I am always astonished at what people will do even though they know that others might be watching. You know me, I'm always watching the folks at the gym (there's not a whole heck of a lot of other choices of things to do, you know) and this guy next to me on the treadmill casually pulled up his shirt and removed a huge neoprene stomach wrap. A wet neoprene wrap! I mean, not only had this guy been running for awhile so he was sweaty, worse, he just draped it over the top of the machine and continued to run!
If I don't post for two or three weeks in a row, call an ambulance because that means I must have died from a weird gym-induced horror.
But it got me thinking: People are forever either underestmating or overestimating their size.
Give me a second here to explain. That guy was a skinny dude. He didn't need that neoprene thingy and we all know they don't work. Those belts, they pretty much nearly kill you from sweating to death or get so stinky over time that you repel even the kindest of people not including two people I know who lost their sense of smell from getting hit on the head (True Wendy fact. I know two people, count 'em, two people, whose sense of smell went missing from a head injury).
So when I was teaching a class this weekend, one where I'm showing people how to do a top-down round-yoke pullover without a pattern, just about every single knitter overestimated either their neck opening and/or armhole depth.
Now, I admit I've been designing and grading patterns from the smallest to the mid-plus-size range for awhile, but it amazed me how hard it is to look at yourself without first putting the image through your own personal prism.
Personally, I always estimate myself as smaller than I really am--not sure why; it could be total and complete denial--so while the knitters in class tended to err on the side of bigger I'm sure that everyone has their own vision of themselves that affects the outcome of their projects.
Anyway, I don't know what I'm getting at except to say that if you're measuring yourself for a sweater, to have a helper there to double-check your estimates. You might be surprised what you discover.
And if you don't take anything at all away from this post here's another a tip: Forget about those neoprene thingys. They stink.
BTW: This is my class project in progress. I truly believe that it's a good thing to knit a project along with the class. It helps the students to visualize where they're going, not to mention, I learn a lot while doing it with them, too.