Minnesota Knitters' Guild Cable Gram, Volume 23, Number 4
I am honored to be the Minnesota Knitters' Guild representative to the Textile Center library. I volunteered for the position last summer because it was unfilled and beckoned to me.
I had no idea what was involved, other than buying books for the library. I have since learned there is more to it than that, but I am up for it! I have a lifelong love affair with books that has resulted in well-filled bookshelves and closets at home (with at least some closet space left for knitting stash). Some might say I am a bit obsessed!
I do not always have to buy books—browsing can suffice. When I go to libraries, yarn shops or book stores, I am drawn to the knitting books first. I find myself scanning the jacket ends, starting from one end of the knitting-book section to the other. I also do knitting book "window shopping" online, and in knitting-supply catalogs. Buying books for the Textile Center library is my dream.
One of my first book purchases for the library was Cat Bordhi's New Pathways for Sock Knitters, Book One, published in July 2007. It is a knock-your-socks-off book. Bordhi looks at sock construction in revolutionary ways. She presents eight sock "architectures" that allow you to knit unique, beautiful socks that look much more complicated than they actually are. The book teaches you several new ways to construct socks, while teaching the concepts underneath the sock and its pattern.
Bordhi, in a moment of sheer genius, discovered that when you work on a toe-up sock, the gusset increases can go anywhere on the foot. Bordhi's Coriolis sock pattern, for example, spirals the increase stitches up the foot in an eye-catching band. Hand-dyed yarns would work particularly well in this sock, and for many of the others in the book.
My introduction to Cat Bordhi was her Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles, which to my knowledge was the first book teaching this technique. (It's also in our library!) Grateful knitters gleefully threw away their snail-paced wooden double-points for the sleek, shiny Addi Turbos she recommends. As I read through Bordhi's clear and humorous instructions, I wondered: Who is this person capable of thinking so far outside the box?
It turns out that Bordhi spent many years of her life as a gifted teacher, who loved to knit and enjoyed playing with mathematic concepts. Now in her prime, she is an extremely creative and prolific knitting writer and instructor, as well as an award-winning children's book author. In a Knitty.com interview, Bordhi was asked about her "unique visual approach to mathematic concepts." She revealed that she flunked math in school until she got to geometry, which she aced—and came to view math as "mind candy."
What gives Bordhi the most joy in knitting? "Not knowing how something can possibly work, and heading in that direction anyway—the thrill of the chase," she told Knitty.
Bordhi has been a full-time writer since 2002. She teaches knitting and writing workshops, and talks at knitting retreats and to knitting guilds. She lives on a remote island in the Pacific Northwest. Those of us not fortunate to see Bordhi in person can get a glimpse of her excellent teaching by viewing snippets of her instruction online at www.YouTube.com. She also has her own Web site, www.CatBordhi.com.
Happy reading and knitting!