September 2012


Stitchin’ Times


Publication of the Cactus Needles Knitting Guild

September 2012



     Letter from the President


 Dear Fellow CNKG Members,

I can’t believe it’s already September; fall is rapidly approaching – at least on the calendar, if not in temperature.  Football season is finally here, and before we know it, it will be the holiday season! 

Speaking of the holidays, our Holiday Party Committee is working on planning another fun gathering for us – I can’t wait to find out what they come up with this year!  As always, we will be collecting blankets for Project Linus at the party.  I am looking forward to seeing another huge pile of blankets ready to be donated. 

As the weather gets cooler (I’m sure it will, eventually), it seems easier to get excited about knitting larger projects like blankets.  After having recently completed a Double Ten Stitch blanket, I know I’m anxious to do another one – it will be great football knitting.  My goal is to have at least one done in time to be donated at the holiday party.

I’d like to challenge everyone to set some knitting goals – you decide what is right for you – learning new techniques, contributing more to altruistic efforts, knitting holiday gifts for friends and family – the sky’s the limit!  I went on record here with mine – who’ll join me?

Let’s knit!

Dawn Goetz

CNKG President





Meet the Member

This month, Cynthia Peplinski, our new treasurer was interviewed by Joanne Mullen. Here is her story:

I grew up in Plainview, TX being the only child and the only grandchild on both sides of the family. My paternal grandmother, Woody, was the “knitting queen” of Plainview and as she had a difficult time walking and full time help, she just knitted all day. I was fascinated and would sit on the arm of her chair and pull out the yarn as she used it. She taught me the rudiments of knitting then but I was more impressed by the fact that everyone she knew in our town who had a baby received five pairs of booties (one in each color) and a layette set from my grandmother! She was a whiz! So the first thing I did when I retired was find a knitting shop with beautiful yarn and someone to help me over the “rough” spots!

I like to do mindless, relaxing knitting but also challenge myself by knitting sweaters. However, when I realized how difficult they are to make and fit, I now limit sweaters to about two a year. The rest of the time I make hats and scarves and I love shawls!

After I retired, I looked for groups that promoted my interests. I first found an animal rescue to volunteer for because animals have always been my first love. Then I went looking for a knitting group. Phoenix Knits filled the bill as Pat had “knit ins” where I could “oo” and “ah” at what others were knitting and whine about what I was having trouble with. But after a while that group was disbanded and I happened to see a flyer for CNKG in Pat’s store. I was elated to think that there were others out there like me who actually drooled at beautiful yarn and would forego Hawaii this year just so she could buy that light blue cashmere blend!

I have recently acquired a playmate for my six pound poodle, Jean Pierre. His name is Guinness and he is part keeshond and part chow and is a very sweet boy! He had a temporary home at a rescue and I happened to see him online and fell in love! He is so gentle and sweet with my little six pound hellion and pack leader).  They are my constant companions and Gitchee Manitou of the forest has obviously shone down on my household!

I taught English in high school for 28 years! Enough said! I loved it while I was doing it and now I never want to see another high school student until my grandchildren become teenagers--which may be a very long time as I don’t yet have any grandchildren (but hope springs eternal!)

I started raising my two sons by myself when they were one and three. Erik is a business owner living in Glendale, and Kyle works for the Dept. of Health and Human Service in Washington, DC. They are both doing very well, so I expect soon they will be taking care of Mommy so she can just sit back, cruise once a year, enter Mah Jongg tournaments and KNIT!

My pet peeve: I really have much trouble dealing with people who do not take responsibility for their actions and who let the world just roll over them instead of taking direct action---even if the decision or action is very difficult! My favorite quote: “Not to decide is to decide.” Albert Camus



"Knitting Kquotes"


Properly practiced, knitting soothes the troubled spirit, and it doesn't hurt the untroubled spirit either.
-Elizabeth Zimmerman


Your hands are a window into your heart and soul. There is a piece of yourself in every project you make; there is love in every stitch, and a handmade scarf is like a hug."

