Remembering Cat Bordhi

September 27, 2020

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99 Comments
  • What an amazing and wonderful woman. And congratulations to you Clara for this spectacular remembrance. Might we all be so lucky to have both lived this life and to to be remembered so eloquently by someone with whom we shared it. I only wish I had known her and hope one day to meet you. The knitting world has lost a legend.

    • Such a magnificent tribute to this extraordinarily evolved person. Thank you for this lovely message.

  • I already saw this post in the Knitters Review and yet I had to read it again. Because Ms Cat Bordhi’s light sailing on last week still saddens me. But the joy she brought to all who shared her journey… well, it still brightens the world.
    Thank you for posting Ms Parkes.
    That we all may touch the world in this way..

    • Thank you, Clara, for this sweet & loving tribute. While there was so much I knew about her, it turns out there’s a lot I didn’t know. It was such good fortune to meet Cat at your wonderful Knitter’s Review Retreats & to take a class with her. Throughout her career, she taught us a lot & in her journey toward crossing over, she continued to be a teacher.

  • What a beautiful tribute. This: “ Cat’s childish wonder and exuberance” – we all need so, so much more of this and it’s certainly what drew me to her. I will always regret not having a chance to be in her presence.

    • I never met Cat however I just discover her about three weeks ago while I was knitting a pair of socks using her method of starting a toe up sock. Thank you for your article.

  • Thank you so much for your beautifully written remembrance. It was lovely.

  • Thank you so much, Clara.

  • What a beautiful person! Thank you

    • Some people are bigger than life, Ms Bordhi, you, RBG. You will live on in those you touched, taught, or shared ideas or patterns with. Just think of all the wips and finished knitted or crocheted items from all the teachers. I would have never knit my 1st sock (just recently) if not from the internet and gracious teachers. Thank you.

  • What a beautiful remembrance of a very special woman❤ Thank you for sharing this with us Clara!

  • I wish I had known her. Thank you for this.

  • Thank you Clara. What a lovely tribute to your magical friend.

  • This tribute to Cat Bordhi is worthy on so many levels. Thank you for the gift.

  • Thank you. In the midst of all the crazy thank you for this moment of loving celebration of this fun inspirational spirit.

  • I owe Cat my ability to knit socks, I have a very dog eared and loved copy of Socks Soar and an unabiding love of using circs for everything since then. Thank you Clara for such a beautiful remembrance.

    • I too needed Socks that Soar to buy my first circs and knit my first socks. Cat Bordhi taught me that innovation and creativity were part of knitting. Her teaching, sharing spirit was wonderful.

  • Thank you. My condolences.

  • Clara,
    What a beautiful tribute. Your words brought Cat alive to us who only knew her from a great distance. Those of us that are fairly new to knitting but recognize the greats that have gone before us. Thank you for allowing us to sit at the feet of Cat one last time.
    DN

  • That was a beautiful tribute!

    • I was fortunate to have taken several classes from her and attend two of her Island Knitting Retreats. She made everyone feel special. These were highlights in my knitting life.

  • Thank you for such a heartfelt recap of Cat’s life. She was truly a gift.

  • Thank you.

  • Thanks for sharing your memories of Cat.

    • Oh, Clara, so perfect. You may not recall, but Cat introduced us in Columbus one year. Cat was my teacher, my mentor, a fellow traveler (three countries together), and my friend. I spent yesterday retreading emails from her and feeling so grateful. I miss her terribly.

      • Oh Angela. ❤️

  • That was beautiful. I shed a tear or ten. Loved Cat and her ability to unapologetically be herself.

  • Beautiful article… tears and smiles and words to hold on to. Definitely going to knit me some Cat this winter.

  • Beautiful story and life she has experienced. Thank you for sharing.

  • Thanks for this lovely remembrance. I heard about Cat last winter at the Los Alamitos Yarn company in California, from the nice knitters working there, and felt connected immediately. I was one of those who wrote her an email, never having met her, so kind of a hello/goodbye missive. Wishing us all a similar parting from friends and family, in peace and harmony with the world.

  • What a beautiful tribute. Thank you for sharing.

  • Thank you for this! A great reflection about a woman who impacted so many!

  • Thank you for that loving tribute to a knitting star.

  • A perfect eulogy – a clear picture of a wonderful life, with a little laughter and tears to finish. Thanks, Clara.

  • This is a beautiful obituary. I am not very familiar with Ms Bordhi’s work but her approach to life and death are absolutely gorgeous. Thank you for sharing this.

