Keeping the UFOs from Probing Me

Probing is such a drag. I’m sure you all agree.

One minute you’re sitting on the couch, your favorite Jane Austen movie playing in the back ground, your knitting needles clicking away… and then you feel a slight twinge. It’s a strange sensation, like a disembodied finger poking you in the temporal cortex.

“Hey you,” A voice says in your mind. “Yeah, you. Remember me? I’m that sweater you started four months ago. You dropped me to work on that stupid Color Affection shawl then never picked me up again. You were too sissy to cast on my sleeves cause they were too much work. Oh poor baby. So much stockinette.”

Yep, that’s a UFO (unfinished object). And it’s probing you.

It is unknown if there are any adverse effects of UFO probing over time.

Some subjects report that it is possible to become inured to the sensation. With practice, these subjects report that they can tolerate probing  from multiple UFO sources with no discernible mental or emotional disturbance. 

Other subjects report feelings of anxiety and guilt that build over time. Some subjects adopt coping mechanisms to decrease exposure to probing. These may include:

  • Isolating UFOs outside of normal sensory range (e.g., hiding them in a closet)
  • Establishment of false priority hierarchies (e.g., Christmas is only 9 months away, I had better get started on my gift knitting now)
  • Adoption of superstitious beliefs justifying avoidance (e.g., this sweater is cursed)

 When these coping mechanisms fail, subjects frequently adopt a fight or flight response.

In recent months, my UFO probing experiences have become increasingly uncomfortable. At one time or another I have adopted all of the coping strategies above, and more besides. 

But not this time. I’m proud to report that I have begun a successful campaign to search out and destroy…errr…complete my UFOs. Once  I complete them, they can’t probe me any more.

So far I’ve completed one fingering weight sweater (it needed a yoke) and have picked up a lace weight cardigan that still needs sleeves and some trim. Next comes a stuffed toy languishing for want of a  head. Little Noodle, your head is mine!



  1. You’re braver than me. I don’t think I would ever finish the sweaters. That Noodle is another story. It’s too cute NOT to make. I have a girlfriend who would love it. I’d better go over to Ravelry and pick it up.

  2. Yep, it’s all spot-on true, even the Jane Austen movie in the background! Now that this Wisconsin weather is getting, ahem, warmer, I find I’m more productive after a refreshingly brisk outside!

    PS – I’ll be in Madison next week-end – where’s a good yarn store to peruse?

      • I will add the Wisconsin Craft Market to your list–a hidden yarn shop in the back of this craft store at Westgate Mall, which includes a “wall of Cascade” and an extensive selection of notions and needles. These 3 shops complement each other very nicely with little overlap of yarns.

  3. So true. I really like your funny approach to the problem. And I expect to fall in line and start beating back the probes into submission and completion.

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