Knitting with the Wickeds

KNITToday, the Wickeds are celebrating  Sadie Hartwell’s A Knit Before Dying release! Here’s the description of the book:

Shop owner Josie Blair is finally settling into the pace of living in Dorset Falls, Connecticut. Between running Miss Marple Knits, jumpstarting a blog, and handcrafting items with the help of her knitting pals, Josie’s too preoccupied to worry about her past in New York. And thanks to Lyndon and Harry, the owners of the brand-new antique shop next door, she has another project in her midst—repurposing a box of vintage crocheted doilies adorned with the most curious needlework . . .

But before Josie can formally welcome her neighbors, she discovers Lyndon on the floor of his shop stabbed to death by a rusty old pair of sheep shears. Police have pinned Harry as the killer, but Josie isn’t so sure. Now, she’s lacing up for another homicide investigation—and no eyelet or stitch can go unexamined, lest she herself becomes ensnared in the criminal’s deadly design . . .

Wickeds, the question for you is–do you do knit, crochet, sew, tat, quilt, or do any other crafts? Bonus question–do you ever think about how to kill folks with your craft? On the page, of course!

IMG_0378Edith: Congratulations, Sadie! I can’t wait to read the new book. I sew, quilt, sometimes knit, and always garden and put up food – do the last two count as a craft? I have (fictionally) killed people with a sharpened knitting needle, with a pitchfork, with commonly grown – and poisonous – garden plants. Thinking back on my seventeen novels and dozen short stories, I’ve also used a lethal chemical commonly used by jewelers and dark rooms (not that I do either of those crafts), and both a chef’s knife and a vintage kitchen implement (is cooking a craft?). All the rest of my murder methods couldn’t remotely be considered craft-related.

Liz: Congrats on the new release! So, I am probably the least crafty Wicked. I don’t have the patience for it! My mother tried to teach me to sew when I was a kid and I just wasn’t into it. Then she taught me to crochet. Again, not my thing. I did do some of those needle-hook things (not sure what you call them) where you follow a pattern. Those I could handle!

Sherry: I used to do lots of counted cross stitch. And I made a lot of Christmas ornaments using a folding technique and a heck of a lot of pins. Here are two things that are still in a drawer in my basement!

I love taking pictures — that has become my other creative outlet. And while I haven’t thought about killing anyone with my craft, I do think about what would work as a weapon at every garage sale I attend.

Barb: Nupe, nupe, nupe. Terrible hand/eye coordination and fine motor skills here. I do admire the work of others. I have needlepoint pillows from my mother, paternal grandmother and great-grandmother, crewel work from my maternal grandmother, and knitted goods from my paternal grandmother. I treasure them all. I did manage to work a knitting-related clue into my short story, “Bread Baby,” with help from my amazing sister-in-law, Ann Ross, the manager at the yarn boutique GoshYarnIt.

Jessie: I love to knit. I always seem to have several projects on the needles at any given time. Currently I am working on one sweater, two pair of socks, a Red Riding Hood cape and two different shawls. I find that I am not always in the mood or in the right place physically to work on a particular project so I like to have a choice of what to grab to work on. Throughout the summer I usually work on socks or other small, light-weight projects. At this time of year I start contemplating something heavier to keep me feeling productive as well as to keep me warm whilst sitting at the soccer fields watching my son’s games. I haven’t decided what to choose this year but there is a cable-yoked pullover I can’t put out of my mind.

Julie: I am a knitter as well. Jessie, I need to try your multi project idea. I keep trying to knit socks, but I don’t enjoy it. I am working on a lovely shawl, but I can’t remember where I left off. So obviously, I need to focus a bit more on my projects. I love all sorts of crafts, but knitting is my favorite.

Readers: do any of you knit? Do you do other sorts of crafts? Let us know!Save


52 Thoughts

  1. I love knitting, especially lacey things like shawls. Knitting is creative and fills a need when writing is not progressing. Crafting reminds me of the many women who were not hobbyists, those creative and practical women who created clothing and quilts for families and neighbors out of necessity.

    1. Knitting might actually help with your writing! When I’m at a stopping place and I don’t know what comes next, I often pick up my knitting and let my mind wander wherever it wants. More often than not, as I’m knitting or crocheting (and it should be something you can do with muscle memory, nothing with a complicated pattern, just round and round) the exact thing I need next for the story will pop into my head. It’s like magic!

      1. I’ve tried needlepoint and cross stitch. Not very good at either. One, because I dislike reading charts (though sometimes have to for knitting and crocheting) and two, because I’ve never mastered doing a neat job on the back of the piece, so there are always snots of floss/wool on the back and the front always looks lumpy 🙁

      2. Both my mother and her mother did needlepoint–I have some of the finished pieces, plus one or two unfinished ones (my grandmother started a chair seat with butterflies, but it’s very fine mesh. But then, I did inherit her standing magnifier light!

  2. I know how to knit but I prefer crocheting. For some reason it seems easier to work with one hook than two needles!

    1. It depends on my mood whether I feel like knitting or crocheting. Last fall I made a huge granny square afghan for my son out of nearly all my scraps of acrylic yarn. That was fun and very satisfying. Of course, now I’m back to having scraps again in the intervening year. Oh well. Not enough for another afghan though.

