November 2013


Stitchin’ Times


Publication of the Cactus Needles Knitting Guild

November 2013




   Letter from the President

Welcome fall and cooler weather!! The cooler weather also means our snowbirds are back! It is so fun hearing about what you have been doing and seeing the projects you worked on. We also welcome all the new members who have joined in the last couple months. It is wonderful to see our guild growing and the fresh ideas that new members bring to the group are always welcome.

 A few upcoming events…

Don’t forget about our Annual Holiday Party on December 2nd. Francine Ebersman is once again taking the reservation information from members. An informational flyer can be found on the guild website. The holiday party will focus on our Linus Blanket contribution. If you have blankets to contribute, be sure to bring them that evening.

Our Guild will be participating in a craft event at the Arizona Historical Society on December 7th. Our Centennial Blanket will be displayed that day. We have a group of ladies that have volunteered to be there and represent the guild. They will be doing knitting demonstrations, selling the centennial blanket note cards, talking about the guild’s altruistic efforts, and the beautiful centennial blanket. If you would like to lend a hand that day please contact Harriet Lawrence.

Just a reminder to everyone, make sure you are getting information about the guild by keeping your information current on the website. Cynthia and I will be working to get pictures of everyone on the member directory, as well as updating profile information. Did you know you can have your Facebook, Pinterest, Ravelry, Twitter or Blog addresses on the webs site? This lets other members find you on those sites. We never share your information; it is only seen by other members. For more information about updating your profile, contact Cynthia Peplinski or myself.

Wishing everyone a wonderful Holiday season.




Now comes what I perhaps inflatedly call my philosophy of knitting. Like many philosophies, it is hard to express in a few words. Its main tenets are enjoyment and satisfaction, accompanied by thrift, inventiveness, an appearance of industry, and, above all, resourcefulness."

--From Knitting Without Tears,                               Elizabeth Zimmerman



Knitters  Extraordinaire

Lesley Fry

By Cynthia Peplinski

Lesley Fry began her knitting career when her parents were away for a week and, fortuitously, a wonderful woman who stayed with her and her sister taught her to knit.  We know she was a quick study because by the time the week was over, she had made most of a mitten!  This was in the days when one could send one’s children out on their bikes safely and where did little Lesley go? A knitting store, of course! Even her sock doll benefitted as she made a vest for her when she (Lesley) was twelve.  Howeve r, we must give good knitting genes some credit as her paternal grandmother passed on her very creative knitting genes to special members of the family, including Lesley. 

All hobbies have frustrations and Lesley’s probably align with many of ours, including lace and finding errors in patterns.  She has circumvented the latter issue by learning to check online for any corrections before she starts a project.  

Although she considered beginning art lessons again to hone the creative gene, she started knitting instead and the art lessons became a dim memory. Mittens are her favorite knitting product (we all need to get on her gift list) because they are miniature works of art with a myriad of stitches and colors.  And perhaps, best of all, they are finished in a week or two. She is most proud of the Icelandic sweater she made from a Lopi kit which everyone in Iceland thought she had bought!  

The Guild, for Lesley, has no negatives for she loves learning new knitting stitches, patterns, etc. and she is able to “smooz” with other dedicated knitters. Her f yarn at home has gone from a “stash” to Lesley’s Yarn Shoppe!  Rightly so as Lesley is a consummate knitter.


Early origins of knitting

By:  Jeanette Heller Wood

Knitting is a technique of producing fabric from a strand of yarn or wool. Unlike weaving, knitting does not require a loom nor other large equipment, making it a valuable technique for nomadic and non-agrarian peoples.

The oldest artifact with a knitted appearance is a type of sock. It is believed that socks and stockings were the first pieces produced using techniques similar to knitting. These socks were worked in Nålebinding, a technique of making fabric by creating multiple knots or loops with a single needle and thread. Many of these existing clothing items employed nålebinding techniques; some of them look very similar to true knitting, for example, 3rd-5th century AD Romano-Egyptian toe-socks. Several pieces, done in now obscure techniques, have been mistaken for knitting or crocheting.

Most histories of knitting place its origin somewhere in the Middle East, from there it spread to Europe by Mediterranean trade routes, and then to the Americas with European colonization. The earliest known examples of knitting have been found in Egypt and cover a range of items, including complex colorful wool fragments and indigo blue and white cotton stockings, which have been dated between the 11th and 14th centuries.








 Website Watch


Learn more about the TKGA Master Knitting program at:


Are you a left-handed knitter? Here is a site with some tips:


Free patterns! Have you checked out the Black Sheep Wool website yet?




Program Highlights 


In October we were honored by a special presentation by  Binka Schwan, Master Knitter & Co-Chair of the TKGA Master Hand Knitting Committee. Binka retired as an audiologist in 2001. She and her husband no live in Carefree AZ. She works at Bonnies Yarn shop in Carefree. She has been knitting most of her life. In 2005 she enrolled in the TKGA Master Hand Knitting program. In 2007 she completed Level 3 and received her Master Hand Knitting pin. She as been on the Hand Knitting Committee ever since. 

Binka provided a brief history of The Knitting Guild of America (TKGA) and an overview of the Masters Program. She spoke in-depth of the levels to the Program and addressed the "hows" and "whys". 

For more information regarding the program, visit the website (see the "Website Watch section of the Newsletter) or read the October Minutes.

November's's program was "What's in your knitting bag". It started out as a type of show and tell and turned in to an information-sharing session  with seasoned knitters sharing some of their tools and lots of knitters walking out the door with some new ideas. You never know what you are going to learn at one of our monthly meetings!







The Pragmatic Knitter:  Make It Fit!

by Georgia K. Green


We knit.  We make no mistakes in reading or interpreting the pattern as we knit.  Our  finishing is perfection itself, and our blocking sublime.  We try on the finished pullover.  We look in the mirror.  

 Do any of you have any doubt what happened when we looked in the mirror?  The pullover didn't  fit, did it?  Why?  What else could we have done?


Knit-a-tude of Gratitude: Thanksgiving and the Knitted Drumstick

By: Jackie Awerman

Vegans and meat eaters unite! It’s the Knitted Drumstick: an unexpected expression of gratitude. This meaty- excuse me—make that “this knitty” little piece of table decor— will give you ample reason to knit and chef the Thanksgiving Feast! Besides that, you will be able to give each person who shares your table the part of the bird most sought after, most fought over—the drumstick, of course!


Upcoming Events



December 2 – Holiday Party 

December 14 –  Fry’s Marketplace Knit-Together – 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM

January 6 – CNKG Meeting 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM*

January 20 –  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.