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April 2008

CACTUS NEEDLES KNITING GUILD
MEETING
– April 7, 2008

The meeting was called to order.  The Minutes were read from the March meeting.  Erika Verley made a motion to accept and Francine Ebersman seconded the motion.  The motion was passed by acclamation.

Membership
•    Mary Schirtzinger wished a happy birthday to Ruth Kaye on April 16.
•    Welcome to Toni Hansen who is a guest of Lauren Benard. 
•    Welcome to Lucile Walters and Marge Gale who are guest of June Whisle.  We will hear more about them later in the Altruistic portion of the meeting.
•    A few people have expressed interest in joining.  Please see Fran or Larry Frazin before leaving.
•    Welcome to our newest member, Virginia Brennen.
•    Next month, a form will be distributed to the membership for the new board.  Please complete it to tell us what your interests are.

Treasures report
•    Fran Frazin reported that there is $2,807.50 in the treasury.
•    Gift cards were purchase for the belated holiday gift for Project Linus.  Originally, the amount was to be $300.  Fran was able to purchase them at a discount and passed the savings along, so the total of the cards was $324.  Fran presented the cards to Judy Agee on behalf of the Cactus Needles Knitting Guild for Project Linus and thanked her for all of her hard work.  Judy thanked the Guild for all of its support.

New Business
•    Bev Walker announced that the Tempe Yarn and Fiber shop will be hosting a retreat on July 11 and 12 at the Doubletree at Gateway, 44th Street and Van Buren.  All of the details will be on their blog this month.
•    Bev mentioned that Debbie Macomber will be at several locations throughout the Valley in June.  She will be at Borders in Scottssdale on June 5th,  Frys in Surprise on June 6th, and A Good Yarn Shop on June 7th. 
•    Bev also mentioned that the Tempe Yarn and Fiber shop will be having a Sweaters 101 class in the near future, so be watching out for that.
•    Francine Ebersman announced that the nominating committee met last month.  The Committee consisted of Francine, June Whisle and Donna Sherril, along with Bev Walker who was “roped in”.  The proposed slate is Cara Summerfield as Presdent, Barb Hahn as Vice President, Velvet Dishon as Secretary  and Larry and Fran Frazin as co-treasurers.  A vote was taken by the membership to accept this slate and was unanimously passed.  Francine thanked the nominating committee for their service and also thanked Betty Jensen for her service, as she is the officer who will not be serving next term.
•    Francine mentioned a couple of suggestions that the committee made for consideration:
o    They suggested that programs be offered every month and not suspended during the summer months.
o    They suggested that the honorarium of $50 for speakers be offered to everyone, not just outside speakers.
o    They also asked that all members make recommendations on program ideas as trying to come up with program ideas can be a very time-consuming task.
o    They also mentioned that it would be helpful for the Budget Committee to get feedback from every committee.
o    We are still looking for a volunteer to take over the newsletter.  Please let Betty know if you are interested.

Altruistic report

•    On April 1, Francine and Jo-Ann attended the Back To School Clothing Drive Board Meeting to present the caps from our Cap Challenge.  The total donation was 228 caps, surpassing our goal of 200.   Details of the meeting will be in the next newsletter.
•    Even though our initial goal has been exceeded, please do not stop knitting caps.  We were able to exceed our goal largely because of Lucille Walters and Marge Gale, who are our guests tonight.  They have been working furiously with two other women not in attendance to help with this project.  Thank you very much for helping, and thank you to June for recruiting these ladies.
•    This month’s group project will be to knit squares with two colors of yarn, “brick” and blue.  Choose any design you want and use both colors in the square.  They will be due next month.
•    Another prize drawing was held for caps turned in this evening.  Before the drawing, our guests Lucille and Marge were asked to pick out prizes as a token of our appreciation for all of their contributions.  The winners of the drawing were Velvet Dishon and Leslie Fry.

Guest speaker

Cara introduced the guest speaker for the evening, Marilyn Howden, who is a yarn representative with Universal Yarns. 

Marilyn lives in Prescott and was at the first meeting the CNKG ever held in 1994.  She was a member of the Tucson Guild prior to that.  Her career began when Universal asked at Tempe Yarn and Fiber if they knew of anyone interested in being a rep.  Bev Walker recommended her.  She didn’t pursue it, but in a week or so, she received a call.  The conversation demonstrated that she was familiar with several of the shops they did business with but did not know the yarn.  She thought she was being flown to their headquarters for an interview, but it turned out to be training.  She couldn’t believe that someone would be paying her to visit yarn shops.

Her territory was supposed to be Arizona, New Mexico  and Las Vegas but has expanded to include Utah and other parts of Nevada.  There is only one shop in Utah now, but that will expand over the summer.  It is almost impossible to fly and do this job, so Marilyn finds herself doing a lot of driving.

The disadvantages of being a rep include having to lug around the heavy sample cart.  Marilyn had to keep a van that she thought she wouldn’t need.  Also she can’t always see a couple of shops a day and sometimes ends up doing more than a rep would do if she stopped for a visit and they need her help.  The hardest part was doing the cold calling and convincing shop owners to try the yarn because it is so inexpensive.  Also, at first she didn’t know the yarns, so this was a challenge that she overcame.
The company makes four kinds of yarn, Universal, Fibran Natura, Wisdom and Rosetti.  There are solid yarns, yarns that stripe, yarns that shade and yarns that repeat a pattern.  Some are washable; some are not.  Marilyn brought samples for us to see.  Universal as a company is very responsive to feedback, such as making the yarn softer.  For example, there was an issue with a linen yarn, and it was pulled from the shelves immediately.  The company is about two years old.  In a week or so, she will be going to North Carolina to see what’s new and will share with us when she comes back.
Marilyn had a prize drawing for three felted hat kits.  The winners were Barb Hahn, Velvet Dishon and Evelyn Ettelson.  Her presentation was very interesting and entertaining.  We really appreciate her making the trip down from Prescott and hope to have her as a guest again.
The meeting was adjourned.
Respectfully submitted,
Barb Hahn/Secretary