Sally Goldenbaum: Cozy Mysteries and Knitting for Charity

Posted by December 23rd, 2013

One of my very favorite things about the Cozy Mystery genre is how authors of cozies blend charming hobbies into the backdrop of their books. Because I’m a knitter, I have a soft spot for cozies about knitting.

A Holiday YarnJust in time for Christmas, I stumbled across A HOLIDAY YARN, the fourth book in Sally Goldenbaum‘s Seaside Knitters series. In this series, a group of knitters in the small New England town of Sea Harbor solves mysteries as they knit up a storm of simple squares, which are sent to South Africa to be made into blankets for orphans.  At the end of A HOLIDAY YARN, Sally Goldenbaum includes a pattern for a simple 8-inch knitted square so that her readers can make the same project as the characters that they have read about.  Plus there is a call to action to send the squares to the KasCare Knit-A-Square Project. KasCare collects these squares from knitters all over the world, then makes them into blankets to keep South African AIDS orphans warm during the winter.

This holiday season, Brandi (also a knitter) and I decided that we wanted to contribute to the project. We wanted to invite the knitters amongst the Book Country community to join in, too. With permission from KasCare, Obsidian (which publishes the Seaside Knitters books), and Sally Goldenbaum, we’re posting the Knit-a-Square pattern below. This easy pattern is a cinch for knitters of all experience levels!

If you knit squares, please let me know (you can email me at lucy at bookcountry dot com) and I will tell you how to send them to Book Country so that we can forward them onto KasCare as a group donation from our community.

What an inspiring idea for Cozy Mystery writers on Book Country–a great example of how an author is not only engaging readers, but also giving something back. Well done, Sally Goldenbaum!

finished knitting
Simple Knit-a-Square Pattern
(But you can be as creative as the Seaside Knitters and their friends, adding cables, patterns, borders—as long as your finished piece is an eight-inch square. Have fun!)


Worsted wool and wool blends or acrylic (one square usually uses a 3.5-ounce ball of yarn or mix-and-match scraps); 1 pair size 10 needles; Darning needle.


  1. Cast on 32 stitches. (Measure your gauge to be sure this equals 8 inches. Adjust as needed.)
  2. Row 1: knit.
  3. Row 2: knit. These two rows form the garter-stitch knitting pattern for your square.
  4. Continue knitting as per these two rows until you have knitted a square.
  5. To ensure that your knitted piece is 8 inches square, either use a tape measure or form a triangle by folding one corner of your square over to meet the opposite corner. If all sides are equal—then you have a square!
  6. Cast off. (Be sure to leave a 1¼-yard length of yarn attached to the square to be used to join your square to other squares.)
  7. Sew in yarn ends using a darning method.
Brandi's Knitting WIP

Brandi’s Knitting WIP

Don’t forget that it’s summer in South Africa right now. We have the perfect amount of time to collect lots of knitted squares for KasCare before it gets chilly there.

Be sure and share your knitting with us on Twitter (@BookCountry) and on Instagram (@BookCountryOfficial)!

Sally GoldenbaumSally Goldenbaum is a knitter and the author of more than two dozen novels. Check out her website, and follow her on Twitter and Facebook.







More from the Book Country BlogYou also might like: Mary Kay Andrews: Christmas Came Early: Way Early.

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