Exploiting You: Lethal Crafts

So as you probably know, Bob and I are writing a three book series that takes place in Rocky Start, home of many retired spies. The second book is very male-oriented, but the third book is more female. Somebody is killing the female agents in town, so they’re meeting at the coffee shop one of them owns to strategize. And they all brings crafts to make the meeting less obvious. It’s stitch and bitch, except more stitch and strategize. Stitch and slay.

So the crafts. Rose crochets and she’s the only one who isn’t an ex-agent, so that’s fine. Betty knits and I think she’s sharpened her needles. I asked on Rav and somebody suggested she use Hiya Hiya Sharps, and they do look capable of damage, but it think Better would sharpen them more.

That leaves Lian, who I think embroiders, Bea, Louise,and Coral. There will probably be a couple more, including one character who’s a doctor and not an ex-spy (Jacqueline), so she probably hasn’t weaponized her craft.

So: lethal crafts. Got any ideas?

Rose: crochet
Lian: embroidery (I think)
Betty: knitting
Coral: (German background if that helps)
Bea: (beekeeper)
Louise: (man trap, home wrecker)
Jacqueline: (doctor, not an ex-spy)
Character to be named later:

138 thoughts on “Exploiting You: Lethal Crafts

  1. Tatting? I bet you could make an *excellent* garrotte, and the shuttle would help with the grip

    1. How about Scherenschnitte for Coral? Lots of very sharp little scissors. I was going to say paper quilling, but this has more potential violence.

      Felting also requires some wicked needles, and if you dip them in poison they would be especially lethal.

  2. How about a seam ripper that has poison in the top part with little ball?

    Decorated hat pins with nerve blocking serum?

    A rotary cutter so sharp it can be hurled and cut off a body part?

    An awl – sharper than an ice pick.

  3. Idk if this would fit with the stitch & slay, but maybe a baker? This baker could make “dust explosions” with airborne flour. Also heavy marble rolling pins would be good weapons. Or is that too Agnes? 🙂

  4. You couldn’t do much knitting with sharpened needles, imagine a sharpened crochet hook. You would always be sticking your needles through your yarn.
    Maybe one of them is darning socks? No one does that now, but I remember my mother beautifully darning the holes I would always fall in the knees of my woollen tights. (I was a child at the time, obviously) Those darning needles are long and sharp and thick.

    1. lots of knitters carry more than one project, and the project in the bag can have those tip covers. No one sees the sharpness until the stabbing

    2. Darning isn’t entirely a dying art, some of us still use it. I still darn my brother’s extra-strong work kneehigh socks, as we haven’t found a source to replace them that has the same endurance/strength.

      1. I darn my socks, too, although after a couple of rounds they tend to be beyond saving. Still, it gives me several years of extra wear.

  5. All due respect to Hiya Hiya Sharps – Signature Needles could take eyes out of a spider 😀

  6. Hmmm. I have done quite a lot of crafting in herbs, making lotions and potions, etc. which could be one Direction to go. You never know what’s in those oils. I’ve done jewelry making as well. I think you can get very inventive in some of these crafts.

    1. OmiGoddess, Tess. Have you shared this somewhere accessible like Instagram or TikTok? I lurrrve herbwork thanks to my small herb garden and Penelope Ody’s book on Medicinal Herbs. Next up something with my rosemary to keep my hair lush. I will not succumb to the family thinning hairline lol!

  7. Obviously it has to be something portable. What about someone who sketches/doodles. Pen and ink sometimes uses very sharp pens, and a strong pencil can do a lot of damage.

    I’m not sure if someone would sit at a table and make jewelry, but I used to make gemstone jewelry and I did have a portable kit I took to shows. Jewelry wire would make a great garrote.

    Wood carver. Whittling involves sharp knives.

    Stained glass maker. Small pieces can be worked on in public (some people paint on the glass, too) and glass has sharp edges.

    Can you tell I used to run an artists’ cooperative shop?

    1. Also for stauned glass, you can get acid for glass etching, which I imagine could do some damage.

      Also leather working- more sharp objects.

      1. Yes, lino carving was my first thought too. The tools are basically smaller wood carving tools (and are extremely sharp), it’s portable for small projects, and I was startled by how much of the beginner instructions were about not stabbing yourself or anyone else.

