Knit My Skirt by Candace Eisner Strick made our HAPPY THURSDAY because Candace returned LIVE to the Yarn Thing Podcast with Marly Bird. This isn’t the first time Candace visited, but we’ve loved her for a very long time. We’re very excited about her new book Knit My Skirt, published by the Yarn Thing Podcast Sponsors XRX Inc, publishers of Knitters Magazine, host of Stitches Events.
Candace gave us a little bit of her background, how she met her husband of 41 years and acquired the name ‘Strick’ which in German means ‘to knit’ (PERFECT for a knitwear designer). Knitting for her began when her mother taught her at age 3, her father bought her a skein of Red Heart Yarns, the rainbow colorway. The first piece came out shaped like a triangle because of all the stitches she dropped. Knitting was on the back burner as she grew to play cello and then, as an adult, had a family and felt she had no time to knit. She received a Stitches brochure for the event happening at that time (1990-something) in Cherry Hill and thought this sounded like her people. Several books later, she is the teacher-designer-author we’ve come to know.
Candace spoke about finding the wall of yarn at the local Five & Dime as a young knitter. For many people, that was where many of us would find yarn. She says it feeds her soul, her creativity, her need for color and texture by it’s soothing rhythmic nature. She said her mom didn’t want to buy her yarn when she was little, but nowadays her stash makes her happy.
At a Stitches South event, Candace taught a How-to-Knit-Skirts class and Elaine Rowley (often introduced as the ‘R’ in XRX) sat in on her class and afterwards approached Candace and asked her if she’d like to write a book about skirts. At first, she couldn’t believe her ears, but Candace says there are a lot of problems to be solved with knitters. Her first skirt was inspired by a yarn she had in her stash for a long time and a pattern that she’d bought, that involved creating a casing for the elastic at the skirt waist. The problem is that the casing and elastic created a triple layer of BULK that nobody needs, and as soon as she tried it in, saw and felt that she looked fat. She found at a local store a pair of leggings, she hacked that bulky waistband off and attached her skirt to the top of those leggings so that she had a smooth layer from waist to hip and (YAY!) her skirt fit and looked good on her.
This concept is what she was showing students in that class. Since she began to work on Knit My Skirt, she’s learned how to help people understand why THEY CAN wear a knit skirt, it won’t show every lump & bump if it’s YOUR size, if it’s knit of a fiber that drapes, a longer skirt will hide your legs if you’re uncomfortable, it doesn’t take forever to knit and no more yarn than most (and in fact a lot less), … Most of us have body image issues that can be resolved or forgotten with a skirt MADE FOR YOU!
Many of those issues Candace feels are avoided by being choosy with fibers. A pure silk or bamboo yarn will stretch and stretch. Linen, Candace says she loves to knit with, it washes up soft, can be worn in multiple seasons. (Right now she is knitting a skirt of a linen, so clearly she loves working with that fiber.) Also wearing a slip under the knitted skirt bears the brunt of sitting issues that many worry about.
Of the designs in the book, we spoke about the My Mondrian Skirt which she knitted with yellow, red, blue and green, but for authenticity, XRX photoshopped it so that is more in the colors that the Dutch painter would have used. My In the Groove is knit smooth till the slanted ruffle. Candace even knit it in Green Mountain Spinnery yarn and with a reverse stockinette and loves the result. My Look at it From from All Angles is mitred squares in a slow color change yarn and, like a lot of the skirts in the book, the diagonals draw your eyes away from the things we don’t like about our bodies. In the text, beyond the patterns, are suggestions for more variations on the skirts listed, so really, there are more ideas than the 25 published here. Candace has worked through all those issues we have, to encourage us to add another type of garment project in which we can feature our beautiful knitting stitches.
We can follow Candace Eisner Strick at her website: www.strickwear.com, she is in Ravelry with a designer page, which we will want to do as she’s designing a skirt for an upcoming issue of Knitters magazine. You may wish to attend a class with her at Stitches Midwest in Chicago, CLICK HERE. A demonstration of using leggings to lose the bulk of the waistband, see her YouTube videos. You can also hear her previous visit to the Yarn Thing podcast by CLICKING HERE. If you missed getting to hear today’s visit , it is still available where it aired as an archive: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/yarnthing/2016/04/07/knit-my-skirt-by-candace-eisner-strick or in your favorite podcast catcher, like iTunes and Stitcher Radio.