Does this look too small to you? Because it does to me. That's a 24" circular. And that's the beginning of the Gathered Pullover, for me.
I seem to have chronic problems choosing the right size to knit for myself. My thinking goes kind of like this: "I have a 34" bust, but I wish it were 35", and I know I'm going to wear a padded bra, so I'll say 36". This pattern has sizes for a 34" and a 38". 36" is bigger than 34", so that one will be too small. Better pick the 38". But what if my gauge is off? If I'm off by just 1/2 a stitch, it'll be too small. I'd better go with the 42", just to be safe." So I knit the 42", and my gauge is a little loose, and it ends up being 44", and then I wash the finished garment, which grows like mad (which I wasn't expecting, since I didn't wash my swatch), and somehow my new sweater turns out big enough to fit your average linebacker.
I think we all have misconceptions about our own body sizes. Did you know that a number of different studies have shown that most women believe their bodies to be significantly larger than they actually are? I am often surprised when I unexpectedly catch sight of myself that I look smaller than I feel. And I apparently have trouble accepting that the numbers on the tape measure reflect my actual size. (I've never found numbers to be all that convincing in the first place. We all know that math lies.)
Adding to the problem is my inability to believe in the concept of "negative ease". This just seems wrong. How can something smaller than my body possibly end up fitting? The fact that I have any number of items of spandex clothing that aren't big enough to fit a Barbie doll, and yet end up stretching over my ample butt just fine, does not seem to figure in my calculations. Nor does the fact that every single thing I have ever knit has ended up growing with time, wear, and washing, and not one has ever shrunk.
So after 20 years of knitting things that are too big, I'm trying an experiment. I am deliberately knitting this sweater "too small". Even though I "know" the 32" size will never fit, I am knitting it for myself. (Well, sort of. My gauge is intentionally slightly larger than the pattern calls for and should give me a finished bust of 33.7", if my calculations are correct and I knit to the same gauge as I did in the swatch, neither of which is a certainty.) I can't tell you how anxious and sweaty this is making me. I have talked myself out of ripping and starting over at least 12 times--and I'm only on the second round.
I think it may be time for an intervention of some sort.