    1. Ooh, I could get into that. Except I can’t bend down to pick stuff up, so I’d need someone to pick up my missed throws. Which doesn’t sound like a safe thing to do unless they were absolutely sure I didn’t have any spare hatchets.

  8. Needle felting! Sharp needles about three inches long with a little handle at the end that has sharp edges too. Plus some needle felters and can make remarkably lifelike creatures. In Instagram check #needlefelting or similar.

    1. Only the needles would be much stronger than in those felting tools – they break very easily, at least those we used at school/with the kids.

    2. Definitely needle felting for one – I used to start all my classes by asking if everyone was up to date on their tetanus shots because you >will< stab your self, and possibly others.

  9. Carving. wood, stone, soap, chocolate even
    3d printing. in the group: drawing, or carving, designs for later printing. Could be designing weapons, poison delivery mechanisms, toys, sculpture. Don’t even have to have the equipement. Send your design away to be professionally printed. Ah, or can bring printed designs to the group for finishing. The printed product often needs sanding and/or assembling if it has moving parts

  10. I remember years ago when my sister started knitting one of her side projects was to take four small thin nails and place them around a used spool of thread and somehow create a rope spilling down through the center of the spool. Could be a garrote.

  11. Metal stamping involves a mallet that could be lethal. A collage could hide some lethal weapons in the midst of it. Candle-making could involve incendiary devices, but it’s not terribly portable. Hiking can involve long, strong poles for support. Welding would be fun, but not so good in a group. I once had the ambition of making welded sculptures out of scrap metal. Silver clay work involves a blow torch to burn away the matrix.

    1. Ooh, sorta’ like darts, what about tying fly-fishing flies? The results really are beautiful and collectible, plus there’s that nasty barbed hook.

  12. Someone could do punch-needle– those needle punch things could be hidden darts (poisoned or otherwise)! (see punchneedleworld dot com for pix)

  13. Beading? My original thought was garrotes with the long skinny wire. But I’ve also seen some very long skinny needles used in beading. You could have some fun with toxic beads or crystals, glass, water beads are a choking hazard for children.

  14. Remember string art? How about that? Involved tiny nails and string and/or wire. Or how about wood burning? You might get a propane hand torch use out of that.

  15. Soap making would be good for an explosives expert. All that glycerin… Not good for taking with you though.

    Spinning? You can carry a drop spindle in your purse and a bag of roving.

  16. With knitting, crochet and quilting you could do a Madame Defarge (spelling?) and have some sort of code worked into the fibers. Not necessarily lethal on it’s own but potentially hazardous later…

  17. Hand quilting, embroidery, and cross-stitch – the most likely weapon would be the scissors for stabbing. The needles are too small, typically to do much damage, unless as suggested above, the person has put poison/drug on the tip. Those would be kept in a special needle case.

    Almost every project is going to be carried in a tote of some sort. The handles can be used for choking.

    A person mentioned rotary blades used in quilting and possibly scrapbooking. Could be possibly modified to act like shuriken?

    In looking at this https://imperialcombatarts.com/throwing-weapons.html, the stone sling (scroll way down) looks a lot like a necklace. The smaller stones could be modified so that on impact a puff of something toxic explodes on the person.

  18. If you’re going the textile route, embroidery is excellent. Have her use an awl – it’s used in Hardanger and Ukrainian whitework to open up eyelets. Eyelets are made by poking a hole in the fabric, using satin stitching around the hole, and then using the awl to open up the fabric in a consistently sized diameter. Most awls are metal. Or Japanese embroidery uses a tekobari for laying silk threads. It’s a deadly smooth metal shank with a square handle. Japanese embroidery uses two hands, one on top of the fabric, and the other underneath the frame for two handed stitching, so you end up being very dexterous. Both make excellent and extremely dangerous possibilities for stabbing. Sharper by far than knitting needles. Stumpwork embroidery uses wire on a separate slip of fabric that cuts buttonholed and cut out and attached to a second ground fabric in a hoop. Stumpwork embroidery (aka raised embroidery) uses a lot of wire tools for shaping, and depending upon the kind of wire used, one might have a coil of thin wire lurking in a toolbox. Or doll makers have doll needles which are very, very long. A lot of embroiderers have a variety of tiny, very sharp scissors. If one is doing surface embroidery, they’ll have a lot of very sharp needles. (Needlepointers and cross stitchers generally use dull needles). Also, a lot of embroiderers have a screwdriver in their kit to tighten the screw on a (very good quality) hoop. The cheap hoops don’t have a screw to tighten it, but the good ones require a flat head screwdriver. You wouldn’t find a Phillips in their kit. Also, I’ve got a small clamp in my kit to bolt the working hoop onto the table instead of a table frame. Hmm. Also rotary cutters are in a quilter’s kit. And big, very big and sharp fabric scissors have some heft. Do surgeons practice needlework as a way to keep their eye-hand coordination sharp, in their limited free time? Hope that helps!

