In Which we discuss weather, weight, a new sweater, and a “blogday”

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Ah, I’ve always been fond of the “In Which…” sort of title, it reminds me of Winnie the Pooh (my favorite book, as a kid, and one which I’ve been collecting in a bunch of languages, because I really enjoy playing with translated children’s books).

On weather: We’re having some absolutely gorgeous weather right now (temps in the 60’s), and I’m soaking up as much as I possibly can with short walks and things, because I know it’s only going to get hot again in a few days. But for now I am really, really enjoying this little taste of fall. Fall is my favorite season, and September (which is approaching at a shocking pace!) is my favorite month. It’s back-to-school, cross-country season, and the beginning of “sweaters and cords” weather (speaking of which, I haven’t been able to find cute corduroy pants in a couple of years now…have they gone out of fashion? If so, that’s really too bad, because I so love corduroy pants), all at once. I just love it. It was always my favorite time of year up in MN, too, because it just got so gorgeous there right when the leaves were about to change. But alas, while we’re getting this taste of fall here in Upstate NY, my poor hometown is suffering under a deluge of rain (after a long, long drought). My town is essentially an island in the Mississippi River, so flooding isn’t unfamiliar territory, but it sounds like things are very, very bad up there right now.

On weight: I’ve been thinking a lot about weight and body image issues lately. I think it’s particularly on my mind because of the fairly massive weightloss I’ve had due to illness, which is sort of blowing my mind on the body image front. Not to mention the glares and rude comments I’ve gotten from other women when I’ve gone out on errands recently…it’s pretty awful, and makes me wish I could wear a sign that says “I am sick” so that these ladies might think twice before sneeringly whispering to each other about “that skinny anorexic chick” when I walk by. But body image is something I’ve always been rather sensitive about, as someone who is a very small person (even when I’m not sick), and it’s been even more on my mind in recent years specifically in relationship to knitting. I’m mostly bringing this up so that I can link to this fantastic post over at Knitting Kninja. She captures, even better than I could, my thoughts on the whole “Real Women” debate that comes up whenever knitwear sizing is discussed. Seriously, go read it. It’s that whole “Real Women” terminology (and the associated slamming of smaller people as “anorexics”) that drove me away from the livejournal knitting community, where I used to be a fairly active member (thank goodness I had the broader blogging community to turn to after that!). Every time there was a new issue of knitty, the comments section in the knitting community there inevitably turned into a nasty place where, as a wee little thing, I feared to tread and often had my feelings hurt (I mean, what am I, then? A “Fake Woman”?). I do understand that larger women are often ignored by designers, and I think that is horribly unfortunate, and I do know that in general, larger women take a lot of crap from society, and that, too, is very, very wrong. But that doesn’t make it right to throw insults at those of us on the other end of the spectrum. And what’s sad is most of the nastiness comes from other women…and we just really don’t need to be doing that to each other. Like Kristen says, what’s important is that we’re healthy, and putting all of this negative focus on both ends of the spectrum of body types does nothing to help that cause. Healthy is what’s beautiful, no matter what size is “healthy” for you! And seriously…I may be model-thin right now (though at 5’3, I’d have no shot in that industry in the first place!), but I’m not looking “good”. I look sick, because I am sick. I’ve been this size before while healthy, and the difference in my appearance between then and now is huge, and it has pretty much nothing to do with weight.

On a new sweater: Because I apparently have a nasty case of “startitis” alongside whatever this mystery ailment might be (that, or I have the attention span of a gnat, take your pick!), I started a new sweater yesterday. Yeah, I know. But when I saw Jared‘s “Cobblestone Pullover” in the latest IK, I fell in love with it. The clean lines, the clever use of garter stitch…so nice. But the man in my life is not a pullover-wearer at all, only cardigans. So I decided I wanted a me-sized version, and cast on (using 20 fewer stitches than the smallest size in the pattern) using some Handpaintedyarn.com Worsted Merino that’s been hanging out in my stash for a frighteningly long time (since well before it became “Malabrigo” and started costing almost twice as much!). I’m already almost done with the body:

Girlified Cobblestone Pullover

I decided to “girlify” it a bit, and borrowing an idea from “Rogue”, I put waist shaping into the column of garter stitch that runs up each side of the body:

Girlified Cobblestone Pullover

I have a feeling that this sweater is going to pill if I look at it funny, but c’est la vie. It will be a soft, comfy sweater while it lasts, and if it works out, maybe I’ll get some sturdier yarn to knit another one in. I hope I have enough yarn to make this; I only have four skeins, and have already used up one, though my plan, should I fear running out, is to buy a single skein of Malabrigo in a complementary color, and stripe it into the garter yoke (which I think could look very cool, almost like illusion knitting). I think this will probably knit up very quickly, so maybe y’all will get to see my sickly self modeling it soon.

