In Which I Resurrect My Ultimate UFO
There are UFOs and UFOs. Some knitters refer to a project as a UFO if they haven’t touched it for several weeks, or for a few months. I say projects like that are just taking a wee rest. I require more longevity from my UFOs. They should really put some time into it.
I usually have noble intentions of going back to my projects and finishing them. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn’t. But when I dive for treasure in the UFO bag, I tend to select one of the more venerable pieces–chances are I still have vivid memories of why I’m peeved at or bored with the more recent ones, and I don’t want to mess with them. This time, I went way, way back.
Admittedly, this project is not as ancient as the crusty old Roswell aliens and their spacecraft, which some say are under lock and key in Area 51—-they date to 1947. This bit of knitting only dates to the early 1990’s, maybe the late 80’s, but it’s my oldest UFO. I can’t remember exactly when I started it. The pattern originally appeared in the Winter 1987 issue of Knitter’s magazine, and can now be found in Shawls and Scarves: The Best of Knitter’s Magazine.
Doesn’t look much like one now, but it’s quite a large lace shawl. Whenever it was that I started it, I knit the first part of the edging and stopped. Never started on the middle. I rolled up the strip of edging and tucked into the base of its cone of alpaca, and it’s been there ever since.
The shawl has been bugging me lately. I could hear it calling to me from the UFO bag. (Yes, the UFOs do have their own knitting bag here at Mystery Central, where they wait and plot against the active projects, jealous as they are.)
I’d finished the Shetland Triangle and Totally Autumn, and wanted to start another lace project. A big one. So, why not?
I’m more interested in lace now than I was at the time I started the shawl–back then I was into sweaters, sweaters, sweaters. Nothing was really wrong with the project; it simply wasn’t me at that moment. I was positive, back then, that it would take so long to finish it would be my life’s work–I’d be 99 years old and still working on the first section. I suppose it would have taken that long, if all I did was knit two or three rows in between sweaters.
This weekend, I unearthed it. It was happy to see me. I was happy to see it. And together we’re off and running.
If you’re a Ravelry member, you can see what the finished shawl looks like here and here. And if you have that old issue of Knitter’s, it’s the shawl on the cover. I’m not sure what happened to my copy–I have a sinking feeling that it may have gotten thrown out during a rather dramatic move. I’m working from my old enlargements of the charts.
I think I’ll finish it before I’m 99, don’t you?
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