•   •   •  Contact Me  •  Home
The Yarn Retreat series wouldn't be the same if it took place in a different locale. I like to think that the weather beaten moody buildings that make up the hotel and conference center on the edge of the Monterey Peninsula with all the clouds and fog are key elements to the mysteries.

I loved doing the research for A TANGLED YARN and having a reason to visit the real hotel and conference center I based Vista Del Mar on. Though I didn't it always that way. My first visit there was a disaster and I couldn't wait to leave.

I had gone to Asilomar (the real Vista Del Mar) for a writers' conference, not realizing I'd made a fatal mistake when I let them set me up with a roommate. You know that phrase something or other from hell, well, she turned out to be that and more.

Since it was my first time to Asilomar I was unfamiliar with the accommodations. The guest building our room was in was one of the original ones and was over 100 years old. The room was tiny and completely encased in dark wood. There was barely space for both of us to stand up at the same time between the slender twin beds. The room had a small closet, chest of drawers and a sink - all of which had been taken over by her by the time I got there. It also had a tiny bathroom with a stall shower, sink and toilet.

From the moment I stepped into the room, she started talking and talking and talking. Not a conversation, just a lecture on what she wrote and how great it was. She mentioned her husband was also a writer, but he had stayed home. It didn't take me long to figure out why.

It got worse when it was time to go to sleep. She insisted on the curtains and windows being shut, though the windows looked out into trees and the night air was refreshing. And with the lights off and all the dark wood, it felt like being inside a coffin. I couldn't sleep and turned on the light to read. I never did fall asleep and eventually was looking forward to the morning. Just as it was getting light I headed for the bathroom to take a shower and get dressed. Meanwhile she had awoken. What she did next was what pushed me over the edge. First she said that I better not stay up all night again and then that she'd be using the toilet while I was in the shower. Really?

If I hadn't been so bleary eyed from not sleeping, I might have considered asking the powers that be to change my room, instead all I could think about was getting out of there. I made all the necessary arrangements and then sat waiting to be picked up, never noticing the tall lanky Monterey pines, or the wind shaped Monterey Cypress trees. I missed the boardwalk through the dunes to the silky white sand beach. I didn't see the that the water was really sea foam green. When the cab finally pulled away, all I could think was that I never ever wanted to come there again.

But a year later when I came to the area with my family, I saw the place in a totally different light. It probably helped that this time I wasn't tired and we had roomier accommodations. I fell in love with the area and the Monterey Peninsula became one of my favorite spots.

There are a few corrections to the pattern included in A TANGLED YARN. The word "Recipe" doesn't belong above the directions. Under Supplies, the knitting needle size for the Triangle Head Scarf is U.S. size 10-1/2 (6.5mm). The "13" is an error. All the dimensions mentioned are approximate.

Read Betty's Blog
Every Friday!

Hear Betty on The Yarn Thing

Hear Betty's Yarncraft interview

Yarn Retreat Mysteries Now on Audio!

Yarn to Go

Silence of the
Lamb's Wool

Wound Up
in Murder

"It is the kind of story that kept me turning the pages late into the night to find out what happened next."
- Kim Davis, 'Cinnamon and Sugar' and 'A Little Bit of Murder'

Crochet Mysteries Now on Audio!

Hooked on Murder

Dead Men
Don't Crochet

By Hook or
By Crook

In GONE WITH THE WOOL, Casey is putting on a Yarn Retreat to coincide with probably the biggest event of the year in Cadbury by the Sea. Every October thousands of monarch butterflies arrive to overwinter in the small town. There is a whole week of activities in honor of their return and of course, it all gets marred by a murder. Casey's retreat features loom knitting and crocheting a monarch butterfly with patterns included for both.

Molly and the Tarzana Hookers are busy getting ready to start Yarn University at the bookstore and they decide to hold a practice class at crocheter CeeCee's mansion. But before the lesson begins, Molly and the gang stumble upon a dead body in the apartment above CeeCee's garage.

The Very First Crochet Mystery!

In the series opener, Molly Pink is about to discover the joys of crochet. It's a relaxing escape from her hectic life as a bookstore event manager...and from the stress of being the latest murder suspect in Tarzana, California.

Copyright 2018 by Betty Hechtman - All Rights Reserved
site design - iNet // Web Solutions