-Lily Chi


 "Learning how to knit was a snap. It was learning how to stop that nearly destroyed me." Erma Bombeck





Stitch n’ Pitch 2012

By:  Francine Ebersman
How nice of the Diamondbacks to reprise Stitch n’ Pitch during the Arizona Centennial year so we could showcase our Commemorative blanket!   

Kristen Leetz joined the Diamondbacks recently and brought her expertise and the enthusiasm from the Seattle Mariners, where the original Stitch n’ Pitch was held, to Phoenix.

As soon as we heard about the date, our guild jumped on the chance to participate.  We had a prime spot to meet new friends and potential members and share our business cards and shop cards.  In addition, we had a giveaway: glitzy yarn that had been donated to the guild which we labeled with our logo.

Best of all was the great display for our blanket.  All day people admired it, including Donna Sherrill’s daughter who I assumed was fibbing, or at least mistaken, when her friend declared “I know someone who knit one of those squares.”  So much for my New York skepticism – it was true! 

Other highlights included a group of crocheters who insisted on being photographed with our afghan and a young man who made a short video on his cell phone so his fiancée could pick exactly what giveaway yarn should be hers.  He scooted off with a ball or two of pink yarn!

Numerous people signed up to get to know us better and two new friends attended our next guild meeting in August. 

Thanks to all our CNKG volunteers for lugging and chatting and setting up and cleaning up and doing everything else to make it a great day.  And for those of us who were too busy to focus on the game, the Diamondbacks beat the Mets 6-3! 

Kristen Leetz is already planning for next year to be bigger and better and bring more “vendors” and attendees to the event.  We’re already looking forward to it…





 August Program

The Psychology of Color

By:  Martie Warden

If you missed it…we had a very interesting guest speaker at our August meeting. Colleen East from Conjoined Creations in Cave Creek put together a wonderful PowerPoint presentation titled “The Psychology of Color.” The presentation examined how different colors affect us and how color is used every day to influence what we buy and how we feel about products and services. Colleen’s presentation also highlighted the presence of different colors in nature and why some colors cause us to use caution.  Thanks Colleen your presentation was great. Also a big thank you to Jennifer Wujcik’s husband, he was our tech guy for the evening!

What is on the program calendar for next month? We are going to discussing the Cactus Needles Knitting Guild website. How to update your profile, were to find information about up-coming meetings, and who to notify of problems and more. If you have any questions about the website you would like addressed please send them to me by September 8 at martiewarden@gmail.com.



 CNKG goes bi-coastal!!

Those of us who are members of the Knitting Guild of America (TKGA) opened our August/September edition of Cast On magazine to find an article highlighting our Centennial Blanket.

You can get more information on the blanket by going to "Centennial Blanket" link on our website. You can view pictures of the website and learn the history of the design and a list of all of the contributors. It is the most significant project I have participated in my six years as a member of CNKG.

To learn more about  TKGA, click here.

Thanks to everyone who has contributed to the success of this project and for all of your contributions to the our Guild. You are truly appreciated.

Barb Hahn, Editor



Looking for a new resource on the internet?

Try this link!

It leads to "knitting tutorials, patterns, and publications spanning from 1800 to 1911". Sounds like a fun thing to lose yourself in when it's 115 degrees out and the humidity is up to the guacamuggy stage, don't you think?

Contributed by:  Judie Agee





By Jackie Awerman     

I don’t know how it happened but it’s the truth, the whole truth, nothing but the dishcloth truth: I’m devoted to knitting dishcloths. I might call them other names--dollhouse rugs, afghan squares, washcloths, drink rugs, nursery mopsies—but a dishcloth by any other name is still a dishcloth. I love ‘em. The world loves ‘em. 

Any time that I need a quick gift, I knit up a stack of dishcloths, tie the stack with some pretty ribbon (or left-over yarns) and abracadabra! Gifted!

Dishcloths are capable of conveying thanks, love, care, sympathy (you had how many people over and did the dishes until what time in the am??) and relax, take-it-easy—gimme a dishcloth. Yes, dishcloths evoke all kinds of positive emotions from the simplest delight that you made these for ME! to the complexities of a new romance. Hear that, Cousin Cookie! MAKE DISHCLOTHS!

