March - April 2007





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



Dear Fellow CNKG Members and Friends:

At the March meeting our nominating committee is formed and goes into action. Our immediate past president, Erika Verley, will serve as our nominating committee chairperson, along with two other guild members. If you’d like to be on the committee, let Erika know or volunteer that evening. It’s a great committee - the work is important and it’s over in a month! The committee nominates a slate for president, vice president, treasurer, and secretary. FYI our standing committees are membership, the newsletter, and altruistic.

In January the group was introduced to the “crazy knitted afghan,” a project that was started at Westminster Village this fall. It is a variation on knitting squares as a group project - we’re knitting various length strips. Jackie Taylor and Marsha French expanded on this knit together evening to review the basics of gauge. Our guild project, for Project Linus, is in winter white Encore and will be lovely when Jackie has it completed.

Bev Walker brought a big suitcase of felted projects to our February meeting. As an aside, she and I made our first felted pieces at the same time - I’ve completed one! Bev shared the projects she’s done, the lessons learned along the way, and graciously fielded endless questions about the process. Thank you, Bev.

Our March meeting promises to be another great one. Our March visitor, Mary Schlumpf, (a true baseball fan, she comes here for Spring Training) is going to teach us about beaded knitting. Don’t miss this one - great topic and it’s our only chance to say "hi" to Mary in person.

Watch your newsletter for details about our spring programs: April will feature Cindy Adams’ experiences publishing her crochet books and the nominating committee report. In May, Jessica of Jessica Knits will let us know what opening a knit shop is all about!

We have our “Host your Own Knitting Event” each month, along with our Borders knit together, and Westminster Village. In between, there are plenty of other activities for this mighty group!

Time to start a spring sweater! Happy Knitting.




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

Committee Chairs:
Membership - Jackie Taylor
Altruistic - Cathrine McClure and Jo-Ann Mullen
Newsletter - Lesley Fry
Birthday Wishes - Bev Walker



Getting to Know You highlights newer members as well as veteran members of Cactus Needles Knitting Guild. Yvette Goldstein is a long time guild member who graciously agreed to do an interview for this newsletter. We know Yvette as an experienced knitter and you will be intrigued with her other artistic endeavors as well.





We have lived in Phoenix for close to 30 years and originally came here because of a job opportunity for my husband. We have four married children and ten grandchildren.

I am currently retired but previously worked as an art teacher instructing both children and adults. I previously worked at the Arizona Museum for Youth. I have held a position as Fiber Artist in Residence for the city of Phoenix. I have had works shown in galleries and have had my work accepted in many juried shows. I have been chosen to be a juror for some local art shows. Previously I was active in a group that promoted local artists, Arizona Designer Craftsman, and held the position of President and have remained on the board.

My first experience with knitting was when I was five years old and my aunt taught me how to knit.

I am currently working with wire and crocheting with beads. I am very eclectic in my work and use many different techniques. I have done some experimenting with felting and have used it in a mask that I made that was shown at a show at the Shemer Gallery.

My favorite colors are cocoa, apricot and navy. I prefer bamboo needles and generally knit wearables.

I belong to the Embroiders Guild of America and Fiber Connections, a small group of fiber artists. I am an avid reader and belong to two book groups. My husband and I travel extensively both in this country and abroad.



Kathy LaPose recently became a member of CNKG. Some aspects of her fascinating life and accomplishments follow.



Getting to Know KATHY LaPOSE

Tell us where you grew up and something about your family.
I grew up in Livonia, MI and moved to CA in 1968, on to ID, WA, IL, CT and now here I am, in AZ. I have 4 adult children and 14 grandchildren, 4 of which are quadruplets who will be two years old on March 25. My husband and I have been raising our grandson Sean (17), since our daughter's death in 1997.

Are you currently or have you ever been employed?
Yes, we own a wholesale distributorship that supplies furniture stores with furniture care products and I like running the show!

What brought you to Arizona?
My husband's job took us to several parts of the country and AZ was our last stop before he retired.

What is your first knitting memory?
My mother having me sit with skeins of yarn on my hands spread about a foot apart, while she rolled the yarn into a ball.

Who taught you to knit and how old were you?
My mother showed me the basics when I was in my teens and I've taught myself the rest since.

As a new knitter, what was your first knitting experience?
A scarf, if memory serves me right.

Do you have a memorable knitting project?
Many! I'm making special baby blankets for each of my 14 grandchildren to have when they have their first baby. Want them to have something from Grandma when I'm gone.


What do you prefer knitting and who do you knit for?
I have no preference, I just keep buying yarn on sale and knit or crochet to my heart's content. Lately I've been making a lot of hats, scarves and baby blankets as gifts for family, friends and "Angel" blankets for babies being dedicated at our church.

What is your favorite pattern (mindless or intense)?
Oh my gosh! Mindless, of course. When I knit or crochet, it's my therapy session.

What are your top three colors?
Lavender, pink and mint green.

