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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Beautiful Parrot and What I am Teaching at Stitches

If you are interested in what I will be teaching at Stitches events, you can check out the link above. You can see a picture of my beautiful parrot Go-Go, who now resides with a new family in NH. We miss him, but he's happy with his new household, which has alot more going on than here. They have a 10 year old boy who adores him, and Go-Go has his own sunroom. He is also going to celebrate his first Xmas, something he never had here!!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

More StevenBe

For those of you that want more StevenBe, here is part 2 of the

Found pounds and pounds of yarn in the basement which is gorgeous. Some of it didn't smell so hot, even though it was all protected in plastic bins. I have been winding and washing skeins til I am ready to drop.

But...did get the new storage unit in the studio all filled up. Stay tuned for that in tomorrow's video. Also did a bike ride and took a hike on a new trail right behind our house. That extra hour sure came in handy today!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Queen For a Day

One of the highlights of my Minneapolis trip, besides seeing my sister, was a trip to Glad Creations Quilt Block, one of my favorite quilt stores. We usually walk there, as my sister's house is just a few blocks away. This time we drove, and as we pulled up to the store I noticed a sign in the window which said "Candace, queen for a day." I had an inkling that my sister was up to something, as she made a mysterious phone call before we drove there, and was acting sort of strange (stranger than usual, I should add).

This was a belated birthday present for me, and as I entered the store they presented me with a crown and a gift certificate. I was so excited, as the shop is filled floor to ceiling with everything I love. I picked out some lovely batiks, and as we were just leaving, I spotted the quilting book that I had written several years ago on their bookshelf. I pulled it out and showed it to the shop keepers, and they were quite surprised that I was the author.

I'm sure lots of you will recognize the music Ken put to the video. This was actually the same music they used for the show back in the 50's. It is from Sir Edward Elgar's piece Pomp and Circumstance. Most of you know it as "graduation music."

Not to change the subject, but lately, when I have looked at pictures of myself, I seem to notice that I have a very small head. At the last Stitches event I was sitting with Edie Eckman while we were doing book signings at the Yarn Barn. I asked her if she thought I had a little head, and she said yes. Then she quickly added, "But you have a very dense brain inside it." This was a compliment, and I thanked her, but really, I DO have a tiny head. When the woman at the Quilt Block put the Queen for a Day crown on my head she remarked, "You have a very small head." Then she quickly added, "It fits the rest of you." So now folks, it's official, I have a TINY HEAD!!

Stay tuned for Part II of the StevenBe video.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


On October 26 I flew to Minneapolis to teach at StevenBe Yarn Garage, and a weekend for Minnesota Knitter's Days. Little did I know I was going to miss one of the worst snowstorms of New England. Hooray! I missed it! But I did come home to no electricity.

On Oct 27 and 28 I taught at the "you've-never-seen-anything-like-it" StevenBe's Yarn Garage on Chicago Ave in Minneapolis. There was one full day of 25 Slick Tricks, and one half-day of 12.5 Slick Tricks. We had a wonderful time, and Steven served us delicious snacks and lunch.

I can't even begin to describe the store, and Steven, so here's the video. Steven is one-of-a-kind; friendly and flamboyant, kind, generous, and hilarious.

I stayed with my sister Judith, who lives in Minneapolis, and when you watch the video, you can pretty much tell what she is like....we're definitely related, but she is far more eccentric. We had tons of fun; it was like we were little kids again, but with all the freedom of being adults. After teaching at StevenBe's, there was more fun to follow when we both went to the Villa Maria for the knitting retreat.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Caramel Sauce

I am back from the TKGA convention in Greensboro, SC. It was at a beautiful venue with a lovely hotel (Sheraton). My classes, as always, were full of fun and wonderful people, and the market was just the right size. Getting there was a nightmare, as the regular flights should have taken no more than 3 hours. I was unlucky enough to get cancellations and delays that equaled 12 hours. Basically, I could have walked on my hands faster! Coming home was slightly less traumatic, although the DC airport was shut-down for almost an hour, so we spent that hour sitting on the runway in Greensboro. I love what I do, but hate the air commuting.

We are experiencing a beautiful Indian summer here in CT, and today was downright hot and humid, but I am loving every minute of it because I know how cold I am going to be in 2 months.

We spent a lovely 10 minutes picking apples at the local orchard. The trees are so loaded that you don't even have to move around to pick 20 lbs worth! I made an incredible caramel sauce to go with an apple crisp that we will make in a few days. Here is the recipe:

1 c granulated white sugar
6 T unsalted butter
1/2 c heavy cream (be careful lifting it; you don't want to throw your back out)
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt

Put the sugar in a saucepan over medium heat; let it start to melt, then stir until totally melted.
Add the butter, cut up in tablespoon sized pieces. and let it melt into the sugar.
Add the heavy cream, the vanilla, and the salt. Stir everything together and cook a few minutes, stirring. Let cool. Be careful licking the spoon and the pot, as melted sugar is super-hot!!

