Sept - Oct 2006



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:

After yesterday’s drenching monsoon, perhaps autumn is around the corner, making knitting even more appealing. Is that possible?

If you didn’t hear Cathrine McClure roll out the altruistic program, in addition to Project Linus and Esperanca (aka Kelli’s kids), Cathrine encouraged us to work on “take along” projects such as scarves and caps. Cathrine is currently identifying the recipient for our knitted caps and just wait for news of a Cap Challenge! Yarn will be available for take along projects at our monthly meetings. And please bring your altruistic projects to Show & Share.

Yarn is also available for blankets, so if you’d like to organize a small group to do squares, let Cathrine know. The guild strives to overwhelm Judie Agee with blankets for Project Linus at the Holiday Party, so this is a great opportunity…

We’re kicking off the year with the long-anticipated ”Teaching Children How to Knit.” Mrs. Taylor is our presenter, so everyone will have to be on her best behavior! October will feature a book night; bring a favorite knitting book to share with others. Worry not - you will leave with your book that evening! The newsletter now features upcoming program descriptions in the Calendar of Events section and periodic e-mails will have an overview of program content and information about what you may need to bring.

October is State Fair month; details from Erika Verley at our next meeting. November 11 is the Old Pueblo Knitters Fashion Show and Luncheon. The cost is $32 which includes lunch at the Hilton El Conquistador (Tucson), parking, the fashion show, boutique, and exhibits. Ask me for a registration form. Make and renew friendships with our “big sister” guild and admire their incredible handiwork.

Our new “Host Your Own Knitting Event” has been very popular. Let Jackie know if you’d like to host. The Frazins are opening their home to us in September. You host, you get to pick the date, time, and place!

Westminster Village knitting resumes in September. Also, due to popular demand, we are shifting the location of the Fashion Square knit together to Borders on Cactus across from PV Mall. It’s still the third Monday at 6 p.m.

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
Holiday Party - Regina Esposito



The Sweetheart of Cactus Needles Knitting Guild

An Interview with Mary Schirtzinger

Mary Schirtzinger was born in Cincinnati, Ohio and lived much of her young life in the suburb of Glendale. Her brother and family live in Arlington, Virginia. Mary and her husband have two grown children and one granddaughter. Their son and granddaughter live in Virginia where he manages an audio/visual business. Their daughter is a doctoral candidate at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces. Mary and Jerry share their home with 5 cats and a bird.

Are you currently or have you ever been employed? If so, in what field?
I am currently employed as a reading aide at Cherokee Elementary School in Paradise Valley. This is my third year there and I absolutely love what I do! I work with children in small groups and individually in the first and second grades and also help in the Kindergarten. I lead reading groups, and do remedial and reinforcement work in areas where needed. My background includes degrees in English and Elementary Education and I have experience teaching Kindergarten, so this is a perfect fit for me. Working with young children is very rewarding and getting and giving little "hugs" every day makes it extra special. On Saturdays I work as a receptionist at a Century 21 real estate office in Scottsdale. I like that as it keeps me involved in the business world and I can also knit during down time.

What brought you to Arizona?
My husband's consulting job with Oracle Corp. in California necessitated relocating from Virginia to the West. We chose the Phoenix area as Jerry has family here and our daughter was at ASU at the time.

What is your first knitting memory?
My first and fondest memory of knitting is when I was just a tot, maybe 4 or 5 years old. Relatives were sitting around visiting in our living room and an older cousin was knitting a pair of argyle socks for her boyfriend. I was fascinated by the movement of her hands and especially by all those colorful, little bobbins dangling from her work. The word "knitting" didn't mean anything to me then, but I did understand when she said she was "making socks". I had no idea how she could do that, but I have never forgotten that little scene.

As a new knitter, what was your first knitting experience?
I actually started knitting during my freshman year in college. Stress and being a long way from home found me picking and biting my nails, so I thought I would find something to keep my hands busy. I bought a book, some yarn and needles and taught myself to knit. After some practice, I started my first project, a pair of 2-needle socks with little cables. I didn't think about the difficulty; this was new and exciting, so I just made them and wore them and enjoyed a wonderful new hobby.

What do you prefer knitting and whom do you knit for?
I now knit primarily for charity and, as I'm sure you all know, I love to make hats and booties for Kelli's kids and the newborns at Maricopa County Hospital.

