Cat Bordhi, the legendary teacher and author of knitting books has died. She died in September 16th 2020, the cause of her death was not made known to the public.
Cat’s death was announced on Facebook through her daughter Jenny Low, in a heartfelt memorial tribute she wrote.
“This is Jenny, Cat’s daughter, writing to tell all of you that my mom’s beautiful playful soul exited her body this morning as she experienced a gentle death she felt ready for and at peace about. There are so many things I could say about my mom, but I will simplify for now and say she was amazing.
She raised me by herself and I know the strength, ambition, and creativity that shines boldly in me grew from her light. I was able to work remotely and live with her these last two months. My son, Charlie, her favourite human, with us of course. She’s always been more of a second parent to him than a grandma. Both from her youthful spirit and that she’s always been the one I can give him to and feel complete peace of mind while we are apart. He’s always called her Mimi. There aren’t words for what losing her feels like ”
Below is an emotional note from Ann Shayne:
A few days ago, I heard from Cat Bordhi, the legendary teacher, designer, author, mentor, traveller, and spirit. A sunbeam into my inbox, just like that. She was sent along with a pattern that she thought our readers might enjoy, a free pattern.
I burst into tears. Not a typical response to a pattern, even to one as inventive as this one.
A few weeks ago, she shared with the world the news that she is dying. Her candour about this stunned her legion of admirers and friends.
Yesterday, she sent me her thoughts for us all:
I have been ever so fortunate that the fates tossed me into the knitting pool. I began crocheting and knitting at about age 8 on a camping trip and my hands never stopped fiddling with string after that, whether it be for jump ropes, or for ropes for tying up neighbourhood kids after capturing them in street games, or for making little blankets. While the other kids were off rampaging about with my creations, I created—this probably saved me a lot of skinned knees.
Then as I grew older my creations became more sophisticated, until after many many years it evolved into me being a knit designer, of all things. This suited me wonderfully since I like to invent things and not be told what to do. I’d been teaching elementary and middle school for ten years by the time that happened, so I had lots of tricks up my sleeve for a diverse range of learners, and my students often tell me that they can feel the teacher in me, a good one who feeds them material in a way that makes sense to them. This means everything to me—to be a teacher who makes sense. In fact, at lunch today with my grandson Charlie who is struggling with remote schooling right now, we went around the table to offer suggestions and I found myself suggesting he email his teacher to ask for help because nothing pleases a teacher more than actually being able to help. This is true and I hope that if you are reading this and have a kid nearby struggling with on-line school, encourage them to ask for help!
My greatest joy IS being able to help my students discover that they are capable of so much more than they dreamed. They realize that they can make changes and handle the outcome, can be creative, and can trust themselves both in knitting and beyond. Knitting has the most marvelous ability to free up the knitter as a human being while masquerading as innocent knitting. It is actually the best personal trainer you will ever find, offering spiritual guidance all along the way. I am so glad this is what shall carry me Home over the next week or so. That and the arms and love of my daughter Jenny, grandson Charlie, and a small circle of devoted friends and family, and a vast circle of knitters—like you. I thank you for your love and patience and goodness. May we all go Home with needles and yarn in our arms.
Love for and to all of you,
As for the pattern …
The Rio Calina Cowl is not any ordinary cowl. It’s such a Cat Bordhi pattern. She writes: “This cowl is a satisfying travel companion because you make it up as you go along, allowing a spontaneous river of cables.”
You’ll find the pattern here.
One of Cat’s favourite nonprofits is the San Juan Island Family Resource Center, if you’d like to make a donation in honour of Cat.
Her deep love of nature led me to find the greenest yarn possible to make my Rio Calina Cowl.
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