Knitmare on Beech Street

Knit and Nibble member Pamela Paterson, and her best friend, Bettina, stumble on a body in a once grand Victorian house when they join a group welcoming new residents to Arborville—and must figure out if old secrets killed the new neighbor . . .

When Pamela, Bettina, and their friends show up at the Voorhees House to greet its new owner, they’re met with a most unwelcome sight: a dead body on the kitchen floor. Tassie Hunt just inherited the old Victorian, which had been occupied by a reclusive widow for many years and had a reputation for being haunted. But Tassie would have been unlikely to be spooked since her career involved debunking such paranormal phenomena.

Her demise sets off a new flurry of gossip and ghostly speculation in the New Jersey town, of course—and it’s tempting to think spirits were indeed involved considering there’s zero evidence so far of foul play. A nosy neighbor reports strange lights and sounds, and a man obsessed with the Victorian era starts photographing the place from the street. But it won’t take long before Pamela and Bettina are moving in on a killer . . .

 

 

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Here’s the cover for the large-print version, from Thorndike Press:


Here’s the cover for the audio version, from Tantor Media:


KNIT

Nell’s Toy Donkey

Nell Bascomb’s latest knitting project is toy donkeys, destined for the children at the women’s shelter where she volunteers. The donkey is a bit more complicated than some of the other KNIT projects, but it’s fun to make and it’s a great gift for a favorite child. Directions for Nell’s Toy Donkey are included at the end of Knitmare on Beech Street.

Scroll down for some in-progress photos. Nell enjoys using odds and ends of leftover yarn for her donkeys, so the colors aren’t realistic. But I thought it would be fun to use gray and white to make my donkey resemble a real donkey.

Top row left: Increasing by casting on an extra stitch before the last stitch in the row. The process is the same for increasing by casting on an extra stitch after the first stitch in the row, and it doesn’t matter whether you are knitting or purling. Increasing this way rather than adding the extra stitch at the very end or beginning of the row makes for a neater edge.

Top row right: Decreasing by knitting two stitches together. The process is the same whether you are knitting or purling except you purl two stitches together.

Bottom row left: Increasing by casting on 13 stitches for a front leg. The process is the same whether knitting or purling.

Bottom row right: A front leg in progress with head complete..

Here are all the finished pieces, looking rather like an interesting artistic creation. It can be helpful to press them with a pressing cloth and steam to get them to lie flat.

Top row left: Positioning the eyes.

Top row right: Positioning the gusset that forms the stomach and inner legs on the first side.

Bottom row left: Positioning the gusset that forms the stomach and inner legs on the second side. It has already been sewn to the first side.

Bottom row right: Positioning the face.

Almost finished–getting stuffed.

Left: Hide the yarn tails of the finished ears by stitching along the edge for half an inch or so then clipping the small tail that remains.

Middle: Position the ears standing up and with wrong sides facing out as you see here.

Right: The ears will flop down realistically and the right sides will face out.

Left: Donkey tail in progress.

Right: Donkey tail complete.


 NIBBLE

Pamela’s Blueberry Pie

In Knitmare on Beech Street, a careless blueberry pie with jagged slits in the top crust turns out to be the killer’s calling card, but Pamela redeems this classic summer dessert when she bakes a nice one to serve to the Knit and Nibble group. The blueberry is the state fruit of New Jersey, cultivated especially in the Pine Barren region in the southern part of the state. Summer, when Knitmare on Beech Street takes place, is the peak blueberry season. The recipe for Pamela’s Blueberry Pie is included at the end of Knitmare on Beech Street.

It’s good served with ice cream. The ice cream in the photo below is blueberry ice cream because the day I baked my pie for these website photos, there was no plain vanilla to be had at my supermarket.

Scroll down for a photo of the whole pie, as well as a few photos of crucial steps.

Using two knives or a pastry blender, cut in the shortening until the mixture resembles coarse or pebbly sand.

The larger dough ball is for the bottom crust.

Folding the rolled-out dough into quarters makes it easier to transfer to the pie pan. Arrange it so the point of the triangle is more or less in the center of the pie pan before unfolding it.

Here are the berries, sprinkled with the vinegar, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt, waiting to be scooped atop the bottom crust in the pie pan.

This photo shows the technique for making a nice crimped edge.

Here’s the finished pie, a nice version like Pamela makes.

Spoiler alert! Here’s the version of the pie that proves to be the killer’s calling card.


BONUS NIBBLE

Lemon Icebox Cake

In Knitmare on Beech Street Karen Dowling serves old-fashioned Lemon Icebox Cake, a classic summer recipe, when the Knit and Nibble group meets at her house.

Here’s a photo of my version. The recipe was featured in Storeybook Reviews on December 2, 2023 and you can find it there–with photos!

PeggyKnitmare on Beech Street