Knitters are a typically practical bunch, with problem solving perhaps their badge of honour. There is one problem however that seems to haunt every knitter I know. That of the stubbornly unfinished project.
This is precisely what UK based artists, Rachel Matthews and Celia Pym have been tackling over the last 4 years in a fascinating project that matches people's unfinished knitted items with a new pair of hands for completion.
These unfinished objects, or UFOs as they have become known, have been sent in from all over the planet to Matthews' shop, Prick Your Finger in London's East End before being redistributed for completion and documented via the UFO Project Administration Service webiste. There is a something poignant about the project, touching on themes of lost histories and second chances. Some of the items even came from the local hospice.
Pym reflects on the UFOs she has worked on. "They are like a puzzle, and it can take me ages to figure them out... you can get clues about the maker, the tension, the yarn choice, the shaping... it’s important to me to try and understand them... the efforts of others and being tender with someone else’s work."
The project continues and even you, dear BUST reader, are invited to send in any stalled knitting projects you have languishing in your knitting basket. Post your UFO, with or without back story, to Prick Your Finger 260 Globe Rd, London E2 0JD. Or if you'd like to take on a UFO for completion, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
And if you live in London, you might like to visit the new exhibition dedicated to the project. It focuses on the art of problem solving in knitting and includes some of the finished UFOs on display. Visit the Prick Your Finger shop at 260 Globe Rd, London E2 0JD from 13 - 21 Dec 2013 and reopen again 7- 22 January 2014, 11am - 6pm.