A sock heel that works with gradient dyed yarn; making a home; memories of dump runs past; buttons; the Celestial Emporium of Benevolent Knowledge.
Syncopation socks are off the needles. The heel used is Cat Bordhi’s Sweet Tomato Heel. (More about Cat’s legacy below.) It did not occur to me whilst fiddling about with heels, trying to get the gradient to play nicely, that the full colour transition doesn’t show at all when I’m wearing shoes.
Confession that will surprise no one: I am a Felix. Tonia is an Oscar.
Thanks to my friend, Katie, for her service in dump runs, garage clearing, button sorting, and for sharing with me the existence of Borges’ Celestial Emporium of Benevolent Knowledge.
Read more about John Wilkins and his proposed universal language. Argentine writer, Jorge Luis Borges, crafted an essay on Wilkins’ work, wherein Borges outlines his own delightfully fictitious taxonomy of animals, Celestial Emporium of Benevolent Knowledge.
Music in this episode:
Maintaining Cat Bordhi’s Legacy
Cat Bordhi was one of the most creative people we’ve ever known, and one of the most generous. Her generosity burst forth in her teaching, in school systems where she helped the curriculum come alive, and then in the fibre world, where she came up with inventive ways to teach not only skills but an approach of joyous experimentation and discovery.
Throughout much of this time, Cat experienced cancer. She held it off with her characteristic enthusiasm for many years. We lost her in the fall of 2020, as the covid-19 pandemic was upending multiple aspects of our lives. Cat’s clear-sighted awareness meant she knew that she would be leaving us, and she knew she had built a legacy. She knew that legacy would need an attentive guardian, and she asked some friends to be its guardians.
Chief among those guardians is her good friend, Val Curtis, who bravely agreed to continue maintaining Cat’s website, original works, patterns, and books and to do everything possible to make sure the knitting community has ongoing access to the incomparable and valued resources Cat had generated over so many years. Cat asked that her daughter, Jenny, and Val come to an agreement that they both felt was fair with regards to compensation and they did. They, too, are dear friends. Jenny used to be Val’s next-door neighbour and their boys were babies together.
As organized as Cat was, behind the scenes her abundant, inventive spirit left more good stuff than we have seen yet; work that needs to be shaped into shareable formats. In some cases these need to be made out of scraps and crumbs that Cat left behind: enough to work with, but not enough to make that job simple or straightforward.
Preserving Cat’s legacy is a job Val volunteered for and has taken on with alacrity and dedication. But to do this, she needs our support: emotional, for sure, and with an appreciation for her time and effort, and skills (which, as Cat knew, are plentiful). She has played many roles in Cat’s absence to keep the community afloat. This has ranged from emotional support to Cat’s beloved friends to keeping the spirit of Cat’s Silent Knitting group via bi-weekly Zoom gatherings and developing Test Knit groups to piece together patterns that are almost complete.
While Val has felt the love, kindness, and creativity of Cat’s community, a number of us would like to make more widely known and acknowledge the yeoman work she has done in maintaining that community.
This letter comes as an appeal from many of Cat’s friends and associates: let’s all pitch in and give Val the appreciation her work deserves. Let’s also make a team effort to keep the magic going, to the best of our ability.
This is how we all can honour the treasure that Cat was.
Amy O’Neill Houck
Cat’s legacy continues at: