Dear Past Hester…

…I know, you wrote that letter to your sweater, berating it for not going the way it was supposed to, being part of a conspiracy of poorly written patterns, and generally wishing that the knitting faeries would come along and finish your sweater for you.

The trouble is, your sweater was not to blame. You were. Remember how you screwed up the project at the very beginning by having difficulties with counting? Well, this time, you have difficulties following directions. (This is rather a shock to me, since I know that you are by and large compliant in a way that makes you occasionally appear terribly naive.) I know, I know, Little Birds was difficult and wore your nerves down to nothing, and so you’ve had trouble getting into bed with this pattern and fully trusting it to be cohesive and well-written. Boo freakin’ hoo – that was years ago, lady, get over it! (Please note for the record, this is not a sentence I ever use when therapist-ing my clients.) This pattern does not have any flaws or faults in it that I can find. Oh sure, there are parts that could be expanded on, maybe an instruction added here or there to keep people from second guessing their knitterly instincts. But as far as errata goes, nada.

If you had just followed the directions for where and how to join the sweaters to the body from the beginning, it would have been fine. It all would have made sense, and you’d probably be up to the neckline by now because you wouldn’t have put the sweater away in frustration for over a week. Heck, maybe you’d even be finished! (Okay, that one is a stretch…) But for some reason, you couldn’t see the grand vision of how the cables were supposed to run up along the armholes…and so you thought that the placement of the sleeves was cutting into the 4-stitch cables and rearranged where they should go. I know, it was only by 2 stitches on each side, but that was enough to throw off the whole concept. And what happened because of this mistrust? You have now ripped back and rejoined the sleeves to the sweater 3 times. This time, it had better be right because if it isn’t…well, we’ll just bind it off and claim that it’s an off-the-shoulder sweater, a la the 80s.

Past Hester, I know that I can’t possibly recall what you were thinking at the time – you put this sweater into cold storage so long ago that the memory of the what and why and wherefore is a distant illusion of a memory. All I can do is urge you to get in touch with Future Hester and remind her that in the future, if a pattern is giving her difficulties, she should set it aside for 2 days, cast on something new, and then come back to it again. We all need to step away from our knitting to time to time. That’s what helps good knitters become great knitters.

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