On a “blogday”: In 10 days, this blog will be 1 year old (an event I think most people refer to as a “blogaversary”, but I like “blogday” better, because it’s shorter and not so weird to spell, and it sounds like “birthday”, and birthdays are fun!). That’s pretty exciting! I’m hoping to have some sort of contest-type-thing to celebrate, but I’m a bit braindead from exhaustion right now, so I haven’t thought of what I’ll do quite yet. I suppose y’all will just have to stay tuned…

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11 thoughts on “In Which we discuss weather, weight, a new sweater, and a “blogday”

  1. I loved that sweater too, I can’t wait to see how yours turns out.

    You are so right about all the sizing stuff. What I find in ready-made clothes is that as the “average person” gets fatter, they redo the numbers on the sizes until I fall off the bottom. I am just about the same size I was in 1976 (maybe just a small amount larger), but then I wore a size 8 and now I wear a size 4, and lots of times now size 6 is the smallest available (it’s happening to lots of Lands End clothes). In an effort to cater to the ever-fatter American, they are cutting down on what I can buy. I do much better shopping second-hand and getting all those nice size 4s that people have grown out of. There was an interesting conversation about this in the new Knitting Daily from Interweave last week, maybe you can find it on their site.

  2. Body image is always a red light topic it seems like. Why can’t people just be happy? It seems like the ones that really aren’t are the ones that flame others. Sad.

    That looks like the PERFECT winter sweater to cuddle up in with a mug of cocoa and marshmallows….

  3. I know just what you’re talking about! I’m naturally skinny, have always been healthy, and I had a certain friend in high school who resented me for it. She would call me “anorexic” with a mixture of resentment and envy and always assumed my life was somehow easier than hers because of the way I looked.

    I also have a cousin who is naturally very small, not much over 100 pounds, and also very healthy. She was on anti-depressants for a little while, though, that made her gain 20 lbs or so. She wasn’t by any means overweight at that point, but was a more “average” size, and she said it was amazing how differently people treated her, like a normal person, basically. Now that she’s off that medication and back to her original size, she gets treated as though she is fragile and shy, and people will often react with much surprise when she swears or expresses a strong, intelligent opinion (she does both of these things a lot.)

    Well, this has me thinking…thanks for the post and the link to the other one on the same topic. Mind if I link you on my blog?

  4. I’m sorry you’ve been ill. I think our culture is unused to seeing ill health out and about these days – I had very frightened reactions when I was very sick for three months and had occasional to go out. I wasn’t contagious, but it was obvious that something was very wrong, and people recoiled accordingly. One of the other perils of setting an unrealistic standard is, I guess, that people cannot pity or sympathize with ill health related to low weight, because it remains an ideal even with all the pitfalls. I hope you’re feeling better soon, and that the folks who have made such rude comments can see their way clear to putting their feet in someone else’s shoes for a while.

    On a more knitterly topic, I love the way you’re adapting the Cobblestone pullover! That’s a terribly clever way to deal with waist decreases, and I look forward to the finished result. I never thought of feminizing it, but I can absolutely see the potential, and I actually love the idea of striping the top whether or not you need to. Gorgeous!

  5. I have a friend who is also very thin due to illness (though she’s OK now). In fact, I am wondering if you and she have the same illness, as some of your symptoms and tests that you’ve described in the recent blog posts sound very similar. If it’s what I think it might be, intestinal illness, please know that there are lots of others out there and they are managing pretty well, once the doctors confirm the diagnosis and find the right treatment. ((hugs)) to you as you endure all of this. Your knitting is beautiful and I’m glad you feel up to doing that despite being sick.

    And happy blogday, of course!

  6. An excellent post on body image, and thanks for the link. I also hate that “real women” crap. Where does that leave the rest of us? It irritates me when people have to make themselves feel good at the expense of someone else.

  7. I LOVE your girly adaptation of Cobblestone!
    (if your blogday is 10 days from the 19th, you started blogging 3 days after me – we are almost twins)

  8. Found your great blog through Pat…

    When I was young (sigh), I was often accused of being anorexic and now my daughters have the same problem…I was, and they are, just normal, thin gals with very small bone structure. In general, it is just hard to take all the emphasis on size, large or small. Ignore the nay-sayers!

    On a knitting front–knit on!

  9. I’m sorry that you’ve had to deal with the nasty comments. I wouldn’t wish those hurtful things on anyone especially since you’re sick!

    I like the waist shaping you’ve added. Can’t wait to see the finished product!

  10. Want to start your private office arms race right now?

    I just got my own USB rocket launcher :-) Awsome thing.

    Plug into your computer and you got a remote controlled office missile launcher with 360 degrees horizontal and 45 degree vertival rotation with a range of more than 6 meters – which gives you a coverage of 113 square meters round your workplace.
    You can get the gadget here: http://tinyurl.com/2qul3c

    Check out the video they have on the page.

    Cheers

    Marko Fando

  11. XRumer Platinum Edition is the best tool for advertisement!
    It’s have CAPTCHA recognizer, email verificator, and a lot of other functions…

    But. I forgot link to it :(

    Can you give me URL to the xrumer description? screenshots, etc.

    Thank you

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