    1. For a quick and easy Instagram reference, check out hardangerrebel (Cathinka) has an amazing account with a ton of videos and if you look for the pieces that she shows with eyelets, you could probably catch one with her using an awl. If you want a comprehensive book on how to do hardanger for technique reference, go straight to a book by Janice Love called Basics and Beyond. It’s the resource that all hardanger teachers send their students to get. Japanese embroidery is like a secret society. It’s really hard to find people showing the actual act of stitching it in action. But you could go to the Japanese Embroidery Center website (they’re in Atlanta, Georgia) and see some of the specific tools used on their shop website. (Beware, the website shop is a little clunky.) You can search the # for japaneseembroidery and see what pops up.) If you position your character as a Japanese Embroiderer (one must be amazingly patient, meticulous, finicky, and a bit obsessive to pursue this craft. It’s a master craft and there are 10 phases that level up), see if you can find a Japanese Embroidery teacher to give you a demonstration. It’s very different from other embroidery crafts, and used some very specific tools. Also done on trestles and is not very mobile. It would be difficult to write about it knowledgeably without prior experience. Come to think of it, it’s more of an introverts craft. You really have to focus while doing Japanese Embroidery, and it’s difficult to do well and be distracted. Hardanger might be the way to go.

      1. Somebody taught me to hardanger as a kid and I loved it.
        I don’t known if it’ll work in the book, but now I want to go back to it. Thank you!

        I just looked up hardanger and I was doing something a lot simpler with counted threads. Wonder what that was? It was geometric patterns, but in colored threads on white fabric woven so you could pick up the threads.

        1. I have half a dozen of those towels that my grandmother embroidered with hardanger. They are an heirloom.

        2. If it’s what I think you’re talking about, my grandmother did that. It’s called huck weaving (for the huck fabric that’s used).

        3. My gr Grandfather was in the linen trade and did “Counted Thread Embroidery” with my GrGrandmother as their evening relaxation. I’ve never seen it with colors, but maybe that makes it easier for a child to learn.

  19. The knitter could use circular needle with a cable strong enough to use as a garrote. I would avoid VERY sharp points – too likely to result in self inflicted wounds.

    For defensive items, perhaps some lovely chain mail jewelry to protect necks and wrists? Or embroidery with little round mirrors for covert surveillance? Polymer clay buttons, where a very-sharp blade is used for slicing?

    1. Making a modern version of chainmail jewelry is my day job (I include engineering components in mine, but I learned the traditional patterns first.) I can confirm it’s a portable process (with care) and what you make is certainly strong enough to protect or to do damage.

      I’ve met lots of men who make chainmail too. It tends to appeal to people who like meticulous crafts but also a repetitive flow state. It can also be very engineering- or math-focused. Like knitting, etc. it’s easy to get some results right away as a beginner.

      Happy to answer any questions about it!

          1. That’s amazing work, Kelly – and your introductory video is brilliant! I think one of Jenny’s characters should definitely be doing this.

          2. Thanks, JaneB! (I can’t reply to your comment, sorry!) Standard/traditional chainmail is much more recognizable/easier to explain than my version, so I’d go with that in a book, or maybe pop tab chainmail.

            But if it works, I’d be happy to share my craft with fictitious spies, of course! (And the International Spy Museum in Washington, DC has carried my jewelry in their shop — it fits with their “look closer” theme — so who knows?)

