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Christa said she was a novice at the double knitting technique when a friend suggested she knit a swing coat. Double knitting involves creating two layers of stocking stitch fabric, using one pair of needles and two balls of yarn at the same time. Each side had different color-ways and the garment is completely reversible.
Christa thought about the possibilities as she cooked dinner that day. On a scrap of paper on the kitchen counter, she made a brief sketch which became the kernel for the design. She showed me the scrap of paper complete with the circular imprint of her coffee cup! She knew immediately she wanted a cityscape. Later she perused several on the computer and loved a section of the Chicago skyline. Then, using a computer program, treating the stitches as pixels, x’s for one color and o’s for the other, she pulled together her technical abilities, her lifetime knitting knowledge and mathematical savvy to create the pattern for a timeless, fashionable, one- of-a-kind masterpiece of wearable art. She then knitted daily for 5 months, sometimes for 18 hours at a stretch, to make it a reality.
Her outstanding selection of scarves and shawls, some for which she has made patterns available, have also been inspired by incidents in her life and her love of nature. They are also valued at several thousand dollars each, depending on size and complexity. I loved a scarf depicting large cart horses walking under a towering tree, different seasonal color-ways on opposite sides, but when draped over the shoulders the two ends together create a single image.
“The tree is one I say ‘Hello’ to as I pass it on I-75, near exit 244, on my drive from the mainland back toward the ferry. It is so beautiful. If there were no traffic I would love to stop there and really enjoy it!” Christa remarked. “The horses were inspired by the logo of the Campbell Folk School in North Carolina where I have taught workshops, and the Chinese symbol for double-happiness was to recognize a new relationship in the life of a Chinese friend..”