We like to put it over apple crisp and/or ice cream. We eat it other ways too, but you can use your imagination.

Tomorrow we will shoot a video for the blog. Good-night; it is more than wonderful to be sleeping in my own bed with the real (not hotel AC) air coming through an open window.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Cleaned Up Studio

I finally cleaned up the studio. I can now see the rug on the floor. Of course, I barely know where anything is now.

I have been alerted that Abraham Bunny has snuck himself into the video blog entitled Mushroom Murder. If you watch the second part where I am showing the gansey-in-progress, and look behind the sweater, you will see a little white rabbit snuffling around.

Today was rainy all day, so had to ride the torture bike in the basement. Whew...what a workout that is. Much worse than riding the roads, and nothing beautiful to look at. Did a fair amount of knitting today, but my hands do not hold out like they used to.

When we have some better light we will make a video of the studio, and I also want to show everyone the rabbit-related cross stitch that I like to do.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Waffles and Fiber and the elusive Mr Candace Eisner Strick

Today was one of those rare and perfect New England autumn days, but the most exciting part was the annual fiber festival at the Coventry (CT) Farmer's Market, which takes place on the grounds of the Nathan Hale Homestead.

Meet the elusive (some say he doesn't really exist) Mr Candace Eisner Strick (aka Ken), the man behind the camera, the man behind the books, and the man behind the vacuum cleaner.

Here is the recipe for Ken's waffles:

1/3 c whole wheat flour
2 pinches of coarse salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 c buttermilk
2 T water
1 egg
butter for waffle iron

Combine all wet ingredients; combine all dry ingredients. Preheat waffle iron and brush with butter. Gently mix dry ingredients into wet; stir until just mixed. Pour into iron. Enjoy with REAL New England maple syrup and fruits of your choice.
Makes 2 large, 4-section waffles.

Candace's Gluten-free Waffles

1/3 c brown rice flour
1/2 c buttermilk
1 egg
pinch salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
Combine as for Ken's recipe. Makes 1 Belgian-style, very thick waffle.

While this episode isn't nearly as exciting as the mushroom murder, it still was a fun day. In a few minutes, friends of fiber are coming over to have a warm apple crisp with ice cream. The perfect topping for a perfect day.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

A Knitter's Revenge: Murder!!

Today was the day the mushroom met its demise. I let it have 2 days to repent; it didn't, so today I decided to murder it. Follow my absurd behavior as I get my revenge on the blob that made me sicker than I have ever been.

Also see the progress of my lovely gansey sweater and learn where you can get the pattern to make your own. (

See a never-before-revealed look at Candace's studio. You will be totally appalled, I guarantee. But there's hope; someday, when I have the time, all will be transformed.

Tomorrow we will do a little filming at the Coventry Farmer's Market annual fiber festival. There will be bunnies, alpacas, roving, yarn, and delicious food. Bunnies!!! Everybody loves a bunny, but not everybody treats them the way they deserve to be treated.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Poison Mushroom!!!

Warning....the mushroom you will see in the video is NOT, I repeat, NOT, a sulfur shelf. I thought it was, and I have eaten that kind before, but this mushroom, as best as I can tell, is a Jack-o'Lantern mushroom. While it is poisonous, it is not fatal. And that is a good thing for me, as I ate it, got distressingly ill all night, and still feel pretty wiped out today. Other than that, I hope that you enjoy the video.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

New Video Blog, September 15, 2011

I admit it. I'm lazy. I'm also busy. That is why I rarely post in this blog. Last night I had a brainstorm. Why not do a video blog? That way I can just say what I want, and the pictures will already be right there. So today we shot the first day. You can go to this link to watch and listen. Each day I post there will be little tidbits of information about knitting, life in the Strick household, and we will all hope it won't be too boring for you. But if it is, all you have to do is click to exit.

I also have had lots of people ask me what I do all day long. They know I am an author, knitwear designer, and teacher of knitting, but they still have a hard time figuring out what the heck a person like me actually does to fill up an entire day. Of course it is somewhat different each day, but these daily little video posts will try to give an accurate description of how I while away my time.

