Monday, July 22, 2013

ParaCozyMysMo - Interview with Kath Rutledge from the Haunted Yarn Shop Mysteries by Molly MacRae - July 22, 2013

Please welcome Kath Rutledge to The Qwillery. Kath is the owner of The Weaver's Cat, a fiber and fabric shop in Blue Plum, Tennessee.  Kath solves mysteries with the help of a ghost and is featured in the Haunted Yarn Shop Mysteries by Molly MacRae. 

TQ:  Hi Kath welcome to The Qwillery

Kath:  Thanks for inviting me. You’ve had some interesting guests this month!

TQ:  Tell our readers a little bit about yourself. How did you come to own The Weaver's Cat? What did you do before you returned to Blue Plum, Tennessee?

Kath:  First, did you know that Kath isn’t short for anything? My mother was into minimal when she named me. No middle name, either. Just Kath. Compact – like me. Like my grandmother, I’m a sucker for fibers and fabrics. The Weaver’s Cat was Granny’s shop – her life’s work, her art, her love – and it’s arguably the best shop for fiberholics, of any stripe, in a three state area. But I’m also a sucker for old stuff, for history you can touch and hold and that took my love for fiber in another direction. I’m a textile preservation specialist. I can tell you how to store the crazy quilt your great Aunt Bertha made or how to safely whiten your great-great grandmother’s crotchless pantaloons. Before I came back to Blue Plum to run The Weaver’s Cat, I worked in the conservation lab at the Illinois State Museum. I was still working there when Granny died. She’d always told me the shop would be mine when she was gone, but neither of us thought that would happen so soon. And when it did happen, and so suddenly, I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with the Cat. Try to run it long distance? Sell it? Losing my job at the museum gave me an answer.

TQ:  Have you enjoyed being in Blue Plum?

Kath:  Yes! I’ve always loved being in Blue Plum. It’s a sweet place isn’t it? I heard someone describe the town once as Williamsburg on a more personal scale. It has the old buildings and brick sidewalks, the history and stories, and it’s nestled into the foothills of the Blue Ridge almost as though it grew here. I spent most of my childhood summers visiting Granny in Blue Plum. Living here is a little different. Well, okay, certain aspects of it are very different. But on the whole, it’s a good place with good people. And with a good, if somewhat morose, ghost.

TQ:  Do you think you are better at needle crafts or investigations?

Kath:  Well, there are similarities between investigating crimes and working with old or damaged textiles – looking at details, trying to figure out what’s happened, digging into the history. And my needlework skills are definitely rusty! But to wonder whether I’m better at knitting or investigating murders – you know, that’s just not a question that’s ever entered my head before. Kind of gives me pause, you know?

TQ:  What types of things do you like to make?

Kath:  Making things – that’s the real fun of being at The Weaver’s Cat. For all those years I was Ms. Professional with very little time to be creative. So now – I am in seventh heaven! Have you seen the list of classes we’re offering? Take a look at our Pinterest page. Better yet, stop in and sign up for a class. I want to make that mouse rug for Argyle. I’ve been trying my hand at dyeing yarn and roving. But do know what I’m really getting a kick out of learning to make? Little needle-felted animals! Okay, I’m not that good yet. So far everything I’ve made looks like some variety of seal. Legs, I need to work on legs. But I’m having a lot of fun and love the process. Do you think that has anything to do with jabbing something over and over with a barbed needle?

TQ:  What do you and the TGIF group get up to? What does TGIF stand for?

Kath:  TGIF stands for Thank Goodness It’s Fiber. It’s the needlework group Granny started. Mostly it’s a group of mild-mannered knitters, crocheters, weavers, spinners, embroiderers – you get the idea. There’s a strand of feistiness to them, though, especially the knitters who call themselves Fridays Fast & Furious. TGIF has a general membership meeting once a month, usually with a demonstration of an interesting technique and then there are reports from the special interest groups. Fridays Fast & Furious is one of the special interest groups. They meet for an hour or so on Friday afternoons and have challenged themselves to knit one thousand baby hats for charity. They’re also the ones who call themselves my “posse” and have helped me solve several murders. Baby hats and murder investigations – an interesting combination.

TQ:  Were you surprised to find yourself working with a ghost?

Kath:  If by “surprised” you mean “dumbfounded to the point of being stupefied” then yes. I did not believe in ghosts before I met Geneva. Now . . . I guess I have to believe in them.

TQ:  Who do you think is the real brains behind the investigation? You or Geneva?

Kath:  Loaded question! Have you met Geneva? Is she going to read this? Okay, Geneva is an integral part of the investigations. That’s a fact. But she’s complicated. She’s not always . . . reliable. Her memory and sense of time are slippery. We work pretty well together, though, don’t you think?

TQ:  Can you give us a hint at what is coming next for Geneva and you?