I think that it’s downright amazing that you can get all of this emotional swag from a couple of hours of needle clicking, yarn swinging fun. Your family, blood or choice, will adore you. Your mother will be extremely impressed that finally, at last and after all of these years, you learned to give PRACTICAL GIFTS! Of course, your mother will not have read my secret instructions for turning 4 dishcloths into a bikini! Don’t ask.

But there’s even MORE going on with dishcloths. Let me tell you a handful of knitted dishcloth secrets.

Secret #1. There’s no rule about how many dishcloths constitute a stack. Just know that a stack is more than one. So you are in charge. Think pancake stacks in your favorite pancake palace: short stack, long stack and stack attack! You decide.

Secret #2. You can’t kill a dishcloth. You can throw it, jump on it, smack it around, vent! vent! vent!  A dishcloth will still be there, ready for next move, your deepest dishcloth need. Yes, a good dishcloth is impervious to mood swings as well as hot and cold water and high temperature dryers. A dishcloth is about forever, amen. 

Secret #3. No one, not even you-know-who-makes-you-a-teensy-bit-jealous has too many dishcloths. Some might be showing off in the kitchen, a few might make it as substitute hot pads on Momma Sandi’s heirloom dining room table; and then there are the ones you threw in the diaper bag, just in case. Oops! I forgot the ones in the laundry and the bath and the golf cart…


Secret #4. A stack of dishcloths will not break the budget, force you to sell shares of stock or get a third job to make the yarn budget. If you need a third job to fund your yarn stash, you’re already in trouble and you just can’t blame it on dishcloths. Then again, if you make them 24 x7…awe, forget it; it ain’t the dishcloths. In fact, they just might SAVE you. The pun is intended!

Secret #5. The best dishcloth is a simple one is a knitted one is an easy one! There are a bazillion dishcloth patterns out there. You can find them on the web, in dishcloth books and as project sheet freebies in most craft stores. Some of the patterns are so complicated that you might as well resign yourself to starting a dishcloth of the year club. I am advocating that you don’t get caught up in the Six Cable Wonder or the Fair Isle, Ten-Color Jewel of a dishcloth. Stay simple. Stay sane. Stay with my pattern! Unless, of course, you’re exploring how long it could take to make a dishcloth I prefer my dishcloth of the moment movement. 

So, here is my all time favorite dishcloth pattern. It calls for cotton yarn. Pretty dishcloth PLEASE use one hundred percent cotton. Be kind to yourself and stick with worsted weight yarn. Go crazy with color, not with pattern. Just knit ‘em, friend. Just knit ‘em. Then dishcloth the world!

Jackie’s Favorite Dishcloth Pattern


1 skein of 100% cotton yarn such as Lily Original Sugar & Cream

Size 9 or 10 knitting needles


About 7 stitches equal 2 inches but it’s not all that important in dishcloth knitting

What to do:

Starting at a corner, cast on 4 stitches.

Row 1: Knit 3 rows.

Row 4: K2, yarn over, knit to end.

Repeat Row 4 until the side edges measure about 10 inches, ending with 48 stitches on the needle.

Next Row: Knit 2 together, yarn over, knit 2 together, knit to end of the row.

Repeat this row until there are 3 stitches left.

Knit 3 rows.

Last Row: Knit 2 together, knit 1. Bind off.


That’s it! That’s one. And now, with the NEXT ball of yarn…repeat until!

Email Jackie at yarndances@yahoo.com.

© Jackie Awerman. Rev.2012. Email for permissions.






Upcoming Events



September 10 – CNKG Meeting 6:30 PM  to 8:30 PM*

Spetember 17 – Fry's Marketplace knit-together – 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM

October 1 – CNKG Meeting 6:30 PM  to 8:30 PM

October 15 – Fry's Marketplace knit-together – 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM


*Dinner for Hungry Knitters – 5:00 Streets of New York.


Don’t forget to Host your Own Knit Together! Refer to the “Latest News” under “Members Only” for a list of available months. Enjoy the pictures from our events from the last couple of months!