My camera man is, of course, my long-suffering and dearly devoted husband Ken. A major star of each video will be our rabbit Abraham. Other than that, I cannot tell you any more, as each day that dawns bring new surprises, and new crazies. For instance, just tonight I noticed a huge sulphur shelf mushroom growing next to the driveway. It was a perfect beauty, and I picked some, fried it in butter, and had it with my dinner. So far, I am still alive. Check in tomorrow to see if my luck has lasted!! By the way, Ken refused to eat any.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Sock Summit

Greetings from Portland OR, home of the second Sock Summit. We just finished doing a Flash Mob out in front of the Oregon Convention Center. What a hoot!!! It seems to be the norm here for the sock knitters to have multiple colors in their hair, tattoos, and piercings. And who said knitters are little old ladies. There we all were, about 1000 of us, and with the other 1000 watching and taking pictures, doing our yarn dance to music. Unbeknownst to me, people had been practicing this dance for weeks, but I stood in the back and followed everyone, and it was great fun. I'm sure it's going to be up on YouTube in in no time flat. Google for Sock Summit Flash Dance; you won't regret it.

My classes here have been nothing short of spectactular. I taught Austrian traveling twisted stitches to 31 people, and there wasn't a single time when I had to repeat anything. They were the most expert bunch of knitters I have ever encountered, and it has been the same for all my other classes. Strick-ly Socks was a smash success, with everyone producing a perfect sample toe, and today I did the Magical Switch for Tubular Bind Off, and again, everyone had 100% success. These women are fun, energetic, and not afraid of anything. Lots of them are walking around wearing tiaras, and I desperately want one to wear too!!

I have been showered with gifts from my students, from chocolate to beautiful hand-made stitch markers. The market is, again...I hate to keep using the word, but it's wonderful. I finally rounded out my collection of Signature circular needles. I now am the proud owner of sizes 3-9. One of the good things about this market is that there is no sales tax here in Oregon. Oh..should I mention there was a Dansko booth in the market? I got a pair of purple patent leather clogs which are TOO cool. Alas, I am forced to actually wear them home on the plane, as there's no room in my luggage for them.

I also have the disk for the Intertwined Studio computer stitch program, which I am dying to try out. This program allows you to make charts with all the standard knitting symbols, create your own, AND, lets you put text right into the charts. This is what I have been waiting for, and Heatherly Walker, who is the creator of this, was in one of my classes.

I stopped in at Kimber's booth, Optic Fiber, to show her the shawl using her yarn that is almost done. It's a beauty, and will be ready to go for Stitches Midwest. She is the most amazing dyer, and her yarns are some of the most beautiful hand-dyes I have ever seen. Another talented hand-dyer is Miss Babs, whose yarns draw me in like a moth to a flame (but moths also love yarn, so that's pretty weird, huh?)

Soon I will be back in CT, then off again to Stitches Midwest in Chicago.

Cheers to all from beautiful Portland, where it hasn't rained once since I arrived.

Monday, July 25, 2011


Greetings from Mansfield Center, CT; home from 9 days in Ireland. It's so nice to travel, but really, there's no place like home. Once you get to your destination it's all fine,the trials of getting there can be full of stress. Due to an Amtrak delay, we almost missed our ship in NYC. We boarded with just 40 minutes to spare before it sailed. Going transatlantic on the Queen Mary 2 is, to us, the only way to cross. We had 7 glorious days of sailing, most of it nice weather. Sailing under the bridge out of New York harbor is always a thrill, as you would swear that the funnel of the ship is going to slice the bridge in two.

There's a needlework group that meets every day at 2:00, so I got to meet up with other people who knit, crochet, do needlepoint, etc.

During last summer's crossing I met a young woman who was as much in love with knitting as I was. I was so fortunate to see her again on this crossing. Her name is Bianca Griere, she is from Canada, and someday, probably in about 10 years, she is going to be a fashion design star.

The ship catered to my gluten-free diet, and one morning I was presented, with a flourish, a plate of gluten-free blueberry muffins. I have to say, they looked alot better than what they tasted. But the thought was lovely, so I ate two of them. They will never give you one of anything on that ship, even if you specifically ask for just one!

Here's my church (well, almost mine) in Kilkenny.

Once off the ship we flew to Dublin, rented a car, and proceeded to drive all around Ireland. Lots of the beautiful scenery was missed due to fog, mist, rain, cold, and very high winds. The Cliffs of Moher was a case in point; I was afraid of literally being blown off the cliffs. The wind was so strong you couldn't walk into it.

Here's what we were up against on the Dingel Peninsula, which has some of the most beautiful scenery in the whole world.

For me, the high point was Aran. After a choppy ferry ride over, we hiked most of the way to the Black Fort, which had a spectacular view of both the island (Inishmore, the largest of the 3 islands), and the ocean. And guess what? I bought a hand knit Aran sweater at Kilronan (the "city" on the island), AND some white yarn. I also spent a considerable amount of time looking at all the sweaters for sale.

