People who visit my store always say, “Gee, I’d love to start a little business like this. Just like the Black Sheep Knitting Shop.” All I can say is, I must make it look pretty easy. It may seem like I’m just knitting and chatting for hours on end. But my day is quite demanding. Those knit-and-chat breaks are well deserved, believe me.
My alarm goes off at 6:00 AM. I hate to rush in the morning. I must have my coffee and scan the headlines at a leisurely pace, while the world is still calm and quiet. Astounding thoughts can bubble up at these peaceful moments. Ideas for new patterns or a window display. Or insights about events around town. Mysterious events that my friends and I get mixed up in. But now I’m getting off the track a bit. Sorry.
I head to the village around eight. I was amazingly lucky to find the perfect space for my shop, the lower floor of a beautiful Victorian, right in the middle of Main Street. I know it sounds silly, but I still feel a little thrill every time I unlock the front door. I’m very particular and need to put everything in order before I open at nine– the bins and baskets of yarn, knitting tools and sweaters and such that are on display.
Lucy Binger, one of my dearest friends, usually drops in about this time. She walks her dog into town — or maybe the dog walks her, it’s hard to say. While Tink sits on the porch with her chewy bone, Lucy and I have coffee, and I repair her knitting mishaps from the night before. She calls me Plum Harbor’s official EFT – Emergency Fiber Technician. The nickname fits pretty well, I must admit.
Edie Steiber, who owns The Schooner Diner, is another morning visitor, waddling in on her puffy walking shoes. The unofficial mayor of Plum Harbor always has juicy gossip to share and the tidbits can be very enlightening.
The arrival of my assistant, Phoebe Myer depends on her course schedule and how late she’s been out the night before. She’s a quirky but lovable little thing. But please don’t tell her I said that.
I teach a class most mornings and encourage the students to stay and knit awhile. I want the shop to be a welcoming, cozy place. My good friends Dana Haeger and Suzanne Cavanaugh stop by in the afternoon. Dana brings her lunch – some frighteningly healthy salad or smoothie. A psychologist with an office nearby, she considers knitting breaks her own therapy. Suzanne is a multi-tasking Mom with a job in real estate. She swoops in between showing houses and chauffeuring her three children around.
I’ve been a widow about five years now and my daughter, Julie, is off at college. My nest is empty, no one home waiting for me. But I keep the shop open late most nights. It’s good for business and keeps me from being lonely. Thursday is special; that’s our knitting group night. The fabulous fivesome – Lucy, Dana, Suzanne, Phoebe and I –either meet at the shop or at one of our houses. We eat, knit and share our ups and downs. And gossip, of course.
But we’re genuinely concerned about our friends and neighbors. Especially when they pass away under suspicious circumstances. The police hate our snooping. Probably because we’re usually right. Some law officers around here aren’t the sharpest needles in the rack. Enough said.
Nights that I’m not in the shop, and not meeting friends, I head home and make myself a bite to eat. Then knit while I watch TV. I’ve haven’t dated much these past years and my romantic-minded pals always want to “fix me up.” But I tell them not to worry, nothing’s broken. I really don’t mind being alone. I’m the independent type. Too much for my own good, some say.
All in all, my life is quite full. If I happen to solve a murder case now and then, along with my circle of clever friends, all I can say is, “Pretty good work for a routine day.” Wouldn’t you agree?
You can read more about Maggie in TILL DEATH DO US PURL, the fourth book in the “Black Sheep Knitting” mystery series. The first book in the series is WHILE MY PRETTY ONE KNITS.
** Thanks to the Anne, I have one (1) copy of TILL DEATH DO US PURL to give away. Contest open to residents of the US only. Contest ends March 24. Leave a valid-email address with your comment. Book will be shipped directly from the author. **
Meet the author
A lifelong fan of cozy mysteries, Anne Canadeo created the Black Sheep Knitting Mysteries with all the ingredients she enjoys as a reader – engaging characters, clever dialogue and plot twists that keep fans guessing until the last page is turned. A novice with needles, she finds many similarities between knitting and writing – mostly, that good things happen by accident. Anne lives with her husband, daughter and two canine office assistants in Northport, NY– a village on the Long Island Sound very much like the towns depicted in her books. When she isn’t at her desk, she’s usually out in the community, a volunteer on several fronts. Anne works with the homeless, a food pantry and a literacy group that mentors at youth centers. Writing as Katherine Spencer, she is also the author of the popular, “Cape Light” and “Angel Island” series.
Books are available at retail and online booksellers