What fibers do you absolutely not like?
Heavy and thick.

What is the worst thing you ever knit?
A baby sweater that had errors in the pattern.

What knit item do you wear the most?
A hat, scarf and long vest. However, they are crocheted!

What other fiber related activities do you like to do?
Crochet and sew.

Have you made lasting friendships because of your knitting?
I'm working on it.

Why do you knit?
It's my therapy and I like giving people gifts that are handmade with love.

How long have you been knitting?
About 45 years.

How do you continue to learn so much about knitting?
New patterns.

How did you find Cactus Needles Knitting Guild?
I came as a guest of Stephanie Carmody.

Do you have any sayings or quotes you would like to share?
"I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality, and freedom for their spirits. I believe that what self-centered men have torn down, other-centered men can build up." Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Future plans & interests?
To continue to make articles of clothing for those I love and care about.

Please add additional information our readers may find interesting.
I'm hiking the Grand Canyon in May in memory of my daughter to raise funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. For years I was known as The Bag Lady for my homeless outreach. I am very active in our church and oversee our outreach ministry.



The January Knit-In was held at Lesley's home with eight members and one guest in attendance. Mary Lu, Judie, Jackie, Barb, Marcia, Regina, Francine and Lesley, of course. The guest in Purple was Cynthia Peplinski who also came to lunch and Westminster the week before and has since joined the guild. Coffee and deserts (including chocolate mousse with raspberry sauce) were served and much knitting and talking was accomplished. Much fun was had by all.



The February meeting was very informative on two fronts. Bev Walker told all about her adventures in felting - the good, the bad and the ugly. She answered all our questions and brought many beautiful examples to show although she didn't bring any of the uglies. Thats was provided by June Whisel who showed us a lovely cabled vest that someone had ACCIDENTALLY tossed in with the rest of the wash. The culprit is probably still running.

Jackie Taylor gave us many unintentional laughs as she went down a list of absent members and tried to explain who they were - a founding mother, new member, etc. The more she spoke the funnier it got. But the upshot is that one member said she didn't dare miss any future meetings for fear of what Jackie might say about her. Gee, we have FUN at our meetings, intentional or otherwise




Regina sponsored the "Host your own" February knit-in with lunch (fabulous salads) at Ticoz and then knitting at Phoenix Knitting and Needlepoint in the same shopping center. Assorted fruit, nibblies and drinks were provided and about a dozen people spent a lovely afternoon knitting and yarn grazing. Thank you, Regina, for a lovely afternoon.



Radical Lace & Subversive Knitting, an exhibit at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York, will be running January 25 - June 17, 2007. Here are some photos and a great description of the exhibit, a provocative and timely exhibition of work by international artists using fiber in unexpected and unorthodox ways.

And a review of the show.



From a sock knitter on-line:
As a matter of interest, some sculptors from my city of Edmonton, Alberta, won an ice sculpting competition with a huge sculpture of two hands knitting - it looked like a perfect cable pattern. they said they choose this subject as we live in such a cold climate and knitted stuff is so comforting.



Strathaven Home residents in Hobart, Tasmania, have devised a room filled entirely with knitted everyday objects. Umbrellas, teapots, cakes, even a bakelite radio. It's now become so popular that three thousand people saw it during a recent fortnight-long exhibition. ABC in Sydney is presently negotiating with the home to take the dining/lounge room setting for display in Sydney during their annual knit-in. Lots of photos are on this web site.

shared by Harriet Trobman




There sure are a lot of yarn events going on in Australia! Well, they do raise a few sheep there. One annual event is the Beanie Fest, and such hats you won't believe! This event has been going on in Alice Springs for the past yen years and does more than just award prizes. For four days there are parties, exhibitions, competitions, fiber workshops, demonstrations and lots of opportunities to make friends over a cup of coffee and cake in Beanie Central, the festival hub where more than 3000 beanies are displayed for sale. What is amazing is that this all started when one woman decided to teach the Aboriginies how to knit and crochet hats to help keep them warm in the desert at night. Read more about it and see some beanies here.




Penny Celmins finished another of her fantastic "leftovers" afghans with braided fringe. We know the kids must love these as they are so very cheerful. She makes wonderful use of the golf ball size balls of yarn we give her. (Hint! Hint!) Lesley brought two elephant buddies (and two sweaters and a hat) which will be auctioned next month during the silent auction event at the the Arizona Kidney Foundation's annual Children's Art and Literature Luncheon. Appologies for the fuzzy photo - still getting acquainted with a new camera.


Here are some of the ladies at Westminster Village with one of the five crazy knitted afghans they have completed so far with some help from CNKG members. They even had a display in one of the large hallway cases. Kudos to Jackie for sewing all the squares together.


Last, but not least, comes a photo of all the cookies Jackie made and FROSTED to give to us at the holiday party. What would we all do without our fabulous Jackie? Aren't we glad she loves to cook? YES!




