January 2013


Stitchin’ Times


Publication of the Cactus Needles Knitting Guild

January 2013




     Letter from the Editor

Here we are with another calendar year upon us. I hope this New Year finds everyone healthy and prosperous (and knitting!).

I am sure that I speak for all of us when I extend a thanks to those of you that put so much of your heart into the Cactus Needles Knitting Guild. Without you, there would be no Guild.

Thinking about getting involved? In April, the Nominating Committee will be presenting the slate to the membership for election of Officers for the 2013-2014 fiscal year. If you are interested in serving on the Board, let me know. There are also a number of committees that can use your help if you are not interested in an Officer's position, so please let me know if you are interested.

Happy 2013!

Barb Hahn, Editor



Meet the Member



Donna Sherrill is the epitome of calm, she's a total team player, and completes any task she signs on for without complaint or drama. In an effort to improve myself in these areas, I interviewed Donna.

I learned that Donna was born in Lansing, MI, and moved to Arizona at age five. There was a housing shortage in the valley at that time and Donna's family lived in a trailer while they acclimated to the hot, dry weather. Donna has lived in Arizona ever since. She and her husband Don recently celebrated their 53rd wedding anniversary.

Donna worked most of her adult life as an Administrative Assistant or Executive Assistant, usually for elected officials. In college at ASU she worked as a part-time Music Librarian and then as Secretary to the Vice President at KOOL Radio and KOLD TV, owned in part by Tom Chauncey and Gene Autry. She also worked at the Citizens for Goldwater office.

Asked about her early knitting, Donna shared memories of knitting in Blue Birds in 3rd or 4th grade and of the yellow fringed scarf she knit in 5th grade. Knitting the scarf wasn't enough; she then adapted the pattern to make a matching purse. As a 7th grader Donna knit to rehab a broken arm. She found a knitting book in a variety store and, like many of us, she started with acrylic yarn which she used to knit a hunter green cardigan. She also told of using baby sitting money to buy yarn to knit argyles for her brother.

Donna loves Aran stitches and finds herself drawn to the Irish connection and the rich cable textures. She likes Elizabeth Zimmerman's KNITTING WITHOUT TEARS, the book that unraveled the mysteries and math or gauge and size for her and encouraged this now fearless knitter to design and try things on her own.

Donna has served on our Guild's Nominating Committee numerous times and has also been part of the Holiday Party Committee. What's not known is all the behind-the-scenes assistance that she has lent to our group. I personally can attest to an example of her 11th hour aid: if not for enlisting Donna and arming her with red and green yarn, Francine and I would still be knitting placemats for the 2009 Holiday Party! Donna calmed us down and reassured us that it would be done in time--and, of course, it was.

Donna's interests go beyond knitting. She is a founding member of the Calligraphic Society of Arizona and also of the Cactus Wren Republican Women, a group founded specifically for working women. Although no longer active in these groups, Donna would like to return to Calligraphy Society meetings and workshops when time allows.

Looking back over many years, Donna is grateful that knitting, although not constant, has waxed and waned over those years. And we are grateful to have Donna as an active, contributing member of the Cactus Needles Knitting Guild.



2013 CKNG Distinguished Service Award



This year's award was presented to Jackie Awerman, “Founding Mother” of Cactus Needles Knitting Guild,  in grateful appreciation for her years of significant and meritorious service to the knitting community in Phoenix, Tucson, Florida, and beyond. 

Jackie’s generosity of spirit is longstanding, from the heart, and offered to so many people in the form of both groups and individuals. 

Her donations of books, gifts and yarn are legendary, and her continued support is unconditional.

She is without equal!


Mark your calendars! 

Stitch n' Pitch will be held on Saturday April 13, the Diamondbacks against the Dodgers at 5:10 PM. Not only is the guild being offered a display area again, but it's also a T-shirt giveaway day! Details to follow. 


“The best reason for a knitter to marry is that you can't teach the cat to be impressed when you finish a lace scarf.” 

 Stephanie Pearl-McPheeAt Knit's End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much 







 November Program

Button Holes

By:  Martie Warden

Our November program was on buttonhole. We had three different buttonholes that were demonstrated to our members. Thanks to Dawn, Lesley, and Regina for helping do the demonstrations. I hope to see YO, vertical, or one-row buttonholes on your "Show and Shares" in the future. We did the program a little different this time. We broke the members in to three groups and had them rotate around the room to get a closer look at each buttonhole that was being demonstrated. I would like to know if you liked that style.

We will be doing our January program on different cast-ons the same way. We will be doing four different cast-ons…I would like to thank Georgia, Donna, and Betty for volunteering to help with the January program. I’ll send a list of what to bring soon.

Looking forward we will have our annual yarn exchange in February…bring yarn, get some play money, and bid on your favorite yarn! March will be our Knitting with Beads program. Jennifer and I will have homework information for you in February so you can be ready!

I hope everyone is enjoying the programs. I’m having fun planning them &  learning a lot too!!  

Happy Knitting




2012 Holiday Party

The Guild escorted the year 2012 out with our annual holiday party. The evening was filled with good food, fun, gift exchanges, prizes, singing waiters and memories.

This is the time of the year when many of us save up all of our blankets to donate them to Project Linus. It is a very special time of the year to honor one of our favorite charities with not only blankets but a cash donation earmarked for that purpose.

Door prizes were handed out throughout the evening as we judged hand warming garments that  were knitted for Navajo Project. The category winners of the contest were:

Fun - Jennifer Wujcik
Fancy -  Lesley Fry
Fan Favorite -  Lesley Fry
Most Knitted -  Lesley Fry

Many thanks to the Holiday Party Committee, Jo-Ann Mullen, Donna Sherrill, Lonnie Zbiegen, andFrancine Ebersman, for the great food, the fun prizes and contests. You outdid yourselves!



 “In the nineteenth century, knitting was prescribed to women as a cure for nervousness and hysteria. Many new knitters find this sort of hard to believe because, until you get good at it, knitting seems to cause those ailments.

The twitch above my right eye will disappear with knitting practice.” 

 Stephanie Pearl-McPheeAt Knit's End: Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much



Tucson Handweavers & Spinners Guild’s

Magic of Tucson Luncheon, Fashion Show & Boutique

March 2, 2013, 10:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. 

This event will treat you to an enticing array of one-of-a kind clothing and other art items: from the brilliant colors of hand-dyed silks, to the rich textures and lush drape of hand-woven clothing and accessories, and even centerpieces artistically formed from Tucson desert material. All will be available in the boutique from 10 a.m. until noon and after the fashion show. In addition, educational exhibits and demonstrations to entice your creative spirit will begin at 10 a.m. Raffle baskets filled with exciting hand-crafted items, gift certificates, and donations by local merchants will be yours for a ticket and a lucky draw. Winners will be announced during the fashion show, but you need not be present to win. From 10 am to noon, the boutique and exhibits are open to the public and free of charge.

A delectable lunch begins at noon, with the fashion show to follow. There are three delicious luncheon choices: salmon, vegetarian strudel, or beef stroganoff. All three choices include house salad, vegetable, starch, rolls & butter, dessert, coffee and iced tea service. The reservation deadline for the luncheon is February 23, and the luncheon and fashion show cost is $40 per person. Remember that this is an all-day event, starting with the boutique, education & demonstration displays, raffle baskets, the luncheon and fashion show.

The fashion show will premiere a host of creative wearable pieces: every item is one of a kind and never before shown. All items exhibited throughout the day are hand-crafted by guild members. The beauty of these creations attests to the use of high quality materials, creative use of color and balance, and great skill in the varied media of fiber arts. This is a show not to be missed!

More information about the Guild and the Registration form are available at www.thsg.org

To print a copy of the registration form, click here.


The Pragmatic Knitter:  Stitch/Pattern Conversion for Circular Knitting.”


by Georgia K. Green

 If you enjoy knitting in the round, then it’s inevitable: Sooner or later, you’re going to look at a pattern and say to yourself, “Why can’t this {name of item} just be knit on circs?” and/or (if you’re trying to justify your own question to yourself, which may indicate the need for professional help or at least a long, relaxing vacation), “I don’t want to go back-and-forth and back-and-forth forever, just to wind up with flat pieces that still have to be seamed together once I’m done knitting.”

The simple answer: “It {whatever that item was} can just be knit on circulars.” Yes, even if the only pattern you have is written for back-and-forth flat knitting on straight needles, you can – quite easily – convert the specified stitches to work in the round instead. After reviewing the basic principles that underlie both types of knitting, we’ll construct our own quick reference of how and when to replace X with Y so that the result is always consistent

Flat knitting is done in rows. The knitter works two types of rows, alternating between them. Generally, rows are either attractive (right side or public side) or not-that-attractive (wrong side or private side).

Circular knitting is done in rounds. The knitter works only one type of round, ever. Generally, rounds are always attractive (right side or public side).

Key difference: In circular knitting, as a general rule, the knitter is never working from that not-so-attractive/wrong/private side. So, in order to be able to achieve the same appearance whether knitting in the round or flat, the knitter simply needs to be able to work opposite and/or backwards.

To put it another way, what a knitter might call the “wrong side” row when knitting flat is just every second (that is, every other, alternating) round when knitting circularly. Further, every knitter knows that the knit stitch is the opposite of the purl stitch – that the front of the one is the back of the other, and vice versa.

To summarize: To convert a flat-knit stitch pattern to circular knitting … If working what was a “right side” row, work the round in the same manner. If working what was “wrong side” row, work the second round in the opposite [substituting stitches, see link to table below] and backward [reverse order] manner.

One example: To create garter stitch in flat knitting, simply knit every stitch of every row. To create garter stitch in the round, knit every stitch of the first round, but purl every stitch of the second round. (Naturally, repeat Rows/Rounds 1 and 2 for pattern.)

Another example: To create stockinette stitch in flat knitting, knit every stitch of the first row, and purl every stitch of the second row. To create stockinette stitch in the round, simply knit every stitch of every round. (Naturally, repeat Rows/Rounds 1 and 2 for pattern.)

A final consideration: Flat-knit stitch patterns are often expressed as multiples of some number “plus N” (where N is a number of extra balancing or edging stitches that is constant). When working in the round, the “plus N” is not necessary, since the main pattern repeat is all that is used for circular knitting. (It is sometimes convenient to think of the main pattern repeat as “everything between the asterisks [*s]” in the instructions, leaving out whatever comes before the first asterisk and whatever comes after the direction to repeat from the asterisk, or after the semicolon [;].)+

To view the chart, click here

There is no right way to knit; there is no wrong way to knit. So if anybody kindly tells you that what you are doing is "wrong," don't take umbrage; they mean well. Smile submissively, and listen, keeping your disagreement on an entirely mental level. They may be right, in this particular case, and even if not, they may drop off pieces of information which will come in very handy if you file them away carefully in your brain for future reference.

 ~Elizabeth Zimmerman



Upcoming Events


January 21 – Fry's Marketplace knit-together – 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM

February 4 – CNKG Meeting 6:30 PM  to 8:30 PM*

February 18 – 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!