The Empire Strikes Back While I Knit My Life

“Now, release your anger.  Only your hatred can destroy me.”  Darth Vader, goading Luke Skywalker.  The Empire Strikes Back is on.  I found it by accident and it was already 2/3 done, but I’m watching the ending like I’ve never seen it before.  It’s the big fight scene, and parts of the ship are tearing loose.  The music is slow and stately, rising in a minor key as Luke hangs onto the ship, the wind whipping around him.  Luke has failed to defeat Vader, just as Yoda predicted.  You have to complete your warrior training to go up against the bad one.  I was in medical school when this came out.  We (me and my two best guy friends) stood in a line that wrapped three-quarters of the way around the block.  The screen was a million feet wide and we sat in the balcony, our seats even with the path of the small flight modules in the beginning of the movie. 


We used the movie as a metaphor for our medical school lives.  We were being trained to be warriors, and we had to complete the training.  We were on a serious mission, and there was no turning back.  There were all sorts of pitfalls:  tests, the Boards, arrogant attendings, resentful housestaff…and we were physically and mentally tired all the time.  We ate bad food, exercised only by running to codes or dashing to the blood bank for an emergency unit of blood, and neglected our relationships if they didn’t involve study dates.  My two guys had a standard joke about students whose spouses threatened to leave.  Your job was to remain strong and hand the spouse a dime, so he/she could phone a cab.  No time for driving them to the airport. 


“It is your destiny.  Join me, and together we can rule the galaxy as father and son.”  Luke jumps out into the unknown rather than take Vader’s evil invitation.  He tumbles through a metal tunnel, falls through a hatch and winds up hanging from the tail end of an antenna, outside the ship.  And, miracle of miracles, Leia hears him in her mind, and goes to his rescue.  Life is like that sometimes, if you’re lucky.  The old miracle rescue.  The late, unexpected love affair.  The remission from disease.  Someone hearing your need and coming to fulfill it.   That’s why sometimes I trust to stand at the edge and jump, knowing there’s the possibility that I might sprout wings, just in the nick of time.


I have knitted today.  Finished the scarf-chemocap yesterday, except for elastic for the front edge.  Finished an adorable baby cap in two different yarns.  Worked on a toddler dress that I’m making from Sublime organic cotton in pale green (you saw it in my new yarns from Main Street Yarns).  It has a scalloped edge with some eyelet decoration.  Today I needed a hand-resting project, so I took out some Burly Spun and big needles and started another mat to felt.  I’ll show all these tomorrow.  We had heavy rains today and the porch is still too wet for photography.  Great for my tomatoes! 


The new thing in my knitting is the ease of making stockinette stitch.  On my purl rows, I used to fatigue easily.  I was doing them the classic continental way, and after a couple hours of that I’d have carpal tunnel irritation.  After reading Annie Modesitt’s tutorial on combination knitting (, I have adopted her way of purling.  It is much more restful, there’s no pain, and I can control my tension better.  So far, I can see a bit of difference in the way the overall fabric looks – more uniformity.  It wasn’t a difficult switch to make.  I was already indoctrinated into the habit of working the forward-most leg of the stitch, so the “backwards” stitches that result from using this purl method don’t bother me.  Her tutorial is neat – it has moving diagrams that show you how to make the stitches, and the explanations are very clear.  You don’t need to buy a book on this. 


Okay, time for me to strap on the cast shoe and clump into the laundry room.  I’ve got a load to shift before I knit my way to bed.




One Response

  1. I find it absolutely amazing all the beautiful things you turn out so quickly! I can almost hear your needles clicking a steady rhythm when I’m reading your blog. Hope your foot heals quickly. I know that has to be so frustrating.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: