Thursday, July 19, 2007

Knitting Dismorphic Disorder

Perhaps you have heard of Body Dismorphic Disorder (BDD). It is a psychological disorder where a person perceives their body as profoundly different than it is in reality. For example, super thin anorexic who looks in the mirror and sees a fat person; super huge body builder who looks in the mirror and sees a scrawny wimp.

I don't have this. With the exception of the skinny mirror in our guest room, I feel I am realistically acquainted with myself. I'm not the hugest person ever, but I'm not as thin as I used to be... DANGER! The change is subtle in the grand scheme of things because I can still wear a good portion of my wardrobe (mostly the stuff I don't like, but I digress). My image of myself HAS changed just enough that it is virtually impossible for me to knit the correct size garment for myself.

Thus I am diagnosing what is perhaps an undocumented psychological disorder: Knitting Dismorphic Disorder (KDD).

Those afflicted with KDD live with a deep fear that they will spend hours knitting a garment that will then not fit them, being either too small or too big. For me, I fear the too-small garment. So I measure myself, and then I have Senor measure to make sure, and I peer eagerly at the pattern.

What's this I find?! One size's finished measurement is smaller than I am, and the other is bigger. Both usually a lot smaller or bigger than I am. Which do you choose? Now take into consideration that I have gotten my gauge with a very unstretchy silk yarn... There will be little ease in this knitting... Go with the bigger, right?

Or wrong?

The spiral capelet (that's that pinky-orange thing that wouldn't grow) is complete. It has not been photographed however, because if I let go of the damn thing in order to grasp my camera, it falls down around my feet like a winning horseshoe. It's THAT MUCH TOO BIG-- It goes over my biggest parts, which I can tell you are not my shoulders, where it is supposed to rest. I knit it with unstretchy cotton, so I opted for the bigger size... and what do I have to show for it? Ring Around Senora.

And many wasted hours.

So how do I feel now that I am 39" into the Retro Redux Shrug from Lace Style and I hold it up to myself and it already reaches elbow to elbow, and the directions say I'm supposed to knit ANOTHER 6" before I even add the ribbed cuffs? The looooong ribbed cuffs?

I feel a bit sick. I'll let you know how it comes out... Anyone got a big friend with cold monkey arms?

*This post not intended to replace a physician's or psychologist's care. If you fear you have KDD, please see a professional.

**It's all okay. I went to look at some Retro shrugs in progress at the Lace Style Knitalong and it turns out I did the whole thing incorrectly anyway and have to start over. I missed the line in the pattern right after "CO X number of sts"-- you know, the one that says, "You're about to do the next 9 inches wrong, you dumbass."

Back to balls... Maybe I should choose a different yarn...


LizKnits said...

Laugh... I hate that not knowing whether it will fit or not issue. With my retro shrug I felt like I was able to really get a sense of whether it would fit or not as I went along. I blocked mine out a bit, but that lengthened it more down the back, not so much elbow to elbow. So, trust your gut here. When you get half way through the total inches, it should reach half way across your back. Good luck with your re-try!

Tammy said...

Oh no... sorry for your struggles but you did make laugh! It seems like knitting disasters do land one on top of another. I think it's time for you to take a sock knitting break. :)

Anne-Marie said...

I feel for you! I get this more when im knitting for other people - especially when its a suprise and I cant check the sizes at all. I am NOT a good guestimator :(

Rosina said...

Sorry to hear about the setbacks! I just figured out yesterday that I am going to have to rip back the ribbing on my orangina (for what... the third time?) because it still donesn't look right... oh, make that tink back because I wasn't smart enough to put in a lifeline there.
I think that it is one thing to have a realistic body image (am I healthy? Fit?) and another to know your own body well enough to craft garments for it! I think that watching my mom modify garments for me when I was growing up has helped me to understand where things will usually need tweaking for me... a bit here in the shoulders... not too long in the waist... but what she did with sewing doesn't always translate to knitting. Knitting just has so many variables! Well, hang in there :) Thanks for helping us all see the humor in our sizing issues!

Gregorio said...

The first step in recovery is to recognize that you have the problem. :-)