Mysteries and Needlework

We asked Jenn Rein, our content marketing project coordinator, to tell you about PieceWork’s September/October 2016 issue. Here’s Jenn!

Kathy Augustine’s carpetbag-style knitting bag that accompanies her article on the Nancy Drew mystery series. Photo by Joe Coca.

Kathy Augustine’s carpetbag-style knitting bag that accompanies her article on the Nancy Drew mystery series.
Photo by Joe Coca.

The literary-themed, September/October edition of PieceWork brings attention to a knitter’s love of the mystery genre that embraces Miss Marple, Miss Silver, Vera Stanhope, and even Nancy Drew. As we follow their adventures in sleuthing, our needles click along to the cadence of their crime solving. And there are moments when we feel we know these characters — some of them have been known to knit along with us.

Julie Turjoman’s cover design, the Maudie-Jane Cloche, pays tribute to the existing relationship between knitters and storylines that provide a hook of mystery. The extra bonus to her feature article is not just the companion project but also her audio book suggestions. Your “to-listen-while-knitting” list just got longer.

One of sidebar drawings from Jan Brett’s meticulously illustrated children’s book The Mitten (New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Younr Readers, an imprint of Penguin Random House, 1980). Image courtesy of Penguin Random House.

One of sidebar drawings from Jan Brett’s meticulously illustrated children’s book The Mitten (New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Penguin Random House, 1980).
Image courtesy of Penguin Random House.

Kathy Augustine’s piece “The Secret in the Stitches: Nancy Drew and Knitting,” walks the reader through the layered history of the Nancy Drew book series. With 56 titles in the original series, it’s The Secret of Shadow Ranch that serves as inspiration for the associated project, a carpetbag-style knitting bag. It’s just enough to motivate you to don a pair of Weejuns and take on your own mystery.

Kathy’s other piece in this issue sheds light upon beloved children’s book author and illustrator Jan Brett’s adaptation of a Ukrainian folktale in The Mitten. Her description of Jan’s beautiful work, “every page of the story book is a visual feast,” is intriguing enough to make the reader want to pick up their own copy (or give one as a gift). The Mitten does hold its own mystery; it’s just tailored for a younger set. Once you get your favorite storybook fan hooked, you will be able to present them with their very own pair of winter wool mittens after tackling the thoughtful companion project.

Carol’s Mystery Cowl to Knit by Carol Huebscher Rhoades, her companion project to her article on Ngaio Marsh’s mysteries set in New Zealand, is double knitted. Carol explains why in her introduction to this gorgeous project. Photo by Joe Coca.

Carol’s Mystery Cowl to Knit by Carol Huebscher Rhoades, her companion project to her article on Ngaio Marsh’s mysteries set in New Zealand, is double knitted. Carol explains why in her introduction to this gorgeous project.
Photo by Joe Coca.

In the coverage of Stephanie Barron’s novel Jane and the Canterbury Tale: Being a Jane Austen Mystery, writer Mary Polityka Bush describes Austen as a “keen-eyed objective observer,” and she convinces us that it is not too far of a stretch to imagine the famous author in crime-solving mode. Carol Huebscher Rhoades examines textiles in the work of Ngaio Marsh, specifically the books set in the author’s native New Zealand. The double-knit cowl project incorporates the shape of the manuka flower, native to New Zealand. You will be entertained by the idea of a lethal knitting needle with Mimi Seyferth’s coverage of Patricia Moyes, just as you will be taken by the whimsy of the issue’s final project, “Pippi’s Long Stockings.”

Last but not least, our own mystery is solved: the winners of our PieceWork Miniatures Contest 2016 are revealed. Before you waste any time imagining what Editor Jeane Hutchins means when she refers to the entered projects as “exquisite,” pick up this issue of PieceWork.

Happy Sleuthing!
Jenn
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