Soul Bandage

When I was in middle school (fifth through seventh grades in these parts), there was a 7-11 just down the road that I hung out in all the time. It was across the street from the high school that I would later go to. One summer when I was in Summer School, I would loiter there nearly every afternoon after I was done with classes. I’d get a soda and a Charleston Chew and plunk quarters into a video game.

(This really does have to do with knitting. Bear with me.)

The game was Kung Fu Master. In it, you’re a kung-fu master (duh) who has to fight through five levels of a house to rescue his girlfriend who has been captured by the evil Mr. X. It was the first game I ever played that had “bosses” – a special character at the end of a level who is exceptionally harder to beat than all the other drones you’ve been knocking the crap out of.

When I reached the first boss, I was stumped. He defeated me again and again and I couldn’t figure out how anyone could possible get past this obviously insurmountable obstacle. Every day I’d plow through the foot soldiers and knife-throwers only to arrive at the end of the hall where the boss was waiting, and he’d wipe the floor with me.

Then one day, I beat him. I forget exactly how I did it – there may have been some new technique I tried, or I might have just spent enough time playing the game that I became more facile with the controls – but I knocked the bastard down and went to the next level. From then on, I would breeze through the first level, kill the boss, and proceed as if nothing had happened.

This has stuck in my mind as one of the first times I had a concrete “aha!” moment of learning. It was a moment when I went from being frustrated to being successful. I was able to look back and see that I was able to do something I couldn’t do before.

So what does this all have to do with knitting? Well, I’ve been down in the dumps lately with regards to knit craft. It feels like so long since I’ve done anything of real substance that I’m feeling pretty rusty. I need something basic to get myself jump-started. So the other night while watching the first season of 24 (yes, I’m just now getting around to watching the first season), I grabbed some nice Debbie Bliss Merino out of my stash and cast on for a simple 2×2 rib fisherman’s watchcap.

Nothing fancy, nothing intricate, but it’s enough to remind myself of how hard and frustrating my first couple of hats were. I remember how monumental my first projects seemed at the time. Now I can literally knit these suckers with my eyes closed. So I spent a couple hours watching the tube, letting my fingers do their thing and turning some soft yarn into fabric. A few more hours and I’ll have a present for someone this Fall. And my hands will have their knitting confidence back so that I can get started on something a little fancier.

No Responses to “Soul Bandage”

  1. Cynthia Says:

    Sounds like you needed a break. Welcome back to the fold!

  2. Suzy Says:

    Yep, you have been missed. How about motoring down to the YB this Sat.? Your rewards: scintillating conversation, male bashing (only because we love you! ;)), knitting and life advice (wanted or not), opportunity to touch (and drool) over wonderfully tactile materials (AKA yarn), and hugs! Hope to see you soon!

  3. MMario Says:

    Sometimes you just have to shut the brain down. Seems like you were thinking too much.

  4. bonnie Says:

    I love this story. Truly. Seriously. :-)

    But on a not so serious note…
    “Knit Two Master thwarts the evil Doctor Knittersblocker with a whip of the yarn, a poke of the needles, and the one-two punch of a fashionable beanie.” (teehee)

    This whole bit about your hands regaining their knitting confidence kinda reminds me of Peter Parker taking back his Spidey costume or something. Only a geeky knitter could relate their knitters block to a video game. Love it.