Drop Dead Easy Knits with Gale Zucker, Mary Lou Egan and Kirsten Kapur

Drop Dead Easy Knits with Gale Zucker, Mary Lou Egan and Kirsten Kapur made for lots of fun on today’s Yarn Thing podcast with Marly Bird, like we can have at knit night, exploring great knits together.

The three ladies took turns with sharing their background. Mary Lou Egan began with her story in fiber. She said she began as a child ‘nothing exciting’ but wasn’t until her boyfriend asked her for a Dr Who Scarf (!) and ‘it was all downhill from there’. She began teaching at the Yarnery about 15 years ago, but couldn’t find

Gale Zucker

patterns she wanted to teach with. Plus, knowing what folks wanted to learn, and what the supplies the shop had to offer, she began to do a little designing…. Kirsten Kapur says she has no recollection of learning to knit, but came from a creative family ‘We just made things,’ she says. Afterschool, she worked in the fashion industry which grew into designing fabric. Her experience grew into the the the knitwear designing she does today. Like Kirsten, Gale Zucker says her family was also creative. Her grandmother had a dry goods store and taught knitting on the sidewalk. The clicking of the needles was the soundtrack of her childhood as everyone knit. She could knit, but not until college did she knit seriously, even as she began her career as a photographer and photo journalist she never combined the two. It wasn’t until online blogs became a thing that she turned her focus in sharing her photography skills with the industry.

Kirsten Kapur

The three ladies worked together at a knitting retreat and shared a cabin when the idea came to them that a book of patterns that could be worked on while knitting in a group, but were also stylish and gorgeous. Drop Dead Easy Knit is that book, and it’s divided into chapters with themes. Cold Hands, Warm Heart is one such chapter, of patterns that you’ll want to knit on chilly evenings, including the Glama Wrap. Another chapter focused on traveling, simple pieces can be done while stressing about connections, including Idlewyld Socks, were designed while on a plane.  Ideas kinda sorted themselves out in a natural division of labor, and the use of spreadsheets kept them on track as they don’t live near each other. Also they were focused on being yarn-store friendly, in that the yarns needed to be available to it’s readers, plus a section at the back gives various suggestions.

Gale’s photography of the various pieces focused on natural lifestyle. With thought to a ‘day in the life’ borrowed a friends home, wardrobe that worked naturally. We let the ladies share each other designs from the book. Mary Lou began with Gale’s Portillo Cowl,

Mary Lou Egan

which she’s created two of already. She says living in the Dakota’s, it’s a comfy warm cowl so desirable. Kirsten offered Mary Lou’s Sidekick Hat which is in the Drinking Buddies chapter, is a simple stranded-knit hat that friends could share the yarn skeins and each have a hat with a different result. Gale says Kirsten loves the Short Beach Shawl that was included in the No Sheep at the Short chapter, with it’s easily memorable pattern and FRINGE. Gale says it’s also easy to change up.

drop-dead-easy-knitsOther patterns were contributed by various friends. The ladies of Mason-Dixon Knitting, contributed a variation of the Log Cabin Quilt-style afghan, Star-Eyed Julep throw. There’s a little Bear in a Bunny Suit from Susan B Anderson (you’ll say ‘Of Course’ when you see it). The Headford Hat from Theresa Gaffey is shown in several colors which means it was completely repeatable like we want.

Gale Zucker’s website is SheShootsSheep.com, Kirsten Kapur’s is ThroughTheLoops.com and Mary Lou Egan’s can be found at Yarnerinas.com.

If you missed getting to hear this LIVE it is still available where it aired originally as an archived episode https://www.blogtalkradio.com/yarnthing/2016/11/15/drop-dead-easy-knits-with-gale-zucke

r-mary-lou-egan-kirsten-kapur or with your favorite podcast catcher like iTunes or Stitcher Radio. Watch Marly’s Facebook page or YouTube for behind the scenes video from her Birds of a Feather studio.


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  1. Sarah Thompson says:

    Its a always nice to be on “cruise control” rather it be knitting or Crochet. Althought I am not a knitter yet. This book seems like a good one.

  2. Mary Carol says:

    Love the podcast and I love the idea of having knitting projects that will allow me to go on Cruise Control but will also let me know when I need to concentrate and pay attention.

  3. Chris Lopez says:

    What a cool sounding book. I loved hearing from this trio and especially liked the picture painted of eating lobster and drinking wine by an outdoor fire. I always have at least one project going that I can use for cruise control when I need a break from concentrating on a more involved pattern.

  4. Edith says:

    When I heard the words “Cruise control” my first thought was, that I would love to join a “crafty Cruise”
    I know they excists – and in my imagination, it would be the perfect way to spend my holiday
    Crafting the day away on the sunny deck, by the swimmingpool. Oh yes …. that would be the ultimate Cruise control 😀

  5. Cristy W says:

    I have heard several reviews already, sounds like a must buy. I will need to set my cruise control so I don’t get caught speeding to the closest store to pick it up!