Someone on Aran needed a new mattress, so it had a ride on the ferry! I guess that's the only way for a mattress to cross.

Sweaters for sale at Kilronan on Inishmore.

This little cottage has a thatched roof, but most of the houses don't, as it is a terrible fire hazard.

You wouldn't believe all the rocks on Aran, both in the ground, on the ground, piled up for fences, etc. In order to farm, they actually had to make soil from beach sand and seaweed.

This a picture of the ground.

These are rocks made into a wall.

View from the fort

I tried my first Irish coffee, which was quite good, due to the large topping of whipped cream. Being gluten-intolerant I didn't try Guinness, but our friend seemed to enjoy having two pints with each meal! The B and B's we stayed in were lovely, and served beautiful and delicious breakfasts, which fortified us for the days spent trying to keep warm and dry!! I am so sorry I missed the sweaters on display at the National Museum in Dublin. I didn't know about that until I came home and read Alice Starmore's Aran Knitting; should have read it before I went. Duh.

Home sweet home; picked up our lovable and gorgeous rabbit from the rabbit-sitter's house, slept around the clock, and now I have to fly to Portland on Wednesday for Socks Summit.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day

It's a made-up holiday, but I like it. We got in the car last night to drive to son #1's house, and I opened the glove compartment to put something in. There was a little wrapped present for me from my husband. What a lovely surprise!! It's just fun to get presents. Of course, whenever I order yarn it's a present for me, and it doesn't even have to be a special day.

Socks Summit registration opened last week, and is almost all sold out already. And I'm happy to say that my Strick-ly Socks class at Stitches Midwest was the first class to get sold out right after registration went live on the internet.

Last week I was in Neenah Wisconsin teaching at Midwest Masters, a lovely little retreat put on by Yarns by Design. Barb Cattani is the sweetest person in the world, and her shop is a treat not to be missed. I was seduced by a couple different kinds of yarn; Madeline Tosh Merino, and a new K1C2 springy stretchy sock yarn. There was plenty more I was interested in, but luggage dictated what I could buy. I was able to see my dear friend from Madison, Connie Burmeister, and we had lunch together 2 days in a row. Everytime I went to the shop she came, protesting that she shouldn't be going, but actually buying something every time!!!

I also had the opportunity to meet and spend some time with the lovely Sivia Harding, whose designs I have admired now for years. I even bought two of them; one of them, a beaded necklace is already finished and just awaiting a clasp. The other is a gorgeous beaded scarf, which lo and behold, I had the perfect yarn for in my stash!! I always say...when you see a gorgeous skein of yarn you like, buy it. You will never know when it will come in handy, but it always will.

Next weekend I will be in Acton Massachusetts at the Woolpak's annual knitter's weekend. I will be teaching, but I'm sure I will be seeing some yarn at the shop that I can't live without. Judy Pascale and I will be driving there, which is a nice change, as we can bring, and bring home, as much stuff as we want without the fear of our luggage being overweight. And we are in the same time zone, which makes things easier too.

I hope everyone is having a lovely spring. It's still not warm enough for me, but my lilacs are almost ready to pick.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Home from Madison

I am home from Madison, WI, after spending a glorious week there with my dear friend Connie Burmeister, teaching at the Sow's Ear in Verona, speaking at the Madison Knitter's Guild meeting, and teaching at the Madison Guild's Knit-In. So where to begin? Connie.

The last time I was invited to speak at the Madison Guild a few years I met Connie Burmeister, as she graciously allowed me to stay at her house, and took care of my every whim. We never stopped talking for a single minute, and stayed in touch via email after I left. She and her husband Wayne came to visit us in CT a few years ago, and we all had a great time together. This last trip she also let me stay at her house, which is immaculately clean, decorated just lovely, and in every respect was just a joy to be in. She is a master cross-stitcher, as well as a master knitter. The first thing you see when you enter the house is a 6' long cross-stitch rendition of the harbor in Copenhagen. Connie is Danish, so this is fitting. It is a masterpiece, and both times I have visited I have spent a long time admiring this piece.

Besides the lovely cross-stitch, there is a usual line of bags of knitting works in progress. We spent many happy hours sitting in her sun porch knitting, talking, and looking at knitting books and magazines.

I gave a presentation at the Guild meeting about my new sock construction that is the basis of my book, Strick-ly Socks. It was well received, and people were quite interested in learning about it, and doing it.