If you think some of the CNKG members are sock-a holics, you "ain't seen nut'n yet" Here's a woman who designs the most creative socks yet!

Hundreds, maybe thousand of free patterns to download at this site. And they aren't 50 years old, either!

This page, sent in by June Whisel, has many, many sock patterns. If you are interested in making socks, I urge to join the Yahoo socknitters group. Most of what I know about socks, and I am a sock knitting addict, came from the daily e-mail digest I receive from this group.

Google is great! If you have a favorite knitting pattern repeat such as k4, yo, K2 tog, just plug it into Google and it will come up with patterns using that stitch repeat. If there are any, of course.

shared by our Harriet in Tacoma

Here are seven patterns for zoo animal finger puppets. Go to the bottom of the page to find the link to the patterns as each is on a separate page as a PDF file.

This page lets you print out all kinds of free, custom made paper for (knitting) graphs, music, guitar chords, penmanship, accounting, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. Great if you have kids in school, knit, write music, etc. What you need isn't here? Let them know what you need and they will ty to make it!

A virtual gold mine of free knitting patterns is on the Berroco web site and you can sign up to receive more every month.

Woolly breasts appeal goes global! This is not a missprint.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/merseyside/6346423.stm Lots of free charity patterns here:

String and Air has lots of things for lace knitters to enjoy and a some nice patterns including some to knit balls (like tree ornaments). A nice site to explore.

Show the world how you feel about knitting! Wear a T-shirt or drink from a mug that say who you are! Here is a huge assortment of humerous "knitter" designs on T-Shirts and Gifts that are great for all knitters.

shared by Francine

And lots more free patterns. These are from Crystal Palace and are listed by the yarn used.



The line art in Knitter's Paint Box of projects from Knitter's Magazine and XRX Books (predominantly), are on the web for you to color. You just click in the paintbox which has hundreds of shades, then click on the section you want to color. This is a great way to work out colorways before you begin a project and it can be for any pattern.


Here are a few free patterns for mostly baby items, hats and scarves.

shared by Harriet

For those of you who have a sweater you hate but love the yarn, here are directions for recycling that yarn.

shared by Harriet

If you need a yarn swift to wind up that yarn you recycled, here's one you can make at home - from Tinker Toys!

shared by Harriet

And of course you need a Lego ball winder to go wit the swift.

also from Harriet




Selvedge Stitches
The type of selvedge stitch worked is very significant, particularly in the case of voluminous yarns where the seams would otherwise be too thick. With smooth yarns, the edge stitches should be worked in pattern, thus on stockinette stitch panels this would be knit wise on right side rows, and purl wise on wrong side rows. When sewing the seams together, only half the edge stitch can be sewn away to the inside here. In the case of thick fluffy yarns, or even on garments worked in garter stitch, it is better to work a garter selvedge. Since the knotted stitches form at the beginning of a row, they snap together like a zip when being sewn together. The completed seam then looks like an additional stitch.



Here's a nice increase that leaves no holes at all. It's also simple to work, unless you're using blunt needles. Knit into the back of the stitch in the row below the seam stitch (inserting needle downward into the purled head of this stitch on the wrong side), then knit into the back of the seam stitch itself. Barbara Walker has a book (Knitting From the Top) which actually describes 10 different ways to make an increase.



If you like the looks of the feather and fan pattern (or another one with holes) but don't want the holes because you are making socks or something, instead of making a Yarn Over, do a Make One or Increase One. Not as fancy, but it gets rid of the holes.



Do you have a hard time remembering which row of the pattern you are on? Try this - highlight the rows with different colors. That way, you can remember which color row you are on. A set of 10 different color highlighters would be best for this. Of course you would first copy the graph/chart and most assuredly ENLARGE it! Speaking of colored markers, you could also use them to highlight different stitches in a chart; pink for K, yellow for purl, green for cable, etc.



Once upon a time, sweaters were called "ganseys" or "jersey". After they started being worn by athletes, they came to be called "sweater" because that' what working out in wool will make you do: sweat! The word "gansey" today is used for a style of pullover sweater done all in one color The word "jersey" today refers to a soft, plain-knitted fabric used for clothing. or a close-fitting pullover garment made of this fabric. It also refers to cows from the Island of Jersey in the English Channel. And then there are guernseys, which are basically stockinette stitch, (also an island and a cow.) alderneys and bretons. For all you ever wanted to know about these sweaters and their history, here is a fascinating (to me, anyway) web site where you can even order a kit to knit your own.



A tip from LilyChin:
She coats, very lightly, the tips of her needles with either skin cream, facial lotion, or even liquid soap. Then she wipes off the excess. She uses this technique on all types of needles.



You do knit swatches, don't you? Well, don't toss them when you are done. Instead, save them, and over time you will have enough to sew together into a baby blanket, throw pillow, or maybe a vest. The varied weights, colors and stitch patterns will make the finished product truly unique.