    2. The embroidery with small mirrors (named Shisha, I think) was featured on some of the old fashioned costumes for middle eastern dance when I stated dancing for the exercise in the 1980’s. A design using multiple sizes of mirrors would be more efficient for surveillance, and be a logical change in the design, especially with some of the plastic mirrors that exist instead of glass mirrors (too heavy).
      Coin costumes and the beaded costumes that came along afterwards moved enough to showcase the movements and isolations of each movement, and weighed five to ten pounds (for the bra and belt). Skirts and veils were usually lighter weight, but carrying around the costume bag (bra and belt protectively wrapped in a towel, dance pants, finger cymbals, cleansing wipes to clean your bare feet after dancing, tissues, ….) My purse alone constituted weight bearing exercise, add in the dance bag, makeup case and a garment bag for skirts and veils, and some of the warm up was done just getting to the gig. I figured if I ran into any two-legged pests, belting them with the purse, dance bag or both would be a good deterrent. The weight involved could have put them on the ground. Luckily I did not run into any trouble during the thirty years I performed. Taf

    3. Yes, I was thinking this too. The cable on a circular knitting needle is usually very strong, I often thought it could be used to kill someone either quickly or slowly- I don’t know the technicalites of strangling vs garotting (thankfully)!

    1. Impressed. It’s people who are aware of the fragility of life AND are creative while alive!

      Whenever someone expresses concern about my stances or opinions regarding death, I respond with what is known as an Angelina Jolie quote, “If I think more about death than some other people, it is probably because I love life more than they do.”

    2. You should have been here for the Agnes and the Hitman discussion of how to get rid of a body. My fave is still “dissolve it in Coke.”

    3. There are friends you call for bail money and then there are friends you call to help hide the body.

      And soda is very corrosive. There is a Pepsi factory in my town. Just saying.

      1. Ah you know you have a true friend, when they turn up no questions asked with gloves and a shovel to help with “midnight gardening” 🙂

  20. I haven’t yet read everyone else’s comments, but:

    – my granny managed to put her crochet hook through her hand when she was in hospital having her eldest child (bit of a theme – she was a seamstress, and once managed to sew through a finger). I have her needles and hooks – some hooks are so fine that they have a little metal protective cap

    – I’ve always thought that circular knitting needles would make excellent garottes. Not the ones with the replaceable tips, but the fixed ones. Some brands have a better join, and would be more likely to work well under pressure

    – I’m a spinner. I have a lot of hand spindles; I have one that’s made of Jarrah, and is quite hefty. I once slept with it next to me on a work trip where I had to stay in a rather dodgy hotel. There are also plenty of chemicals used to dye fibre that aren’t good to ingest, although I suspect that would take a lot of doses over time. Imagine brightly coloured cupcakes…

    – sewing has some interesting gadgets – I have an awl (used to make a hole by pushing the threads apart) – they’re also used in some needle laces. Stilettos are also used in needlework

    There’s probably more, but this is fun!

  21. I think Jacqueline (the doctor) should do needlepoint since my name is Jacqueline and I used to do needlepoint. It also means that you carry around at least one size of needle and a scissors at all times. As a doctor she would have access to poisons that could be delivered via the needles. As for the needles not being particularly sharp, the ones used on the finer yarns are the same as the ones used for sewing or crewel work and would break the skin if properly applied. The only difference is that they have larger eyes. And the project itself could contain all sorts of codes.

  22. This is probably dumb, but what about elaborate solitaire layouts for the spy? Cards seem like a good way to transmit secret messages, and there could be fancy shuffling and sleight of hand as well? Not magician-y, but more like clever drops at passing?

  23. Since I like gardening, I think something like flower-pressing where the flowers are toxic and lethal but hardly or maybe not detectable in a regular toxicology screen. Maybe if you’re here Melissa, weigh in – being a Dr and all?

    I wish I could do metalwork as in metal smithing but its not easily or cheaply learned So, any metal work not involving a forge or acid for etching, would be hand engraving using scrapers and gravers. Huh, all my primary school art knowledge suddenly being utilised!

    I think wood carving has been covered but since we like dogs in Crusie books how about someone who carves pennywhistles and dogwhistles and TRAINS THE DOGS to track or do search and rescue using the whistles! I feel so smart for thinking of that.

