Wednesday, November 11, 2009

around the meetings...

Friday, October 9, 2009

Beanies, Blankets, Booties donated to local Hospitals

Holy Needles members keep busy creating beanies, blankets, booties for the many needy newborns in Tucson's community! Grateful for all who contribute to Holy Needles!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

NW Medical Center RN is thrilled to see all the items for their babies!

Heather is a Registered Nurse in the Women's Center at Northwest Medical Center, Tucson, where Holy Needles just delivered 364 newborn items to help clothe some of the 300 infants born there monthly. Approximately 50% of the newborns are financially needy. Holy Needles members create beanies, booties, and blankets to make it possible for the newborn families to take a little something home with their baby.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

464 of 530 Items Delivered to Tucson Newborns Sept. 23rd

Some of the 530 items (and counting!)... blankets, beanies, booties, created by members of Holy Needles! On Wednesday, September 23, 2009, Holy Needles delivered 464 of these items to needy newborns at NW Medical Center & (UofA) University Medical Center, Tucson. What a joy!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Crochet Infant Ruffle Hat

SIZE: fits 13" - 16" head
Worsted weight or sport weight yarn
Size I crochet hook
GAUGE: 8 dc = 2"

Ch4. Join with slst to form ring.
Rnd I: ch 2, 11 dc in ring. Slst into beg ch 2
Rnd 2: Sc in joining, 2 sc in each dc around; join with sl st in beg sc.
Rnd 3: Ch 2, 2 dc in next sc; *dc in next sc, 2 dc in next sc; rep from *; join with slst in beg ch 3.
Rnd 4: Ch 2, dc in next dc, 2 dc in next dc; *dc in next 2 dc, 2 dc in next dc; rep from *; join with slst in beg ch 3.
Rnd 5: Ch 2, dc in next 2 dc, 2 dc in next dc; *dc in next 3 dc, 2 dc in next dc; rep from *; join with slst in beg ch 2.
Rnd 6: Ch 1, 2 sc in joining; working in back loops only, sc in each dc around, join in beg sc.
Rnd 7: Ch 3 (counts as a dc and ch 1 sp), skip next sc, dc in next sc; *ch 1, skip next sc, dc in next sc; rep from *, ending ch 1, join beg ch 1.
Rnd 8-11: Ch 3, dc in next dc; *ch 1, dc in next dc; rep from * around, join.
Rnd 12(ruffle): Ch 2, 2 dc in joining; work 3 dc in each ch 1 sp, and in each dc around; join, weave in ends.

© Copyright 2009, Donna Bishop. All Rights Reserved. created for Holy Needles, Tucson AZ

Thursday, September 10, 2009

VOLUNTEER for Holy Needles...

Melanie volunteers her time, as she and her mom, Cindy, finish sorting several hundred created items for our next delivery of donations... beanies, blankets, and booties all created by all the generous, giving busy hands of those involved with Holy Needles! After a long HOT summer, we will be delivering newborn items to NW Medical Center and UMC on September 23rd... watch for media coverage. COME JOIN US as we create newborn items & for awesome fellowship!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Holy Needlers in Motion!

Mother (Cindy) and daughter (Melanie) duo learn to crochet! Amazing how God works... the mother/daughter duo met Donna (Holy Needles Coordinator) on a shuttle ride to PHX airport!
Now they are learning to crochet, and will be among the dozens of people involved with creating beanies, booties, and blankets for needy newborns in the Tucson area!

Pam has good reason to be proud of the (embroidered bear on the crochet edged fleece) blanket & beanie she made for the newborns in the Tucson area!

Kristine has been BUSY working on beanies for the newborn babies in the Tucson area!! How wonderful! Kristine just learned how to crochet, less than 2 months ago!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Ribbed Stocking Cap in Single Crochet

Ribbed Stocking Cap – Crocheted in Single Crochet
Compiled by Genavieve Hueftle-Nonamaker, Green Valley AZ
Worsted weight yarn, or sport weight, size J hook, or size suitable for yarn

BEGIN: work a chain for the desired length of the cap from top to bottom, plus an extra inch or two for a turned-back cuff. Try working a chain of about 10 inches - approximately 36 stitches (smaller for infants, approx. 7-8". You can adjust the length of your chain to work various-size caps.

*The entire cap is done in single crochet worked though the back loop of each stitch.*

ROW 1: Work a sc in the second chain from the hook, and in each remaining chain. Ch 1, turn.

ROW 2: Work a sc in each stitch of the previous row to within 5 stitches of the end. Do not work any stitches in these last 5 stitches. Ch 1, turn.

