Like many knitters, I’m
usually always working on more than one project at a time. Recently, however, I’ve been playing favorites, spending much more time with a pair of socks than with the Sunshine Coast sweater. Sure, I can blame it on a deadline. The Monkey Socks (pattern on Ravelry and Knitty) are a birthday gift for a special friend.
But there was something else keeping me from finishing the Sunshine Coast sweater: fear. That’s probably too strong a word. How about dread?
It had to be something emotional that was keeping me from finishing because I love everything about the project. The bright apple green cotton yarn is a perfect match for this casual summer sweater.
The pattern is simple yet detailed, with lovely eyelets interspersed at the neckline and sides and subtle bands along the body.
After casting off the body (more than two months ago!) and before picking up the stitches to knit the sleeves, I held it up and realized that it was too short — at least, too short for my liking. Here it is just before bind off when I tried to gauge length with circular needle still attached.
I picked back the bound-off stitches and knit for a few more inches, increasing as the pattern directed. And that’s where my brain kicked in. When I finally bound off the body, it looked too wide, too boxy, and that triggered my body self-image “baggage,” that inner voice that says “that’s too boxy; it’ll make you look fat.”
I expect we all have an inner voice telling us who we are or how we should be, a voice that really isn’t our friend. I try not to listen, but boy, it can be persistent sometimes.
Now I know I’m not fat, but I used to be — at least, I was heavier and fatter than I wanted to be. But that was decades ago — like three decades ago. But that self-image and those feelings linger and, apparently, are still pretty powerful.
But I’m happy to report that my rational brain was helped along by a good dose of reality from my dear, wise daughter Hannah, who responded to my “this may be too boxy” concern on Instagram with “Mom, you think everything is too boxy. I’m sure it’s beautiful and perfect.”
She was right.