It's Monday already?!

Good Morning everyone!! I hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend. We certainly did here – inspite of the SNOW!! It was snowing so hard on Friday night – I could not see the vehicle in front of me! All this cold has made the neighbors Magnolia tree blooms shrivel up – it had been starting to blossom last week and was looking so gorgeous. The Forsythia bush seems frozen in time – a yellow sentinel covered in a frosty white blanket. The weight of the show has pushed over the daffodils – they are all laying in disarray – casualties of the snowy blast. As I took Daughter #2 to school this morning it was still snowing. I am avoiding the weather forcast – I don’t really need to hear that this will continue all week, thank you very much!

I watched the Masters yesterday afternoon and knit on my SKB – I have the body done – I bound off yesterday! Now all I have to finish are the sleeves and the neck band!! I also worked on my BF socks. I am almost done with sock #1 and will be casting on sock #2 this week!

I broke my New Years Resolution though last week. My LYS had a “sale” and I picked up some yarn for some scarves for Christmas gifts. I also got some E. Lavold Silky Wool to knit Wendy Bernard’s “Something Red” . My plan is to cast this on for my next project – I am in a “top down” knitting mode!

Well, off to the shower for me – I hope all of you have an easy “re-entry” to the week! Have a great Monday!!

The Ragman

On this very Good Friday I leave you all with something written by The Rev. Walter Wangerin Jr.

Have a most blessed day.

Ragman
Walter Wangerin

I saw a strange sight. I stumbled upon a story most strange, like nothing my life, my street sense, my sly tongue had ever prepared me for.

Hush, child. Hush, now, and I will tell it to you.

Even before the dawn one Friday morning I noticed a young man, handsome and strong, walking the alleys of our City. He was pulling an old cart filled with clothes both bright and new, and he was calling in a clear, tenor voice: “Rags!” Ah, the air was foul and the first light filthy to be crossed by such sweet music.

“Rags! New rags for old! I take your tired rags! Rags!”

“Now, this is a wonder,” I thought to myself, for the man stood six-feet-four, and his arms were like tree limbs, hard and muscular, and his eyes flashed intelligence. Could he find no better job than this, to be a ragman in the inner city?

I followed him. My curiosity drove me. And I wasn’t disappointed.

Soon the Ragman saw a woman sitting on her back porch. She was sobbing into a handkerchief, sighing, and shedding a thousand tears. Her knees and elbows made a sad X. Her shoulders shook. Her heart was breaking.

The Ragman stopped his cart. Quietly, he walked to the woman, stepping round tin cans, dead toys, and Pampers.

“Give me your rag,” he said so gently, “and I’ll give you another.”

He slipped the handkerchief from her eyes. She looked up, and he laid across her palm a linen cloth so clean and new that it shined. She blinked from the gift to the giver.

Then, as he began to pull his cart again, the Ragman did a strange thing: he put her stained handkerchief to his own face; and then HE began to weep, to sob as grievously as she had done, his shoulders shaking. Yet she was left without a tear.

“This IS a wonder,” I breathed to myself, and I followed the sobbing Ragman like a child who cannot turn away from mystery.

“Rags! Rags! New rags for old!”

In a little while, when the sky showed grey behind the rooftops and I could see the shredded curtains hanging out black windows, the Ragman came upon a girl whose head was wrapped in a bandage, whose eyes were empty. Blood soaked her bandage. A single line of blood ran down her cheek.

Now the tall Ragman looked upon this child with pity, and he drew a lovely yellow bonnet from his cart.

“Give me your rag,” he said, tracing his own line on her cheek, “and I’ll give you mine.”

The child could only gaze at him while he loosened the bandage, removed it, and tied it to his own head. The bonnet he set on hers. And I gasped at what I saw: for with the bandage went the wound! Against his brow it ran a darker, more substantial blood — his own!

“Rags! Rags! I take old rags!” cried the sobbing, bleeding, strong, intelligent Ragman.

The sun hurt both the sky, now, and my eyes; the Ragman seemed more and more to hurry.

“Are you going to work?” he asked a man who leaned against a telephone pole. The man shook his head.

The Ragman pressed him: “Do you have a job?”