Knitting with Beads
The beads are put on the yarn you knit with before you knit. It is important to get beads that will slide easily when pushed along the yarn, but don't have holes that are too big for the yarn. You also need a yarn than can handle the weight of the beads you're using. Something made with lace-weight yarn and a very open pattern could have beads sprinkled around, but too many beads are going to weigh the shawl down and distort the knitted pattern.For socks, you're using a sturdy yarn, so your limitation is going to be weight (you have to be able to keep those socks up!) and comfort, and maintaining stretchability. You also want to be able to cross your feet at the ankle without pain.

The stringing of the beads is not difficult. You use a special, flexible needle that has a long slit down the middle that you separate to thread the yarn through. The eye of the needle can open and close as needed. Put about 10 at a time in your palm and poke the needle through the hole of each, then push the beads as a group down to the other end of the needle, where the yarn was threaded, and then down the yarn. If you need to count the beads, the easies tway is to measure the length of 10 or 50 (or whatever you choose) beads and then do the math for the correct number of beads. For a sock, you're going to know exactly how many beads you need, so you would have to make sure to count them exactly. If you're short a few, you'll have to cut the yarn and string them from the cut end. If you have too many, you'll either have to keep pushing the extras along the yarn as you knit, or you have to break the beads, or you have to cut the yarn and slide them off, and then rejoin the yarn.

As you begin a row or round, you push all the beads except the ones you need for that row or round far enough down the yarn so that you can knit a few rows or rounds without having to push them along again mid-row or mid-round. This is one of those times when it's handy to knit Continental, because you can hold the beads in your left hand to keep them from sliding back down the yarn, and just pinch each bead with your thumb and forefinger as needed, and slide it up to the knitting. When a bead is needed, you slide it up to where the working yarn joins the knitting, and then knit the next stitch. The bead will then be to the right of the new stitch.




There's a new book coming out in May probably timed to release about the same time as the movie - Charmed Knitting - Harry Potter knitting patterns.

A new feature of the book nook premieres this month - book reviews of fiction featuring knitting! Here is our first one, and if you want to write one, just check with Lesley first in case someone else has "reserved" that book.



Knitting Under the Influence
by Claire LaZebnik
Paperback: 416 pages
List price $12.00

This is a story about a weekly knitting circle that keeps three young ladies together. Each one of the women in this group has her unique issues that the knitting circle/group helps her get through. Several interesting beverages are also imentioned.

What I found most interesting was despite the age difference between myself and the characters in this book, I could empathize with each on her issues and the fact that knitting kept them together emotionally as well as physically.

Each chapter has a knitting reference such as Casting On, Casting Off, Slip Slip Knit, etc. which I found appropriate as the references are not only about knitting but the various situations each woman found herself in.

At the very end of the book are recipes for the beverages which are named after the various knitted items, Pink String Bikini, the beverage, is made with rum and triple sec, The Glittery Scarf is made with blue Curacao & Champagne. Since none of the beverages are made with my favorite guys, Jose, Jack or Jim, I did not attempt to try making any.

There were no patterns to reproduce and I’m fearful of even attempting the Pink String Bikini (what a sight) although the Cozy Brown Afghan sounded wonderful for Project Linus.

reviewed by Regina Esposito

A Second Opinion

Here's a novel that combines several of my favorite topics: knitting, wine, romance, and a very cute kitten! Knitting Under the Influence is the story of three 20 and 30 something women, their friendships, and their romantic pursuits. It is loosely centered on their shared love of knitting. They get together each Sunday to knit, share a cup of coffee and a bagel, or if later in the day, a glass of wine or two. The chapters are titled in knitting parlance and progress from casting on to finishing. While there are several specific projects referenced; scarves, a hat, a sweater started for a boyfriend, and even a hot pink bikini, this book has very little to do with knitting. Each character's story is predictable from the beginning and all three end up with the right guy after resisting throughout the book. Don't get me wrong - it wasn't a painful read, but I'd reserve this strictly for an airline flight or something very light.

reviewed by Francine Ebersman



Log Cabin Throws
by Cindy Adams

Cindy Adams' newest book, Log Cabin Crochet, is now available from Annie's Attic. The book contains 6 projects in worsted weight yarn made up of Log Cabin squares that are reminiscent of artistic quilts. Guild members can order it and Cindy w'll be happy to autograph it. Congratulations, Cindy, on yet another publication!

Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Casts Off
160 pages
List price $14.95
Storey Publishing, LLC
Release date - March 30, 2007

Our beloved Stephanie has yet another book on it's way to our hearts. As she has toured the country these past two years, with sock in tow, she has also been taking notes, and we are the benefactors.

