A small selection of the UFOs at Casa Rubi -- mittens needing a only a string, an almost-finished "Tomten" jacket, the beginning of a stuffed-animal leg (and a dress for said stuffed animal to wear), and a hank of grey worsted that may become a sweater for me one of these days - I'd cross my fingers, but it's harder to knit that way!

I may have mentioned before that my yarn stash has been christened “The Department of Unfinished Projects” by one of my sisters (the other snarky one who isn’t me) — and I will cop to loving the run-up to a project more than I do the wrap-up. There’s something about starting things that really works for me. And yes, if you’re wondering, buying yarn and a pattern (or fabric and a pattern) counts as starting. Sometimes it’s enough, in fact, to just buy the supplies in order to satisfy the creative urge. Knowing that I can pick up the needles and make something — when I’m up to it — is a good feeling.

It seems that a lot of us who craft are prone to this — in MamaRubi’s case, it’s a closet full of fabric for her quilting projects. A friend has vats of beads and jewelry findings. While viewed from the outside, it may seem wasteful, or even delusional, to keep buying supplies when you’ve got UFOs (that’s Un-Finished Objects, not flying saucers) all over the joint.

But I don’t think that’s necessarily the case, and it’s not just because I’m in denial about how much yarn and fabric I actually own (though it’s easier to ignore when a lot of it is offsite in a storage unit). I think it’s an expression of optimism — after all, what’s more optimistic than seeing a beautiful cabled sweater hiding in a basket full of un-skeined roving? Or a colorful baby quilt in a pile of fat quarters?

When the rest of the world feels like such a mess, I’ll take (slightly deluded) optimism every time.