By Betty Hechtman
I like to think my life turned on a granny square. I had always been fascinated by crochet, but particularly by the crochet motif. I managed to teach myself how to crochet a hat, but how to make the squared eluded me. They seemed almost magic - the way they had open spaces but didn’t collapse. I’d wanted to take a class, but all the yarn classes I’d seen offered were knitting.
And then one day in Las Vegas in FAO Schwartz something happened that changed my life. I passed a little blue suitcase with a picture of a granny square on it. When I read that it was a kit to teach you how to make granny squares, I had a big aha moment. If it could work for a ten-year-old, maybe it could work for me. It sounds silly, but I was over the top excited as I bought the kit. At last, I was going to learn how to make those squares that are the mainstays of afghans.
I waited until I was back home to open it. The great thing about kid’s kits is that they show you every step with pictures. Though my first attempt was missing a corner, my second turned out much better. When I saw that first complete square I felt like I could conquer the crochet world.
I put my square making ability together with something else I’d always wanted to do - write a mystery. I was going to call it Squared to Death. I thought even if it didn’t get published, I’d learn how to crochet in the process of writing it.
But it did get published. Only it was called Hooked on Murder.
And now my fifth book You Better Knot Die is out. My crocheting has improved, but nothing compared to my ability to accumulate yarn.
In You Better Knot Die, it’s the holidays in Tarzana, California. Molly Pink and her crochet group the Tarzana Hookers are up to their elbows in crocheting snowflakes to decorate the windows of the bookstore where Molly works and they meet.
In the midst of preparations for a holiday event featuring Santa Lucia Day, Christmas, Chanukah, and Kwanza, Molly’s financial advisor neighbor goes missing.
Molly is still trying to sort out her personal life, juggling friends and lovers, while preparing for the biggest event the bookstore has ever had - hosting the launch of the latest book in the uber popular series featuring a vampire who crochets.
Directions to make a snowflake and a vampire scarf are included. Also included are recipes for Santa Lucia buns and stained glass cookies.
Do you have any holiday decorations that have special meaning? What about holiday foods? Is there something special that your family serves every year?