November 2012


Stitchin’ Times


Publication of the Cactus Needles Knitting Guild

November 2012



Meet the Member


Carole Byrne lends an international dimension to the Cactus Needles Knitting Guild. Carole grew up in Montreal and now lives outside Edmunton, Alberta on Lake Wabamun in a summer village in Seba Beach. Carole and her husband John spend the winter season in Scottsdale--during this time Carole is an active member of our guild.

Carole remembers learning to knit as part of her grade school's home ec curriculum. (Much nicer than the cooking apron with bias binding that I was required to hand sew in 7th grade in Brooklyn, New York!) Carole toyed with knitting in her teens and twenties but didn't put much stock in gauge at that time! About 15 years ago she got the urge to try again and "didn't mess up that sweater too badly." The rest is history.
Carole found our guild online through the Inerweave Press section on guilds. Asked about differences between her knitting life here and in Canada, she cited CKNG and pleasure and joy of being able to meet with other knitters to share knitting and develop friendships. One other difference is that Canadian weather allows for comfortable knitting with all types of yarn throughout the year.
Currently knitting? Several commissioned pair of mittens for use by (ice) skating club instructors. Each pair is made up of a red and a green mitten with STOP and GO knitted boldly on its palm. What a great way for instructors to raise a and palm out to give visual directions! Carole also usually has sox on needles, ready for on-the-go knitting.
Right now Carole never wants to knit another "mitt." She is not big on acrylic. While some stash gets carted back and forth, Carole does maintain a stunning Arizona project. She is knitting a log cabin blanket out of leftover sock yarn. Hopefully, we'll see it in its current stage at a show and share this season.
Now retired, Carole worked in higher education for most of her working life and feels honoured (Canadian spelling, eh) to have served the University of Alberta for the last few years of her career as University Registrar and Vice Provost.
In addition to knitting--running competes for Carole's spare time. Once a race runner, Carole now runs for herself and sometimes even walks. In some ways she sees knitting as replacement for her younger passion for horses.
Carole also spins--unfortunately we don't have a photo of their car coming across the border with a spinning wheel and a full grown Collie named Bubba sitting proudly among their other cargto.  

Lets Party


Our annual holiday party will be held on Monday December 3rd at the Macaroni Grill in Scottsdale with reservations due by November 26th. Details about the party, the gift exchange, and altruistic contest can be found on CNKG's website. Go to Members Only/Latest News/2012 Holiday Party and click on the links for the two flyers.
Interested in knitting gloves for the Holiday Party but don't know where to start? 
More questions? Contact Francine.


"Knitting Kquotes"


“There is practically no activity that cannot be enhanced or replaced by knitting, if you really want to get obsessive about it.” 
Stephanie Pearl-McPheeAt Knit's End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much

“Given good yarn, good workmanship, and good care, a knitted shawl and outlive its knitter, providing warmth and pleasure to several generations of family and friends.” 
Martha Waterman





Jo-Ann Mullen and Penny Sitler, Executive Director of The Knitting Guild Association, pose for a picture in the Stitches East Marketplace after a complimentary conversation about page 72 of the latest issue of Cast On and our Arizona Centennial Commerative Blanket.  





Program Highlights


By:  Martie Warden

September – The CNKG Website

Questions come up all the time about the guilds website, so to help members have a better understanding of how the site works Martie put together information on how to up-date information, what to use the site for and how to find information on the website. Some exciting news…we can now add our PINTEREST, Facebook, Ravelry, and if you have one, you’re Blog URL. These are hotlinks! Thanks to Cara and Jon for making this possible.

Martie had handout for members that explained everything that was discussed during the program. If you missed the meeting and didn’t get a handout, and you would like one…let Martie know she can get one for you.

eleventh birthday cake

 October- Happy Birthday CNKG!

We had our Birthday celebration in October! Members shared some of their favorite memories, and stories about the guild. We truly have a wonderful organization and some very charitable people in group. It was fun hearing stories from members who have been with the guild for a long time! Thanks to everyone who shared stories and memories…and the cake was yummy too!!

 In November Martie is working on a program about button holes! 



The Pragmatic Knitter: Attached/Applied I-Cord

by Georgia K. Green

How To Apply/Attach an I-Cord as Edging Around a Knitted Piece

Using the same size needle that you used for the knitted piece, but preferably in circular or dpn style, pick up 1 stitch for each stitch or ridge (ridge = 2 rows) of your knitted piece.

On the other end of your same circular needle or on a new (another) dpn [or straight needle, if you must], cast on 4 stitches, using a method that will be easy to graft later. (I like the cable cast-on, and I’ve also seen nice results with the knitted cast-on here. You can use whatever you like.)

(Some knitters cast on 3 or 5 stitches instead, but I prefer the look of an even number, not to mention the way the edging lies flat so much more evenly – no pun intended – when an even number of stitches has been used.)

