January - February 2007


1. Comments From Our President
2. Who’s Who at CNKG
3. News Tidbits
4. Show and Tell
5. Knitting on the Web
6. Knitting Hints and Trivia
7. The Book Nook
8 Just For Fun
9. Knitting For Others
10. Calendar of Events



Dear Fellow CNKG Members and Friends:

Well, it’s happened again, the holiday party has come and gone. I know you enjoyed it as much as I did because of the many “after party” notes I received! Allow me to thank Regina Esposito for orchestrating a great event - again. And thanks to Jackie Taylor for overseeing the gift and yarn exchanges (is it my imagination or were we kinder and gentler?) and baking her now famous “knitting cookies.” We sang a knitting version of Jingle Bells for our member Judy Santini in cold, snowy Idaho, and admired our handiwork - scarves for World War ll Veterans, and countless blankets for Project Linus. While we substituted recognition gifts with a member meal discount, I so appreciate our members’ contributions to CNKG. We have a great group!

I thoroughly enjoyed our evening with Kay Lind in November. She’s a great knitter, an engaging speaker, and reminded us how it wasn’t always so easy for a woman to have a career. Best wishes to Kay after a recent fall. As Kay was also to be our January presenter, we’ve changed the meeting schedule, accelerating the February meeting to January (watch your e-mails on what you need to bring) and Bev Walker has stepped in to do a felting program in February. Of course you won’t want to miss either!

Lesley Fry, Regina, and I had a great time at the OPK Fashion Show in Tucson. It is a guild to be admired and our good friend Pat Wood did a superb job chairing the event.

I hope each and every one of you had a great holiday season.

Happy Knitting,




President - Francine Ebersman
Vice President & Program Chairman - Marsha French
Secretary - Mary Schirtzinger
Treasurer - Joan Robbins

and committee chairmen:
Membership - Jackie Taylor
Altruistic - Cathrine McClure and Jo-Ann Mullen
Newsletter - Lesley Fry




Martha Reith, Robin Kawamoto and June Whisel.





Our November meeting enticed a few old timers to return and brought out quite a few newcomers as well.



New member Robin Kawamoto and returnee Cindy Adams



Sarah Calvin and new member Martha Reith (Jackie's friends), Donna Sherrill, and Linda Garcia who came with Martha.



One of our members (who wishes to remain annonymous) has a new helper with her knitting!
She certainly deserves an A+ for effort!




And of course there was the BIG EVENT - our fabulous Holiday Party. Most of these photo were taken by Maggie.



Presents for us, yarn for us to select or steal, and lots of afghans for Project Linus.








Tucson's Old Pueblo Knitter's held their seventh Fashion Show and Luncheon at the Hilton El Conquistador Resort on Saturday, November 11, 2006. 125 luncheon guests attended and watched 41 garments modeled to wonderful piano music from an excellent volunteer teen.. There were several requests for information about the modeled garments, a nice tribute to the knitters and designers. The raffle was the largest ever with many wonderful items. Guests put purchased tickets ($1 each or 12 for $10) into the bags next to the items they hoped to win. The Boutique also had a great many items for sale. There was a wonderful display of exhibits, both of the charities that the Guild supports as well as knitted items that Guild members wanted to show but not model.Three CNKG members attended and one of them won a pattern book in the raffle! This is a wonderful event, a lot of fun, and well worth the drive. Let's get more members to go next time.



Stephanie McPhee, AKA the Yarn Harlot, has just filming a series to be shown on the TV show Knitty Gritty. It will probably be a year before it is aired but it is certainly something to look forward to.

Click here to read all the gory details about the BIG YARN HEIST in Atlanta this past spring.!





Arizona State Fair
The good news: Lesley, your editor, won two blue ribbons at the Arizona State Fair this year, for this sweater and a pair of cabled socks.
The bad news:- she was the only Cactus Guild member who entered anything! What's the matter with you guys? We have some WONDERFUL knitters in our group and could do a clean sweep of all the blue ribbons (ha ha) if we tried. Let's see if we can have a respectable amount of entries next year.