Here comes yet another hilarious book of tongue-in-cheek observations on the world of knitting. Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Casts Off invites knitters of all ages, levels, and persuasions to embark with her on a journey deep into the land populated by those who are obsessed with yarn, needles, and what’s on their needles now. Using a travel guide format as her launching pad, Pearl-McPhee acts as tour guide extraordinaire, displaying her trademark razor-sharp wit as she describes and critiques every aspect of this land she knows so well — its people, native language, familiar phrases, strange beliefs, etiquette, and cultural customs. Readers will love her timeline of notable dates in knitting history and rarely celebrated knitting heroes, from the samurai warriors of Japan to the "Ter-rible Knitters of Dent." And, while the land of knitting is a peaceful place, it does have its political arguments, such as the acrylic versus natural fibers and circular versus straight needles debates.

No Sheep for You
by Amy Singer
Available mid to late February, 2007
Interweave Press
160 pages, soft cover, color photos

Are you allergic to wool? Fret not. Knit happily with cotton, silk, linen, hemp, bamboo, and other non-wooly materials, even corn, but notice - NO acrylic here! You will receive a comprehensive education in non-wool fibers along with patterns to take advantage of these new yarns.

Crochet Basics: All you need to know to get hooked on crochet
by Jan Eaton
Barron's Educational Series, Inc.
128 pages
approx. 9 x 11 inches

I borrowed this book from the library because I needed to make a shell stitch neck edge on a child's sweater, and I highly recommend this book if you want to learn how to crochet. Starting with basics such as what size hook to use with different yarns and how to make the first stitch, it goes on, stitch by stitch, to cover all the basics. The pages are loaded with photos in color (and some sketches) showing each step of the different stitches and then gives you different projects to make as you progress. It covers such things as differently shaped pieces, lace, textures, bobbles, edgings and how to attach them, and all sorts of finishing techniques. The only problem I had was sore fingers from holding the hook and yarn, but that had nothing to do with the book. Just as there are many ways to hold knitting needles, I guess I just need to try different crochet positions to see which is most comfortable.

reviewed by Lesley

Naughty Needles: Sexy, Saucy Knits for the Bedroom and Beyond
by Nikol Lohr
Potter Craft
144 pages

Fulfill your sex kitten fantasies and your crafting needs at the same time: knit naughty! Naughty Needles is a fun and feisty knitting adventure filled with designs that can go from bedroom to costume party and back again. Play it sweet in a Fembot babydoll nightie or sex it up in Hootchie Kootchie pasties. When you’re feeling frisky, knit up the Baby Blue-Ball Gag or play dress-up in the naughty nurse cap or the felted Red Riding Hood cape. New and experienced knitters alike will find inventive and easy-to-follow patterns. And since the garments aren’t exactly full-coverage, they don’t take much time to complete.

With inspiration from retro icons like surfer Gidget, Mrs. Robinson, and cavegirl Raquel Welch, Nikol Lohr pushes the boundaries of the traditional “wifely” crafts into the age of Sex and the City and cuddle parties. Part how-to guide, part peep show, Naughty Needles is a brash, tongue-in-cheek take on an age-old art. From the demure to the bizarre, with a splash of fetish thrown in, these are the projects that will make you smile–and make your partner growwwwl.

Favorite Socks
25 Timeless Designs from Interweave including 7 new sock patterns designed by Ann Budd
40 color photographs, 8 charts
Hardbound with concealed wire, 7 x 9¼, 128 pages

Why do knitters love socks? Socks are portable, useful, fairly quick to knit, and universally wearable. You can experiment with all sorts of patterns without getting bored, and, with plain stockinette stitch, you can watch TV or knit and talk. This new book, Favorite Socks, offers 25 beautiful and timeless sock patterns for every occasion in a range of techniques, traditions, and designs. The adventurous knitter will find a classic, varied compilation of socks from renowned sock designers including Nancy Bush, Evelyn Clark, Priscilla Gibson-Roberts, and more.

Patterns have comprehensive instructions for the various techniques used. Highlights include a tutorial for knitting socks on two circular needles and instructions for making resoleable socks. You’ll even find 6 brand-new “classics” for those avid knitters who may have every issue of Knits since 1996.

It’s all here: the traditional cuff-down, toe-up, heel and instep knitted separately; ribs, cables, lace, color patterns; delicate and elegant socks, sturdy and functional socks; socks for men and women, every season, every foot—and any knitter.



8. Local Yarn Store Reviews

Yarn n More
a new yarn shop
Northern & 23rd Ave, Phoenix, AZ
Shop is located in a strip mall just east of I-17 on the North side of Northern at 23rd Ave.

The front of this new shop is in keeping with the not descriptive shops in this strip mall. Upon entering the shop one is assaulted by the colorful rows of 5 foot high bins of polyester skeins. This shop is a Mecca for Red Heart, TLC, some Encore and the like and it is this writer’s opinion that Joann’s and Michaels hold more ambiance.

There is a very small selection of sock yarn and I was able to pick up 2 skeins of Paton’s Kroy at $7.49 each with 40% off one of the skeins. I could have found the same yarn for $3.99 on the net but felt I had to buy something! They did have sock yarn (soy) from Southwest Trading Company where one skein would make a pair of socks, but I’d have to use size 000000 needles to work that yarn!

