Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Earth to Wendy, tune in Wendy

Thank you all for the trip suggestions. We have chosen a place from one of the comments and are actually going to be able to spend two nights! I'm super excited. I will let you know where we went after the fact just in case anyone reading this block is a murderereererere.

I also want to thank you for the compliments on the sweater and my legs. It is truly amazing what a camera angle can do - my legs are not that long. For realsies. I'm 5'3" with a long torso. My inseam is about 28". I would like to confirm this but I can't find one of the million tape measures that I have...

The sweater did shrink with blocking. As I suspected, it did not come up quite enough. I thought I would just rip out the extra length and then I decided that the sweater is going to be ripped to the armpits.

As I was explaining to Lauren today, the yoke of the sweater is knit from the top down starting as one piece. You then separate the front and back and knit them flat, rejoining again after the armholes are shaped. Teva has you adding quite a few stitches under the arms as you join the front and back. I dubiously followed her instructions to the letter, with the appropriate gauge adjustments. Too bulky. As I mentioned in the previous post, I wanted a tighter sweater out of the Lace Leaf Pullover. So, I ripped back and added less....about halfway through I got nervous and, against my instinct, didn't leave off as many stitches as I intended.

The sweater is totally wearable. I would probably be happy with the finished product. However, I'm approaching this whole thing as an exercise. Make a garment that I'm 100% satisfied with. At 3.25 sts/in this is a great project to approach with that attitude. I may go ahead and knit a sleeve to see how it looks with the sleeve set in. I will definitely sleep on this decision.

Which brings me back to the thing about the instincts. I truly believe that if we listen to ourselves, really listen and hear, that we can make no "mistakes" in knitting or in life. We may get it wrong and have to try again but I view that as something different than a mistake. Getting it wrong is not knowing any better. A mistake is knowing better and doing it anyway.

I look at many of the mistakes that I have made, the knitting ones are the easiest to see and/or admit, and realize that - deep down - I probably knew better. Why don't we listen to ourselves? Especially woman - I think our sense in this area is a little better honed. This is not a diss on our male friends and/or lovers, it's genetic. We also, in most cases, need it the most often. Growing up I always had to be aware of myself, where I was, and whether or not I was safe. Learning to trust my instincts to remove me from a potentially dangerous or unsafe situation. I had to do this not because I lived in an unsafe place (I grew up in Middle Class America) but because I was a girl.

I have had many discussions with male friends who marvel at the idea of such an existence and few have had little frame of reference. Whereas my girl friends totally know what I'm talking about. In fact, too many of them, myself included, have had experiences that reinforce the need for this kind of behavior. They know what it means to feel an instinct, a gut feeling, a inkling that something is right, or not right, or "off" just a bit. The problem, I think, is that most of us do not know how to or will decide not to act on that instinct. Do we fear the repercussions? The risk? The thought of getting it wrong? Of going against the grain?

I wonder about our little girls in society. How do we teach them to listen to themselves, pay attention to their instincts, and to follow through with what they know is right, even in the face of those that will tell them they are wrong? I wonder about the woman in our society how to we teach them? How do we teach ourselves?

How to you listen to and HEAR yourself in a way that moves you to act?

Whoa. Reading through this I realized that this went a different way than I thought this post would go. But, hey, I'm crazy like this. I am putting it out there. Feel free to comment or not.
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Anonymous Daphne said...

What I think is really interesting is how guys are not taught to recognize these moments, reign in their actions, etc. So when we women tell it like it is, they freak out and have no idea what we're talking about.

It's an interesting (important?) topic to mull over, glad you brought it up.

6/07/2006 8:57 PM  
Blogger EvaLux said...

Great post!!!!

You ask yourself how we can teach little girls in our society to trust their instincts?

Well, by not forcing them to shake hands with people we/they don't know, by giving that "nice uncle" a kiss or whatever. A kid will go towards a person when they feel secure about that person. By forcing them to do things that they do not feel like doing just to be polite is what is wrong with out society. We "kill" that inkling of instinct that is in them... we tell them to be a nice girl you do whatever an adult wants you to do.
It is very hard to learn to trust your gutfeeling once you're an adult as you will need to accept that you won't always come across as a nice/rational person when you do so.

I could go on and on, LOL... Minirant over :)

Cheers Eva

6/07/2006 11:02 PM  
Blogger Knitting Painter Woman said...