  • Wonderful tribute. Thank you for sharing.

  • Thank you for this lovely remembrance.

  • Such a beautiful tribute to Cat Bordhi. I feel like I lost a friend. Her books, along with Elizabeth Zimmetman’s, are my treasures.

    When my dear friend, Margaret’s, cancer returned she named it The Current Unpleasantness. I have no doubt Margaret, with knitting needles in hand, was there to welcome Cat to a peacefil knitting circle.

  • It was Cat who brought me back to knitting. I was out of town and puttering around, and passed a small quilt shop. Being a quilter, of course I immediately applied my brakes and skidded into the parking lot (well, not really, it was a busy road so screeching to a near halt in 4 lanes of traffic seemed inadvisable). Lovely quilting stuff there, and I couldn’t leave without a bit of fabric. And then I saw the yarn corner. And then I saw a rack of books that included Cat’s sock book (I had never had a glimmer of interest in knitting socks; they seemed so *hard*). So I bought the first Treasury of Magical Knitting, then the Second Treasury of Magical Knitting and then New Pathways for Sock Knitters. I was off! I made a couple of baskets from the Magical Knitting books (with my newly acquired Denise interchangeables), and then ventured into the New Pathways book. It was ALL magical. Over sixty pairs of socks later, from all sorts of designers, I can’t imagine that I would have made that journey without the quirky Bordhi books (I even made the teeny tiny sock necklace). Oh, and I found her worm hat (I forget the actual title) and made one of those a few years ago, just because I *could*. Cat will live on in the corner of my brain where I store special knitting memories. Maybe I’ll meet her when I go to the Great Beyond. I hope so!! I’m sure you’ll forgive any overlooked typos in this ‘eulogy.’ I know Cat wouldn’t mind them and might even enjoy them. 😉

  • Thank you for such a beautiful tribute.

  • That is such a beautiful tribute!! Sad to hear of Cat’s passing.

  • Thank you for all the wonderful memories, along with the tears and laughter. Cat’s books on socks and mobius knitting were truly the first knitting books to take up permanent residency on my shelves. Her Icelandic treks were part of my bucket list. I hope one day to keep that appointment, even though it means sharing with a legend, only in spirit. ❣️

  • I am not a sock knitter but Cat really mad her mark on my consciousness with her video where she demonstrated her moebius cast-on technique behind her own back. A Cat hat trick. It stayed with me. Aol.comChloe

  • I am fortunate to be able to say Cat was both a mentor and a friend. Her generosity was unsurpassed. I asked if I could teach one of her patterns at our local knitting store and she agreed without hesitation. She offered notes she had and Only asked that I send her pictures. Alas, covid came and the class got canceled.

    I laughed at Clara recounting the shoes as Lucy Neatby is a friend of mine. Seeing the two different colored shoes now will have xtra special meaning.

    Beautiful eulogy Clara for a beautiful woman with and incredibly beautiful soul.

  • What very lovely tribute – I love thinking of Cat riding along with the Notorious RBG! Thank you.

  • What a beautiful tribute to an extraordinarily generous spirit and her joyous life journey. MY we all be inspired through our tears.

    • ‘May’

  • Thank You for sharing her with us and you know she is having a wonderful time in her afterlife

  • Yesterday, I listened to a radio interview with a friend’s mom, who passed away yesterday, and in one part,she said “I’m just me, nothing special, I had an ordinary life”. Reading this beautiful tribute, I can imagine Cat saying the same thing, eyes wide. Today is also the anniversary of my own mom’s Mum’s passing, maybe it’s that that makes this all the more bittersweet. Thank you for sharing.

  • What a beautifully written tribute to this amazing person. As you described Cat’s life, we all received a history lesson about the world of knitting, too. That was her impact and legacy. So grateful Cat was among us, teaching and sharing her one-of-a-kind self. Tears came quickly at the end of your elegy, because what a thought (!): Cat and RBG in the beyond together. Perhaps they will help us find a way in these fraught times.

  • What a wonderful tribute. For that and all the fires, thank you.

  • Good tears. Thank you.

  • I was first introduced to Cat Bordhi through an employee who was knitting socks on her break. When I asked her what she recommended to get me started on socks, she showed me her “Socks Soar”. It was such a lovely introduction to what seemed an impossible entry into knitting L-shaped tubes in that she made it sound so doable and fun! A few years later, I got to see Cat in person (as well as every other luminary that sat on the panel) at the very first Sock Summit in Portland, Or. What a delight she was! I will miss her and admire her for her approach to both life and death.

