When is a WIP not a UFO?

The title isn’t a rhetorical question – I’m really curious, especially as I try to figure out how to be better organized with my projects so that I can work as a monogamish knitter.

Believe it or not, dropping everything to knit and block my first ever shawl was a key part in the complete overhaul of my gear. As I carefully wound the hanks of Yarn Enabler’s Sock Money into cakes, I knew that though I didn’t have a single square centimeter left in the Yarn Bin for them, I did have space in my dresser for a lovely new shawl and so I made a deal with myself: I’d get to work on my Fairy Godmother Shawl as long as I

  • Found a home for all my tools
  • Overhauled my yarn bin and projects
    • All yarn that wasn’t designated for a project was donated to Creative Re-use
    • I took a look at the projects I had left and was honest with myself about whether or not I really wanted to knit them.
    • I organized my yarn bin by weight and projects for easy access
  • Inventoried everything on Ravelry


The first two items were a lot easier than the third, so I allowed myself to just focus on the shawl for a while and work on the cataloguing at a more sedate pace and when my hands needed a break.

Those of you that keep tabs on my Ravelry account (I’m Chemtacular on there) know that I was pretty prompt about entering the yarn I’ve bought. Then there was nothing for it but to get out the kitchen scale, a ruler and set to work classifying/determining the mystery yarn I had on hand. I made a chart in which I recorded each yarn’s weight in grams and the Winds Per Inch. Then I went on line and consulted several different charts to figure out what weight each yarn was and after doing some math, I was able to determine the yardage I had to work with. It sounds really tedious, but it was really satisfying to have all that information! Now I know for sure that the projects I have in mind for those yarns are going to work and feel absolutely legit in keeping the yarn πŸ™‚ After I entered all that information into Ravelry, I went about organizing the Yarn Bin. The cakes were stacked by weight and grouped by project. Here are some pictures of the yarn situation now:

Yarn Bin


Given all the room I created in the Yarn Bin, I was able to restore the Project Bin to more or less it’s original function. Yes, I am storing yarn in it that isn’t currently part of a project (this bin is working as a queue of sorts) but most importantly, I can now store all my current projects in it! The Nice Ribbed Socks aren’t pictured because I’m working on them to get back on track for Sock Thursdays.



I was feeling pretty good about myself until it came time to catalogue all my gear. I wasn’t thrilled with the format on Ravelry, it wasn’t designed with interchangeable needles in mind, and entering each individual DPN was so not my idea of a good time. After looking on line a bit I came across Lavander Honey’s needle inventory card:


I liked this a lot better but I still wanted a way to keep track of my interchangeable needles and cables so I borrowed her format and made my own chart using Excel and Paint – because I’m hella old school like that πŸ˜‰

The subscript denotes the make of the needle

Don’t worry, I’m not so analog that I don’t have a copy of this in my cloud storage, but I’m pretty stoked about this. (If anyone is interested I can absolutely send you a copy of this chart, just tell me where to send it to.)

Dare, I say it? Am I finally organized?


That’s where the question that became the title of this post comes in.

So, right now, I have my Nice Ribbed Socks and my second attempt at Flax Light going on – are the WIPs or UFOs? Both? And what about the Mood Scarf? Technically, it doesn’t fall into either category since I’m starting it today, my first official Monday as Maggie (okay, so I know that it was official before this Monday, but now I have IDs!), but it’s something that I worked on for a while and then abandoned when I was injured last September…

Part of me feels drawn to the term UFO (maybe because I was a Resident Alien for a good long while) it sounds pretty cool but they way I’ve seen it used almost connotes a sense of abandonment and that’s not so cool. WIP sounds a more accurate since I have no intention of abandoning my projects but I feel its kind of obvious, especially given the nature of my blog πŸ˜‰ What do y’all think?


10 thoughts on “When is a WIP not a UFO?

  1. From my understanding, a UFO is something that has been started but has been set aside. Kind of like my Hermione’s Everyday Socks. I have one sock finished; however I haven’t finished the other and I haven’t worked on them since January of this year. I still recognize the pattern and yarn, however it’s just sitting by the wayside and I don’t know if it will ever get finished. I also have a URO (Unrecognizable Object) because the needles are gone and I have no idea where I was in the pattern. I need to frog the scarf and let it become yarn again.

    A WIP, on the other hand, is something you are actively working on. I’ve got several of those types of projects πŸ™‚

    I really like your chart! I have all my yarn organized and in Ravelry; however I don’t have my needles because I don’t like the Ravelry system either. However, I do know in my head what I have. I know that I have every size of DPN and Interchangeable needle sizes from US 000 to US 50. The chart definitely would have helped me out when I was first starting though. I wound up adding all of my needles to Notepad in my iPhone so I wouldn’t keep buying the same needle. So, in a sense, I do have all my needle sizes.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. During the overhaul of the yarn bin I came a cross some URO’s – my general policy had been that if the project was in the yarn bin, then it was to be scraped for yarn but then I found a cowl I’d been working on until I had surgery and then totally forgot about. I think that might best fit my definition of a UFO – something I still want to knit but for whatever reason had to take a break from….
      I’d also throw my Flax pullover in that category as well, since I still want to knit it but after having to start over, I just needed a break to finish up smaller projects. Like socks. I can’t believe I haven’t finished my last pair but now that I know where everything is, and the house is finally tidy, I can have at it as soon as I find a bit of time.

      OMG, the chart!
      I realized I had to do it once I found that I’d bought the same set of DPN’s 2x and had zero clue that I did. One was in the needle organizer and the other was in my yarn bin – I still don’t have words for how annoyed I was when I found them. Thanks to you, I’m all set for needles but I’m glad I have the chart to keep track and to inspire me to meet some fitness goals so that I can get myself that US 000- US 2 interchangeable set!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow, your organization is really inspiring!! I have dreams of one day getting all my yarn into Ravelry, but …. I have a lot of yarn. It would take a very long time! I agree with Paula .. I think of ufo as something that’s been set aside. But I think it’s sort of up to you how long it has to be set aside to move from WIP to UFO! Thanks for sharing the organization!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re totally going to hate me but I had the same problem until I let about a third of all my yarn go. The it was pretty easy to get it all in cakes, organized and up on Ravelry.

      I like Paula’s definition too. I had to take a break from the sweater I was working on when it turned out I had to start over. I guess that makes it a UFO since I’m still excited about the project and I love the yarn but I needed to complete some smaller projects before I returned to that particular Everest πŸ™‚


    1. I had a couple of those then! Part of the problem is that I was trying to use up yarn that wasn’t right for the project or that I didn’t want to work with so they were put in the yarn bin for scraping later…
      I also found a project I’d been really excited about and then forgot about as I was getting over surgery. This is really why I need to keep stuff to a minimum – it’s just easier to keep organized and on track πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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