Category Archives: New Term Tuesday

New Term Tuesday: The Difference Between UFO’s and WIP’s (And All Manner In Between)


For today’s post, I thought I’d explain some abbreviations that you will find used in crochet and knitting circles.

The first is what is termed as a “UFO.” 

I have this theory that yarn and Sci Fi are magnetic to each other for some reason.  Perhaps it’s the popcorn. 

However, though many of us yarnies (see below) are Sci Fi geeks too, a UFO is, in yarn geek terms, an “Un-Finished Object.”

Usually this term is applied to a project that has been started, but has been set aside.  It lends to the “unknown” feeling induced by it’s Sci Fi counterpart, since a yarn related UFO has not been witnessed in its final or complete state yet.  As such, it could be “unrecognizable” to others.  It might even get lost in a closet or drawer and never become an FO (a finished object).

One of my UFO's. I doubt you'll have any idea what this really is until I finally write about it in an advanced technique article. It's stuffed in a bag somewhere, maybe already packed for the move.

However a yarn related UFO still has some sort of connection to the knowable world in that at least it’s creator knows what it is supposed to be.  If said UFO does get lost in the closet (or under the bed or a variety of other places crochet can migrate to in its maker’s home) and is later discovered, but the knowledge of what that item is supposed to be(come) has since been lost or forgotten, it’s label is now demoted to the realm of UO or URO: an Un-Recognizable (or Un-Recognized) Object.  “I started this at some point, but now I don’t know what the heck it was supposed to be.”  It happens to the best of us.  If recognition does indeed sink in, it can then go back to its UFO status.

This 5 foot tapestry project for my mother-in-law took me about 10 years to complete. The amount of times its status alternated between "UFO" and "WIP" might have actually endangered the space-time continuum.

In contrast to UFO is the term “WIP.”  A WIP is a piece that is a “work in progress.”  This means it is actively being worked on.  Or at least thought about in the forefront of the mind, such as in the case of “I’m stuck, I haven’t figured it out, but I haven’t put it aside just yet.”  The term also lends to the air of “whipping” something together, but mainly denotes progression of the creation process (as opposed to stagnation in the corner of a closet).

The amount of times a single project can go back and forth between being a UFO or a  WIP is indeed infinite. 

“Yarnies” (a term I used above) should be mostly self-explanatory.  A yarnie is someone who works with yarn.  The term usually refers to the crochet or knit modalities, and generally with a little obsession tossed in.  In other words a yarnie is a yarn geek – the person you see at the store petting all the Tribbles, what my husband calls my yarn stash. Much like the Klingons, you would think my stash was his mortal enemy.

Ahhh, and now I think we have found insight into the Sci Fi – Yarn connection! 

Another “yarnie” interpretation might borrow from the circus term “carnie” to indicate someone who knows and loves yarn so well, that they can coax it into amazing feats of entertainment.

So there you have it – new jargon for your crochet reference!

Go ahead and click a link below to “share this.”  You know you want to!  : )

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New Term Tuesday – What Does “Frogging” Mean?


This cute "Frog King" crochet frog is designed by Barbara S. of Amigurumi Paradise. Click the photo above to download this free pattern from Barbara's website and check out her other awesome critters!

In crochet as well as in knitting, the term “frogging” refers to pulling your yarn stitches out.  Confused as to what frogs have to do with that?  It’s because when we frog something made of yarn or thread, we “rip-it, rip-it” apart! (Get it? Rhymes with “ribbit?”)

Hence you’ll hear phrases about how many times someone had to “frog” a project to get it right, or how far someone got before they had to “frog it all.”

“Frogging” can also be used as a handy yarn world curse word of sorts too.  As in the case of, “Well, ain’t that just froggin’ great…!”  We could also carry that on to the variant “so sorry to hear that – how froggy that must be.”

Why yes, we are yarn geeks after all and we do experience frustrations from time to time in our work.  Perhaps yarn art vernacular will evolve further someday and instead of something being totally “wicked” or “bitchin’,” maybe we’ll say it’s “totally froggin’!”

Errrrrr…  Well… maybe not.

And so now you know what the term frogging means!  😀

That’s it for this day’s post for New Term Tuesday!

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Filed under crochet, Crochet Community, Crochet Education, New Term Tuesday