  • Thank you Clara for capturing the essence of Cat and sharing it with us – she was truly an amazing woman.

  • Reading this again, and again in tears. In a good way. What an eloquent tribute to a dear friend and an extraordinary woman. May we all live lives set by her example, lives filled with love and intention and bravery. I am heading off now to knit one of her designs.

  • Thank you, Clara, for such a beautiful tribute, and for encapsulating what so many of us feel.

    I think Cat’s death touched us all — as she did in life. I wrote about my feelings on losing Cat already (at http://www.deviousknitter.com/it-tolls-for-thee/), and don’t have much more to add, except to say that you have cemented my certainty that Cat was the epitome of who I’d like to continue to become.

  • I taught myself to knit on 2 circulars using her book. She will be missed. RIP Cat.

  • This is so lovely. I was privileged to take a class from Cat some years ago, and it is wonderful to learn more about her. Thank you, Clara and MDK.

  • A beautiful piece about an unusual soul. Thank you.

  • lovely…

  • The thing that always shone through about Cat was her absolute joy and glee in sharing some new technique that she’d developed or learned. Her YouTube video on Judy’s magic cast-on remains my favorite, and I, too, was blown away by her ability to do her Mobius cast-on behind her back, as demonstrated on Knitty Gritty way back in the day.

  • Such a beautiful tribute Clara. Cat has had and will have continue to have a huge impact on my knitting daily – knitting with circulars, moebii, socks and my interchangable knitting needle obsession! But above all that I will never forget the huge joy that shone out in her writing and in every page of her books. There can never be too much joy in the world – let’s go share some and sparkle!

  • What a wonderful, loving tribute to a remarkable woman!! Your words are grace to my aching soul. Thank you.

  • It is so funny to read your comment about Cat and Jeni’s ice cream! My introduction to Cat came in a class I signed up for in Columbus not realizing the joy that would follow. As we broke for lunch Cat insisted we must all cross the street to the Short North Market for lunch and we MUST have Jeni’s ice cream for desert! I did and the love affair for Cat and her designs as well as Jeni’s ice cream followed to this day.

    • Oh my goodness how perfect!

  • So very lovely and loving. What a wonderful friend to have had.

  • I managed not to cry, until you wrote this: “It would be just like Cat to have been put next to RBG on the shuttle to the Great Beyond (“I don’t know! I just asked for a comfortable seat!”).”

    What an absolutely delightful mental image. 🙂 Thank you for sharing your memories of Cat.

  • Thank you Clara for sharing this beautiful tribute with us.

  • What a lovely tribute! And how comforting! Good-bye, Cat! Thank you, Clara!

  • I must add that her cackle of a laugh and her stories – whether it was destroying the new kitchen sink in the middle of the night or flipping off the rude guy at the store from inside her knitted purse – were worth the price of admission! She found something positive and encouraging to say to every knitter at that retreat. What a role model for all of us.

  • So sorry for your loss of what appears to be a fabulous friend. The whole story of Cats life was written so beautifully I felt like I knew her. I did not know of her though, but wished I had. I cannot wait to look into her knitting books they sound like a treasure that I need to have. ❤️

  • Just beautiful Clara❤️

  • I’ve come to find the beauty and joy of meeting Cat far too late, but hope her spirit will keep me centered each day

  • Thank you for sharing your tribute, remembrances and your special bond with Cat. Your words, as always, fill me with inspiration.

  • Thank you so much for those lovely insights. I purchased Socks Soar long ago, and have followed Cat on You Tube, always looking for her approaches to different knitting techniques, and loving her quirky, fun style. So sorry she is gone.

  • Absolutely beautiful. The world is better for having had Cat Bordhi in it. My heart goes out to everyone mourning her loss and I know her legacy will live on in all of us.

  • Thank you.

  • Clara, thank you for this touching tribute to your dear friend, a remarkable woman.

  • what a beautiful tribute, Clara! now i regret i didn’t pay more attention to Cat Bordhi when she was here….

  • So beautifully written … Many lessons to be reminded of from You, dear Clara, as well as Cat. I do not like knitting socks (EVEN WITH 2 CIRCULARS) but I will read all written by Cat
    Thank you❣️ Thank you for such an inspirational editorial. Loving u all from afar …

  • Thank you for this beautifully written remebrance. ❤️

  • Thank you for sharing this wonderful article. I learned so much from Cat Bordhi. I learned to do her moebius cast on for a class and I have used it many times since then..
    So sad that she has passed, but she is in a better place without pain.
    She will be greatly missed.

