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Christa, elegant at six feet tall, long silver hair drawn back into a bun, dressed in her signature, scooped neck, black leotard top with black knit pants, a soft cashmere shawl draped over her shoulders, exudes an air of friendly, quiet competence and confidence. She and Shelby, with minimal outside help, cook, clean house and care for their guests. Despite the work involved Christa gives full and relaxed attention to her students. For her, knitting has never become work. She was so young when she learned to knit she no longer remembers who taught her, “That really doesn’t matter, ” she said, “what is important now is that any day I don’t knit is not a healthy day.”
She finds designing instinctive, “Yes I’m creative but I’m also rooted firmly in math,” she claimed.
Childhood was difficult for her in war-time Germany. Separated from her parents she was in her words, “farmed out,” between orphanage and convent.
Eventually she was returned to her family, but, a rebellious teen, she ran away from home at 16 to work in the orphanage in which she had spent much of her early childhood. Exhausted from caring for babies and hand washing diapers from 5:00 am to midnight she contracted meningitis, was sent home and not expected to live.
“I fought to pull through and when I recovered I apprenticed in a film studio,” she said. The position provided Christa, then 17, tall, beautiful and a natural model with opportunities in front of and behind the camera. “I was like a sponge and loved it. I did everything from model gorgeous fur coats to dubbing, and editing. I learned it all and fortunately for me I worked for a lazy editor and had to learn all the skills.”After moving to America her editing skills eventually helped her to form her own film editing business through which she met Shelby.
“When I was growing up,” Christa explained, “If you needed something you had to make it, so, I learned from an early age to knit and sew.”