August 04, 2020
Last week, I learned from Knitty.com’s Facebook page that knitting luminary and teacher Cat Bordhi is dying. She has indicated that she wants this news to be heard in her own words; here they are:
To all my dear friends out there…I want to let you know that I am dying. Don’t be worried, it’s apparently part of life! When I was 12, my rascal friend Janet and I stepped into the lair of Madame Marla, who emerged from behind beaded curtains with a dishrag in her hand, since she’d been washing dishes as we jangled the doorbell. For $2 she agreed to read our palms. When she said that I would live to be 86 and I’ve always figured she was right. Oh, well!
Truly, these days are so sweet and peaceful and beautiful. My most beloved daughter Jenny and dearest grandson Charlie are here with me as long as needed. Because of Covid, Jenny’s work is completely remote so I have the two best possible caretakers I could dream of.
PLEASE DO NOT write me at any of my usual emails. Instead use this one which my friend Val Curtis created: firstname.lastname@example.org. This way I can turn to that collection and read them and feel the love and still manage to tend to essentials in my own normal inbox. It is very unlikely that I will respond to any emails as I have to conserve my energy. But know that I love to read them. And someday Jenny and Charlie will have them to turn to, and their hearts will fill again and again.
The photo is of my unpublished Rio Calina Cowl. It looks complex but is SO simple. It teaches you to let go and allow the spatial brilliance and inherent grace of nature create a unique stream of cabled rivulets. And it has two distinct surfaces. This is one of my favorite designs I have ever done, and Jim Petkiewicz and I have used it for our travelers over the years, since it is so impressive and draws strangers into conversation. Here is a free copy of the pattern. If you want to learn more about the pure grace that underlies it, my Versatildes ebook goes into depth about this starting on page 98. I like to imagine that this technique can soothe and heal all manner of troubles…and is so so beautiful to watch emerging. And I would love for thousands of knitters to be knitting this design…it is truly beautiful.
My gratitude to all of you for supporting me over the 20 years of my knitting and teaching career is inexpressible. You have allowed me to actualize my dreams again and again, and have let me coax you playfully into discovering your own best and truest self again and again. I’ll probably continue doing that from “the other side.” So thank you dearest friends, thank you. I love each and every one of you tender beautiful beings, whether we have actually met or not. It’s easy.
All my love always,
your friend Cat
Cat Bordhi is someone whose impact on the knitting world is hard to overestimate. I don’t think I’ve ever spoken to anyone who’s taken a class with her who didn’t remark on the inspiration and joy she imparts while teaching. She approaches knitting with a keen intellect, and finds the cleverest solutions to problems large and small. She considers the construction of a knitted piece in a uniquely architectural way.
A number of my fellow yarn shop owners are informally hosting a no-rules “Cat-a-long.” If you’d like to participate, simply choose one of Cat’s patterns, and cast on. Perhaps the Rio Calina Cowl will suit you, or one of her inventive socks, or a moebius—there’s something for nearly anyone. If you choose to post to Instagram or Facebook, use the hashtags #4catbordhi and #LYS4catbordhi. Again, there are NO RULES—except perhaps to approach your project with playfulness and wonder.
Wednesday, August 5, 12:00-1:00pm SOUNDTRACK KAL https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88351111252?pwd=WFpkR2pLaEx4d1dMSFI3OXl4dWJ5Zz09 OR open Zoom and enter 883-5111-1252 for the meeting ID
Of course, you can work on whatever you like!
Thursday, August 6, 4:00-6:00pm https://us04web.zoom.us/j/981942707?pwd=TExyQlRPWnB3OW40QkFZRCs5aVRtQT09 OR open Zoom and enter 981-942-707 for the meeting ID
Friday, August 7, 12:00-1:00pm https://us04web.zoom.us/j/741980568?pwd=bXp1ellFUHNqS0lUaFYvS1ord3Fndz09 OR open Zoom and enter 741-980-568 for the meeting ID
PASSWORD FOR ALL MEETINGS IS 330044.
Although I am a whole-hearted wool enthusiast, when the heat index rises above a certain level, I will definitely pick up a great plant-based fiber, and keep on stitching. Cue today’s arrival (fingers crossed) of a fresh shipment of Bamboo Pop, Bamboo Pop Sock, and Clean Cotton, all from Universal Yarns. Bamboo Pop and Bamboo Pop lend themselves equally well to knit or crochet projects, and Clean Cotton makes great dishrags, and is 100% recycled fibers.
I’ve also added a few bags to the online listings, and of course, they are also available in the shop. The Happy Sheep bags are a couple of inches deeper than most of the two skein bags (this was just a cutting error), the one skein bags are especially great for balls or cakes of mohair—they keep them contained, but are easier to use when they aren’t compressed, as they would be in a yarn cozy. And the “We Can Do It” bags are sold with a matching mask.
In addition to her teaching and design work, another of Cat Bordhi’s gifts to the world of knitting are her technique videos. Her YouTube Channel is filled with tips and tricks, like a method for precisely determining the length of tail you’ll need for a long tail cast on. Poke around a bit—you’re likely to find something new.
April 13, 2021
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