My Favorite Hobby by Julia Henry

I enjoy several hobbies, but my favorite is knitting. I am the only grandchild who learned how to knit from my grandmother, so it’s a lovely way to remember her. But I’m not sure my grandmother would approve of some of my knitting habits. I recently went through my stash, and the depth of the problem came to the surface.

Orphaned yarn. I bought some thick wool at a fair a few years ago. The color is between red and coral. I’m not sure what I was thinking. I have started a poncho and a sweater, and ripped them both out. I’m determined to use this yarn, but wish I’d gone for the off white or gray. Any ideas would be welcome.

Forgotten projects. Years ago I started a two tone gray sweater that has raglan sleeves and a twisted cable pattern. I’d forgotten all about it until I was looking at the bottom of my yarn stash and found it last week. The front and the back are done, but the sleeves are missing. So is the pattern. Oops.

Pattern problems. I get bored knitting garter or stockinette, so I opt for patterns. When I knit patterns, I have to define how I approach challenges and stick with that decision. KTBL can mean different things depending on needle size, pattern challenges and yarn type, at least for me. Well, if I put a pattern project down for a bit, I tend to lose my rhythm. Knitting and ripping out gets me back in the groove, and helps me find my place.

I don’t knit in the summer, so this is the season to start again. Now, if only I could find the rest of the pattern, figure out what to do with reddish yarn, and remember the pattern.

Post-retirement aches and pains can’t prevent sixty-five-year-old Lilly Jayne from keeping the most manicured garden in Goosebush, Massachusetts. But as a murder mystery blooms in the sleepy New England town, can a green thumb weed out a killer?

With hundreds flocking to her inaugural garden party, meticulous Lilly Jayne hasn’t left a single petal out of place. But the picture-perfect gathering turns unruly upon the arrival of Merilee Frank, Lilly’s ex-husband’s catty third wife. Merilee lives for trouble, so no one is surprised after she drinks too much, shoves a guest into the koi pond, and gets escorted off the property. The real surprise comes days later—when Merilee is found dead in a pile of mulch . . .

Lilly wishes she could stick to pruning roses and forget about Merilee’s murder—until her best friend and ex become suspects in an overgrown homicide case. Now, aided by the Garden Squad, an unlikely group of amateur crime solvers with a knack for planting, Lilly knows she has limited time to identify the true culprit and restore order to Goosebush. Because if the murderer’s plot isn’t nipped in the bud, another victim could be pushing up daisies!