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Dear Ann,

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.

AudKnits snowflake scraves

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.

knitting, book, hand knit, models

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.

knitting, book, hand knit, models

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.




  • Love to read this blog daily. Always find useful/inspiring/helpful information. I ordered this book last night. Can’t wait for it to arrive.

  • Wasn’t sure about purchasing the book, but the baby blanket sold me.

  • “the joys of knitting below one’s skill level”

    SUCH a joy, I sometimes forget what a joy it is. Then I spend 2 hours doing stocking stitch and watching e.g. Beck (more subtitled Scandinavian Noir) and wonder why I don’t do it more often.

  • Just as you titled your last post “Why We Knit,” I’m calling this comment “Why We Follow Mason- Dixon Knitting!”
    In a matter of days you’ve gone from the sheer joy of turning your day over to a totally absorbing, demanding project, to the delight of producing something lovely and satisfying without the need for that laser-focus! I love it!
    I’ve been off-line a lot – traveling (hiking in France!) and then super busy, so I haven’t been “around” in the comments – but I’m catching up. Big flower looks fantastic! And thanks for steering us to the Chartreuse group on ravelry, and this book!
    (Reading over this, I hope I haven’t used up my exclamation point quota for the year. I’m glad to be back.)

    • !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Doing it for you!!!!!!!!! I love this blanket!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Great post, Kay. The blanket is way cool!

  • Will your Star Eyed Julep Log Pattern pattern be available separately?

    • For now it’s only available in this book with 28 other awesome patterns–a bargain!

  • Love, love, love the blanket and thinking of color possibilities. I am always in need of easy go-to projects for days I am brain dead after work, waiting on something or somebody, visiting with family and friends. Off to B&N to order the book.

  • “the joys of knitting below one’s skill level” I love it. Theresa Gaffey, one of the guest designers in the book, always says “Life is complicated enough. Why should your knitting be?” Can’t wait to try the blanket!

  • Love the book (got Kindle edition yesterday). Love the concept. Love your blanket.

    I further subdivide easy knitting into two categories: those that are easy to take on the subway or meetings (totable size, no thinking required, no checking of charts). Example, the body tube for my new EZ seamless yoke sweater. Yes, I’m banging out a sweater eight months late. I knitted this on the subway yesterday, in my office while on the phone, and at an evening meeting.

    When I get to the yoke it will become TV knitting. Still easy but needing to be done at home without yakking. At least I can pause the TV if more concentration is required.

  • I got my book yesterday too. I had thought there would be a few projects I might like but I was wrong. I love all of them! So if I pack for a deserted island, I better pack this book to keep me busy.

  • The sweater above, with the sweet yoke, isn’t on Ravelry yet. What is it called?

  • Beautiful blanket! Would say more, but I gotta go order that book now.

  • The blanket is stunning; I love the colors. I wish you would teach a Craftsy class on your log-cabin techniques and tricks, Kay. Your blankets are so beautifully flat. I know it has to do with how you pick up stitches, but clearly there is more.

    My favorite of your throws!

  • The blanket has got my attention! A couple of the sweaters too.

  • Ordered the book last night; it will be here tomorrow. Trying to figure out how to take Friday off work….

  • Thank you for the shout out! <3 <3 <3 You TOTALLY get us! See you at Rhinebeck…I'll be in that Keynote Pullover, seen above, I knit it in the same silvery yarn as we put on our model.

  • Like everyone else, I, too, ordered the book!!!!! Cannot wait to receive it, but I already know which project I am doing first!! Thank you Kay and Ann for always keeping us in the loop on new things in the knitting world! I would miss out on so many wonderful projects, tips, tricks and laughs if I didn’t follow Modern Daily Knitting!!! Keep up the fantastic work!!

  • I am looking forward to many more posts like this in the future. Surprise us and delight us!

  • my last two projects have been log cabin baby blankets and i was going to get away from the form for a while but now you have presented this fabulous star-eyed creation! i love the way the overall pattern of it looks so different from the log cabin construction.

  • I purchased the book to get the baby blanket version of the star eyed julep throw, but don’t see it there and can’t find it anywhere else. Where can we find this version of the pattern?

  • Yes, I too bought the book. I am going to need more yarn!

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