I must admit, I was so nervous the morning I woke up to go to my first Cat Bordhi class. I had already read her book New Pathways for Sock Knitters cover to cover; in fact, that was the book I picked up when I wanted to learn how to knit socks for the first time. (And if you know me, you might suspect that I didn’t just want a book full of patterns; I wanted a book that would explain the different parts of a sock to me — one that would allow me to understand their construction so I could make them up on my own. New Pathways was that book for me.)
You see, I became a better knitter from reading New Pathways. Cat didn’t just write a book full of sock patterns. She wrote a book full of knitting tips disguised as a sock-knitting book.
Would the real Cat Bordhi, I wondered that morning, be nice? Would she like me? I want to be a designer like her someday… Would she see anything special in me, or would I be just another student?
Well, I don’t know how she saw me, but I sure enjoyed meeting her. She seems to be a teacher to the core, and a good one, at that. I believe that she really gets excited by encouraging other people. She wants her students to excel. She wanted us to come up with new ideas that we could turn into our own patterns, and she cheered us on through the whole process.
In short, I had a great time.
And now, the top ten things I learned from Cat Bordhi, in no particular order:
- Persevere; new ideas come from the strangest of places;
- Play with the yarn;
- Use other brilliant people’s awesome techniques, and give them full credit (think Judy’s Magic Cast On and Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off and Cat’s two-circ method for knitting in the round);
- Do good work;
- Come at problems from new angles to find solutions;
- Knitting can always get better;
- Any technique can be tweaked, especially if you’re determined;
- Knitting builds community; LYS’s are an important part of that;
- Good yarn is worth the money;
- Knitting will always be fun. (I already knew this last one, but I love seeing it in other people, too. It makes me happy.)