The world of crochet, like most subcultures, has its own language, and, like most subcultures, it borrows words and phrases from the culture at large and assigns new meanings.
UFO is one such example.
In the world of crochet (and knitting) UFOs are Unfinished Objects. It is a topic I feel I can write about knowledgeably, because I have so many of them.
From where I am seated, I can see three. There is the window covering that I have not completed, a large granny square (now 2 & 1/2 ft.) that I am making from scraps, and a new cozy I am making for my mail box.
If I go into my guest/crochet room, I will see a much larger collection: The Big Rug (now up to 38 squares, just 209 squares short of completion), a future carryall bag made of 1″ squares that needs to have a zipper put in and the sides pieced together, part of a a sock from a totally awesome pattern, and if I were to venture into the “yarn annex” as it is known, I would find things that I had begun in the last millenia. I even have one small project sitting in my freezer waiting to be felted.
For me, each project is begun with a particular urgency. The sock, for example, was begun on a day when we had an unusually late snow for the part of the the country where I live and my feet were icy. The carryall bag was begun so that I would have something to take on a flight to NYC, the Big Rug will eventually be a central piece in my living room and was begun because the rug we had did not go well with an afghan that will be hung and the wall and which I did finally finish after 16 months.
A lot of what I love about crochet is that the possibilities are endless, and that is reflected in my collection of UFOs.