Cece, of the now forlorn and foregone west side knitting guild, will be teaching here and also holding her knit & crochet meetings at the shop.

This shop is a VERY strong supporter of Project Linus and I did meet the western director (Judie Agee’s counterpart). If you are in need of yarn for Project Linus, this is the place for you. If you are looking for a “yarn shop", this probably is not the place for you. This fiber snob found The Victorian Cake shop a few doors to the east of Yarn N More to be a more attractive shop.

reviewed by Regina



Tempe Yarn and Fiber


1435 E. University, Ste. 10


Tempe, AZ


Shop is located on the South side of the street in a strip mall a few blocks West of McClintock Rd.(Hayden Rd.)

I am new to the CNKG but I really would like to give you a review of the new fiber shop in Tempe. The owners are friendly and very willing to make special orders for customers. They have a well-lit, comfortable area for all fiberholics to sit and enjoy the shop while they work on their own project and dream of projects into the future. I highly recommend a visit to this shop. The shop will celebrate it's first anniversary soon and their inventory has grown immensely in that time.

reviewed by June Whisel

A second review of Tempe Yarn and Fiber
I just came home from knitting for a couple of hours at Tempe Yarn & Fiber. Terry and Fred Neal are the owners of this 10 month old shop and you know it is their pride and joy. Although the shop's inventory is thin on buttons, notions and books, their yarn assortment is definitely going to pull me back! They are continuously building up their inventory and have an OUTSTANDING selection of 100% wool yarns (my thing) and many are brands not found elsewhere in this area. Their Cascade 220 worsted section is a virtual rainbow of hues and they do have some Encore including some of the newer multi-hued and tweedy colors. Mohair will be added soon as they are continually adding to their inventory. There are also a number of sock yarn brands, cottons and a section devoted to "frou frou" stuff. They carry Addi Turbo neeedles as well as other brands and a swift and ball winder is available for the yarn you buy in hanks. Yes, they do offer classes and special events such as the First Annual Super Bowl Party I attended today and they are even OPEN ON SUNDAY AFTERNOON and until 8:30 PM five nights a week!

P.S. The day after I wrote this I received an e-mail telling me I had won a door prize. I expected some sort of cheap gadget but was very surprised to receive a skein of SWTC's new sock yarn, Tofutsies.


reviewed by Lesley

I don't know where to put this item, but since it is about a yarn shop (in N.Y.) I'll put it here.
Knit NY, a lower Manhattan knitting store, hosts a men-only knitting night. Once a week, men get together to eat hot dogs, drink beer and become part of the 'Knit and Bitch Nation.'




Potential yarn names with hidden messages

* Actu-wool: 100% sheep fiber
* Factu-wool: A favorite of scientists and other logic-based folks.
* Conceptu-wool: Suitable for trying out design ideas, which may or may not result in FOs.
* Perceptu-wool: Either the greatest yarn ever or horrid, nasty stuff depending on your point of view.
* Intellectu-wool: yarn for the Thinking Knitter.
* Perpetu-wool: guaranteed not to run out in mid-project. Also recommended for those never-ending UFOs.
* Pre-nuptu-wool: what you knit sweaters for him with *before* you marry (generally not the best yarn, just in case you don't get married).
* Spiritu-wool: what God knits with.
* Consensu-wool: the agreed-upon yarn when making something for someone else.
* Visu-wool - for knitting see through garments.
* Residu-wool - spun from leftovers.
* Individu-wool - for one-of-a-kind garments.
* and of course: Uze-u-wool : the same old yarn.
* Eventu-wool-- the yarn that you back ordered months ago, and that will get here some day...



Do you think your stash is too large? Want a better incentive to not buy more yarn for awhile? Instead of counting the number of items you could knit or the skeins you have, add up all the yardage you own and convert it to miles! 1760 yards = 1 mile. Could you knit to the moon and back? That's 239,000 miles. Do I think any of you will stop buying yarn even if you bother to do this? NAH! Let's face it - we're all yarn addicts, and if we want that yarn, we'll buy it!

Then there is the yarn diet that INCREASES your stash!. For every pound you lose on your food diet, you are allowed to buy one pound of new yarn. New weight loss only. You are not allowed to lose the same pound twice and buy yarn twice.

BARF - A new knitting term. That's what your skein of yarn does when you try to pull the end of the yarn from the center of a new skein and it comes out in a wad. Yup. It happens to all of us.

A web listing for sock yarn contained this English description translated from German:
"75% New Wool, 25% of polyamide, 425-m run length, washing machines-firmly, 40 degrees fervently washably, softy and absorbent, does not guarantee frisking, extremely fertilely, not wearing, sympathetically to skin, durably, 100 gs of ball"
Do I really want possibly frisky but extremely fertile, naked yarn? Hmm. Might be a way to increase my stash without spending any money.

