A Dark and Stormy Knit

Coming this fall . . .

Pamela Paterson and Bettina Fraser call their crafting group Knit and Nibble, in honor of its two main activities. But on a stormy Halloween night, their peaceful chat over spiced cider and cookies is interrupted by homicide . . .

With the houses of Arborville, New Jersey, decked out in festively frightening decorations, it’s easy to mistake a real dead body for a fake. But Pamela and Bettina are alerted by the screams of teenage trick-or-treaters to the corpse next door. Their neighbor Adrienne’s sister, visiting from New York City, is slumped on the porch, fatally stabbed. And with countless people traipsing around in costume, the killer might be as elusive as an apple in a bucket of water.

The victim was a charismatic college professor and fierce feminist, and soon the women are infiltrating her social and academic circles to collect clues. But some scandalous local gossip also suggests that Adrienne, not her sister, might have been the target. Now, Pamela and Bettina will need all their creative skills to solve this ghoulish crime . . .

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KNIT

Cozy Scarf Hood with Optional Ears

This scarf hood idea is a way to make sure that a scarf draped over the head for warmth stays in place. Ears are optional for a fun touch, and a smaller version can be made for a child by adjusting the width and length of the scarf that forms the basis of the scarf hood. Directions for the Cozy Scarf Hood appear at the end of A Dark and Stormy Knit.

I had loads of green yarn from an estate sale, so I used it, and I wanted to demonstrate the ears even though green isn’t a very realistic color for an animal that has floppy ears. Of course you can use a color like gray, brown, or black if you want a real animal effect and/or a Halloween touch.

You’ll be using more than one skein. Here’s an illustration of how to hide the tails left from grafting the second skein onto the first. Left to right: tails, hiding tails, tails gone.

And here’s an illustration of hiding the tail left from casting off. You can use the same technique for hiding the tail left from casting on. Stitch half an inch or so along the edge and then clip what’s left of the yarn.

Here are illustrations of increasing by adding a stitch after the first stitch in a row and before the last stitch (top photos) and decreasing by knitting two stitches together after the first stitch in the row and before the last stitch (bottom photos).

Here are illustrations of finishing the ear and hiding the tail.

Here are the completed ears, with tails not yet hidden. The tails from casting on can be used to sew the ears to the scarf hood.

Pinning the back seam to form the hood.

Pinning an ear into place.

Back view.


BONUS KNIT

Scarf Hood with Cat Ears

Follow the directions for the scarf hood but make two cat ears instead.

For each ear, cast on 12 stitches and, using the garter stitch, knit a square.

Fold each square into a triangle and stitch the open edges closed, using one of the tails if you wish.

Position the ears on the scarf hood.

Stitch each ear into place, using the other tail if you wish.


NIBBLE

Pamela’s Apple Galette

In A Dark and Stormy Knit, Pamela makes an apple galette when she hosts the Knit and Nibble group. For the crust, she combines wheat flour with some buckwheat flour from a visit to a restored village where an old flour mill had been put back in operation.

Buckwheat actually isn’t a type of wheat at all, but rather the seed of a plant in the rhubarb family. It’s been cultivated by humans for millennia and was a very common crop in North America in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries—thus the mill in the restored village. Buckwheat flour is also used in France, where crêpes and galettes made with it are traditional in Normandy and Brittany.

Buckwheat flour adds an interesting, slightly nutty flavor to pancakes, pastries, and breads. It is easy to find online, if not locally. The recipe for Pamela’s Apple Galette appears at the end of A Dark and Stormy Knit.

Granny Smith apples are best for this recipe.

Preparing the apple filling.

Preparing the crust.

Folding the rolled-out crust into quarters makes transferring it to the baking pan easier.

Unfolded, with apple filling added.

Edges folded up.

Edges brushed with egg and sprinkled with sugar.

Finished!

It’s delicious with ice cream.


BONUS NIBBLE

Holly’s Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

Holly serves these cookies, made with Reese’s peanut butter cups left over from Halloween, when the Knit and Nibble group meets at her house. To make them yourself, use your favorite recipe for chocolate chip cookies but substitute chopped up peanut butter cups for the chocolate chips. You’ll need about eight mini peanut butter cups for a recipe that makes 40 to 50 cookies. Fannie Farmer has a good recipe, and there is usually a recipe on packages of chocolate chips.

Drop teaspoonfuls of the batter onto your cookie sheet, leaving plenty of space between them. The cookies spread out as they bake.

Here they are after baking. You can see that they really do spread out.

Help yourself!

PeggyA Dark and Stormy Knit