Some of you at the November meeting asked for the web page with the free, interactive sweater pattern generators for an easy, neck down, no seam sweater, so here it is:
Just choose a pattern on the left, plug in your needle size, stitch and row gauges, and the recipient's actual chest measurement to get a pattern to fit. DO CHECK THE MATH as my pattern called for K2P2 with a 71 stitch neck! Some fiddling with numbers may be necessary.

There are also 1113 different stitches with directions listed on the left side of the above web page but only a few have photos.

Do you know how to knit backwards? This is handy to know if you are doing short rows or something that requires turning your work often, or even if the article is too bulky to keep turning. Here is a video that, very slowly, shows how it is done. The camera is behind the knitter so you learn it frontwards. That is, you learn to knit backwards frontwards. Oh, heck! Just go look at the video!

Also on YouTube is a very good video on how to do the kitchener stitch.

I've been searching for a sweater pattern for some variegated yarn I have and came across this extremely informative article on how to knit with this type of yarn.

What is a "Real Man"? Is it a guy who plays football, drinks beer & belches? Or is it a man who has the courage to knit in public? Here are real men (including some who are famous in the world of yarn) discussing the wonders of knitting

More free patterns may be found on the left side of this page. There is a link to many stitch patterns with photos and direction.

shared by Regina

Here's a web site that offers a free knitting course. You do have to sign up to receive the lessons, but they say they will never share, rent, or sell your contact information, and it is easy to remove yourself from the list.

shared by Regina

This tutorial shows how to make a Russian Join which will allow you to graft two strands of yarn so there aren't any knots in your work. Works on all but the thicker yarns which are better woven in on the diagonal (up and down) when you are finished with the knitting.

I searched for this page because it has great tutorials on doing both right and left cables without a cable needles, but the page also shows how to make custom labels for your creations with your computer and a few free patterns.

Many of us receive the KnitPicks catalog but did you know they have, as of this writing, 56 free patterns on their web site?

Here's a tutorial for those of you who want to make your own circular needles. I can't for the life of me figure out WHY you would want to do that. Bassoon and oboe players having to make their own reeds and that's one reason your editor opted for the clarinet!. First of all, you have to have all the tools to begin with or it wouldn't make any economic sense, and I can't see wanting to make needles for any other reason when you could be using the time for actual knitting. Be that as it may....for those of you who are still curious....

LetsKnit2gether is a web site of very well done knitting videos on various subjects. Watching these is like watching TV!

Here's a page of wonderful knitting tips from Rebecca, the English version of a German knitting magazine.

Something useful to us all, especially to our constant travelers, the Frazins, is a listing of yarn stores, wordwide, contributed by knitters. As will all lists of this type, there may be stores listed that are no longer in business or have moved, so check before you go.




What would you do if told you could not bring your knitting needles on a plane? Heathrow Airport in London is one example where this will happen. Not all foreign airports follow US rules, so here are some ideas that will lessen this bad news:
.....1. MOST IMPORTANT - Run a lifeline through the last row of your knitting before leaving for the airport.
.....2. Bring a self addressed, stamped envelope to mail the needles back home or on to your destination.
.....3. Pack your good needles in checked luggage and carry on cheap ones you wouldn't miss if confiscated.
.....4. Learn to crochet ;-)



Found in a knitting blog:

I was knitting while I waited for an oil change on my car, and a woman who was sitting in the waiting room with me (and who had been sneaking glances at what I was doing) came over to ask what I was making. When I told her "Socks," she thought about that for a long moment and finally said, "You know, if you can't afford to buy socks even from Walmart, the Salvation Army store has them pretty cheap."

I picked up the yarn label and showed her the price--$8.99, and she just shook her head and went back to the other side of the room.



Wool Facts

Sheep are similar to all living creatures in that the younger they are, the more elasticity their skin/hair has. The older has less elasticity and this applies to yarns made of wool from older animals {which many times is what "cheap" wool yarns are made from} That is why the youngest animals' hair/wool/fleece brings in the premium prices, and the older animals wool is hard to sell at all. Huge manufacturers buy up bulk shipments of the older animal wool for products including yarn.

For children's clothing, use different colored buttons down the front -- fun for the child. Then outline the button holes with a color to match the corresponding button. This will help the child line up the button holes with the right button.




1. Good for provisional cast ons.

2. You have a "cutter" and don't need scissors.

3. I usually knit my 2 fronts at the same time. When I'm putting the buttonhole into one front, I also carry along a piece of dental floss on the second front. That way I know where to sew my buttons.

4. Makes a great lifeline for lace work. Easy to pull out.

5. Knot a 6" piece for an instant marker. I can zip crochet (large hook, big slip stitches) my pieces together for try on fittings, and easily remove without leaving "lint."

shared by Jackie



Remember those pink brush rollers we used to use to make curly hair? If you still have some, the pink plastic pins that held them in your hair are great for holding knit pieces to gether when you sew up the seams. I have been told the pins are available in beauty supply stores. You could probably use double pointed needles in a pinch, for that matter.



What would you do if you lost your knitting tote? Are your name and phone number in it so the finder can contact you? Duh! How is the finder going to contact you without that information? Go do it NOW!



If you use size 0 or 1 needles for socks, a nicely sanded and waxed (with waxed paper) round toothpick is the perfect size cable needle for socks!



Paper clips make great stitch markers in a pinch.



Do you ever buy yarn and wonder if you have the correct needles at home? The Knitty Gritty show on DIY Network featured a solution to this. Essentially, she traced a needle gauge onto 4x6 index cards - one card for dpns, one for circs, one for straight. She traced the holes and marked the sizes next to the holes. then she blacked in the hole for each needle she has, keeps the set of cards in her purse so she can check at a glance to know if she already has or needs to get a particular needle.

Another method uses cards the size of a business card. On each one you have needle sizes for straights, dpns, circs listed and you just check off the ones you already have. It has vertical columns with needle sizes 0 through 19 and horizontal columns with 2 lengths of both straights and double points and 4 lengths of circulars. Very handy. And if you go to the Fiber Factory, this is already printed on the back of their business cards. Be sure to tell them you are a CNKG memeber when you purchase something as we get a donation from them each year based upon the total amount guild members spend in the store.

And here is a third method:
Copy the order page from a catalog and then highlight or circle the sizes you have. Copied on or glued to card stock it should be sturdy and last a long time.


Yis the Season: A knitting prescription for too much tension
by Jackie Awerman (a founding mother of CNKG)
reprinted from the North Port (Florida) Herald

Knitting doesn’t lie. It tells the truth about your state of being. Of course you know that it reflects your sense of color, your love of pattern and your creative jaunts into the stitching jungle. But, did you know that knitting also reflects your feelings?

Just think about it - tension, aka gauge. Have you ever had the recommended yarn and needles and made a gauge swatch that was the size of a postage stamp when it was supposed to be 4 inches (20cm) square? That’s tight.

What was going on? I bet something or someone was stressing you, and not in a good way. So what to do, what to do... Deep breaths and try again.

Then maybe this happened: the same needles, the same yarn and the swatch was almost big enough for baby blanket! More deep breaths. And rip, rip, rip.

I find that when I zigzag between way too tight and way too loose, deep breaths and tipping out (aka de-knitting) just aren’t enough— it’s time to put my knitting to work as therapy.

Let’s do it. We can start by changing the preceding phrase to “it’s time to put my knitting to play as therapy.” That sounds like more fun. Okay. Here goes — we’re going to have a little play therapy session that may help you relax a bit and put your knitting self in a less stressed space.

•Grab a favorite pair of fairly large size needles (8’s to 13’s) and a ball of bulky yarn from your stash and a lovely long, silky scarf. Seriously! And this won’t be one that you knit — it will be store-bought or gifted. Find one of your favorite background music CDs or locate the iPod listing and a comfy place to sit when you can listen to the music.

•Put the music on. Sit down. Put the needles, yarn and scarf in your lap. Cast on 12 stitches and put the needles down. Now, tie the scarf around your eyes! Yes, you are going to do this without looking. Pick up your knitting. Breathe deeply. In through your nose. Out through your mouth.

•When you are ready, reach s-l-o-w-l-y for your. knitting. Got it? Good. Keep on slow breathing as you pick it up and position the needles in your hands.

• Now, think of each attempt to knit a stitch as insight into letting go of tensions and troubles. As you wrap the yarn around the stitch, gently move the yarn instead of yanking the yarn.as you lift the stitch from one needle to the other, envision lifting your spirits and allowing your joy in creating to flow into the completed stitch.

