UFOs and a Scary Stash

        One night, when I was in my early twenties, I got in my bed in my family's old Victorian house and cracked open a book about aliens.  The author and publisher of this glossy paperback claimed that its contents constituted a nonfiction account.  This volume didn't present the habits and lifestyles of little green men, though.  Rather, it was about little gray creatures, nocturnal visitors to the bedrooms of unwitting human victims.  Those preyed upon individuals found themselves disoriented, in twilight states, as they underwent invasive and painful medical procedures.  

      As a person who, in present times, occasionally suffers from nightmares that require me to rouse my husband in the wee hours of the morning so that he can provide me with grudgingly given solace, I can attest that I was no different when I was younger.  Horror movies and scary books didn't sit well with me. I couldn't bear to finish that alien book (with a title that, probably due to the effects of post-traumatic stress, I can't recall) and had to remove it from my sight.  I had a similar experience in my late teens when I'd gotten in bed on a cold, windy night to read Stephen King's novel The Shining.  I was accompanied by my family dog, a Labradoodle who, that particular time, was splayed on the bed on a quilt but who sat up with ears perked (as much as was possible with long floppy flaps) and growled every few minutes when a mysterious bang reverberated outside.  (I think a loose shutter was hitting against the house.) Needless to say The Shining remains on my unfinished list (and I've never sat through more than a few minutes of the movie when I've come across it channel surfing).  

     At present, the agitation and anxiety I am experiencing is akin to those feelings elicited by my girlish nocturnal reading.  My once relatively peaceful (and, as yet, never-subject-to-invasion-by-strangers bedroom) is under siege--not by little gray men wielding medical apparatuses or resurrected dead pets on a rampage--but by Unfinished Objects (UFOs)  and by ready-to-cast-on projects--carefully placed in bags.  I wake each morning and look at this bonanza and am frozen with guilt and indecision. 

I am so pleased that I used one skein of two of striped Liberty Wool Light that I've had  in my possession for a year or two.  This hat was a quick project and perfect for the ice storm that headed my way on the day I finished it.  

This Eyelet Swirl hat pattern is available for free from Classic Elite yarns.  


I used yarn I'd purchased last October to make these Van Dyke socks almost in time for Valentine's Day.  


       The cotton worsted weight newborn sweater is awaiting seaming, but I know that the end result will be unpleasing--a lighter yarn would be more in proportion for wear by a tiny infant. The one-foot-knitted-so-far shawl made with lace-weight variegated yarn and cast on on a train in Italy in 2011 hints at a gorgeous finished project.  But the work is so slow moving that, after plying my needles  for an hour or more and making progress on maybe three-quarters of an inch, I am disheartened and unmotivated to pick it up again for months at a time.  The skein of sparkly, expensive Blue Heron yarn would make a stunning evening shawl--if only I could decide on a suitable pattern.  The wound ball of merino and cashmere lace-weight yarn bought in London in 2013 is waiting to use in a gossamer project that I am certain will move towards completion at a speed equal to that of a passive aggressive student when I ask him to move across the room to return to his seat.  I also have enough purple worsted  for a sweater, green DK merin0 for a sweater, etc. Two yarn shops have closed in my area (the owners retired) in the last six months, so buying in bulk was difficult to resist.

     There is also the soft Folio yarn for the Modular Lace Blouse in The Unofficial Downton Abbey Knits 2014.  I'm almost done with the back panel and plan to work solely on this project for a while--after I finish up the Tracery Vest. I've been picking up stitches to add the final ribbing.  

This will be the back panel of the Modular Lace Blouse.  

After dragging out my sewing machine, I attacked my sewing UFOs.  This is a quilt made with Downton Abbey inspired fabric.  Now on to the bathrobe, underwear, 19th century pants for a costume that await.  There's also that little girl's dress from a vintage 1950's pattern awaiting buttonholes and its matching coat that needs seaming.  

        This above list is by no means conclusive.  As I type I think about a couple of other sweater projects ready to go. With the onset of my annual yarn fast, though, I have until Easter to make a dent in my stash.  How many sweaters and shawls can be knit in slightly less than 40 days? Whatever the end result of my yarn shopping moratorium, I am not going to be cowed by my exploding stash.  With a little organization--involving squirreling stuff away in bins and boxes--I can go to bed each night and rest easy.  I don't have to face the UFO invasion head on--rather it can be slyly outwitted.   

    Of course, I only have one UFO in a summer yarn (a lacy T-shirt crafted with silk fiber), so when that's completed all of the lightweight garments perfect for balmy weather that beckon from the spring knitting  magazines that have been filling my mailbox might make yarn shopping a temptation too enticing to resist.  Of course, my silky T probably won't be finished until next year's snow is falling. . . .

School was closed for two days due to an ice storm--perfect time for working on UFOs and busting my stash.  


  1. Don't know how I missed your post last week but this resonates big time with me on both the reading material and UFO fronts! I can't read or watch any horror type material and go out of my way to avoid it - gives me nightmares for weeks on end! I have been trying to finish up a few projects too - don't know why I leave them when they are within sight of the finishing line always but clearly my mojo gives out at the critical moment! The only good part about that is that when I do get round to finishing them, there isn't much work to put in to achieve a finished object! Love the things you've finished off in this post - hope they encourage you on the things that remain! E xx


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