Friday, March 18, 2016
Hooked on Mystery
In honor of National Crochet Month, this week I’m writing about how crochet changed my life. The obvious is that I have a whole collection of things I’ve made. I must say that wearing a cowl I made is nicer than anything I could have bought. They all have some sort of memory attached. Where I bought the yarn, where I was when I did the crocheting, or maybe even it was the prototype for the pattern I included in one of my books.
But there is really much more. It all really began when I was a kid. There was a woman who lived year round where we had a summer cottage. She had coal black hair, sparkling blue eyes and a smoker’s croupy sounding laugh. It was at her house that I first saw a traditional granny square afghan and I instantly loved it. For anyone who doesn’t know what a granny square afghan is, you’ve probably seen one. They are made of squares with colors in the middle and black around the edges.
Ever after that, I loved anything made with granny squares. Fast forward many years when I finally taught myself how to crochet and made a hat. That was as far as I got then. I wanted to make something with granny squares and even bought a book with patterns. The directions baffled me and I didn’t have anyone to help me figure them out. I looked around for classes, but they were always just for knitting. Fast forward some more years. By chance as I was walking through a toy store in the Forum shops in Las Vegas, I saw a children’s kit for making granny squares. I bought it with great joy. And sure enough on my second try, I crocheted my first granny square. It is probably just a small step in the crochet world, but it was a giant step for me. I like to say it was like the golden door of crochet possibilities opened for me.
There was something else that had fascinated me since I was a kid. It started when I read the Nancy Drew books and later Agatha Christie books. I liked reading mysteries, but I wanted to write them even more. Over the years, wrote some mystery short stories and had a number of them published in Woman’s World, but my real goal was to write books and hopefully a series.
When I made the granny square, I got the idea of combining crochet with mystery. And from that Molly Pink and the Tarzana Hookers were born. It was a wonderful surprise when the first book, HOOKED ON MURDER, became a national bestseller. It was very exciting for me to be able to include the directions for making a granny square.
And now the tenth book in the series, SEAMS LIKE MURDER, is coming out in May. A mysterious body shows up in one of the Tarzana Hookers’ guest quarters. Who is it? And how did they get there? Leave it to Molly and her friends to get the whole mystery unraveled. As in all the books there are patterns. This one is for a wrap called a Hug.
There’s another way crochet has changed my life. I joined a group of crocheters and knitters. We’ve been together for years now and even survived losing our meeting spot. Yes, we help each other with our projects, but most of all we nourish each other’s spirits.
I have connected with other crocheters through the Crochet Guild and have gone to a number of Knit and Crochet Shows were I met wonderful people like Amy Shelton, Donna Hulka and Delma Myers, Marly Bird, and Marty Miller. More and more I have come to realize how much I like people who work with yarn.
So, crochet has done so much more than give me a method to make a scarf. It has led me to my dreams coming true and brought me wonderful friends. My life is so much richer because of it.
I don’t have any advance copies of SEAMS LIKE MURDER, but I will give away 3 copies of the ninth book, KNOT GUILTY. Leave a comment before Wednesday, March 23, at 11:59 p.m. pacific time and I will draw 3 names and announce the winner on my Friday, March 25, blog. Please U.S. only.
You can keep up with me on Facebook at Betty Hechtman author and my website BettyHechtman.com