“Are you crazy?” sneered the other. He pulled away from the pole, revealing the right sleeve of his jacket — flat, the cuff stuffed into the pocket. He had no arm.

“So,” said the Ragman. “Give me your jacket, and I’ll give you mine.”

Such quiet authority in his voice!

The one-armed man took off his jacket. So did the Ragman — and I trembled at what I saw: for the Ragman’s arm stayed in its sleeve, and when the other put it on he had two good arms, thick as tree limbs; but the Ragman had only one.

“Go to work,” he said.

After that he found a drunk, lying unconscious beneath an army blanket, and old man, hunched, wizened, and sick. He took that blanket and wrapped it round himself, but for the drunk he left new clothes.

And now I had to run to keep up with the Ragman. Though he was weeping uncontrollably, and bleeding freely at the forehead, pulling his cart with one arm, stumbling for drunkenness, falling again and again, exhausted, old, and sick, yet he went with terrible speed. On spider’s legs he skittered through the alleys of the City, this mile and the next, until he came to its limits, and then he rushed beyond.

I wept to see the change in this man. I hurt to see his sorrow. And yet I needed to see where he was going in such haste, perhaps to know what drove him so.

The little old Ragman — he came to a landfill. He came to the garbage pits. And then I wanted to help him in what he did, but I hung back, hiding. He climbed a hill. With tormented labor he cleared a little space on that hill. Then he sighed. He lay down. He pillowed his head on a handkerchief and a jacket. He covered his bones with an army blanket. And he died.

Oh, how I cried to witness that death! I slumped in a junked car and wailed and mourned as one who has no hope — because I had come to love the Ragman. Every other face had faded in the wonder of this man, and I cherished him; but he died. I sobbed myself to sleep.

I did not know — how could I know? — that I slept through Friday night and Saturday and its night, too.

But then, on Sunday morning, I was wakened by a violence.

Light — pure, hard, demanding light — slammed against my sour face, and I blinked, and I looked, and I saw the last and the first wonder of all. There was the Ragman, folding the blanket most carefully, a scar on his forehead, but alive! And, besides that, healthy! There was no sign of sorrow nor of age, and all the rags that he had gathered shined for cleanliness.

Well, then I lowered my head and trembling for all that I had seen, I myself walked up to the Ragman. I told him my name with shame, for I was a sorry figure next to him. Then I took off all my clothes in that place, and I said to him with dear yearning in my voice: “Dress me.”

He dressed me. My Lord, he put new rags on me, and I am a wonder beside him. The Ragman, the Ragman, the Christ!

A Harlot's Tale

A Harlot's Tale

Hello Everyone! Well, hope you all had a marvelous weekend – mine sure ended on an up note. I traveled across this great state from Holland to Ann Arbor to see The Yarn Harlot – Stephanie Pearl-McPhee speak at the library there.

I headed out right after church, it would certainly be busy and I wanted a seat, so I arrived in Ann Arbor shortly before 1PM. This is great, I thought – AND – I found a parking spot less than a block from the library, even better!! On my way in, I met a wonderful woman from Kalamazoo (I am so sorry I do not remember her name!!), she was sitting outside in the glorious sunshine knitting a sock, of course!

Inside the library, down stairs in the conference room were dozens of knitters! It was truly a great experience! Shortly after my arrival (I had already purchased 3 books for The Harlot to sign – one for me, and one for Rose, and one for Ruby) we all learned that Stephanie was delayed – there was fog at the Detroit Airport – she could not land – they shipped her back to Chicago.

Now, imagine this picture – dozens and dozens of knitters all anxiously awaiting the arrival of The Yarn Harlot – and there is no uproar at all – we all simply pulled out our knitting and began to knit. It was the BEST SnB I have ever attended! The library was kind enough to offer us some substitute entertainment as we patiently knitted away on our socks, sweaters, lace work, etc. It was also April Fool’s Day and the library had the children all making the most amazing of hats – they paraded past us knitters’ in a lovely parade!

Finally, the word came that Stephanie had arrived (her cell phone had long since died – charger in Detroit, cell phone in Chicago). It was so worth the wait!! Please excuse my pitiful pictures – I was overcome with excitement to be seeing Stephanie (can you imagine this???!!!)