    I have know two chemists well, one a pharmacist and the other an industrial chemist so I learned a few small things – home beer brewing while not mobile for a crafting meeting, does have technical aspects like working out the specific gravity and determining volumes and ratios for recipes. Since its often tedious to do calculations for most people, doing it with others as a body-doubling exercise would be very effective. I took the long route to say there are many ways to hurt someone with alcoholic beverages, whether so tasty they drink to excess or carefully calibrated to interact with a chronic medication and … g’bye! 🙂

    I like that my creativity is coming back, menacing though it may be. 😀

  24. Leather working tools look pretty potentially lethal, and could conceivably be done at a cafe. I also thought of rug hooking (which was popular in my youth) but can’t really see a latch hook as a weapon.

  25. There’s always the simple one. Darn you have a wooden egg and a long sharp needle.
    Of subject there is a site started by Ben Shepherd, where people recommend their favorite books of the year among other things. Since mine were the Liz danger trilogy, I thought I’d put the link here.
    https://shepherd.com/bboy/2023/f/susan-b-james
    They are, of course, looking for more authors to put their favorite books.
    The other craft, I was thinking of was stained glass, but that’s kind of hard to carry around with you.

      1. Or a pretty Onyx egg or other stone egg, a heavier cosh would probably do more damage. Wow, this thread is making us sound seriously hostile… Taf

  26. For your german background person:

    https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kl%C3%B6ppeln

    Bobbin lace seems to be the english translation, but here in East Germany it’s called Klöppeln. If you look in the second photo on the right side you see, what is all used, which is in turn sharp, garroty or can be used to hide stuff.
    She obviously can only leave, when she is finished with a project, which might help you with other plot things.

    1. I was going to suggest Klöppeln for Coral as well (glad I decided to read all the suggestions). It’s portable, especially with the pillows from the eastern regions of Germany (I learned on a Flemish “cookie” pillow when I lived in Brussels).

      Gazillions of pointy pins! And some of the extra tools are pretty scary looking, with points and hooks and stuff…

      https://www.etsy.com/au/listing/1201502509/bobbin-lace-tools

  27. Maybe tablet weaving? Those tablets could be made of very sharp plastic for a nice shuriken effect.

    1. and the tablets/cards often have numbers on them that could hide code. Or the weave pattern itself could create a message in code.

  28. Beekeeper… candle making/carving, she makes candles with chemicals that disorient/kill people when you light them and they melt down. I know not portable, but had to say it.

    Silver clay, you shape it, then blow torch it and shine it. What you choose to make out of silver can be lethally sharp, coated or contain something.

    Bead spinner, stringing beads on string, lethal beads, slip some off your bracelet and drop them, in drink or skin contact with person, when the coating melts

    Kumihimo, making a strong braid for strangling purposes

    Making a terrarium, using little poisonous plants (mini physic garden)

    Needle felting, those pins they shape wool with are dangerous

    Or you could just serve Cocktails, think of the fun an assassin mixologist could have

  29. Flint knapping? It’s kind of a long shot. I’m not sure if you could carry everything with you and do it in company or not.

    1. You could probably make arrowheads: the stones would be relatively small. Especially if you were finishing them, having created the rough flakes beforehand.

  30. Is gardening a craft? Hydroponic gardening?

    Last week I watched a video about the top ten most lethal plants. One of them stuck in my mind because incidental contact, after a very short delay, causes excruciating pain. A camper in the habitat of that plant used some as toilet paper, and after 15 – 20 minutes, committed suicide.

    If you’re after someone, how hard would it be to impregnate/contaminate TP where the victim would be expected to use it? Or maybe a box of facial tissue. Or a paper cup.

  31. If you decide to have one person be a quilter, possibly an English Paper Piecing devotee so it’s handwork, rather than using a sewing machine, two thoughts: First, I’ve read a lot of interviews of science types (including doctors) who like quiltmaking for the math elements. I remember one interview of a math teacher who used quilts in her classes to teach math problems.

    And second, what about a mini-iron as a weapon? Half of my time spent quilting is actually spent ironing, and with English Paper Piecing, you fold the fabric around a paper template and baste it in place, and ironing can make that a bit easier. And while I haven’t used mini-irons myself, I’ve seen them in a number of social media posts by quilters. Something like this, about 3/4 the size of a standard iron, and I think there may be even smaller ones: https://www.amazon.com/Quilted-Bear-Mini-Iron-Lightweight/dp/B0B9T53KML/ They’re used with small insulated pads, maybe 12″ square in place of an ironing board. I could swear I’ve seen cordless mini irons too (making them less tethered and easier to throw/bash with), but a quick search didn’t turn up anything except the kind you take on vacation to steam wrinkles out of clothes. There are definitely full-size cordless irons though.

