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

36 comments:

jackie-tn said...

I would love to read this book!

needlekrafter said...

Sounds like a fantastic book; thanks for a chance at winning it!

Jamie Ledford said...

Can't wait to start your series! Cozy mystery & crochet!!!!! Yea!

S. B. Helm said...

I became addicted to these mysteries from the very first one. I think there is a bit of Adele in me. Thank you for making crochet more popular!

Lisa Schwartz said...

I would love to read all of your books.

Theresa Pearson said...

I have never seen crochet mysteries...would love to read yours as my first.

Suzann Thompson said...

Hi Betty! Thanks for a chance to win one of your books!

Reggie said...

I haven't read any of your books....I'm going to be checking them out....Thank you for the opportunity to win one!! :)

Grammy H. said...

I would absolutely love to win a copy of your new book!!

Sandy M said...

Was so happy to find your books they have given me hours of pleasure. I was just starting to get back into crochet when I found your books. Of course the books gave me an excuse not to attempt crocheting for awhile. But I am happy to say I have found a little balance and now take turns reading and crocheting.

Bonnie said...

I love your books. I've always been a mystery reader and to have a series that combines mysteries with crochet is fantastic.

Joy Scaggs said...

I would love to read Knot Guilty ! I've read all the other books and I love the Tarzana Hookers and how they go about helping each other and working on solving the crime as well as their crochet problems. Thank you for this wonderful series and the chance to win a book.

Joy Scaggs said...

I would love to read Knot Guilty ! I've read all the other books and I love the Tarzana Hookers and how they go about helping each other and working on solving the crime as well as their crochet problems. Thank you for this wonderful series and the chance to win a book.

Michelle Wulf said...

That sounds like such a fun book! Thank you for your generosity! :)

Robin C said...

I love your books. Thank you for doggedly staying at both the craft of writing and crocheting. Thank you.

Tammy said...

Looking forward to reading this, & all your books.

Nancy said...

I love the whole series!

Lisa said...

I had a perfect grandmother and she taught me basic stitches. She was lefthanded where I was righthanded so I imagine I crochet differently than most. Grandma has been gone 30 years, but is alive every time I crochet a scarf.

llcejka at gmail dot com

Mona Whitten said...

I love crocheting and reading mysteries and would love to win one of your books!

Meg C. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Meg C. said...

I've read the first two of your Yarn Retreat series and enjoyed them, but I haven't gotten around to starting your Crochet mysteries yet. Very bad me. I think I may need to bump them higher up my TBR list. Thanks for offering us the chance to win.
robbfan141729@yahoo.com

Linda Osborn said...

I have now read the entire crochet series 3 times, "patiently" awaiting May. In this case, it is troubling to wonder what is going on with Mason at this point ! We were left hanging ! By the way, if you have noticed the new price change, you may not be visiting Disneyland as much this next year !

Nora Helma said...

Reading is my second favorite thing to do - after crocheting of course. I would love to win your new book. Thanks for the chance to do so.

Planner said...

I love the story of how you learned to crochet and then combined it with your love of writing (for the great benefit of your readers!) and built wonderful friendships along the way. Crochet and knitting are fun hobbies with so many rewards. For me, too!

Please don't include me in your drawing since I have read all your books, and I would like to give someone else that pleasure. But, thank you for having a drawing. What fun!

Liz said...

Love your books. We named our cat Cee Cee! Unfortunately she eats yarn which causes a problem. She's lucky she's cute.

Maria Torres said...

I haven't read any of your books but have an interest.

Mollie Cox Bryan said...

Fabulous blog post!

Cheryl Corbitt said...

I'm ready to find my copy of Hooked on Murder to reread and work through your series. Thanks for an interesting blog post and chance to win Knot Guilty.

Elaine Roberson said...

This would be a great book to add to my cozy challenge list. Thanks for a chance to win a copy.

Sue Farrell said...

I tried and tried to learn to crochet--or knit--and was always unsuccessful. I think I could actually hurt myself with those needles I'm so bad at it! I enjoy reading about it and cherish all the things my mom made for me.
Thanks for the contest.
suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

Lori Hadley said...

Thank you so much for a chance to win one of your books.

sewbusy said...

Joining knitting and crochet groups has drawn me out of my shell. I found life after children were grown and enjoy the socializing as much as working with yarn.

Carmen N said...

Now that my daughter is getting older, I'm finding time to read (adult) books again. Thanks for the chance to win!

Shauna C said...

I love to read and love to crochet so a book about crochet sounds ideal. I can't wait to check out your series!

Cheers,
Shauna

Betty Hechtman said...

I love all the comments!

Jody Hollenbeck said...

My passions are crocheting and reading fun books! I would love to read this book and the entire series!