• Repeat the previous step11 times to finish the row. Give yourself permission to miss a stitch, drop a stitch or knit two stitches together. It’s OK. Remember, you’re blindfolded Let your fingers guide you and let the music set the pace.

• Put your knitting down. Take off your scarf blindfold. As you look at what you’ve done, smile. Enjoy — that really means take the joy in — way into your heart and your self.

•Stretch. Wiggle your fingers. Wiggle your toes. Laugh out loud. Get ready to repeat the entire process, maybe once, maybe twice, maybe more.

Are you feeling silly right now because you really tried it? I hope so! The more joy that you can work into your knitting, the more knitting, the more joy and....(repeat this sentence as needed.)


"Creativity is allowing oneself to make mistakes.
Art is knowing which ones to keep."
Scott Adams - The Dilbert Principle




Lace Style
Traditional to Innovative: 21 Inspired Designs to Knit
by Pam Allen and Ann Budd, Editors of Interweave Knits
Paperback, 8½ x 9, 160 pages; 100 photographs, 30 charts, 25 illustrations
Available February, 2007

From runways to department stores, lace is everywhere and knitters are picking up their needles to chase the trend. Lace Style takes a fresh approach to this classic theme by combining solid techniques with 20+ contemporary projects.Here is a stunning collection of quick knits that take a modern twist on a traditional pattern. Accomplished designers including Vëronik Avery, Norah Gaughan, Annie Modesitt, Shirley Paden and Michele Rose Orne will inspire with patterns ranging from scarves, shawls, hats, sweaters, dresses, and more.

Revel in ways to use lace as allover patterns, trims and edgings, and inserts. Innovative designs include a lace pattern typically used for baby wear boldly translated into a striking woman’s scalloped jacket, a delicate lace edging used to accent a featherlight lingerie dress, a chic skirt made lacy with intentionally dropped stitches, a wide-brim garden hat with a decidedly vintage feel, a sophisticated bracelet knitted from fine silver wire, and much more.

Each pattern has detailed step-by-step instructions and lavish photographs with plenty of detail shots. A special design chapter demystifies the elements of knitted lace, and details several ways to achieve lacy effects. It also provides key pointers on how to incorporate lace motifs into other patterns and tips to ensure success.

Jackets for Work and Play
published by The Best of Knitters
List price $19.95
102 pages
soft cover
10" x 11"

Here's a book your editor just bought and can't wait to use. It has patterns for 18 gorgeous jackets and sweaters with lots of colored photos that beautifully show off the items. There are also close-up photos, helpful diagrams and charts, in black, so you can make working copies, and they even tell you the original yarn (these are reprints) and the yarn shown in the new photo. The back of the book contains a "Knitting School" section, but as this is not a book for beginners, what is here is to help you with these particular patterns. There is even a full page on zippers! If you love to knit sweaters, this is a "must have" book.



And now for something very useful compiled and shared by Jo-Ann Mullen. A lot of research went into this and we thank you, Jo-Ann.

Here is a list of handknitting magazines and newsletters that appear in English. A few are online, and some of the print magazines occasionally offer articles and patterns online. Most of the magazines are devoted to knitting; a few others are here because they contain enough knitting for me to think them worth including. If anyone knows of handknitting magazines or newsletters not in the following list or of any discontinuations or errors, please email me privately.


The AntiCraft (online)
Cast-On (The Knitting Guild Association--formerly The Knitting Guild of America)
Creative Knitting (formerly Knitting Digest)
Creative Knitting (Australian publication)
Family Circle Easy Knitting
INKnitters (hand and machine knitting)
Interweave Knits
Knit.1 (publication of Lion Brand Yarns and Vogue Knitting)
Knit It! (annual publication of Lion Brand Yarns)
Knit 'n Style
KnitNet (online, 6 issues a year, charges for subscription but has some free patterns)
Knitscene (special issue by Interweave Press)
KnitSimple (new magazine from Vogue, I've been told) no website
Knitter's Review (online, weekly)
Knitting (U.K. publication)
Knitting Now
Knitty (online, quarterly)
MagKnits (online, possibly monthly)
Men Knit (online, only one issue so far)
Rebecca (German magazine in English
Rowan Knitting Magazine
Sandra Baby (an annual for children thru age 2)
Sandra Children (an annual for age 2-11)
Simply Knitting (U.K. publication) no website but can be emailed: simplyknitting@futurenet.co.uk
Southern Cross Knitting (online Australia/New Zealand publication)
Spin-Off (spinning magazine with knitting patterns) Spun (online)
Stranded (colorwork knitting, stranded and Fair-Isle-type)
Twists and Turns (cable knitting--Janet Szabo)
Ultimate Knitting (hand and machine knitting)
Vogue Knitting
Yarn Magazine (Australian publication)
Wool Gathering (Schoolhouse Press--Meg Swansen)




It's January, the time for making New Years Resolutions! How about some New Years Knitting Resolutions? Here are a few ideas to get you started.

I will not buy any yarn until I have reduced my stash by twice the amount I'm buying.
I will learn one new technique every month.
I will knit one thing for charity for every one thing I knit for myself.
I will make an item I've never made before.
I will organize my stash and keep it that way.
I will clean out and donate yarn and needles to Project Linus or to Jackie for her elementary school knitting classes.
I will teach someone else to knit.




In case you were stumped by jackie's :Name Puzzle" last issue, here are the answers. Do I hear groaning?


2 Holiday Party - Regina
5 Adds and Subtracts - Joan
6 NASCAR - Donna
7 Westminster Village - Anne
8 State Fair - Erika
9 Finisher - Sandi
13 Sweetheart - Mary
15 Mystery Member - Sarah N
17 Birthday Wishes - Bev
18 "Our Guy" - Larry
19 Take My Yarn! - Cathrine
20 Francine's Friend - Evelyn
22 ___ Wood Breisblatt - Linda
24 She came back! - Betty
25 Poet - Penny
26 Collects small things - Kelli
28 Scouts out places. - MaryLu
29 Wears scrubs. - Maud
31 Friend named Judy. - Francine
32 Teacher -Stephanie


1 Knits and Crochets - Darlene
3 ___ Williams - Eleanor
4 Quilted Bear - Irene
5 Baseball Lady - JoAnn
9 One Slipper at a Time - Sarah
10 ___ Miller - Diane
11 Boise is home.- Judy
12 Scarf Whiz - Kathy
14 Taught children needle arts - Yvette
16 ___Kaye - Ruth
18 Clarinet - Lesley
19 Author - Cindy
21 ___Sherrill - Donna
23 ovooyo - Jackie
24 Watches the Scale - Barb
27 Watches our Guy - Fran
28 Needlers Nest - Maggie
29 Great Programs - Marsha
30 Loves Peanuts - Judie A



This is just too cute for words! Match up the socks and watch what happens!


I just LOVE this! You will, too Thank you, Harriet, for sending us this link.

Hungry? Knit yourself a slice of blueberry pie!
blueberry pie

Did you love Princess Leia's hairdo in the Star Wars movies? You too can look like her, and without having to grow all that hair!

Believe it or not - Footsie is a felted patchwork pillow with foot warming compartments. Looks to me like an accident just waiting to happen. There's the doorbell!. Kerflop!

Knitting and the French Connection
French Connection


This is a very famous knitter. Can you guess who it is?
Most Cactus Needles members have heard her name many times.
She does NOT live in Arizona.
She is famous not for her knitting but as a teacher of knitting.
Have you guessed yet?
Answer at the bottom of the newsletter!





Do you want to teach a child to knit but feel you aren't ready to tackle a classroom full of 5th graders? How about sharing your love for needlework with just one bright-eyed and eager child grateful for the opportunity to learn? The Helping Hands Program can show you how. Needle Arts Mentoring Program, a project of Helping Hands Foundation, Inc. has been established to create community partnerships that promote and encourage relationships between adults and youth, fostering curiosity, creativity and a feeling of achievement through the teaching of needlearts.

* Many children have no trusted adult with whom they can bond
* The needle arts have a long-standing tradition of being passed on from adult to child and we need to continue this tradition.
* The needle arts can act as a positive alternative activity in addition to building self-esteem.
* Teaching what you know to a youngster can change a life and make a difference.

