So I am knitting this sweater:


And leaving aside the really embarassing amount of time I have spent worrying about whether it has “too much colour” for me to wear, it is going pretty well, and I am happy with it.

Except, I am knitting it one size too large. I thought I might be knitting it one size too large, and now that I am well into shaping the waist (it has shaping, or this probably wouldn’t matter at all) it is very very clear that I was right. It is a bit big. It still doesn’t really look big to me, but careful and repeated cross checking of all the measurements involved shows that look big or not, there is “a bit of ease” and then there is “too darned big”.

Where the part that is like denial comes in is not my inability to see the actual size of the sweater, but my total obliviousness to what I actually am shaped like. I know what my measurements are – I make clothes for myself, I take my measurements regularly. I just don’t seem to be able to translate those numbers into an even slightly accurate notion of how much space I take up in the world. My vision of myself seems to be a sort of an amorphous blob that, like a hamster, can squish itself through and into relatively small spaces, but sort of bubbles out again on the other side. I’m not sure that I have any clear idea of the boundary between “myself” and “other stuff”. (Come to think of it, this may explain why I bump into things so often!)

Hang on – let me take stock of my self-image a moment. I am kind of short, I have big eyes, an indistinct hamster-y sort of body, and a tendency to overcommit myself. Holy mother of purl, I think I am a shmoo!


Anyway. The appropriate thing to do at this point (about the sweater, I mean) would be to say some bad words, frog it and start knitting the right size. I don’t want to do that, but I know it is the right thing to do.

Problem is, I am not following a pattern, I am writing one. And it’s going really well: I like the proportions, the math is checking out, I’m happier with it so far than anything I’ve yet knitted “all by myself” as it were. I’m afraid if I go back to square one at this point, I will jinx it. So what I would prefer is to keep going, finish the sweater in this size, make sure it all works, and then worry about the math adjustments for other sizes, which I was going to have to do anyway.

And regardless of whether it fits me or not, the size I am knitting is pretty well in the middle range of “the sizes people tend to be”, so it seems like working out the shaping in that size is a good idea, it will be much easier to make accurate adjustments up and down from the middle than trying to make a big shapely sweater fit little people, or a sweater made for the broomstick folk fit nicely on the curvy types. So it ALSO seems like the reasonable thing to do is to keep going.

And yet. The longer I keep going, the less likely it is that I am ever going to knit this thing in my size, at least in the forseeable future.

Do I finish it, only to rip it back? Do I rip it back now, and risk screwing up my pattern? Do I finish it, grab my lantern and go wandering the earth searching for someone one size larger than I am who might like this sweater? Is there a chance that I would knit the sweater again in my size if I used different yarn the second time?

Maybe I could just eat a lot of pasta?