  6. Carol T says:

    What a great podcast with Kirsten, Mary Lou and Gale. Drop Dead Easy Knits sounds and looks like a great book! I love the different sections of each pattern labeled ‘Concentration Zone’ and ‘Cruise Control’ – that kind of lets you know what to expect. Thanks for the inspiring interview.

  7. Anne Crawford says:

    Loved this podcast and learning about the collaboration of these 3 women to create a wonderful book. The idea of knowing when to really concentrate on my knitting and when to relax a little in cruise control is brilliant !

  8. Linda says:

    I love cruise control knitting. It’s so nice to be able to multi-task while knitting. I’m usually watching TV and then jumping up to do laundry while knitting on a project. This book looks great! I especially love Kirsten’s designs and I’m looking forward to trying the other two designers’ patterns.

  9. Lynne Kelly says:

    I love the cruise control/concentration zone idea for the patterns, I wish more patterns had these identifiers on the instructions..

  10. Robin Berry says:

    One of the most relaxing things you can do is knit. Cruise Control knitting helps relieve stress and brings peace to your soul. I would love a copy of Drop Dead Easy Knits to explore more relaxing while I knit.

  11. Audrey says:

    How great to coast through a project on cruise control while socializing or multi tasking. Looking forward to seeing this book!

  12. Heather says:

    Thinking of cruise control, I realized I haven’t had a mindless knitting project in a while. Must remedy that! I think I’lol do a baby blanket or something like that.

  13. lisa Nixon says:

    As always – LOVED the podcast! I need this book because I do like my “medicinal” glass (or two) of wine each evening….and it would be nice to realize before i totally mess up a knitting project that it should have been on cruise control!

  14. Ashleigh Eden says:

    I love having a cruise control project to pick up, especially when I’m working on muliptle WIPs and need a break 😉

  15. Lynne says:

    I really enjoyed the podcast and listening to how three women worked together and created a wonderful book. Love the sound of cruise control knitting!

  16. Wendy S Senter says:

    Another great episode, thanks! This book is definitely destined to be in my library at some point. The patterns are fabulous and I love that they are annotated with cruise control and concentration zone so I know when I can chill and when I need to pay attention!

    Wendy (Wendeluu on Ravelry)

  17. Kathy Itson says:

    Another great podcast. Listen to them on my way to work and back. Love getting ideas for different patterns. Really like the idea of the cruise control areas so I can knit and have a conversation at the same time.

  18. Robin says:

    As a super novice knitter I like the idea of cruise control knitting to get familiar and build muscle memory. As an advanced crocheter I totally get the concept so this book will help me become totally comfortable as a fiber artist.

  19. Louise Gingery says:

    Great Podcast, I loved hearing all three authors today! Luckily I was on Cruise Control while I was listening!

  20. Valerie Kelley says:

    I will be adding this book to my library as I would like to find some patterns that allow for cruise control knitting.

  21. [email protected] says:

    Have a small toddler so all my knitting needs to be cruise control knitting. But truth be told, I love those projects that don’t take too much effort but look like they were the most difficult thing to do =)

  22. Amy L. says:

    I definitely need some cruise control knitting right now – my current projects all require a fair amount of concentration. Obviously I need Drop Dead Easy Knits to get some balance in my life! Thank you!

  23. Michelle says:

    Mostly I crochet. I would love to win this book because the cruise control knitting patterns seem like a GREAT place to start. Thank for a fun podcast..

  24. roseruffolo says:

    Hi Marly and All!

    Wishing Kirsten, Mary Lou and Gale much success on their new collaboration! What a great idea for a book. It would be fun to have a knit along with friends with a pattern from the book. We can sit and knit together all while being on ” CRUISE CONTROL” and just having fun!

    Thanks for the wonderful idea!

  25. Alicia A says:

    Looking forward to finishing up my Christmas knitting so I can relax with a cruise control project. I know it is a lot of work but loved hear about friend doing what they love and making something together.

  26. Suzanne says:

    I just got my hands on a copy of this book at knitting group yesterday. What an awesome collection of knits! Cruise control is a great way to describe the level of concentration for these patterns. I’m all in! I want to make almost all of them!

  27. Jackie Watson says:

    I like patterns that have some built in cruise control for some mindless stitching, along with some challenging stitch work as well.

  28. Steph says:

    My cruise control knitting is socks- plain socks. I love to knit when I’m walking to work. I have to walk a mile from the train station to Woolyn (getting my 10,000 steps in!) and I’m always knitting during that walk!

  29. Mary Kay says:

    I always have a “cruise control” project (well, maybe more than 1!) going as well as one that makes me concentrate, depending on my surroundings. Thanks for introducing a great book to us!

  30. Belinda says:

    Great interview! All of the patterns are beautiful. I am looking forward to knitting a baby blanket, using Cruise Control, as I watch TV with my little ones.

Marly Bird

The One and Only, Marly

Marly is a knitwear and crochet designer (and yarn addict) that is here to help you learn how to knit and crochet in a way that's fun and approachable.

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