To create the edging: K3, slip 1 knit-wise, K1 (of your picked-up sts), PSSO. Do not turn your work, and repeat until you’re out of picked-up sts. (See below for what to do at corners.)

For the most professional finished appearance, graft the beginning cast-on end of the attached/applied I-cord together with the final live stitches instead of doing a bind off per se. (Otherwise, bind off and then neatly sew cast-on and bind-off together, attempting to achieve the look of Swiss darning or duplicate stitch.)

{You can apply as many edging iterations [surrounds? (well, they aren’t exactly rows or rounds)] of I-cord as you like, though I find one sufficient usually. I did see someone who’d made a single I-cord that was too small proportionally for the knitted piece correct that error by adding two more iterations – for a total of three – which looked OK but could have been ripped and redone larger more easily.}

How To Turn Corners Neatly with I-Cord

To go around corners without the I-cord bunching up, once you work the last picked-up stitch for the edge with which you’re now done, work 3 rows of standard (non-attached/not applied) I-cord, then work the first picked-up stitch for the next edge (the one you’re just starting on) and continue working as for attached/applied I-cord until the next corner.

(You could work just two standard rows if your yarn were fine and your needles were small – or four rows if your yarn were bulky and your needles large – but 90% of the time, three rows = “just right.”) 










A Knitting Exercises to Soothe the Soul

By Jackie Awerman                                           

Knitting speaks! It tells the truth about your state of being. Of course you KNOW that it reflects your sense of color, your love of pattern and your creative jaunts into the stitching jungle. But. Did you know that knitting also reflects your feelings?

Just think about it: TENSION aka Gauge. Have you ever had the recommended yarn and needles and made a gauge swatch that was the size of a postage stamp when it was supposed to be 4 inches (20 cm) square? That’s TIGHT. What was going on? I bet something or someone (s) were stressing you and not in a good way. So what to do, what to do. Deep breaths and try again. Then maybe this happened: the same needles, the same yarn and the swatch was almost big enough for baby blanket! More deep breaths. And rip, rip, rip.

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

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

Step 1. Grab a favorite pair of fairly large size needles (8’s -13’s) and a ball of bulky yarn from your stash and a lovely long, silky scarf. (Seriously! And this won’t be one that you knit…it will be store-bought or gifted.)  Find one of your favorite background music CDs or locate the ipod listing. And find a comfy place to sit when you can listen to the music.

Step 2. Put the music on. Sit down. Put the needles, yarn and scarf in your lap. Cast on 12 stitches and put the needles down. Now, tie the scarf around your eyes! Yes, you are going to do this without looking. Pick up your knitting. Breathe deeply. In through your nose. Out through your mouth.

When you are ready, reach s-l-o-w-l-y for your knitting. 




notebook tabs brown history

 Who’s Who In Cactus Needles Knitting Guild

 By:  Regina Esposito

Here’s a list of Past Presidents, and meeting locations from our beginning until 2005. 

Can you guess where they are now?

1994-Jackie Awerman   -

Met at  AZ Arts & Crafts Marketplace N 16th Street

1995-Karen Henzel  

Met at The Teahouse at the Cloisters Condominium on 24th St, then moved to The Sizzler on 7th Street &Missouri

1996-Maryhelen Strand- AtVarious homes, Maryhelens, Betty Law’s, Bev Walker etc. until January 1996 when we start to meet in Jerry’s Restaurant2323 E Thomas Road.

January 1997 we finally obtain a more permanent home at the Orange Wood Presbyterian Church 7321 N 10th Street

1997-Bev Walker

1998-Jackie Taylor

1999-Jackie Taylor

2000-Liz Rees

2001-Karen Wigglesworth

2002-Erika Verley AND Mary Ann Redeker

2003-Erika Verley

2004-Francine Ebersman

2005-Francien Ebersman

Jackie Awerman was president until we became an “official” guild.  Then Karen Henzel became president.  In April of 1995 (after the Guild could not contact Karen) she was removed form office while Geri Biggs took the job until Maryhelen Strand became President in 1996.

 I want to give a  thanks to Erika Verley for all the notes & records she’s kept.  Without that this trip down memory lane could not have been done



Cleaning out the Files


Every once in a while, it's a good idea to clean out the flies in your computer. Jackie Taylor did so recently and shared a couple of files to share with everyone.

Not sure how to take care of your knitting? Check out the "Misc. Info" section of the website.

Don't know how to properly put squares together? Find instructions in the "Altruisitic" section.

Thanks, Jackie! Cleaning isn't just for spring!




Upcoming Events



November 5 – CNKG Meeting 6:30 PM  to 8:30 PM*

November 19 – Fry's Marketplace knit-together – 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM

December 3 – Holiday Party

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!