All it takes is one hour, once a week to make a child smile. Could you dedicate just that much time for a six-week period to give a young person a gift that will last a lifetime? All the information, including a very thorough teaching guide, are provided here:





Other Knit Events are scheduled throughout the month.
Check your e-mail for additional dates and knitting together locations.
Look for updates throughout the month from this correspondent.


After two activities we ask that you activate your membership by joining CNKG.

Newsletter Address: - http://members.cox.net/cactusneedles



1/8 Monday
Cactus Needles Knitting Guild Monthly Meeting
6:30 pm - 8:30 PM
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Phoenix
4027 Lincoln Drive
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253

Program: A Team Event to Welcome 2007
Please bring #8 straight needles and a ruler.
Be prepared to help the guild knit a Crazy Knitted Quilt.
A prize will be awarded during the evening for (it's a secret)!

Scarves for Veterans - the last collection will be at this time.

Reminder about left over yarn - golf ball to baseball size: Save them for Penny Celmins and see the magic she will knit for Project Linus.

Dinner for Hungry Knitters - 5 PM
la Madeleine's just West of 32nd Street on North side of Camelback.

1/15 Monday
Knitters Knit Night, 6:00 - 8:30 p.m.

Borders, across from Paradise Valley Mall
4555 E. Cactus Rd (South side of Cactus)
Check with Jackie, 480-948-3329,ovooyo@aol.com

1/20 Saturday
Westminster Village, 1 - 3 p.m.
Happy Hookers and CNKG knit together for Project Linus
Westminster Village
12000 North 90th Street
Scottsdale, AZ 85260

Lunch for Hungry Knitters
Mimi's on Shea, 11:30 a.m.
RSVP Jackie by Friday a.m.

1/27 Saturday
Plan to knit with Lesley and her two cats (but don't count on seeing them.
Dessert will be served.
If you plan to attend, please RSVP Lesley for directions and the gate code
Lesley lives just off McDonald Drive, 17 blocks West of 101 at McDonald exit from Rte.101 in Scottsdale and 2 blocks East of Scottsdale Road.


2/5 Monday
Cactus Needles Knitting Guild Monthly Meeting
6:30 pm - 8:30 PM
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Phoenix
4027 Lincoln Drive
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253


Dinner for Hungry Knitters - 5 PM
la Madeleine's just West of 32nd Street on North side of Camelback.

2/17 Saturday
Westminster Village, 1 - 3 p.m.
Happy Hookers and CNKG knit together for Project Linus
Westminster Village
12000 North 90th Street
Scottsdale , AZ 85260

Lunch for Hungry Knitters
Mimi's on Shea, 11:30 a.m.
RSVP Jackie by Friday a.m.

2/19 Monday
Knitters Knit Night, 6:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Borders, across from Paradise Valley Mall
4555 E. Cactus Rd (South side of Cactus)
Check with Jackie, 480-948-3329,ovooyo@aol.com

2/21 Wednesday
Phoenix Knit & Needle Point
5044 N 7th Street
(Just north of Camelback on the West side of 7th Street)

Lunch 11:30 to 1:15 at Tico's at the north end of same shopping center as the Knit shop

RSVP Regina no later than Tuesday, Feb.20



Tuesdays, 5:00-8:00 pm
Call to verify if being held
Needlers' Nest
12133 W Bell Rd # 102
Surprise, Az 85374
phone # 623 583 4411

Knitting for the Needy
Meeting Dates: 1st Monday of the month, 3rd Wednesday of the month.
Location: Scottsdale Senior Center 1 -3 p.m.
10440 East Via Linda
Knitting for the Needy knits slippers and caps for homeless in Phoenix area.

Meetup Knitting Group
Meeting Dates: 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month, 2 p.m.
Location: Borders Books, Tempe, 699 S. Mill Avenue
Park below in parking garage.
Free parking on Sunday.
Knitting group meets near "Cafe Espress" in store.
Knitters of all persuasions and skill levels.
Get together to gap, compare projects and swap patterns.

Stitch n' Bitch
Meeting Dates: 2nd Tuesday of each month
Location: Changing Hands Bookstore, Tempe, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Log onto web site and search under events for times and dates.





Answer to the Photo Quiz - Francine's "My friend Judy from New Jersey who taught me how to knit".