  3. When the children were small I used to knit their mittens and crochet cuffs on them when they shrunk – only wool then, no polyester. No more knitting since then.

  4. I knit and crochet, but only things that don’t need to be fitted. I used to embroider, taught myself to tat, and did a little needlepoint. I used to knit and hand-sew outfits for my Barbie doll when I was quite young. I hope to pick up many of those again when I retire (still a couple years off).

  5. I cross stitch, needlepoint and knit – although right now, I mostly collect projects, often at yard sales and estate sale, to do “some day.”

  6. I wish I had learned how to knit or crochet. My friend gave me a baby blanket for my daughter when she was born, that she’d crocheted, and it was my absolute favorite gift. I used to watch my grandmother make blankets. The only thing I did was hook rugs and a little needlepoint.
    Congratulations on the new release.

    1. Do you have a Michael’s craft store or independent yarn store near you? They nearly always give lessons. I really recommend a fiber craft for stress relief. And my grandmother, who was a terrible knitter, made a blanket for my son when he was born. I treasure it in all its misshapen glory.

  7. No knitting for me. Mom tried to teach me and it didn’t work out so well. I guess it just wasn’t my thing.

    I used to do a lot of cross-stitch, but now no so much. Never thought about killing someone with a crafting tool, though.

    1. I’ve purposely avoided killing somebody with a knitting needle, which seemed cliche in a knitting mystery but worked perfectly for Edith’s midwife. But a twisted yarn monk’s cord and a pair of rusty antique sheep sheers? Why not?

  8. I once wrote a blog about how I am a black hole for handicrafts. 🙂 I have neither the great hands nor the great eye for it. Now I just admire other people’s work, and buy it when I can. But I cook and I write.

  9. In my younger carefree days (before I started writing) I used to knit (Irish cable-knits, of course), do needlepoint and crewel work, make clothes, upholster, wallpaper, refinish furniture, and there are no doubt more things I’ve forgotten. More recently I’ve done more creative cooking, and I collect vintage cookware–which includes a dozen wicked curved choppers that are very sharp. The first time I saw them at an auction I flashed on an image of a killer slashing someone’s throat with one (so of course I bid on the lot).

    1. What are you saying, that the writing days are no longer carefree, LOL!? I would love to see some of your Irish cables. I have to be in a particularly focused mood to do those incredibly complex patterns–though how satisfying to get them right!

      1. No doubt I still have them all (except for the vest I made in 8th grade). And I made my nephew a tiny green cable sweater when he was born (he’s well into his 30s now).

  10. I was obsessed with knitting for a few years in the late eighties, and accumulated a collection of gorgeous yarns that I just shipped off to Harriette Sackler so she can turn them into doggy blankets! Nothing I made fit me, so now when I’m in the mood, I just knit scarves – which are totally unnecessary in SoCal.My go-to craft is needlepoint, but I’m a craftsy person, so I also do decoupage, make jewelry, etc.

  11. I do just about anything except tatting. Knitting and other needles can be used for stabbing or poisoning, but has anyone else considered the possibilities in circular needles?

  12. Hi, Sadie. Since I write my suspense novel series about a knitting designer (who shows dogs) I knit. I started when I was age 4 or 5. My mother used the activity to keep her twin daughters out from under foot. I tended to take it to an extreme though since I was designing my own patterns by age twelve, and when I retired from teaching, I built a custom knitting design business where I would create picture knit sweaters with portraits of dogs worked into them for owners of the top show dogs in the country. I got tired after making over 800 sweaters and accessories and turned to writing knitting books and patterns.I wrote and published ten knitting books and created more than 130 patterns which I still sell. Finally, I decided I would write suspense novels and let my protagonist do the knitting. I’ll be bringing out my third Kate Killoy Mystery in September, NATIONAL SECURITY, where Kate describes designing her knitted wedding dress. I also enjoy sewing, quilting, cross stitch, tatting, Hardanger, crewel work, needlepoint, and crochet.

  13. Looking forward to reading book. Do more crochet than knitting but enjoy both Adria🌷

  14. I love reading cozies with a craft-based theme. I learn so much! Over the years, I have done a lot of crocheting (mostly lots of blankets), needlepoint, cross-stitch, embroidery and crewel of all kinds. I had a friend who gave up trying to teach me to knit. I finally did make a very misshapen hat and scarf which I still wear. I was always fascinated by Madame DeFarge, and wondered if a secret code could be cross-stitched onto a garment without being obvious. I now limit by “crafts” to keeping my yard looking nice.

    1. Wear the hat and scarf proudly, Ginny! And one craft I wish I was good at is gardening. I wouldn’t say I have a brown thumb, but I just don’t do the weeding and maintenance I should. I am always impressed by (and envious of) a beautiful lawn and garden.

  15. I have to give huge kudos to anyone who has the patience to cross-stitch or any craft that you have to keep count. I’ve quilted for years, no counting necessary 🙂 I guess if you knock them off I may be able to find a blanket to wrap them in!

  16. I love handcrafts. I’ve knitted on and off, I’ve made a quilt but I love counted cross stitch. I love reproduction samplers. And I love cozies that have crafts in them.

  17. I like reading cozies with crafts in the storyline. I like to knit and I’m looking forward to reading this series.

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