Thursday, October 30, 2008

My Original Knitting Inspiration

Today I suddenly remembered what set me on the path to knitting.

To set the stage: I attended high school in a coastal Northern California town in the 1970's. During that difficult period of adolescence when I was trying to find my identity, I developed a deep admiration for a girl in my class named Jody. Jody had a unique and very cool sense of style and self-assurance that seemed beyond her years. She didn't fit into any of the typical social groups or cliques. She was a star tennis player, but not part of the "jock group." She was intelligent and made good grades, but was definitely not a "nerd." And with her white blond hair and blue eyes she was strikingly pretty but was not a cheerleader type or a "surfer chick." Jody just seemed to float above the typical and banal social dramas that set the stage for life in high school. She had that mysterious aura of charisma one associates with movie stars.

One chilly winter morning she came to school in a beautiful, very colorful turtleneck sweater that she wore with great panache. I imagined that she looked as though she'd just stepped off the ski slopes of Austria (think Audrey Hepburn in the opening scene of Charade). Anyway, I overheard her telling someone that she'd knit the sweater herself from yarn scraps in her mother's knitting basket. It had turned out to be much too big for her, so, (she continued nonchalantly) she'd thrown it into the washing machine to felt it. Now keep in mind, teenagers in the '70s did not exactly view knitting as the coolest of hobbies. And yet, at that moment, I felt inspired to go home and create my own unique knitted fashions. Thirty years later, I'm still at it!

BTW, the last I heard Jody had become a renowned sculptor / painter living in Soho who sells her art to wealthy connoisseurs from around the world. (Wouldn't you know it?)

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