Saturday, August 18, 2007

Over Abundance

I swiped the picture from Rodger's blog so if I get another pic some time I'll replace it. This is him with some poor jetlagged teenage girl-saddled mother who goes around taking pictures of her sock with strangers.

Rodger burst into the Portland scene last year when he arrived here to attend college. Don't let his youth fool you. He has a mind full of ideas and no fear of tackling a design puzzle. His enthusiasm is infectious and I have the honor of knowing him beyond the PDX Knitbloggers. He chats about his doings at Over Abundance.

Q. When did you learn how to knit? Did someone teach you or did you teach yourself?

A. I taught myself to knit my junior summer of high school, about two years ago. I was 17. I had just learned to crochet frm my aunt, and I didn't like crocheted sweaters so I learned to knit so I could knit them.

Q. If you were sent into exile, which 5 knitting books would you take?

A. All of the Elizabeth Zimmermann books. They could keep me happily knitting for years and years to come.

Q. Describe the most unusual/notable occurrence that happened while you were knitting.

A. Being applauded by two eastern european immigrants on the city bus when I pulled out a sweater I was knitting and began working on it. That was pretty unusual AND notable.

New Pathways

Cat Bordhi does what some of us dream of: play with design and get paid enough to not have to work at another job. My previous experience with Cat is through her Moebius books from which I have yet to work a pattern but am intrigued. When her latest book "New Pathways for Sock Knitters" came out, I commented on the GLBT Knit list that I didn't think I would pay 30 bucks for a book on socks when I had several books already. But I found myself eating my words when I looked in the book and saw what new architectures Cat has come up with. So if this sounds rather gushing please forgive me. I'm a new convert who has met the sock messiah, nay touched the same socks she has touched and even spoken with her.

Taking the MAX train was the best way to get to Cat's book signing at the Forestry Center. For a Friday evening around 5:30 the train was surprisingly empty, but it's summer and I figured that folks had taken off early for the weekend. A few were going to the Zoo concert being held that same evening, but there were no signs of knitters.

It wasn't until I arrived at the Forestry Center that I met up with Chrispy, Bobbie, Judy, and a number of other knitters. One gal had traveled down from Puyallup Washington for the signing; she asked us about what yarn stores to visit. I gave her the directions to Woodland Woolworks as it would be a pity for her to be so close and not visit.

Bobbie brought out the finished top done in Bambu 7 but to her grief it turned out too small for her, so she was going to gift it to someone who could fit in it. Chrispy turned out to be the right size and received the lovely top.

Inside we were greeted by the folks at Blue Moon Fiber Arts who were busy selling Cat's books and finishing up the preparations for the signing. Tina Newton, the doyenne of Blue Moon, was the emcee but it was a job trying to herd us knitters into a quiet bunch. The intention was that Cat would talk about the book, then Cat would sign books and we would get dessert. It ended up with knitters raiding the dessert table and quietly (and in some cases shyly) standing in line to get their copy signed. We were told that Blue Moon wouldn't have their yarns for sale as it was Cat's night and they didn't want to overshadow her with ravenous knitters snagging skeins of yarn. But it wasn't entirely yarnless. Tina had a nice big box of yarn to give away as prizes for unusual items found in one's knitting bag. Kathy won for the most unusual tool made from an ordinary object (a plastic fork used as a lucet to make cording). Some of us won skeins (in some cases two) for objects in our bags. I won two for a credit card used to determine wraps per inch (it was admittedly a stretch -- that skein's going into a gift bag) and a flashlight. The other skein, in red clover honey, will be a good background yarn for a skein of Koigu I have that can make another pair of colorwork socks. Tee hee!

Cat brought the socks from the book so that you could see the architecture live. It was fascinating to see how a few increases put in at nearly any point of the sock could create such different styles. I was drawn to the Ocean-Toes sock (Cat is holding it above -- click to see a larger picture of it) and the potential for it to be a fun man's sock if done in manly colors (like black with orange flames). It would make a wonderful sock for the quivering brethren of Brother Amos' congregation that Brenda Dayne loves so much from "Cold Comfort Farm." You can imagine the flames of hell licking your toes as you descend.

If you have not gotten your copy of the book and want it, get it now. The first edition has sold out. The next edition is not due out until October. That was the warning given last night. Blue Moon has books so if your LYS doesn't have it you can try them. And Cat? She's touring, so get the chance you can to see her if you haven't met her yet. She's a very sweet person and thrilled to hear the positive feedback.


MonicaPDX said...

Again, great interviews, Duffy... And wonderful report on Cat Bordhi night. Thank you! That was almost as good as being there, especially with pix of fellow bloggers. That's a really good one of Chrispy in the Bambu top. Well...almost as good, except for coming away with yarn. ;)

And I keep forgetting, sorry - congrats and good luck on your sock swatch!

TheBunny said...

I was supposed to go to the launch but it was such a long, busy week I couldn't drag myself out there. Which is a shame because I adore Cat and am absolutely in awe of her.

Isn't she hysterical?

I can't wait to get the book.

You know, she has written fiction too.

Bobbie said...

Good post! Wasn't that a hoot?

Are you still gathering the premie caps and blanket squares? I found knitters at my new job; at least 3 Knitters (with a capital K) plus some "just starting" knitters. I have lots of synthetic baby yarn and thought those would be good commute knitting.

How goes the new sock pattern?


Lana said...

Thanks so much for the information on Woodland Woolworks. I went there first on Saturday morning. Your directions were fab! Lots of yarn followed me home.
I'm a bit batty, and didn't even think of properly introducing myself, or of asking for your name. I was able to find your blog; thanks to Cat Bordhi mentioning Judy. Who was sitting beside you :-) googled her name and knitting...

Thanks again!
Lana ickyfishy at comcast dot net(sadly blogless from Puyallup, WA)