Yesterday, I got my copy of Drop-Dead Easy Knits, by Gale Zucker, Mary Lou Egan and Kirsten Kapur. I was expecting to like it — the authors are friends and among our favorite designers, and we have a pattern in the book, so no objectivity here. I dumped my to-do list to spend a happy hour looking through its pages and having a proper wallow.
You and I often talk about the joys of knitting below one’s skill level. So much of the pleasure of knitting is in doing it while watching the world go by, talking with friends, enduring otherwise unendurable people/places/experiences, waiting for the hold music to stop…. The list of things we can knit along to goes on and on, but the knitting has to be a certain kind of knitting. And sometimes you pick a pattern that you think might be that kind of knitting, but it’s not, and that’s a bummer.
So it’s a joy to have a selection of patterns, from trusted designers who are also good-time-knitting gals, that you can take along for the ride (literally, while riding on trains, planes and in automobiles). The patterns have guideposts that tell you when you are in the easy-knittin’ express lane and when you need to focus on this part; this small gesture is revolutionary in its helpfulness.
The designs are beautiful. And — I don’t know why this surprised me–they’re not all accessories. There are beautiful sweaters. Sweaters that one might not think of as easy if they weren’t in this book. A linen pullover–be still my heart! Darling–darling!–baby things that exude snappy chic. And of course, accessories for all.
Needless to say, I’m also excited that our Star-eyed Julep log cabin blanket is finally out from under the veil of publishing secrecy. An idea for log cabin blanket idea comes along so rarely, and this one has me thinking about all the possibilities for color, yarn and size variations.
It’s our simplest log cabin yet, four big blocks that come together with three seams (3-needle bind off seams, so no-sew). I marvel at the old-time quilters who came up with this variation on log cabin. Thin stripes on one angle of the square, and thick stripes on the other, and BOOM: it’s a star. (How do the blocks stay square? Do I understand geometry AT ALL?)
I look forward to messing with this pattern for years to come. And look: somebody already messed with it. Karen Clark, who made the sample for the book, made a sweet baby version. See what I mean? Possibilities.
(It seems to be well received.)
Congrats to Gale, Mary Lou and Kirsten. This book is a gift to knitters, and I can’t wait to see these projects popping up all over in the world.