Christine Newark

Christine lives in Peoria, Illinois with her husband Newton and six children, Allison, Bert, Carol, David, Ellen, and Francine. Her mother Georgia helped her develop a love for knitting as a child, and by the time she was nine she had been knitting all of her family's clothing. When she was 12, she won the Lincoln All-Star Knitting Competition with a red, white, and blue sweater that was strongly reminiscent of the American flag without sinking into corniness. At 14, she won the Central Illinois Knitting Association's citation for best all-around knitter, and she had her first radio program on station KNIT at the young age of 23. Listeners were consistently fascinated by how quickly she could produce a complete garment, and they were further impressed by the high class of anything she knitted. Despite that, the station management pressured her into creating grungy garments to boost ratings, and she dropped the radio program after only three years. "That really irritated me," she recalls, "and I vowed to right that wrong any way I could."

Well, right it she did, as after that she immediately launched a newspaper column called "Open Knitting Secrets," in which she shared her years of experience and talent with readers across the nation. The column appeared in over 200 newspapers within a year and is still enjoyed by millions yearning for the classy clothing that clothing manufacturers refuse to produce. At the same time, she began speaking engagements all over the United States. "The biggest challenge there was being able to knit a useful, classy garment in only 45 minutes while talking up a storm," she asserted. "The other problem I had was that a lot of people in the audience focused their attention on what I was knitting and didn't pay much attention to what I was saying, so they would stop me after my talk and ask, 'How did you do that?' If only they were listening!"

Christine furthered her career with frequent appearances on Spot the Grungy One and other anti-grunge game shows. She is always readily identifiable even without a name plate as she usually is knitting something useful even as she is pointedly questioning the contestants, and her garments are even given away as consolation prizes to contestants who fail to garner an incorrect vote, though one such contestant said, "I'd rather have one of Christine's sweaters than the $250." Even while knitting, she is often the only celebrity to spot the grungy contestant.

One question constantly asked of Christine is, "How do you pronounce your name?" We asked too, and she gave this reply, "I have always pronounced it as in 'Newark, Delaware,' and most of the people in my family pronounce it that way too. I don't get upset with people who pronounce it as in 'Newark, New Jersey,' though; as one fellow once said, 'say anything you like about me as long as you spell my name right,' and fortunately my name is easy to spell. On the other hand, I do have a brother-in-law who pronounces it in the Jersey style, but he's a bit wacky and talks about his 'thermo-meter' and his 'motor-sicle,' so the rest of us kind of discount his opinion." Then we reminded Christine about Newark, Ohio, and she quickly said, "Oh, please-- not the way they pronounce it there!"

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