Can you pass this knitting knowledge test?

shared by Judie Agee

Just for fun? What could be more fun than a knitting cruise? Take in the wonderful foliage and scenery of the US and Canada’s East Coasts on board a nine night cruise of Royal Caribbean’s Grandeur of the Seas. This cruise is roundtrip from Baltimore, MD.

Or cuise the West coast for five days while you finally learn to make socks.

This next piece was written by a gal in the Yahoo Socknitters group and is reprinted here with her permission. Yes, she was writing to a group of sock knitters, but her beautiful reply to the question applies to any knitting. The question was "how can we justify paying $18 for yarn for socks; a garment that will never be seen or appreciated by anyone but the wearer?"

First let me say that I love yarn.

I love the visual beauty of its colors and textures. I love the tactile feel of it's softness in my hands, how it makes me feel warm and cozy just thinking about the garments it will become. I love it in all its forms: yarn, roving, fleece and sheep. My computer wallpaper is a photo of yarn from Hello Yarn My house is full of yarn. It is in every closet, on every surface and in practically every drawer. I knit scarves and hats and sweaters and socks with it. I make freeform knit and crocheted purses with it. I felt it, sew it and use it to tie bows on packages and in little girls hair.

I love yarn shops, brimming with purpose and possibility; the smells the colors, the nearly infinite variety. I love the tools of knitting; the warm bamboo and wooden needles, the slick shiny silver ones and the exotic hardwoods. I love the swifts, the ball-winders, the stitch markers and holders. Hooks, darning needles, gauges, cable needles, measuring tapes and an emery board are part of my every day tool set. I need them all because I knit every night.

Mostly socks, as they are the true royalty of my repertoire. Oh sure, I can knit complex Aran and lace with more air than yarn. I've done fair-isle, bottom up, top down and in the round in every garment I mentioned above. But socks are pure special. I knit them only for the people I truly love and for charity and for me. I don't care if no-one ever sees them on my feet. Turning the heel on a sock stuns me with its magic every single time I do it. When I slip the finished sock over my foot, I feel safe, and warm, and loved. When someone I love opens a pair of socks I have knit for them - usually in a beautifully variegated, incredibly soft hand dyed merino that is usually out of my budget, their eyes shine.

And when I knit, all the cares of the day melt away. I sit cozy in my bed, a movie on, with my yarn and my needles. I am not thinking about this wholesaler, or that tire that needs replacing or the computer that is badly in need of an upgrade. I'm not thinking about getting older, or how much work I have to do the next day. I'm knitting with that $18 ball of yarn and turning it into something useful and lovely. And I feel better.

Sometimes I feel a bit guilty about the prices I pay for such beauty, and I do often pay even more than $18, but when I stop and think about where else the money would be going; a movie, five cups of Starbucks, a pizza dinner, I feel justified in my decision to grant myself two or three hours of peace every night and countless hours of pleasure shopping for that one special skein that someone loved enough to dye with her own hands. Peace or pizza. I’ll take that $18 skein every time.

written by Claudia Dunitz



And last but not least, a little bit of silliness





Altruistic Update

The following items are made year round and can be turned in at each business meeting.

Kelly will collect for Esperança – hats, scarves
Judie will collect for Project Linus – blankets AND ALSO
Back-to-School – sweaters, ponchos, purses, vests, scrunchies, anything handmade

Every other month, we will hand out yarn for you to knit a few squares for Project Linus. We are currently knitting squares with off-white yarn donated to our guild. As always, the amazing Jackie Taylor will be sewing squares together to turn our beautiful work into a gift for Project Linus. Thank you Jackie for the time you devote to “not knitting.”

When you attend a business meeting, we ask that you use the first thirty minutes of your time to work on an altruistic project. In this way we hope to build camaraderie and consistency in our guild’s goal to provide handmade items to the community.

Thanks to you all for your valuable time and talent.

Jo-Ann Mullen and Cathrine McClure
Altruistic Co-Chairs


The Warm Up America Foundation

Warm Up America! (WUA!) is an organization made up of volunteers who create handmade afghan blankets, clothing and accessories to help those in need. (Keep knitting those blankets for Project Linus!) These items provide warmth and comfort to people who have lost their homes, fled abusive relations, or are being cared for in hospices, shelters, hospitals, and nursing home.

Evie Rosen, a former yarn retailer and nationally known knitting teacher who resides in Wausau, Wisconsin, came up with the idea for Warm Up America! because she wanted to do something to help the homeless. Her simple concept of asking customers, friends and the community to knit and crochet 7" X 9" sections that would be joined into afghans grew into a nationwide program that has produced more than 250,000 afghans. These afghans have been donated to victims of natural disasters, battered women's shelters, the homeless, and others in need.

By 1995, the program was an overwhelming success and Evie turned to the Craft Yarn Council of America, a non-profit association of yarn companies and publishers, for assistance. Warm Up America! soon became a major national, grassroots program. In 2002, Warm Up America! was incorporated as a 501C3 tax exempt, charitable organization.

