Knitting like a River

A recent obituary caught my eye; after all, it’s not too often one reads about the death of a knitter.

Cat Bordhi learned to knit from her grandmother. In 2000, frustrated with complicated instructions for knitting socks, she created new techniques using circular needles. She self -published a book, sharing her discovery. Socks Soar on Two Circular Needles sold more than 100,000 copies in its first decade. (It’s now a small fortune on Amazon.)

She published several other books and ebooks, gave tutorials on YouTube, and ran fiber-arts retreats outside Seattle. She led overseas knitting trips and taught knitting to middle school students, noting how the methodical and mediative process of knitting helped students focus.

Bordhi died last month at age 69 from cancer. Prior to her death, she posted her pattern, the Rio Catalina cowl; https://catbordhi.com/wp-content/uploads/Rio-Calina-Cowl-1.3-1.pdf, saying the cowl, that winds and flows like a river, “teaches you to let go.”

The obituary is here: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/02/style/cat-bordhi-dead.html?referringSource=articleShare

My mother knit socks; I still have a couple pairs she made me. When all her friends were making argyle socks for their beaus in the 1950’s, she didn’t join in until she was engaged. I’ve made a pair of socks. One pair. The craze never caught me; I don’t understand why I’d spend all that time on something that’s hidden by pants and stuffed into shoes.

Knitting is methodical, mediative and overall relaxing. I hope to make Cat Bordhi’s Rio Calina cowls; knitting, like a flowing river, lets one let go.

Here’s a poem I wrote about my mother knitting argyle socks. (Published in my self-published poetry book, Lunch by the Pond.)

Mom dated men with M names
Like Marvin Morris Milton
to knit argyle socks for
None were good enough
Though her friends
knit for their beaus
she insisted
she wouldn’t
devote that work
until engaged

On a blind date
she met Martin
They listened to jazz
And smoked cigarettes
and after the second date
he told her
we’re getting married
She said
you’re crazy
then knit him argyle socks.

I have made my husband two argyle vests.

Does that count?

 

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