Saturday, July 16, 2016

Bra Burning—balancing modesty and comfort

As I sat on my bed finishing this week’s knitting, 
my sweet husband and son cleaned a
bathroom and mopped the whole upstairs. I had another bad week, with too much sitting, not enough sleeping. I have felt pretty useless, but my time-consuming knitting project shows me I accomplished something. On with the blog.


I’ve been wearing a bra since third grade without any problems. My more endowed sisters (not my biological sisters) often suffer due to gravity, but that is not my issue.

I have developed an intolerance of tightness and straps. All the small pain during the daytime cause tension through my back, neck and shoulders that grows into big pain by evening. 

Wearing a bra seemed to add to my back pain. 
My manakin and I share a problem.

But not wearing a bra makes me uncomfortable in a different way. I tell myself that I’m an overweight, middle aged lady and nobody really looks at me (except my husband who appreciates the new look). But I see nipples and I see jiggle and I feel exposed.

The easiest solution is my hand-knit sweater collection. When they are thick or used as an upper layer, problem solved. This week’s knitting is another good cool-weather cover-up. Unfortunately, this is July.

And I am long-accustomed to working in a building that could feel tropical in one room and freezing in another, so I like to know I can remove a layer.

My answer is scarves. I have developed quite the collection. I like to be able to throw one on before opening the door or running to the grocery store. In addition, they are cute,relatively cheap, and make me look a little more finished. 

Sometimes a little too finished. 

 skipped church on Father’s Day. (I miss way too much church these days and no matter how miserable I am, I feel guilty.) In the afternoon, I ran over to my parents’ house to drop off a gift. My mom was confused because I didn’t look like a sick person. She asked why I was dressed up. I had to point out that I was wearing a T-shirt and very soft pants. Throwing on a scarf was easier than putting on a bra.

After two months bra-free, both my back and my sense of modesty are comfortable. I just need to find a few more scarves to match all my favorite clothes.


I like to make up my own sweater patterns and I’ve been thinking about this one for a long time. I pictured a shrug or bolero jacket with wild I-cord squiggles for a border. But I-cord made me hesitate even after buying the soft, beautiful wool yarn.

 An I-cord is a knit tube, usually three to five stitches around. they are great as hood ties, hat tassels, and trim. They are also a royal pain. The traditional method is to knit around those very few stitches using three to four double-pointed needles at a time. It is both tricky and monotonous. 

A little serendipity saved me. I have a subscription to monthly yarn samples and gadgets. This month’s gadget is an I-cord loom. It works just like the hat looms all of you have used to knit for the homeless, but with only 4 stitches. It is still monotonous, but less tricky and more portable. I should have measured the I-cord I made for the sweater, but I thought it might discourage me. 

More than 1/4 of the yarn used in the sweater was used in the I-cord.

Getting the shaping right in a sweater is still challenging to me, so my little shrug is more like a waist-length sweater or a poncho with sleeve holes. However, I love the color and the trim. I also love the fact that it will fit many sizes of people. If you are interested in the measurements and maybe enhancing your fall wardrobe, see my shop

Next week--My Pioneer Heritage 

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