Today, WUA! includes countless volunteers across the country. Thousands and thousands of knitted and crocheted afghans and accessories are distributed to various charities each year.







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/

MARCH 2007

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 - Knitting with Beads with Mary Schlumpf
Mary will demonstrate two different techniques.
Mary will bring practice samples for us to use as well as beaded items she has knit.
There is no homework.

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.

Reminder about white yarn lengths - please bring your finished white pieces and all left over yarn so that the blankets can be put together for the next meeting.

Dinner for Hungry Knitters - 5 PM
la Madeleine's near 32nd Street on Camelback.

4:30 p.m.
Place to be determined - -

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.
480-948-3329 - ovooyo@aol.com

Monday Knit Nite, 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

Saturday, 2:30 - 5:30 p.m.
Knit with Bev
Fiber Factory, Mesa

APRIL 2007


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 Night with an Author.

Are you interested in crochet? Carry along projects? What it's like to write and publish a book about knitting or crochet? The April program has it all! Cindy Adams, author of Log Cabin Crochet, will be with us to discuss what happens when you design patterns and write books. Cindy is the author of Log Cabin Throws. 6 crochet designs for a cozy home, featuring easy-to-make designs inspired by patchwork quilts to embellish your home. Her newest book, Log Cabin Crochet, is now available from Annie's Attic. (anniesattic.com) Guild members can order it and she will be happy to autograph. :) Some of her projects are included in larger books that The FIber Factory, Michaels, and maybe other stores carry, such as Warm & Fuzzy Crochet, 'Tis the Season to Crochet and Desperate Knitting.

Dinner for Hungry Knitters - 5 PM
NEW VENUE * NEW VENUE (because La Madeleine's has closed)
Wally's Restaurant
NE corner of 44th and Camelback

Time and place to be determined - -

Monday Knit Nite, 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

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.
480-948-3329 - ovooyo@aol.com


Knit/Crochet-In, 5:00-8:00 pm, Tuesday
Needlers' Nest
12133 W. Bell Rd # 102
Surprise, AZ 85374
Call the store for information
phone # 623 583 4411

Knitters and Fiberholics, 10:15 am - 12:15 pm, Wednesday
Tempe Yarn and Fiber
1435 E. University, Ste. 10
Tempe, AZ
For information - June Whisel at june.whisel@cox.net

Knitting for the Needy
1st Monday of the month, 3rd Wednesday of the month.
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
1st and 3rd Sunday of the month, 2 p.m.
Borders Books, Tempe, 699 S. Mill Avenue
Park below in parking garage.
Free parking on Sunday.
Knitting group meets near Cafe Espresso in store.
Knitters of all persuasions and skill levels get together to gab, compare projects and swap patterns.

Stitch n' Bitch
2nd Tuesday of each month 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Changing Hands Bookstore, 6428 S. McClintock Dr. Tempe
Log onto web site and search under events for times and dates.




Ellen P. Allerton

An old-time kitchen, an open door,
Sunshine lying across the floor;
A little maid, feet bare and brown,
Cheeks like roses, a cotton gown,
Rippling masses of shining hair,
And a childish forehead smooth and fair.

The child is knitting. The open door
Wooes her, tempts her, more and more.
The sky is cloudless, the air is sweet
And sadly restless the bare brown feet.
Still,' as she wishes her task were done,
She counts the rounds off, one by one.

Higher yet mounts the sun of June;
But one round more!___a joyous tune
Ripples out from the childish lips,
While swift and swifter the finger-tips
Play out and in, till I hear her say,
"Twenty rounds! I'm going to play!"

Up to the hedge where the sweet-brier blows,
Down to the bank where the brooklet flows,
Chasing the butterflies, watching the bees,
Wading in clover up to her knees,
Mocking the bobolinks; oh, what fun
It is to be free when the task is done!

Years and years have glided away.
The child is a woman, and threads of gray
One by one creep into her hair,
And I see the prints of the feet of care.
Yet I like to watch her. To-night she sits
By her household fire, and as then, she knits.

Swiftly the needles glance, and the thread
Glides through her fingers, white and red.
'Tis a baby's stocking. To and fro
And out and in as the needles go,
She sings as she sang that day in June,
But the low, soft strain is a nursery tune.

Closely beside her the baby lies,
Slowly closing his sleepy eyes.
Forward, backward, the cradle swings,
Touched by her foot as she softly sings.
And now in silence her watch she keeps;
The song is hushed, for the baby sleeps.

Up from the green, through the twilight gray,
Come the shouts of a troop at play.
Blue eyes, black eyes, golden curls -
These are all hers___her boys and girls.
Then wonder not at the prints of care,
Or the silver threads in her braided hair.

Does she ever pine for the meadow brook,
The sweet-brier hedge, the clover nook?
When sweet winds woo, when smiles the sun,
Does she ever wish that her task was done?
Would you know? Then watch her where she sits
Smiling dreamily, while she knits.



There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness.