Body image. It’s something I think, for most of us, shifts—even (in my case, anyway) tilts—as time goes along. Trouble is that what I see really impacts my fun. Case in point: my “Lion-Neck Cardigan” from the wonderful book, Custom Knits by Wendy Bernard.
I started this sweater well over a year ago, and at that time, I thought it would be wonderful to make it a bit oversize to wrap myself in while I drank my morning cuppa joe. I mean, this was one freezing old Eichler. Okay, as usual, the “what the hell size do I make this puppy?” question came up. This question is always far more difficult for me to answer than “what yarn should I use…?” Those of you who know me, know that since having my kiddo, I’ve become a bit more, ahem, zaftig, in the bosom department. Moreover, the pattern sizing goes something like this: Finished (bust) measurements: 23 1/4, 26, 27 1/4, 32, 36 3/4, 41, 44 3/4. Here’s where the funhouse mirror comes in.
I looked at myself in the mirror and thought, “I want this to be comfy and loose, so I want positive ease, not negative ease.” So off I went, knitting away until I lost interest, and/or it got too in here hot to work on.
And now, many months later, after finally getting some much needed down time to knit, I pulled this sweater back out and worked on it all weekend. I was nearly to the bottom when I tried it on (thank heavens it was a top down project). Wrong, wrong, wrong. Can you say yeti? Yes, it was HUGE (it shouldn’t have been; I was making a hybrid of the 36 inch size). Even CR would’ve been swimming in it, and he’s got a great big muscular chest and shoulders. Worse, I think my gauge had relaxed a bit from back when I swatched. 3 stitches/ inch instead of 4 stitches/inch.
So even though part of this knitting disaster was due to gauge, why did I think I was this large? Seriously? I mean, I know I’m not skinny and I really don’t have much trouble with it (Okay, I lied. I want to be skinny again). But what was I thinking? This sweater looked like a great big labradoodle laying there on my bed. After a few choice curse words, I figured it out. It must have been something to do with the mirrors in the house. And since all our closet doors (every single one) have mirrors on them, I wish I could recall which one I was looking in when I decided I needed to make this so ginormous. I have to walk through the house with blinders on, because every single one—I swear to you—makes me look different.
Ah well. Rippppppp! So, 20 rows into it, it’s already looking better, and I’m a happier camper.
You know, as much as I despise ripping, there is a certain freedom in knowing you can rip something out and do it over. Sewing, while you can rip seams and redo, once you cut that fabric, it’s cut.
Well, here’s a project I’m really happy about. I was worried these Broadripple Socks would be too tight around the top where they hit the lower calf. But just like my Darling Cuz said they would do, the tops stretched nicely. Yippee! There was a bit of pooling, but nothing I couldn’t live with and they’re nice and comfy. I’m in love with the pattern. So easy to remember that you don’t have to do it in seclusion, but not boring at all.
Also on the “bust” front, I did my knitting “homework” for one of my upcoming StitchesWest classes “Short Row Bust Darts” with the legendary knitter, Lily Chin. Lord knows I need this class and I’ve been trying to get into for a couple of years. The homework was a simple task consisting of making a 42-stitch swatch with a half dozen rows of garter stitch followed by a few rows of stockinette using a plain worsted weight yarn. Easy.
I can’t wait for Stitches!
18 DAYS TO STITCHES WEST 2010
And having gone to Stitches Midwest a few times, I can tell you, there’s nothing like Stitches West (except, maybe, for Sock Summit, which I so sadly missed this year because of other plans). Being with so many other fiber-obssessed folk will be a most welcome change from dust and contractors.
The only sad thing is that my Darling Cuz won’t be out here this year to experience it with me…
Well, on the remodel front, We’re ready (just a little cleanup needed) for the cabinets to go in! Hip hip hooray! The bathroom’s ready to go together! Yay! Then onto the counters, the floors, the fireplaces, and the appliances. Good thing I love painting, because I’ll have that work cut out for me…:)
And I need to get myself back on track making sparkly things, too. I’m way behind in that department. Busy me.
You know, with all the problems (I’m talking mostly cosmetic, here) this house had when we started the remodel, including the issues I’ve had with the mirrors. it makes me wonder if the previous owners got those mirrors from a carnival. Hmm.