"Okay, so I finished the eight rows of seed stitch, and they are far from perfect. It was hard to keep track at first, and it wasn't until I was a few rows in (er, like 5) that I got the hang of the rhythm and could tell what stitch came next (purl v. knit) if I lost my place (or focus). At the beginning it was so hard to tell what I was looking for, but now I get what the little bumps look like.
So, it lays flat, but it isn't perfect. Should I start over or press on? If I start over every time something isn't perfect, I might never finish. Also, in general I am not a perfectionist. Do knitters have to be perfectionists?
I'll take a picture in the morning when the light is better so you can see what we're dealing with.
Here was her photo:
So, I wrote her back:
"Uh, if knitters have to be perfectionists, I'm in big trouble.
No, you don't have to start over. In fact, I actually found it interesting when I was starting out to KEEP my *ahem* imperfect pieces so that I could gauge my improvement, as I finished more and more pieces. I say keep going. Down the road, if you feel like you just can't take the way it looks, I'll show you how to unravel and re-knit JUST the seed stitch border.
By the way, mine is a little wobbly-looking, too."
She decided that she could live with it for now and that we should keep going. I sent her:
"The next step is to knit, knit, knit (no more purling for a while) until your tube measures 7.25" from the bottom edge (or whatever the pattern tells you to do for the size you're knitting - are you knitting the 1-2 years?). If you're confused as to why you don't need to purl in order to get stockinette stitch, take a look at Sally - she may have an explanation in her book. This next part of the sweater pattern is going to be the easiest/most relaxing, so enjoy!"
I got this encouraging note, in response:
"Yup, that's exactly what happened. I was afraid it would, but couldn't really keep track of which stitch was next. Once I'd been doing it for a while, it was obvious to me which side the yarn came out (and thus it was clear which side I needed to move it to for the next stitch), and I could easily tell which stitch was next.
Okay, forging on!"
I couldn't resist adding:
"So, what you're saying is that you had a EUREKA! moment.
Told you so.