Why do you knit?
I knit for the relaxation it brings and sense of accomplishment. I find knitting alone can be very peaceful because it is so rhythmic. And socially, it connects us to our "sisters" and fellow craftsmen around the world, wherever we happen to be.

Do you have favorite yarns/needles?
I like to work with soft yarns (no special brands) and enjoy the convenience of circular needles. I especially like needles made of bamboo. They are so smooth and I haven't had any trouble with stitches slipping off.

What other fiber-related activities do you like to do?
In the past, I've enjoyed doing counted cross-stitch. Presently, I am in awe of quilters and the beautiful work they do. I am now trying to learn more about quilting so I can sew for Project Linus.

How did you find Cactus Needles Knitting Guild?
I had seen a flyer about Project Linus and I knew I wanted to be a part of it. It was my good fortune to meet Jackie at Knitting in Scottsdale. This is now my fourth year with the Guild.

Have you been active in other guilds before joining CNKG?
No, this is my first experience being a member of a guild and I find it so helpful. Talent and knowledge abounds at CNKG and I have made many wonderful knitting friends here.

Mary Schirtzinger is Secretary of Cactus Needles Knitting Guild. In addition to being a superior secretary, she is a conscientious, kind and caring person. Mary is a sweetheart!



From Old Pueblo Knitting Guild (Tucson): Message to members from their President, Nancy Gibbons

"Remember way back when you were a new member of OPK. Can you recall who may have made you feel most welcome? Each member is a committee of one who can make a difference to that new person looking for the gift of friendship. We want to be known as a friendly group... tis up to everyone to put a little effort into it."


interview by Jackie Taylor





Members in Print

Two wonderful patterns by Cactus Needles Knitting Guild Members have been published! Once you see them you will have a hard time deciding which one to knit first. Both are in CREATIVE KNITTING, September 2006

Sweet Dreams Blanket, designed by Cindy Adams
Textured Throw, designed by Jackie Awerman, founder of CNKG

Jackie just did a shawl for the CODEPINK organization (woman for peace, moms for peace, etc.) Here is the poem that she was inspired to write to go with the pink shawl:

'A Wrap of Peace...A Prayer of Hope'

Put your arms down. Let me come close to you.
Put your arms down. Let me wrap you
in these stitches of knowing
that we are here
on this earth, now.
Put your arms down.
Let me cover your heart with love knit into this shawl.
The two of us can start to cover the earth with Peace.
We can hope together.
Put your arms down. We pray. We hope. We knit.

Our guild members are the greatest!!!!!!!!

shared by Jackie Taylor


Member Wins Sock Knitting Contest


Your editor was very excited to receive the Addi Turbo needle of her choice for winning the sock of the month contest at Astrid's Dutch Obsessions. She thinks it was because Astrid is a cat lover as there were at least two other socks entered that had complicated patterns.


Arizona Governor Knits Socks

Well, it was Governor George W.P. Hunt (the one buried under the pyramid visible from the Phoenix Zoo grounds) who knit socks for the American troops during the First World War, according to an article about socks in the Fall, 2006 issue of Vogue Knitting. Hmm. Wonder if our current governor is a knitter?


Another Member Moves to the Cold North

Our dear member Judy Santini has flown the coop - along with her birds, assorted four legged pets and family. (The fish found new homes). They are now living in Boise, Idaho, of all places. Well, we TOLD her they get snow there - and sleet, and hail, and she'll have to drive 300 miles to the nearest yarn store, but she went anyway. Somehow, a week before the move, she found time and strength to host guild members at her home for a last knit-in. She even made a yummy chocolate cake which Mary Schirtzinger is shown sampling above, flanked by Joan Robbins and Judie Agee. Judy, we are going to sorely miss you and wish you all the best in your new home.


Panda News

The Washington Post reported that letters and e-mails arrive at the zoo daily from around the world, describing how panda Tai Shan has brightened lives. The back room of the Panda House showcases an impressive inventory of gifts and mail for the cub and keepers -- everything from cards and photos to wedding invitations and

elaborately knitted mufflers

with the cub's name.


Exploding knitting needles?

Paula Lalish, a Marrowstone Island, Washington resident returning home from Port Angeles on Aug. 1, 2004 in her car, was quietly knitting a sweater alongside her husband, Greg, as he drove. Suddenly, a sound as loud as a gunshot rang out inside the car.

At first Paula and Greg thought they had been shot at by a sniper, a knee-jerk response “simply because we could find no other instantaneous way to relate to the combination of deafening report and physical injury,” Paula said.

Then they thought they’d been hit by a stray elk-hunter’s bullet. But it's not hunting season.

But it was weirder than either snipers or elk hunters on the loose. Paula’s knitting needle had exploded.


Most of the time, when Greg drives, Paula knits; she’s been knitting during car trips for 35 years. “I knit fast,” she said. So, as usual, she was working fast, her fingers flying as the car sped down the highway. This time she was working with a skein of undyed wool on a big fat number 13 circular needle.

After the explosion, Paula and Greg watched the end of her left index finger turn blue and begin to swell. Both Paula and Greg are emergency responders for the Marrowstone Volunteer Fire Department, part of Fire District 1. “We knew my finger had tissue trauma and needed to be iced and elevated immediately," said Paula.

Just outside of Sequim’s Costco when the explosion occurred, they swerved in for ice. Paula is a harpist, and “my hands are awfully important to me,” she said. Greg and Paula, her finger iced and pointed skyward, searched their car.

No shrapnel was found, but as they looked for an explanation, Paula discovered that one of her knitting needles was badly misshapen and the metal peeled back. It appeared that what flew out of the needle with such an explosive noise was air under pressure. On closer inspection there appeared to be a white-gray powder inside the needle, presumably a byproduct of the manufacturing process.

As soon as they returned home, Paula said, “I rummaged for a bottle and had a couple of stiff shots and went to bed for an hour. “It wasn’t funny for a whole day, and then we started joking around."

There were no marks identifying the needle's brand. Paula thinks she might have purchased it in a thrift store. Paula got on the Internet and called up knitters' chat rooms, posting a photograph of the damaged needle and asking knitters to help her identify the needle, asking if any knitters had a similar experience and if they might know the cause of the explosion.Meanwhile she was looking at her other metal knitting needles as if they were bombs ready to detonate. She also replaced her exploded needle with a number 13 all-plastic version.

News travels fast on the World Wide Web, far faster than Paula can knit a scarf. Among the more interesting replies was one from the British manufacturer of a knitting needle similar to Paula’s who denied that his company was the maker of the exploding needle. And then there were comments such as; “The cause of your exploding knitting needle was probably a buildup of static electricity resulting from friction of two diverse materials, i.e., plastic and aluminum, exacerbated by the generation of yet more static by the vehicle (the cause of most travel sickness and the reason why many vehicles have an earth strip connecting the rear of the vehicle with the ground). This explanation comes from a former quality control engineer, toolmaker and steel worker, Sheffield, England."

This has now started some speculation as to whether or not this is an urban legend. The editor of this newsletter found nothing on snopes.com, so I shall asume it is true until I hear otherwise.

“I have a sinking feeling I’m going to end up in the National Enquirer,” groaned a droll Paula, “After all these years of community service, what I’ll be famous for is my exploding knitting needle.”


Contributed by Harriett Trobman




Any Challengers?

SOUTH Africa‘s fastest knitter is George bookkeeper Alta Tucker, who recently broke the national record by knitting 178 stitches in three minutes. The previous record of 162 stitches was broken while competing against 70 local contestants during the Southern Cape fastest knitter competition in George last month.




Men Now Knit in Hong Kong

BEIJING, Feb. 13, 2006 -- A Hong Kong man is knitting a scarf for his girlfriend when other guys are desperate for gift ideas to please theirs for the coming Valentine’s Day.

Jeffery Kwok, 26, has everything under control. “I hope to make a special gift. Before, I bought her a mobile phone or accessories, which can be seen everywhere,” the man was quoted by the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post as saying Saturday.

He has been attending a knitting class for a month.

“I’ve never done any knitting in my life. The scarf I’m knitting for her is pink, with some special patterns. She might think it doesn’t look good when she sees it, but I’m sure she will appreciate my effort,” he said.

Kwok, who has taken a new knitting course at the Hong Kong College of Technology’s Competitiveness Center, is among a growing number of men who have taken up knitting after it became trendy in New York. A wool and craft store in Manhattan organizes “boyz nights” where dozens of men gather for a few pints and to knit. It is said knitting helps relieve stress.

Competitiveness Center manager Santes Ma Sai-dan said the course had only recently begun recruiting men. “Knitting is a very good way to show your love and to take your mind off stressful daily life,” Ma said.

She said she hoped the center would help promote the culture of knitting among males. “In the past, you’d never see a man carrying a baby or feeding one. But these days, they are everywhere.”

While men in the United States seemed to be more open about their newly acquired interests, Kwok was a little shy.

“I didn’t tell anyone about attending the knitting class because it’s embarrassing. People usually think guys shouldn’t pick up such a girly hobby,” he said.

www.chinaview.cn (Source: Shenzhen Daily/Agencies)




Apropos this article is this quotation from someone on the web
Give a man a pair of socks and he will have warm feet.
Teach a man to knit his own socks, and you will have time to make some for yourself



There's nothing here because nobody sent in any photos this month. But watch this space in the next issue as your editor is going to start taking photos of completed items during Show and Share at the monthly meetings! Don't worry about your makeup - you won't be in the photo unless you want to model the item for us.




A great way to save money on yarn is to reuse the yarn from an old sweater. Some people even search the thrift shops for useable yarn. The great thing about recycling sweaters, of course, is you are helping to save the environment in addition to getting a cheap source of yarn. Here is a web site with numerous photos and directions on how to reclaim that wanted yarn.

If you like to do intarsia and knit for kids, this page is for you. Lots of charted animals, comic & Disney characters, sports items, etc.

Do you like to visit yarn stores when you are on vacation? Does your husband like hardware stores? Here is a interactive page with a map and all sorts of catagories to help you locate any kind of place when you are away from home. I would watch for errors - some of the stores in Scottsdale no longer exist and you would have a hard time finding a store on E. Viaduct Linda when it is really Via Linda!

Are you a fast knitter or crocheter? Really? There isn't much time left, but you could represent the U.S.A. at the The Creative Exhibitions Knitting and Stitching Show , NEC Birmingham, England September 14-17. The world contest will take place in New York in September 07. You can also enter contests for the world's longest scarf - the present champ is more than 33 miles long!.Don't worry about all that work and yarn going to waste. Pieces are easily disconnected and sold to raise money for charity.

shared by Harriet Trobman




Cashmere! Just the name is enough to make you think "soft". Did you ever wonder where I comes from? Did you ever see a cashmere sheep or goat? No, and you never will as cashmere comes from a goat's secondary hair follicle, the undercoat that all goats shed every spring. (If only my cats' summer undercoat shedding were as useful.) Some goats are interbred with Angora goats for a higher cashmere yield, but to qualify as cashmere the hairs must come from the undercoat, be at least 1 inch long and less than 19 microns in diameter. Since each goat can produce only a few ounces every year, you now know why it is so expensive!

If you have to search for your cable needle every time you come to a cable, here's a handy tip: just stick it at an angle under your watch band.

Don't let the yarn weight stop you if you love that sweater pattern! Someone (in a web blog) wanted to use worsted weight yarn to make a sweater but the pattern was written for bulky yarn at 3.75 stitches per inch in stockinette. She used worsted weight at 4.25 stitches per inch in stockinette. The smallest size for this oversized sweater was a 40" sweater but she wanted a 36" sweater. She followed the directions for the 40" size as written and with the smaller gauge and miraculously came out with a 36" sweater. She did have to add more increases to the sleeves to make them fit the armhole, though. And why not use a larger weight yarn by knitting a smaller sized pattern.

Possibly the easiest way to darn heels on socks is knit a new heel and whip it in place on the old sock. Gives a double layer where it is most needed. You might do the same for a whole sole - just start at the heel and knit only the bottom, then gently cut away the old part of the sock after the new is in place

If you always have too long a tail (or not enough yarn) when casting on, try this method: cast on 10 stitches with a slip knot on the needle to start. Put a slip knot in the tail at the end. Unravel the stitches and measure between the slip knots. This length of yarn is what it took to cast on 10, so now multiply that length to the number of stitches you need. For example, if you need to cast on 60 stitches and it took you 4 inches of yarn to cast on 10 stitches, you'd need 4x6=24 inches (plus a bit for the tail) to cast on 60.

Another method is to use an approximate for pi. If you're casting on enough stitches to make something 8 inches wide (or in circumference, for a sock), multiply the 8 inches by 3 (close enough to pi, and makes it easy), and then add some for your tail. This should work with just about any yarn, because the thicker the yarn, the fewer the stitches needed to cast on, so 24 inches (plus tail) should be enough to do 64 stitches of fingering weight, or 16 stitches of super bulky. The only time this trick might not work is if you are casting on much more loosely than you normally would for this combination of needle and yarn (like if you're going to felt something), or if you are a very loose knitter.

Someone posted this on the net and I thought it was a beautiful idea.
My foster daughter was horribly abused by her biological parents, and occasionally I like to make her something to remind her how much we love her and how glad we are to have her in our family. When I knit her a pair of socks with self-patterning yarn (that I would normally knit in plain old stockinette), I use slip stitches to knit her initials and a heart on the top of the foot. I chart it, then alternate the slip stitch pattern with plain knit rows. You can't tell it's there from a distance, and usually you have to look very closely to see very much of a pattern at all, but then, that's the point. She knows that I knit a special message into her socks, and that's the "magic" of it. She loves having a "happy secret." This could be done on any article of clothing and instead of a name, could be a message. Think of someone getting a charity item and finding "I love you" and a heart knit into it.



I have never found swatches to be very helpful for me. For some strange reason, I knit differently, usually tighter, when doing a swatch than I do when making the real item. For years, I'd knit to the gauge from my swatch, and end up with garments that didn't come close to fitting properly.

What I do now that I find much more helpful is to simply start out with something bigger that I've knit in the same yarn, and use that as my gauge swatch. I don't usually bother about counting stitches per inch. What I do is use the knit fabric itself as a measuring tool. I position it with the desired amount of ease, and then count the number of actual stitches I used in it.

I met the owner of Philosopher's Wool at the quilting show last fall, and he told me that it's best to start on the sleeve, because it's very easy to adjust sizing on sleeves as you knit along. You can keep trying them on, and by the time you are finished, you'll have a great idea what gauge you are working on, and thus how many stitches to cast on for the body of your sweater.


shared by Lisa McClure

The most common comment I hear about sock knitting is frustration over using dpns to knit in the round. Since I love knitting in the round with dpns, I thought I might offer some suggestions that work well for me.

1) Especially when working on short needles, use 5 needles, rather than 3. This forces your work into a box shape, and the ends of the needles will fit in your hands better. Whenever I use only 4 needles, 2 of them always want to poke into the palms of my hands, due to the triangle shape formed by the holding needles. Also, when you work with 5 needles, it's a lot easier to divide your work into 4 equal parts than into 3.

2) Try to always start each needle with a knit stitch. It's worth moving stitches as needed, because for some reason it's a lot less awkward to knit a first stitch rather than purl it.

3) I always overlap the 4 needles holding the work, so that the rear end of each needle lies on top of the beginning of the next one. This makes it much easier to work the final stitches on each needle.

4) When I first started using dpns, I sometimes had ladders where two needles joined. The trick to avoiding this problem is to make sure that the new needle is butted right up next to the preceding one when making the first stitch. If necessary, knit the first couple of stitches a little tighter than usual. Avoiding ladders just takes a little bit of attention at first. Soon, it become second nature.

5) I knit continental style. If you prefer to hold your yarn in your right hand, try using longer dpns and knitting Shetland style. The trick to this is to wedge the right hand needle against your body, holding it still, and knit the stitches onto it. This can be a very comfortable and fast method of knitting. In China, most knitters knit in this style, and knit just about everything on long dpns, in the round.

If knitting on dpns feels uncomfortable to you, I encourage you to play around with some of these techniques, and see if pretty soon you don't start getting the hang of it. Give it a try!


shared by Lisa McClure

Stephanie Pearl McPhee (the Yarn Harlot) talks about RGR- relative gauge risk. i.e. what are the consequences if you don't knit a particular garment to gauge? Of course, if the item is a sweater you want it to fit properly, and this does mean a swatch if you have not used this yarn before or if the pattern uses something other than stockinette stitch in the gauge. But as pointed out above, the swatch can be the actual sleeve which does not have to fit as well as the body. Knit this first, measure as you go along and change needle size as needed to meet the gauge required.

If you think you may not have enough yarn for your sweater, knit one sleeve and the back. Then count the number of skeins used and compare that with the amount that is left. If you KNOW you will run short, make the sleeves first and then make the body shorter than called for in the pattern.




Wren's Greatest Knits
$15 plus $3 shipping

Be the first to get a copy of this delightful CD that is full of songs and tributes to the special joys of fiber. Some of the songs included are "Ba Ba Blacksheep" (a bluesy version about a yarn addict for whom three bags of wool is NOT enough!) and "After the Ball is Over" (After the Skein is Done) and lots more! Wren's voice is glorious and she finds lots of warmth and humor in every song. You can listen to a sampls and order copies here:

Knitting Beyond the Edge: Cuffs and Collars - Necklines - Hems - Closures - The Essential Collection of Decorative Finishes
by Nicky Epstein
Hardcover - 192 pages - $29.95
To be released October 28th

She’s already knitted On and Over the edge - and now Nicky Epstein is going even beyond that! In this third entry in her bestselling series, Epstein shares more than 150 one-of-a-kind adornments for cuffs, collars, angles, corners, and necklines - embellishments for any type of garment edging. With her usual creativity, Nicky provides a plethora of ideas and takes stitchers one step further: Whereas the first two books used swatches to illustrate the edgings, these beautiful and elaborate finishings are incorporated right into the actual garment’s design, so it’s easy to see just how they’ll look. They range in difficulty level; some are simple but elegant, others complex and truly extraordinary. There’s a bell-sleeve jacket with a Celtic knot closure, a stylish cable-hooded wrap that’s textured with unusual patterns and bobbles, and a Fair Isle coat with an unusual hem treatment and twisted cord embellishment. All are accompanied by detailed instructions and crisp color photography.

Cables Untangled: An Exploration of Cable Knitting
by Melissa Leapman (who designed the cat squares blanket we all worked on for Project Linus)
Hardcover - 192 pages - $32.50
To be released October 24th

Beautiful, intricate, flowing, mysterious, iconic - cable knit sweaters are all that and more. They are classic, stylish wardrobe staples. For many of us, cables are the main reason we were compelled to learn to knit in the first place. In Cables Untangled, Melissa Leapman demystifies this perennially popular technique, guiding the reader through the process step by step. Even if you’ve mastered just a few basic knitting techniques, you can turn out beautiful cables too!

A comprehensive resource book for knitters of all levels, Cables Untangled features over twenty cabled projects, from simple household items to clothing, fashion accessories, and gifts for virtually everyone on your list. Every project is beautifully photographed and includes useful detail shots of every piece of cabled fabric.

Extra resources include:
A cable stitch dictionary - .
A guide to using knitting charts and understanding their symbols
A comprehensive stitch library - over 100 different cables of both traditional and unusual stitches
Clear photographs and easy-to-use charts
Tips for designing your own projects

Cables Untangled is an indispensable resource in helping you conquer and enjoy cables. It’s the ultimate guide for beginners and seasoned knitters alike.

Arctic Lace: Knitting Projects and Stories Inspired by Alaska's Native Knitters
by Donna Druchunas
Paperback - 192 pages - $26.95
To be released October 25th

Arctic Lace tells the story of Oomingmak Musk Ox Producers' Co-operative, which helps support traditional lifestyles in remote Alaskan villages by marketing intricate laces that skilled Native artisans knit from qiviut, the luxurious, warm, and lightweight underdown of musk oxen. This book presents how-tos for knitting and designing lace, projects suited to new as well as experienced lace knitters, and gives sources for yarn,





shared by Penny Celmins



It's a known fact that the sheep that give us steel wool have no natural enemies.

Gary Larsen

Here's an art exhbit in Washington, D.C. where all the pieces are knitted. Hmmm....

10,374 stitches to make a knitted self portrait! And it looks like the knitter!

There is just no way to describe what is here other than to say it will give you the silly giggles.

You know a project isn't going well when... We can all relate to this.


How about knitting your own house? Using a 2-story high scaffold as a starting point, a group of women in London knit the outside walls out of garbage bags, old plastic bags, and rope. They had met weekly to prepare, and continued on the day of the event (Architecture Week) as the house unfolded before the crowd’s eyes. As they said: “Some people think that the act of building should be hidden behind screens, we like building site stuff - nets and ropes and scaffolding. We knit with them. And while some people think knitting is to remain behind walls, we build walls that are knitted. The knitting site is about bringing the backstage to the fore. We like the look of the mundane. Knitting triggers memory, some say. The knitting site is a device for remembering. Remembering the cloth fair, remembering ancient practices of making, remembering old ways of living”.

