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Once upon a time, on the outskirts of a small village, lived a woman named Radmilla. Her one room cabin was sparsely furnished. She had a stove and a small bed. She did not have a pantry; she did not need one for she never had much food. She did not have a trunk or chest; she did not need one for she only owned the set of clothes she wore. She did have a small basket, and in it was a single pair of worn knitting needles, an old bent crochet hook, and one ball of wool. Radmilla would spend her days walking the village looking for bits of work to be done, but work was always in short supply. In the evenings she would curl up and knit or crochet a bit. She never finished a project, but would rip out her work so that she might have the yarn to work with again.

One evening, after a particularly fruitless day of looking for work, Radmilla returned to her cabin. Her stomach grumbled from hunger, but she had little food, so instead she sat and knit. As she was stitching she heard a sudden knock on the cabin door. Startled, she went and answered it. A small orange cat, damp from the rain, was on her doorstep. “Excuse me,” the cat said. “The weather is so poor, and I’m far from home and hungry. Can you spare a bit of food, and may I stay in your cabin just tonight to keep warm?” Radmilla responded, “I don’t have much food, but what I do have, we can share. Please, come in and get dry.” Radmilla and the cat shared a sparse supper that night, and when Radmilla laid down to sleep, she gave the cat a spot to curl up on at the foot of her bed.

When Radmilla woke up the next morning, the cat was already by the door. “I need to continue on my way, but I want to thank you for your kindness to me. From now on, anytime you knit or crochet, you need only make a small swatch. Once you make the small swatch it will guide you from there.” With that the cat continued on it’s way, and Radmilla set off to the village to look for work.

To be continued….