Versatildes ~ a New Landscape for Knitters


One of the great joys of authoring an ebook is that I can add more designs as a free surprise, and I just did: Here are my two favorite Tildes of all, added in August of 2015, both knit with HiKoo Sueño.

First is Feathered Fins…

And the second free addition is my Rio de Dos Historias…

The text below is my “Giving thanks” from the book. It tells the tale of the Tildes and how they became Versatildes. I’ve added lots of photos to carry you through. If you buy the book and end up not wanting it, just email me and I shall be glad to refund your money. But I think you will love it.

My mother began my knitting lessons when I was a curious eight-year-old, and persisted in teaching me through my surly teens. Thank you for being a miracle of loving devotion. What a gift it has been for me. (Note: the next photo is Arya and her little Theia, not my mother and I!)

I thank the tilde itself, that small curvaceous dash ~ that has tantalized me all my life. The blue Tilde on the left was my initial foray into knitting this shape. I did not expect it would amount to much. But it came to life the moment I put it on and captured my imagination. Things evolved, and Tildes earned the name of Versatildes.

That evolution has been sustained by two groups in particular. My Visionary colleagues’ unconditional and synergistic nourishment of each others’ book gestations continues to be a marvel, and their encouragement strengthened my resolve. The second group is a dozen groups actually, for I hold Island Knitting Retreats six times a year and this book has been two years in the making. My loyal student-friends have been sworn to Tilde secrecy all this time—a miracle as well as proof of the kind and honorable nature of knitters. In April of 2014, they demanded I finish the book, and soon! In their fierce and loving circle, I agreed to complete it by the end of August 2014, or else! Each of you has my deepest gratitude.

Ellen Silva was a lighthouse warning me away from the rocky shores of complexity. Your clarity about this became my compass.

My friend and graphic design inspiration, Alysha Naples, shared her belly dancing friends and mad scientist partner Yonatan Munk with me for the first photo shoot. Yoyo’s gift for photographing ants and other tiny creatures transferred easily to the human creatures in the garden of Alysha’s belly dance teacher, Shay Moore of DeepRootsDance.com. Thanks to models, Arya Pretlow, baby Theia (she qualifies for having danced in a belly), and Caryn Vainio.

Time was running short when my friends and fellow Visionaries Jennifer Leigh and David Roth offered to vacation at my house and devote themselves to feeding me home-cooked ethnic cuisines, photographing, modeling, helping with layout, and playing board games amidst endless laughter. David sharpened all my knives. Jennifer gave me stern looks that made me stop fiddling around. They made me so happy I could barely stand it and my gratitude to them is unspeakable.

During our first island beach shoot, Elizabeth Ayers, who you see holding the full moon in her hands, a knitter from Houston vacationing with her husband and three exuberant girls, came over to ask if I was Cat Bordhi. Well, one thing led to another and pretty soon we’d covered them in Tildes. This happy, playful family became the best models we ever could have hoped for, and if you see tousled hair and interesting T-shirts and some muddy legs, that is because there is nothing more beautiful in the world than real life. Their photos made the book sing and my heart leaps up every time I look at their images. When we later discovered their camera in a box of my Tildes, we took a photo of ourselves with it and mailed it back with a box of gifts. I wonder if you have found that picture yet? Thank you, thank you for joining us and filling this book with your beauty.

At the end of the book is my love letter to Perú, en español, a language that caresses and gazes into eyes without a barrier. My first trip to Perú in June of 2013 with my wise brother, Jim Petkiewicz, shifted my soul’s tectonic plates and altered the course of my life. This book’s heart is powered by the life force that pulses through Perú’s glacier-topped mountains, blue skies, Incan stonework, and in the tenderness and deep humanity of its people. Jim helped me realize that I could devote time to working on the book during the intimate Peruvian sojourns we lead for small groups of knitters. And so the book and I have been productive companions all through Perú. At this very moment, I am writing beneath the shade of a palapa, watching hummingbirds sip nectar from red trumpet-shaped flowers and listening to water burbling through an Incan channel. Mil gracias, hermanito.

Many times a day as we walked the streets or sat on a plaza bench in Arequipa, Cuzco, Ollantaytambo, Aguas Calientes, or Chinchero, a Peruvian knitter would thrill me by lifting my Tilde from my hands to knit for a while, usually without asking, because this is what knitters do—share their knitting. If we were a small crowd, it would pass from hand to hand. They already knew the Tilde shape because it transforms a Spanish n into an ñ. In my rendition, there are aletas (fins), campos (fields), and a rio (river), poderoso y un pequeño peligroso (fierce and a little dangerous) on one side but más tranquilo (more tranquil) on the other. As my new friends took this in, they would begin to look upon us with the tenderness we usually reserve for family. I pass the joy and innocence of this intrinsically human tenderness on to you.

The Tilde seizes the part of me that is obsessed with things beautiful, graceful, and mysterious. I invite you to plant your own handful of Tilde seeds to see what comes forth—I have only prepared the soil. May you grow and share a beautiful garden.

September 26, 2014—I just added three additional Tilde River cables so now there is a grand total of 23 original reversible cables for you to play with. The ability to add more material as it develops is one of the great joys of digital publishing. The more the merrier!

Collection of patterns for Cat Bordhi's newest landscape. Is it a scarf? a Shawl? It's a tildes and it's only limits are your imagination.

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