This woman not only knit her own house but all the furniture as well - plus some landscaping and a bicycle.

If a knit bicycle just doesn't do it for you, how about a knit Ferrari? Yes. And it took only 12 miles of yarn!



Tired of knitting the same old things? Then try this web site. if you love food but are on a diet, there are also directions for knitted strawberries, a slice of pizza, licorice allsorts, cherry pie and an ice cream sundae.


Knit Stocking Circa. 1885

Do you sometimes think knitting instructions are a little confusing? Here are the beginning lines, in RHYME, of instructions for knitting socks as published in The Jenny June Series of Manuals for Ladies Knitting and Crochet - A Guide to the use of the Needle & Hook.

To knit a stocking, needles four,
Cast on the needles and no more;
Each needled stitches eight and twenty,
Then one for seam stitch will be plenty.
Four twenty rounds your stitch must be
Two plain, two purl alternately,
Except the seam stitch which you do
Once purl, once plain, the whole way through.
A finger plain you next must knit,
Ere you begin to narrow it;
But if you like the stocking long,
Two fingers' length will not be wrong.

If you want to see the entire poem, send me an e-mail. It is WAAAY too long to print here.

Yarn Harlot's unfailing darning method for holes in socks:
Hold the sock with the hole over a trash can.
As loudly as you can yell "DARN!!!"
Open your hand and watch it drop.

Bored? Like music? How about knitting yourself a guitar!





In charity there is no excess. --Sir Francis Bacon


Fire in Hooper Bay, Alaska Destroys Schools and Homes

Warm clothing and books needed ASAP

At least 13 families with many children lost their homes in an August fire that also destroyed both the elmentary and high schools in this Yup'ik Eskimo village of 1,100 people. Winter will arrive there very soon and they are in need of warm clothing, especially in children's sizes, and books for the school appropriate for 6th grade and below. Think mittens, hats and scarves which can be knitted up in a couple of evenings. Please tie mittens together and mark items with the fiber content/washing instructions. They may be mailed to

Native Village of Hooper Bay
PO Box 69
Hooper Bay, Alaska 99604

More information here: http://www.adn.com/news/alaska/rural/story/8039262p-7932230c.html

and here: http://www.gov.state.ak.us/news.php?id=2590


Adopt-A-Native-Elder Program
Knitting for the Elders

The Adopt-A-Native-Elder Program assists over 500 elderly Traditional Navajo Elders. Each of the Elders lives on the Navajo Reservation in Southern Utah or Northern Arizona. The program does two foodruns to the reservation every May and October. The program delivers food boxes, medical boxes, clothing and personal care products in 10 areas on the reservation. Many of the Elders are still herding sheep and weaving traditional Navajo rugs. Others are homebound, some in wheelchairs.

The program accepts handmade knitted scarves for the Elders, especially the sheepherders. Knit socks, caps, mittens, and lap blankets are needed and very much appreciated. They also collect children’s mittens, caps, and scarves for our Christmas stockings for the young Navajo children.

Please send items directly to Adopt-A-Native-Elder Program via UPS or FedEx.

Adopt-A-Native-Elder Program
328 W Gregson Ave
Salt Lake City, UT 84115
Call for more information: 801-474-0535, or
email at: mail@anelder.org





Important Announcements!
The Fashion Square Knit Night has been changed to the Borders Knit Night. Still on the third Monday of the month but now at Borders Books across from Paradise Valley Mall at 4555 E. Cactus Rd. The meeting start time has also been changed from 5:30 to 6.00

The Needlers' Nest every other Tuesday Knit/Crochet-In is being changed a bit. They will now meet EVERY 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month, from 5 - 8pm. Everyone is Welcome, all levels of knitters' and crocheters' are encouraged, we learn from each other!...........Any Questions? Please drop Maggie a note.



(first Monday of each month unless otherwise noted)

July 10 (July 3 followed by July 4 Holiday)
August 7
September 11 (September 4, National Holiday)
October 9 ( October 2, Religious Holiday)
November 6
December 4 (Holiday Party held at restaurant - TBA)

January 8 (January 1, National Holiday)
February 5
March 5
April 9 (April 2, Religious Holiday)
May 7
June 4



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.

