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National Crochet Month:
Crochetville is very proud to have author and designer Betty Hechtman with us today, March 13th, as one of the featured designers on our 2015 Designer Blog Tour in honor of National Crochet Month (NatCroMo). Betty has been a member of the Crochet Guild of America (CGOA) for about five years.
Three Truths and a Lie:
Take a guess as to which of the following statements isn’t true. We’ll let you know which statement is “The Lie” somewhere in this post, so keep reading to learn the truth!
- Betty learned how to crochet from a kids’ kit.
- Betty’s fictional crochet group is called the Tarzana Hookers.
- Betty doesn’t know how to knit.
- Betty has loved granny square afghans since she was a kid.
Betty’s Books & Designs:
If you’re not familiar with her work already, we’d like to share two of Betty’s books and designs with you. All of Betty’s books include mystery, crochet patterns, and recipes.
About Knot Guilty: “Molly Pink and her pals, the Tarzana Hookers, are ready to bring the craft of crochet to the masses. But when one of their members finds herself the prime suspect in a murder, the Hookers are going to have to switch their focus and find the real killer.”
About For Better or Worsted: “When Molly is invited to a major society wedding, she expects some wedding drama. Though she never anticipated this much trouble. The bride is the daughter of Molly’s close friend Mason – who has been planning this wedding for a long time. But at the reception, things go amiss when the wealthy groom ends up dancing with the grim reaper. “
CeeCee’s Pet Mat, pattern included in Betty’s Crochet Mystery book, For Better or Worsted.
Betty is the author of two series for Berkley Prime Crime, Crochet Retreat Mysteries and Yarn Retreat Mysteries. Both include patterns and recipes in addition to trouble, drama, and murder. Betty is known by her publisher as the yarn mystery writer because she loves writing mysteries about both crochet and knitting.
Betty has been crocheting about ten years. She says it all started with granny squares. She has loved granny square afghans since she was a kid. She tells us, “In 2005, I was walking through a toy store in the Forum Shops of Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas when I spied a kids’ kit for making granny squares. I bought it and it changed my life.” After successfully making her first granny square with the kit, she says, “It was like the golden door of crochet opened for me. And then I got the idea of mixing crochet and mystery.”
After conquering the granny square, she relates, “Once I realized there were more squares than the basic granny, I played around with them for a while. But my first project was a simple scarf for my husband.”
With the idea of writing stories that were a mix of mystery and crochet, Betty wanted to include at least one pattern with each book. So, of course, she had to create the patterns. She remembers, “The idea turned into my series about Molly Pink and the Tarzana Hookers who crochet, share their lives and solve murders. The books are light and hopefully funny. The ninth book in the series, Knot Guilty, came out in November, along with the paperback edition of the eighth book, For Better or Worsted.”
Betty’s design inspiration comes from her stories. She says, “Since the pattern I include [in the book] relates to the story, I come up with the plot lines first and then decide what the Hookers are going to make.” She adds, “I try to keep the patterns easy enough for anyone who has just the basic knowledge of crochet.”
Inspiration for Stories
Betty says her ideas for her books come from all over. For example, one day Betty was in a bakery when she ran into a woman she’d volunteered with years ago when her son was in elementary school. That gave Betty the idea for the book she’s writing now, the tenth Crochet Mystery in the series. She explains, “She looked the same after all these years, but her life had taken an odd turn – thought not as odd as the one I ended up making up for her.”
Betty says, “I also write the Yarn Retreat series that follows Casey Feldstein, a dessert chef who puts on Yarn Retreats at a slightly sinister hotel and conference center on California’s Monterey Peninsula. The books mostly have knitting and, like the Crochet Mystery series, all include at least one pattern. The third book in the series, Wound Up in Murder, comes out in July and features a pattern for a worry doll. Her body is knitted, but her dress is all crochet.”
Betty is writing the tenth Crochet Mystery right now. One of the characters is known for mixing colors to create pieces that have an Impressionist-like feeling. The book will include a pattern to make one of her designs.
Fun Story About Crochet Writing
In one of Betty’s books, Hooked on Murder, the story talked about a crochet diet plan with an accompanying book called Hook Down the Pounds. The plan and the book were completely fictional. Betty heard from a reader who was upset because she couldn’t find Hook Down the Pounds on Amazon.com.
Betty’s Advice for New Crocheters:
Betty suggests, “Start out with small easy projects to build up your confidence.”
Betty’s Advice for Writers [and Designers]:
Betty says, “It’s pretty simple. Don’t give up.”
Predictions for the Next Big Crochet Trend
Betty tells us, “I was fascinated with cowls before they became so popular. Now I’m fascinated with different kinds of wraps. I don’t know if that means anything.”
Some of Betty’s Favorites:
Favorite Books: “I have shelves full of them, but the one I probably use most often is The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Knitting and Crocheting.”
Favorite Hooks: “I haven’t met a hook I don’t like.”
Favorite Yarn: “Worsted weight is the easiest to work with, but for me it is all about color.”
Favorite Thing to Crochet: “I tend to buy yarn as souvenirs when I travel and then make cowls out of it. It’s better than a snow globe to remind me of a trip.”
Visit Betty’s Blog: NatCroMo FREEBIE Sneak Peek
You will definitely want to visit Betty’s blog post today! She will be blogging about “the joys of mixing mystery and yarn.” She will also share an except from her Crochet Mystery book, Knot Guilty, and she will be giving away a copy of the book. Visit Betty’s blog to get all the details!
Find Betty Online:
We gave you all the clues today, so after reading about Betty, you now know the truth is that Betty does indeed know how to knit!