    BTW, I once read a quote attributed to Gloria Steinem about quilting bees as one of the most radical (revolutionary?) things that women have ever done, that it’s the precursor of all feminist activities, but I’ve never been able to find the actual quote. I’ve seen some where she’s talking positively about quilting, but not calling it revolutionary/radical.

  32. Pastry chefs who work with sugar always have propane torches around and there are small ones around that are about the size of my hand. And if anyone here doubts that hot sugar can be lethal, they’ve never had a sugar burn. And the victim would suffer.

  33. Embroidery floss friendship bracelets have made a comeback and seem currently popular with people in their 20s (tons of youtube tutorials for adults, etc.) Full of codes and teamwork possibilities, imo.

    Programmable LED embroidery with conductive thread and sensors is another neat geeky craft. (Sometimes called wearable electronics — it’s more common in the maker community.)

    If you want a pocket butane torch, fusing silver wire chains is another relatively portable activity.

    Corset making and lingerie sewing are usually done with a sewing machine, but some steps are by hand (like flossing in the steel bones of a corset.)

    I would deeply love to hear how the “that’s so cute, you should sell it on Etsy!” coversation goes down in a group of reclusive former spies who know what their time is worth — especially if one of them is really good and would love to.

    (Apparently I do have lots of unusual hobbies! Sadly, blacksmithing is much less portable.)

    1. a Blacksmith could bring some smaller work to polish – like pot hooks or other smalls. Ot maybe a blacksmith who makes knives?

  34. Not sure about German culture, but in my Dutch immigrant background, people used to be big into ‘paper tole’ or 3-D decoupage, usually of the elaborately quaint Anton Pieck European images. Made a bunch of sticking-out layers of parts of the same picture, heavily shellacked them and then framed them behind glass. Tools included Exacto knives, sharp tiny scissors and a whole lot of glue.

  35. Several kinds of cord- or bandweaving could work.

    You question immediately reminded me of a craft most primary school age girls encounter in crafts classes – an easy way to create colorful bangles or sturdy shoelaces.
    I get 4 different English words when I look for a translation of the Dutch word ‘punniken’, and none seem quite unmistakeably right.
    It’s a kind of cordweaving done on a sort of hand-size wooden cosh with a hole drilled through the center, with nails stuck in around the hole – rather like a small circular knitting machine; you lift the loops over the nails with a large and sturdy pin or crochethook.
    The idea of a (perhaps weighted) wooden cosh armed with nails and creating a sturdy rope seemed like something a murderously-inclined spy might like to have around, and having the sturdy stabbing-pin in her other hand makes her automatically doubly-armed.
    This explainer is in Dutch but the pictures show it all.
    https://hethaakbeest.be/punniken-hoe-doe-je-dat/

    Atternatively, here’s a link with pictures of backstrap bandweaving: https://jumaka.com/2019/01/bandweaving/
    It’s tied around your waist at one end, and around anything sturdy like a tableleg at the other – using a quick-release type of knot would be important.

    They both create a long and thin and sturdy tail that could be used as a garotte, they are very portable, and for both you could also plausibly carry a good sharp pair of scissors around, as well as extra (sturdy) yarn if you don’t want to damage your work.
    Both could carry hidden codes in the colors or patterns used.
    And the usual wooden implements could be adapted in some way to make them more lethal.

    1. I think your “punniken” might be what I learned as “spool knitting” as a kid in the US?

      1. That sounds much more likely than words like punk or pick, that the automatic translators came up with.
        It’s exactly what it is, doing round (French) knitting on a spool, creating a round-knit cord.

        1. And it looks like what in English was called French knitting when I was a child (well, probably still, but I haven’t done any since I was about seven).

  36. Weaponised origami? Again, lots of opportunity to incorporate sharp or poisonous attributes. Very portable. ( By the way, the posts were great fun to read 🤣)

  37. whittling! Maybe small canvas painting- one of the colors is poison but she never says which. Sketching. The mechanical pencil also shoots tiny darts. Leather work – only tried it once a million years ago in school, but I recall it uses some sharp objects.