  • What a nice letter to a friend, thank you. I got to go to one of her classes, where we stayed in a hotel in Friday Harbor and had classes on the San Juan Island Ferry, with lunch in a different town. I had such a good time and I learned about socks and some math, met lovely people and of course, got to knit on a ferry. Good memories, and I still think of Cat very time I cast on a sock.

  • Such a beautiful tribute to a woman I did not know but feel now like I have a true sense of who she was and what a remarkable contribution she made to the knitting community. What a gift. Thank you sharing this.

  • […] a Moebius Cowl for a long time, and with the sad passing of the innovative and inspirational Cat Bordhi, decided that this was the time to do so. I wanted a relaxing knit (although I can’t honestly […]

  • I never met nor was able to take a class with Cat, but did purchase the ebooklet for Sweet Tomato Heel. Loved how well written her booklet was, in her voice, so friendly. I posted several pictures of my heels on her Ravelry page, and was delighted to get her comments.

    This marvelous human will be missed, we lost a jewel.

    Thanks, Clara, for your lovely words!

  • Thank you Clara for this beautiful piece.

  • Loved your thoughts about this lovely and inspiring woman. Alas, I had always hoped to meet her.

    I especially love your closing image of these two energetically impactful women (who did what they did because they saw it as the only right things to be doing) chatting companionably (Cat must have been knitting something, of course) on a train into the beyond.

  • Beautiful tribute to a woman who sprinkled her own fairy dust wherever she went. I never met her, but had hoped to at a “future event/retreat/workshop”. I discovered her work very soon after she started publishing and found her approach to be positive, humorous, and fresh. I know that her contributions will reverberate for many years to come. Thanks, Cat, for all of your many gifts!

  • How fortunate for those people who have known Cat Bordhi personally. Reading this touching and lovingly written eulogy has inspired me to reread Cat Bordhi’s books in my library and knit a pattern that will challenge me.

  • Just beautiful!

  • What a beautiful tribute. Such friends are rare. My condolences on your loss.

  • I was saddened by Cat’s death when I heard, but so thankful for her life. I found her first Mobius book at the library and was hooked. I mastered the cast on and shared it with my friends and my local knitting group. They asked me to teach it to them – the first step in what would become my own knitting career. I offered to teach a technique class at our new local yarn store. This first class led the store to hire me as a part time instructor, allowing me to help new and seasoned Knitters and crocheter on their own journeys. Designing started in a few years and Gave me a purpose through my own cancer journey. Cat gave me the wings that I didn’t know I needed to soar into my future. I will miss this gentle soul.

  • This remembrance is an eloquent and accurate portrait of Cat. I met Cat at one of her earlier retreats and she helped me find knitting again after experiencing a deep loss. I never missed a yearly retreat after that and sometimes made two a year. Thank you, Clara, for writing this.

    Thank you, MDK for posting this beautiful tribute to Cat!

  • 2 years ago I spent a magical week in Friday Harbor at one of Cat’s retreats. She truly touched my heart … for all the reasons Clara wrote. I have a pair of “self designed with Cat’s foundation and guidance” slippers that now even hold more meaning, a folder full of patterns and notes, priceless memories of sharing the San Juan Islands through Cat’s perspective, and gratitude that my life’s GPS was able to intersect with Cat’s!

    • As a former shop owner my path intersected with Cat’s in many contexts; trade shows, being a student in her large classes and much more intimate ones, giving her a ride to reconnect with an old friend in my small town, and best of all facilitating several friends sharing a cabin drinking in the many joys and learnings of one of her island retreats but best of all, soaking up the abundant magic that pervaded everything that was Cat.

      No longer having a store for many years I have mostly lost touch with the wonderful world of knitting. As a result I was utterly stunned to learn while reading the MDK posting this morning of Cat’s illness and passing. The tears just streamed down my face as I read not just Clara’s exquisite tribute, but the comments made by others who were touched in various ways by “the Notorious CB“.

      For all the incredible discoveries, inventions, technical solutions, and unique contributions she so generously shared in her mentoring, classes, writings, & books, nothing held a candle to the joyful yet profound lessons she taught us about how to live and even depart a remarkable life. We will be so much the poorer without you but Heaven so much the richer. Thank you Cat for all of it.

  • Wow, what a wonderful read about a woman I only wish I had the pleasure of meeting.

  • Such a moving and deep tribute! I wish I had known her. Thank you.