Tag Archives: fashion

I make people uncomfortable

A year ago, I needed a new hoodie. It took me a few months of searching on the internet before I found the right one. If you don’t want to go through the link for whatever reason, it is a black zip-up hoodie with a blue ghost on the left front, and the words “It is difficult to be alive” on the back, with the same blue ghost underneath. It is merch from the webcomic Pictures for Sad Children, and oh boy did I identify with it. I still do. It is one of my favourite articles of clothing and I love it.

I’ve realised that people get super-uncomfortable when I wear it.

I cannot tell you how many strangers and acquaintances have asked to see my hoodie and followed up that request with “That’s wrong. It’s not difficult to be alive.”

It might be wrong for them, but there are countless people, myself included, who do find it very difficult to be alive. We are told day after day after day that we’re wrong, that we shouldn’t be struggling. When we openly express this, people don’t try to help us find being alive less difficult, they tell us that this is easy. Again and again, we receive the message that there’s something wrong with us and that if we say anything, everyone will know.

My secret wish is that someone will see me in my hoodie and feel validated. I want to send the message “This feeling is so common that someone even made a hoodie saying it and someone else bought it.”

My second secret wish is that the world didn’t require me to have that other secret wish.


I never use a pattern when I knit.

When I decided to make this blog active again, I didn’t really have a plan beyond “post regularly.” You may have picked up on this from the shorter, less-focused, more rambly posts recently. I think I’m going to go with two days a week for posting, Tuesdays, and another day. I’ve been thinking Friday or Saturday, but I haven’t settled on one yet. I guess we’ll both find out in a few days which one it is!

But anyways, let’s ramble some more!

As some of you know, I knit quite a lot. I learned when I was very small, and as a child I didn’t exactly have money to buy the amounts of yarn needed for patterns. Family members would usually get me a couple of balls when I asked nicely, and, having no sense of scale, I would follow a pattern ’til I ran out of yarn, and then when I came across another pattern, I would take out what I’d done and start that one. My dad especially would tease me for this.

I got pretty good at knitting by doing this, but I never really liked the patterns I worked on (this could have contributed to not asking for more of the same yarn when I ran out). So sometime when I was still young, I stopped knitting, and I didn’t go back to it until my first year at uni. Pretty much, the internet saved my love of knitting/dragged me back into addiction. All of the patterns I saw when I was little were baggy sweaters and other dull things. But on the internet I found patterns for Space Invaders socks, fitted tops, squid-shaped hats, and all manner of decidedly not-boring things.

Then disaster struck. Every time I tried to knit from a pattern, the result was huge on me. I did everything I could to fix this – going down several needle sizes, using lighter-weight yarn than was called for – but nothing worked. The gauge swatch would be the right size, but the finished result wouldn’t be. Sometimes I would attempt to calculate fewer stitches for projects, but quickly got tired of the work to make the patterns fit and gave up on them.

So I started designing my own patterns for myself, sizing them to my body as I go. This has worked pretty well for me, and I’ve made dresses, fingerless gloves, skirts, and sweaters since. I usually don’t plan what I’m going to make, I just start knitting and see what happens, usually writing the pattern as I go. I’ve tried using a couple of patterns over the last year, and weirdly enough my problem getting the correct size is gone. This opens up more possibilities for me, but I kind of love not knowing what I’m going to end up with.

This is obviously a scarf, and was always going to be a scarf, so it’s not completely thematic for this post, but I knit it! And my kitty is in the background, so you’re not allowed to complain.