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UFO, BUFO and TOAD


Ah, the language of knitting.  Such care.  Such love.  Such romance.

Here is some translation in case you don't speak fluent knitting.  UFO is an UnFinished Object.  It's that scarf that you just can't get yourself to finish.  Or the shawl that will be wonderful if you can ever find the pattern again and finish it.  You get the idea.  They may be beautiful or ugly but the overwhelming problem is that they are not yet finished.

Your UFO can proceed in a couple of different directions.  If you finish it and love it, it becomes something to be proud of, to show off to all your knitting and non-knitting friends.  You could keep it and love it or give it away so Aunt Tilly can love it.  The choice is totally up to you.

Then there are the other outcomes.  I think BUFO is the saddest outcome of all.  BUFO is Butt Ugly Finished Object.  Yes, you sat yourself down and finished that previously mentioned UFO.  You invested the time not to mention the cost of the yarn and you have ended up with something you are not willing to wear and never willing to give away.  Sad.  Very sad.  You can tear it apart and save the yarn or you can put it in the pile of clothes to be donated to charity.  Someone who is cold and needs a scarf is not going to be overly concerned about the colors choices you made.

TOAD is not a great outcome but at least you didn't spend the time to finish the knitting.  A TOAD is a Trashed Object Abandoned in Disgust.   The equivalent in the weaving world is a Dog on the Loom.  It is so heinous that there is no way you will ever sit down and finish it.  The best thing to do in that instance is cut it off the loom - or pull it off the needles - and sacrifice it to the weaving (or knitting) gods.  I have heard tales of dancing around a bonfire under the full moon to burn the warp and thereby release it's spirit into the void.  Or some such ritual.  Whatever.  Sometimes the best thing you can do is just walk away.  At least with knitting there is a chance you can reuse the yarn.  With weaving, not so much.

There are a few other fun knitting terms we throw around all the time.  To TINK is to take out your knitting by un-knitting one stitch at a time.  By the way, this takes twice as long as knitting since we don't do that nearly so often.  Notice that TINK is KNIT spelled backwards.  Yes, that's on purpose.

Tinking is very different than Frogging.  While tinking is accomplished one stitch at a time, frogging is done en masse.  You pull out your needles and rip out all 4 rows of stitches.  Then you have to get your needles back into the live stitches without dropping any.   Tinking is safer.  Frogging is faster.  It's a balance to figure out which makes the most sense and it depends on your knitting ability, your pattern and the slipperiness of the yarn.  And, of course, if you have a LIFELINE.

A Lifeline is a length of thread or yarn that you pull through your knitting to mark a place where the world is sunny and bright and all your stitches are correct.  With a lifeline in place you can tear out all the rows above it and have the lifeline save your perfect place to restart your knitting adventure.  I, for one, have never used a lifeline, but I have a wonderful Pi Shawl that is mostly finished but has sat on the needles for more than a year after a dog related incident.  I can't figure out how to fix it.  If I had been smart enough to have a lifeline I could have frogged back to it and started again.  Now I have to wait for my friend Sybil, my Knitting 911 coach, to be available to help me figure out how to proceed.

There is a long list of knitter's slang.  There are even a couple of books out there.  But here are a few of my favorites...

FSOT - For Sale Or Trade

KAL - Knit ALong

KIP - Knit In Public

LYS - Local Yarn Store

Muggle - Non-knitter

SABLE - Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy = this would be my stash!

SEX - Stash Enhancement eXperience = Let's go shopping!

URO - UnRecognised Object = What?  Those are my needles but I don't think I ever worked on this yarn....

WIP - Work In Progress