I was in the back row – but here she is! In a sea of knitting heads – our fearless leader appeared! She was breathless and thankful to some kind gentleman who drove her from the airport to Ann Arbor – his wife must be a knitter!!
She took our picture, we took hers, and we listened to her worries and concerns. And, while I was listening a thought popped into my head. We knitters do make a difference! And, in a very big way – to quote Stephanie “one small stitch at a time”. I read today that Caps for the Capital collected over 280,000 caps. Does that make a statement to all of you? I have a proposal for all of you – if we all took a stand and made our stand known – peace could happen! We could knit for peace! If there were more people knitting for peace – wars just might cease! After all, how many violent knitters do you know? I don’t know exactly how to go about it, but I believe that we can make a difference. What do you all think?
Okay – I apologize profusely Stephanie and I owe you a drink or two for posting this photo – this is operator error, not object error! But, here is The Harlot holding my “Bloomin’ Feet” sock! Woo Hoo! Pretty amazing, huh? And, don’t you just love Stephanie’s sweater – it glowed – seriously! I am sure that Stephanie will have a marvelous tale to tell about her travels to Michigan. Check out her blog and see!

Have a great day everyone – watch out – we have SNOW in the forcast Lynne!! 🙂

April Showers…

Good Morning everyone! First off, we have a winner – Beth had the correct guess of 30! Congratulations!!

Did you all have a good Palm Sunday? I know I did – up early and off to church, then I headed out for Ann Arbor to hear The Yarn Harlot.

I have pictures that I will post later – it was an awesome day. I met some amazing knitters, and Stephanie was truly worth the wait!

More details and photo’s later – I cannot be late for work!!

Have a great day all!

One year and counting!

One year and counting!

Good morning everyone! TGIF! It has been an eventful week here at the Christensen Huis – my kids were bouncing off the walls because Spring Break starts today (and when they are teenagers, it makes for some pretty heavy duty bouncing!!) – they are headed off with their Dad to the Bahamas for a week of fun in the sun. It has been insane at work – major changes in lending criteria have made the learning curve steep! My boss was a casualty of “being downsized” – his position was eliminated yesterday. When he called to tell me I cried – he is the provider for his family. I liked him and feel awful that this happened to him. It also means that my “new” boss is in the Detroit area – miles away from our team – and the markets are vastly different. My team-mates and I are nervous about what will shake down next. We lost our “go to” person who fought our battles for us. Change is not always good.

On a brighter note – it is Friday, I am thankfully busy at work and low enough on the totem pole that our jobs are safe. We are the peons after all!

Spring is unfurling slowly and beautifully here – my tree in the front yard has leaf buds on it, the birds are singing their beautiful chorus’, and it smells so good outside! I took this photo of my “Sunday sky”, an amazing sunset that we had on Sunday night. Beautiful, isn’t it?

So, yesterday I mentioned a small contest to celebrate 1 year of blogging. That’s right, it was a year ago that “As Kat Knits” was born. I have enjoyed the process of this tremendously and even more – have enjoyed finding other knitting bloggers. I enjoy reading your blogs as much as I enjoy blogging. I have made some good friends that I would have never met if it were not for this media! To celebrate I have a fun little contest… taking a page from my friend Lynne – I have filled my antique Irish Bread bowl with yarn. Guess how many skeins I have filled it with. Here you go …
Or maybe this view is better…
Or perhaps this one?

Get your guesses in – you will have until Sunday night, April Fool’s Day to vote.

What will you win? I have 3 skeins of Cotton Chenile ready to ship off to the winner in lovely “spring” colors. So, gentle readers – get out there and vote! Have a fantastic Friday.

It's Blogiversary Eve!

Wow, tomorrow As Kat Knits will be 1 year young! Where did the time go? It is hard to imagine how much change has happened in the last year of my life – job changes, life changes, knitting challenges, and new friends! I feel a contest coming on – I shall ponder it over the evening and post the details in the morning.

The weather here has been just lovely! Hope it is equally lovely in your corner of the world.

Stay tuned for more…

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