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People Top 5
LAST UPDATE: Tuesday February 10, 2015 01:10PM EST
PEOPLE Top 5 are the most-viewed stories on the site over the past three days, updated every 60 minutes
- October 09, 2006
- Vol. 66
- No. 15
Trader of a Lost Art
Actress Karen Allen Gives Up Screen Time for Knitting and a Shop to Sell Her Sweaters. (Yes, She Really Makes Them!)
After a breakout role in the 1978 frat hit Animal House, Allen, 55, built a career on both blockbusters (Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Perfect Storm) and edgier fare (In the Bedroom). She scaled back in the early '90s when her son Nick was a baby. But when Allen, who is divorced, later sought more work, she says casting directors wanted only to "find the younger Karen Allen." Allen then chose at age 50 "to reinvent myself." A knitter since her grandmother taught her at age 5, she enrolled in New York's Fashion Institute of Technology and rediscovered her childhood passion. "I love the physical action," she says. Last year Allen opened her shop, where the handwoven wares ($350 for merino sweaters to $1,200 for cashmere blankets) have lured celeb fans Blythe Danner and Kate Capshaw. Allen keeps a hand in her other craft, teaching acting at a local college and taking occasional parts. But these days she is happier casting lines of wool than waiting to be cast. "I wake up and create my own day," she says. "It feels really good."
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