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



SATURDAY, Stitch n' Pitch, 6:40 p.m.
Baseball and Needle Arts come together to see Arizona Diamond Backs vs. St. Louis Cardinals.
TICKETS: $15 which includes a goody bag with yarn and knitting magazines

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: Teaching Children How to Knit with Jackie Taylor
HOMEWORK - Bring pencil, size 8, 9 or 10 needles
Program will include:
1) Tips for teaching children, large and small groups
2) Preparation
3) Hands on Experiences
4) Lesson Plans
5) Handouts

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

Tuesday, Knit/Crochet-In, 5:00-8:00 pm
Needlers' Nest
12133 W. Bell Rd # 102
Surprise, AZ 85374
phone # 623 583 4411
Check with Maggie Kiehl.

Saturday, Westminster Village, 1 - 3 p.m.
Happy Hookers and CNKG knit together for Project Linus
Fall Kick-Off Project: The Crazy Knitted Quilt Please bring size 8 needles and Project Linus will provide worsted weight yarn for this group project.
Westminster Village
12000 North 90th Street
Scottsdale, AZ 85260

Westminster is east of 101 and Cactus Road on southeast corner.
Entrance on 90th Street. Drive through gate and park near entrance.
When signing in, tell the desk you came to knit with the Happy Hookers!

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

Sunday, "Sponsor Your Own Knitting Event"
6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

Hosts: Fran and Larry Frazin
637 W. Palmaire, Phoenix.
Corner of 7th Ave, one block north of Glendale Ave.

Some of us will be knitting. Some of us will be completing fleece blankets for Judie. The fleece has been prepared by Penny. All we have to do is cut fringe and tie. If you plan to join in the "fleece fun", please bring SHARP scissors for cutting fabric.

Please R.S.V.P. by Friday, Sept. 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

Monday, Knit Together
Mountainview Coffee Company,Glendale
Albertsons' Shopping Center 6:00 P.M.
43rd Ave and Bell
Check with Regina Esposito.
602-942-7622 H
602-381-2902 W

Tuesday, Knit/Crochet-In , 5:00-8:00 pm
Needlers' Nest
12133 W Bell Rd # 102
Surprise, Az 85374
phone # 623 583 4411
Check with Maggie Kiehl.


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

Happy Birthday to Cactus Needles Knitting Guild!
Save room for a birthday treat!

Program: "Walk Around Book Event"
Assignment: Please bring your favorite or most interesting fiber arts book to share with guild members.
We will show, share, and browse.

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

Tuesday, Knit/Crochet-In, 5:00-8:00 pm
Needlers' Nest
12133 W. Bell Rd # 102
Surprise, AZ 85374
phone # 623 583 4411
Check with Maggie Kiehl.

Thursday, "Sponsor Your Own Knitting Event" 9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
Paradise Valley Mall Food Court, near Paradise Bakery

Host: Cathrine McClure
Please R.S.V.P. by Tuesday, October 10

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

Tuesday, Knit in With Bev
Fiber Factory
150 West Main Street in Mesa
Meet new knitters and share a "yarn" or two!

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.

Monday, Knit Together
Mountainview Coffee Company, Glendale
Albertsons' Shopping Center 6:00 P.M.
43rd Ave and Bell

Check with Regina Esposito.
602-942-7622 H
602-381-2902 W

Tuesday, Knit/Crochet-In, 5:00-8:00 pm
Needlers' Nest
12133 W Bell Rd # 102
Surprise, Az 85374
phone # 623 583 4411
Check with Maggie Kiehl.

Saturday, Project Linus Blanket Bee
Fountain Hills Community Center, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Blanket Challenge, Knit and Crochet:
Knit or chrochet a pattern of your choice in yellow and green.

Quilt Challenge: Train Motifs

Reservation needed for Lunch by Rina by 10/23

* * * * * * * * * * * * *





Mark your calendars now for the November meeting. You won't want to miss
"NEEDLED TO DEATH" with Kay Lind, or "From the little red square to EEK STEEK!"

Enjoy an evening with Kay Lind whose life long experiences with yarn have been fascinating. Among other things, Kay was an Assistant Professor of Fashion Design at Pratt Institute in New York, worked with the craft yarn department developing colors and styles for Dupont, owned Kay Lind Creative Enterprises, consulted for the first new issue of Vogue Magazine and was Marketing Director for Lane Bogosesia of New York.

Kay will have much to talk about, so no homework, just come and enjoy!"



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 gab, 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.



Knitters are relatively smart people.