What I really want to do is find out who she is – who she was. I’d also like to find out if her memory of a double murder is real or something her imagination has embroidered out of something she saw on TV. Some of that begins to happen in our third book, Spinning in Her Grave, which comes out next spring. In the meantime, we’re making plans for Blue Plum Preserves, the annual heritage festival here in Blue Plum. The whole town is involved and I can’t wait to see what Geneva thinks of all the old-timey costumes and demonstrations.

TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery!

Kath:  It’s been a pleasure. Thanks for having me.

Haunted Yarn Shop Mysteries

Last Wool and Testament
A Haunted Yarn Shop Mystery 1
Signet, September 4, 2012
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 352 pages

Kath Rutledge is about to learn the true meaning of TGIF—Thank Goodness It’s Fiber.…

That’s the name of the spunky group of fiber and needlework artists founded by Ivy McClellan, Kath’s beloved grandmother. Though Ivy has recently passed on, the members still meet regularly at her fiber and fabric shop, The Weaver’s Cat, which Kath has now inherited. But that’s only the first in a series of surprises when Kath returns to the small town of Blue Plum, Tennessee, to settle her grandmother’s affairs.

There’s been a murder, and it turns out her grandmother was the prime suspect. Before she can begin to clear Ivy’s name, Kath encounters a looming presence in the form of a gloomy ghost. It turns out the specter has just as much interest in solving the murder as Kath. So, with a little help from the members of TGIF—and a stubborn spirit from beyond—she sets out to unravel the clues and hook the real killer.…

Dyeing Wishes
A Haunted Yarn Shop Mystery 2
Signet, July 2, 2013
Mass Market Paperback and eBook, 352 pages

Kath Rutledge’s grandmother left her a charming fiber and fabric shop, a close-knit group of needlework lovers, and a television-addicted ghost in the attic. She may also have inherited the special skills required to untangle a murder.

Always up for trying something new, Kath and her friends from the fiber and needlework group TGIF—Thank Goodness it’s Fiber—are visiting Cloud Hollow Farm for the day to learn the fine art of dyeing. With spring in the air, the friends head out to greet the sheep. But the sheep are more interested in something else—two bodies spread under a tall tree. And one of those bodies is someone they know.

Kath’s friends nudge her to investigate, and no one is more adamant than Geneva, the ghost who loves to play assistant sleuth. But when Kath discovers another murder cut from the same cloth, she’s more determined than ever to hang a roving killer out to dry…

About Molly

The Boston Globe says Molly MacRae writes “murder with a dose of drollery.” Molly is the author of the award-winning Haunted Yarn Shop Mysteries for Penguin/NAL. Dyeing Wishes, the second book in the series, was released in July 2013. Molly’s short stories have appeared in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine since 1990. After twenty years in northeast Tennessee, Molly now lives with her family in Champaign, Illinois.

Website  ~ Pinterest

The Giveaway

What:  One commenter will win a Mass Market Paperback copy of Dyeing Wishes (A Haunted Yarn Shop Mystery 2) by Molly MacRae from The Qwillery.

How:   Log into and follow the directions in the Rafflecopter below.

Who and When: The contest is open to all humans on the planet earth with a mailing address. Contest ends at 11:59 PM US Eastern Time on August 10, 2013. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years old or older to enter.

*Giveaway rules and duration are subject to change.*

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  1. I don't, but my sister knits! I'd probably try that if I were crafty, but I am just not talented that way!

  2. No, i can't knit.
    And i don't know if i wanna try or not, because i'm very lazy with thing like this.

  3. I used to knit but it had been many, many years since I've last knitted and I knitted a tutleneck top last.

  4. I'm totally incompetent at knitting, sewing, everything like that. But if there was one needle craft I would like to learn it would be tatting--you just don't see it much any more.

  5. I've been taught to knit many times! Over and over! And I enjoy it each time. And then time passes . . . and so do my poor little knitting skills. And then I get to learn all over again. I'm hoping it'll stick in another year or two. Heck, I'm only 58.

  6. Never knit or sew or make any craft from yarn, since I'm suck on that, lol!
    I would love to try knitting or quilting :)

  7. I do knit, sew, crochet and I embroider too. I have just made some baby booties to match a baby cardigan I knitted.

  8. Before my son was born, I used to cross stitch, crochet thread lace and yarn potholders. I just have not picked up the hooks since and don't know if I remember how any longer - will have to give it a try. LOL used to make the cutest fruit slice potholders.

  9. No, I don't. Maybe knitting

  10. I don't although I have tried sewing tapestry sets before...but one of my friends knits and he has given loads of cool items included knitted catus and a knitted London Bridge!

  11. I don't knit much anymore....but I do counted cross stitch..I'm in the middle of doing this huge dragon.

    Thanks for the amazing giveaway!
    elizabeth @ bookattict . com