several doilies. Unfortunately, the egg came with only 6 sizes of hooks. Often, I needed other sizes. My sweet hubby came to the rescue! He took my thread crochet hooks into the garage and loped them off until they were just the right size for the egg. I went along crocheting happily until Robin came over. Suddenly, I really wanted to conquer that afghan! Would I have the right size hook and would it fit the egg? Of course not! Matt to the rescue…again!DSC_9721 2

That guy really is my knight in shining armor! He, again, disappeared into the garage with my crochet hooks and came out with a beautiful solution. These cherry wood blocks actually feel better in my hand than the egg does! The hook is force fitted into the block, so he will have to make a new one for each size hook. And in case you are wondering why there are two hooks and some new colors of yarn, well, now we are to the sidetracked part.

Over the weekend, I was blessed to spend time with my sweet granddaughters. As they took a nap, I worked on another square of the UFO. When Beth, who is almost 4 years old, woke up and found me crocheting, she asked if she could have a square for her doll baby. The square wasn’t completed and I thought it would be fun to make something just for her and in a color she would pick. Immediately she exclaimed, “pink!” then added, “and purple!” DSC_9718 2

I truly intended to make her just a couple squares in the same generic yarn I was using except in pink and purple. But all the yarns in the store beckoned me to see and feel. Before I knew it, I was in the area of yarn for baby projects. Oh, the softness! I couldn’t resist, even though the yarn is thinner and makes smaller squares….and required yet another block to be made in the garage. DSC_9720 2

So, I am sidetracked yet again from the afghan. I wonder will it always be a UFO? It’s sort of like me…not quite finished, not put all the way together, some texture and color, but no edging. Thankfully, I know that God doesn’t just stash me away somewhere. He keeps working on me; adding color, crafting texture and edging artfully. I’m a UFO that will be finished! In the meantime, I will keep plugging away at the projects set before me. Do you have UFOs in your house?DSC_9722 2

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11 thoughts on “Sidetracked from a UFO

  1. Pingback: Completed Things | Joyful Wonder

  2. Hon, this is such a wonderful post, and yes – I too have many UFO’s… never heard that term before; thanks for a new one! I look forward to your finished work here on a later post one day! Hugs, HL

  3. When my kids were in school, several ladies from my church met monthly for a UFO group. We met at each others’ homes, brought our current UFO craft project and lunch. It was so fun and inspiring to see what everyone was working on and that time of fellowship just couldn’t be beat!

  4. I not only have 4 knitting projects going right now and 3-4 spinning projects, but I haven’t finished laying the floor in the laundry room! I finally blocked a knitting project yesterday after it sat unworn for 2….maybe 3 YEARS! Shame! Oh well, I plan to wear it tonight….finally!!! I love that your granddaughter wanted a baby blanket…..can’t wait to knit some little something’s! AND I love the deep red color for you squares! So cheery!

  5. Another wonderful post. You are so much like your father. He has so many UFO’s around here, but he’s finished a lot of things, also. And so have you! I feel sure you’ll get this UFO finished and the one your granddaughter would love. Those who don’t have UFO’s in their house, just may not have tried as many projects as you and your dad has.

  6. Love this Janine! So glad I have such a talented neighbor and friend that could help me out with my crochet project. To know that it was an impetus for you to find your UFO and then take on another project for Beth makes me smile. Can’t wait to see both those finished projects! I’m sure there are many of us with UFO’s, too! I have to admit I experienced some arm and hand pain completing my latest project….thankfully my boys were not aware of it to give me a hard time 🙂 Finally, loved the “unfinished” analogy, and thank goodness God doesn’t stow us away!

    • Thanks for reminding me of my UFO, Robin! It’s fun to have a neighbor that enjoys crochet too. I wish it wasn’t making your arm hurt too. Definitely come over and see the “egg”.

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