    Crewel/embroidery/cross stitch – you could maybe hide a wire between the hoops.

  38. How about something along the lines of the Japanese fan as weapon? I think they were traditionally made of iron but there may be scope for paper/fabric ones with hidden blades…maybe for Louise to bat her eyelashes behind

  39. Artists
    Painter, pointy, stubby paintbrush ends. Paint can be mixed with chemicals to give off fumes. Turps etc to clean up oil paints. Turps is flammable.

    Illustrator – flammable, toxic markers. Pencils with pointy ends. They often carry small knives/scalpels to sharpen pencils rather than using pencil sharpeners.

    Sculptors use knives, chisels, hammers

    Whittling? Knives?

    1. When I was in art school we had the science department make us yellow paint with just a little bit of something hazardous in it because it was a better color. Uranium? I think?

    2. I’m envisioning one of those field watercolor kits – like the Guerilla Box travel kit – filled with poisonous and explosive paints, brushes with handles sharpened like daggers…and a lovely little landscape.

  40. Paper quilling uses sharp pointy things.

    3D felted creatures where the creator does almost nothing else but stab mounds of fibre.

    Milliner. Lots of scissors and needles.

  41. People who make cosplay items. Lots of wire, chisels, leather working tools.

    People who make tiaras, crowns, diadems. Lots of sharp pointy things to wind wire around. Pliers and wire strippers. Ditto jewellery makers

  42. Cobblers. Lots of really sharp knives used to cut through leather and big sharp needles to stitch handmade shoes together.

    This is a bit of a stretch but a gardener would know about poisonous plants

  43. This one is almost as bad as Thursdays for tabs opened. And new craft hobbies are even worse time sinks than new authors.
    But so interesting!

  44. What a lovely collaborative vicious group we all are.

    I keep thinking of Catherine de Medici’a alleged rings that hid poison. Someone could make jewelry that had a hidden space for poison.

    Also if it didn’t need to be secret the person could just use their craft time to sharpen their knives and daggers.

  45. Haven’t read through the comments, so don’t know if this had been mentioned…what about wood carving or whittling? There’s nothing like a warm, sharp knife in your hand. 🙂

  46. I don’t know… quilling? I use toothpicks and sometimes a small sharp awl when I do this craft.

  47. Damn spellcheck. Paranormal not paranoid troll. Although that is more interesting then most of my spell check corrections.

  48. I had to take a 3-day course in First Aid and the example for puncture wounds was someone who was stabbed with a knitting needle. Also, any such group of crafter-spies should have at least two knitters! (Says a knitter!)

  49. Basket weaving? You need a knife and scissors, maybe a bodkin. And because you have to soak the cane to make it flexible, you could probably use it as a garotte.

  50. Stained glass. Nice sharp edges, lead came, lead solder, flux, soldering iron…yeah, what could go wrong?
    Lingerie maker? Bras w/underwires, corsets w/boning. Deadly and there’s that distraction factor as their blood heads south (assuming the killer is male).

    1. I’ve done stained glass and cut myself innumerable times, but I don’t see taking it to a coffee shop.
      But now bra making with underwires? That made me laugh. A bra as a garrote? Reminds me of Carrie Fisher.

  51. One more…fabric dyer/fiber artist. All those lovely little powdered dyes and chemicals to fix the dyes, soften the water etc. Anything could be in those containers. And for the natural dyers, I’ve read that the mordants used to fix the natural dyes are toxic.

  52. I make coil baskets out of clothes line.

    Maybe the beekeeper could do wax sculpture – or roll up sheets of honeycomb into candles that burn down to something leathal wrapped inside?

    Weavers use “slaying hooks” and a peg wrench. One character could leave their loom at home but carry the tools around anyway.

    Here’s a short post on WWI & II coded knitting: https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/knitting-spies-wwi-wwii

    What about crafting with a hot glue gun – dangerous on its own, but it could also be modified for other activities!

    Maybe the woman with a German background makes functioning nut crackers – those could do some damage.

  53. I just had to look up a word in another novel – retiarius – gladiators who fought with weighted nets. Couldn’t you crochet/knit a shawl that could be used the same way – or sort of like a weighted sleeve/slungshot?

  54. Making braided rugs. They use long thick needles and the braids could be used to strangle someone.

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