AMEN, sister!
Although there are some men who question themselves and develop at least as many neuroses as any woman. I also believe that women are scolded in a different way for "mistakes." Boys get told to get back into the game and make things right. Girls can get pitied, coddled or discouraged in subtle ways.
I hope you make the perfect sweater for you.

6/08/2006 1:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

girls get told they asked for the abuse or that so long as someone else had it worse that everything is fine.
is it any wonder people find themselves living someone else's life?

6/08/2006 4:06 AM  
Blogger wenders said...

Have you read or heard of the book The Gift of Fear? It addresses just this issue, and how we need to often relearn how to trust ourselves. I think what's interesting is that the people I trust and admire most are those who aren't afraid to admit they've made mistakes...but I am not always likely to do so myself.

Although, I don't think it's about recognizing fear - we all know it when it's there - but doing something about this. I could go on and on...must be that women's college education. :)

6/08/2006 6:34 AM  
Blogger Jena the yarn harpy said...

A very thoughtful topic for a post about a sweater. ;)

Seriously, though, it's an important subject. Dave and I have talked about this so many times because he has just no fear... he'll walk around anywhere at any time of night and couldn't understand why I was hesitant to do the same. (We went to Fitchburg State, so it's not the most safe area after dark.) It took an attacker hiding in the bushes in the small quad in the middle of the upperclassmen townhouses to show him that women are completely justified in being nervous WHEREVER they are.
If I get a "bad feeling" about something, he knows that he can't push the issue.
Women's intuition isn't just a cliche!

6/08/2006 8:19 AM  
Blogger goodkarma said...

Just a small thing, but if you ever decided to knit the Lace Leaf Pullover again, with leaves on top and bottom this time, a guy at re-wrote the graphs so that it could be knit completely in one direction (bottom up, I think). I'm sure he posted his graph and everything.

However, your sweater, as reengineered by YOU, looks mahvelous! Good for you for figuring out what you wanted and how to get it. Woot!

6/08/2006 9:24 AM  
Blogger Martita said...

I really look at a pattern as a jumping-off point, either for personalized design revisions (v-neck, waist-shaping, cables, etc.) or because the made-to-fit-perfect-size-8 pattern isn't going to perfectly fit my imperfect body. I suspect that without that mindset, my knitting life would be one of total frustration and I would not have kept with it this long.

As for intuition, some of my gut feelings have been so out there that even I didn't listen. Once I parked my car in the Back Bay and sensed that it would be broken into in that parking space. There was no rational explanation for my suspicion, so I left the car there. Sure enough, it was broken into. Now I always listen, no matter how ridiculous the intuition is, and have become accustomed to just sometimes knowing weird shit. But I had to learn that the hard way, just like you're learning it the hard way with your sweater.

All that said, if today I were looking for a parking spot in the Back Bay and found one, but knew my car would be broken into, I'd still take the space. I'd just clean my car out better this time.

6/08/2006 10:28 AM  
Blogger Earin Marybird said...

Girls are taught to fear. It's sad but true. I have a friend who had a boyfriend (a complete asshole but that's another story and he died young) who after he broke his leg was forced to pay attention to where he was, was he safe (this was LA) etc. Whined about it to my friend and she said, "Welcome to the world of being a girl. WE ALWAYS are scanning the street etc."

Second story is from when I lived in the Santa Cruz Mountains of CA and because of the lay of the hillside I could hear a neighbor across the way. She had a boy and a girl. What a difference (and she was a pretty good mom). "Susan, do X." "Billy! Thank You for doing X! What a good boy you are! You did such a WONDERFUL job!". I felt pretty sad for Susan.

We are taught to be "nice", to worry about what others think of us. Guys are taught that they come first (and I like guys and a married to a wonderful man). I always trust my gut. It has never lied to me.

Gosh, what we learn from kitting!

6/09/2006 12:45 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

It might not have been the direction you thought the post would go, but it's interesting stuff. When I was dating a guy who was 6'5", one of the things I really liked was being able to walk places in my neighborhood at night. When I told him that, he totally couldn't grasp that I wouldn't just be walking around at night by myself - that it was only because I was with a physically intimidating male that it was possible/safe. I don't suppose he'd had much cause to feel unsafe...

But re: listening to ourselves in knitting - what is it with that?! Why don't we listen to that little voice of doom, that knows something is going seriously awry, something that could be corrected, if we acted on it instead of ignoring it...

6/09/2006 9:22 PM  
Blogger The Purloined Letter said...

Very thoughtful post. Great food for thought.

6/12/2006 1:02 PM  

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