The next 2 days I taught classes at the Sow's Ear in Verona. Heather Black, one of the owners, was a delight to meet and be with. Now let me explain this very unique and beautiful store. The front part is a coffee cafe, with all kinds of delicious drinks and backed goods, as well as light meals of delicious food. Behind the cafe is the yarn shop, filled with all the yarn anyone could want, well displayed, well lighted, spacious and all around WONDERFUL! You can order a coffee, sit in the cafe and knit and sip, then go back into the shop and do your shopping. The classroom at the back was filled with windows and natural light, and we all had coffee and nosh while learning and knitting. It was 2 of the most pleasant days I have every spent. Looking through the shop for 2 days also got me some great yarn that I couldn't leave Wisconsin without!!
You can visit Heather's website at If you are ever anywhere near her shop, you owe it to yourself to spend a few hours there. It is indeed a rare treat, not to be missed.

In one of my classes at the Sow's Ear I met the editor and creator of KnitCircus, an online magazine. Jaala Spiro is, in every respect, lovely, funny, and delightful to be with. She has published one pair of my socks in the magazine, and will be publishing another in the next issue. I also will be doing a series of technical articles, the first being how to cable without a cable needle. You can go to her website, , to see for yourself the amazing work she does on the magazine

The Madison Guild puts on a one day event called Knit-In every year. This is one of those days that knitters wait all year for...interesting classes, lunch with your friends, and the market. While I told myself I didn't have room in my suitcase for more yarn (it weighed 49.5 lbs coming), I succumbed to some Kimmet Croft Softie, which is 20% angora/80% wool, (the next time I see Kimmet Croft I am going to buy the yarn for the Bohus Wild Apple sweater...this is a solemn promise!) buttons from Blackwater Abbey yarn, and some stretchy sock yarn in bright lime green. Jennie the Potter ( had everything a knitter could want, but I knew I couldn't get it into my luggage. As soon as I got home, I emailed her!! She makes lovely pottery with knitting-related designs. Perfect for morning coffee or afternoon tea and knitting.
Always knitting. Knitting goes with EVERYTHING!

For all you Celiacs (people who cannot eat gluten) out there, don't miss the Silly Yak, a bakery that offers gluten-free baked goods. I was able to enjoy a cinnamon roll with icing, and a pumpkin cupcake with vanilla icing. It has been years since I ate anything like that, and believe me, it was heaven. that I am home, I am back to work on a shawl for Vogue knitting, preparing classes for Stitches South, working on a new skirt, finishing up a sweater using my own Merging Colors yarn (but not merging; 2 strands of the same color....bright purple), and generally getting side-tracked with spinning and quilting.

It has started to snow now, and "they" are saying 3-9". I think I am done with winter, but it is apparent that winter is not done with me. At least I do not have a flight to catch in the next few days.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

VogueLive NYC

I am back from the Big Apple,having taught at VogueLive Jan 21-23. What excitement for the debut of this big event!! Anticipation was high, and the event lived up to it all. The hotel was lovely, my classrooms were well lit and comfortable in temperature (even though it was totally freezing outside), and the market was loads of fun, as all markets are!! Alot of us teachers are bummed out, as the next one is going to be in LA, but the dates are exactly the same as the TKGA event in North Carolina in September. We've already signed our contracts for TKGA.

Judy Pacale and I took the new high-speed electric train, the Acela, from New Haven to Penn station. It was fun to ride a European-type train, but the accomodations for the luggage on the train was dismal. We both had very large suitcases (Judy had 2, I had 1), and it was a trial getting through Penn station also.

My next appearance is at the Needle Lady in Charlottesville NC, then I'm off to Stitches West in Santa Clara. I was just in LA a short while ago when I taught at TNNA. I'm racking up the frequent flyer miles, that's for sure.

We are covered with snow, with more on the way. The banks along our driveway are so high that I can no longer throw the shovelfuls over them. Ken had to chop down the banks by the road so we can see when we pull out of the driveway.'s cozy up by the woodstove and I am working on my knit skirts for my new class. I also find time to do needlepoint, but I know that I am procrastinating my other work to do that. It's one of my behavior patterns that I am well aware of, but I tell myself that needlepoint is a way for my brain to go on holiday. Speaking of which, Ken and I are cruising to Bermuda in the spring for a little sunshine and down-time.

My famous parrot Go-Go, who has appeared in alot of my publicity shots, has found a new home with a wonderful family up in NH. I have had the pleasure of taking care of him for the past 22 years, and I feel it is time to let others share in the pleaure of it all. I know he will never forget me, and I will never forget him. I also intend on visiting him once he gets settled in his new digs.

You can check out all our snow at my Facebook page. Happy shoveling to all us who live up North!!