ROW 3: Sc to the end of the row. Ch 1, turn.

ROW 4: Work a sc in all stitches INCLUDING the skipped stitches of row 2. Ch 1, turn.

ROW 5: Sc to end of row. Ch 1, turn. Place a pin (marker) at the end of this row (denotes bottom)

REPEAT ROWS 2 - 5 over and over until cap is wide enough to fit around head.

The end marked by the pin will be the bottom of the cap, which will be the end you want to have wide enough to fit around the head (approximately 18"… 12" plus for newborn). When the desired width is reached, end with the completion of row 3 of the pattern and sew or crochet the edges together.

Top: you can stitch the top closed & leave as is, or add a décor, such as pom-pom, flowers, tassel, whatever you can imagine. You can leave the top open and crochet a chain of 50, weave through top stitches, tighten, tie, & bow.

With knitting worsted weight yarn, you can get a cap out of approximately 2 ounces of yarn. If you have a lot of leftovers, you could stripe the cap by changing colors on every fourth row.

Note: Sometimes I "stripe" the cap by using a section of worsted weight yarn and change to sport yam every fourth row (makes a less "heavy" cap).

Easy Knit Infant Hat… all sizes

Easy Knit infant hat

Use 4 ply washable yarn and size 6 needles. Cast on the appropriate number of stitches for the size you want to knit. Rib in k1, p1 for 1". In stockinette, knit to the size needed.

CHILD SIZE: Cast on 74 stitches 1" ribbing (k1,p1) 6" to 6.5" stockinette
Total length = 7" to 7.5"

FULL TERM: Cast on 66 stitches 1" ribbing (k1,p1) 5" to 5.5" stockinette
Total length = 6" to 6.5"

X-LARGE PREEMIE: cast on 58 stitches 1" ribbing (k1,p1) 4.5" stockinette
Total length = 5" to 5.5"

LARGE PREEMIE: cast on 50 stitches 1" ribbing (k1,p1) 3/5" to 4"
Total length = 4.5" to 5"

MEDIUM PREEMIE: cast on 44 stitches 1" ribbing (k1,p1) 3" to 3.5" stockinette
Total length = 4" to 4.5"

SMALL PREEMIE: cast on 40 stitches 1" ribbing (k1,p1) 2.5" to 3" stockinette
Total length = 3.5" to 4"

X-SMALL PREEMIE: cast on 36 stitches 1" ribbing (k1,p1) 2.5" stockinette
Total length = 3.5"

After knitting the piece to the approximate dimensions, draw all stitches together tightly at the top by weaving yarn through all the stitches on the needle. Knot securely. Weave together the seam using yarn.

Optional: Make a pom pom or bow for the top.

Sunday, June 28, 2009


Designed by Kathy North

Note: Cap is worked sideways in half double crochet rib to allow for stretch to fit a range of sizes. Hat can be made smaller (for preemies) by using thinner yarn and smaller hook.

Yarn: any soft worsted weight acrylic (for smaller or preemie sizes, use sport-weight or baby yarn)

Size H hook for worsted weight newborn size (for smaller or preemie sizes use size G hook with sport-weight or size F hook with baby yarn.)

Gauge: 4 sc = 1", 16 hdc = 4"

Stitches used: chain (ch), single crochet (sc), half double crochet (hdc), slip stitch (sl st).

BLO = back loop only

Note: Ch 2 at beg of hdc rows counts as a stitch.

CAP Ch 26.

Row 1: Sc in second ch from hook and in each across (25 sc)

Row 2: Ch 2, turn, sc in back loop only (BLO) of first 5 sc, hdc in BLO of next 20 sc (25 sts)

Row 3: Ch 2, turn, hdc in BLO of first 20 hdc, sc in BLO of next 5 sc (25 sts)

Row 4: Ch 1, turn, sc in BLO of first 5 sc, hdc in BLO of next 20 hdc across (25 sts)

Rep Rows 3 and 4 until piece measures 10"-12" from beginning.

Finishing: Holding beginning row together with last row, sl st through both thicknesses to form tube. Cut yarn and fasten off. Weave in ends.Make crochet chain (ch 65 and fasten off) or use ribbon to gather single crochet end of tube to form top of hat. Weave chain or ribbon through row at 5th sc from edge, gather top of hat, and tie in bow. Turn up cuff at other edge of tube.

Designed by Kathy North - copyright 2004 - Please use this pattern for personal or charity use only.

Head Sizes for Crochet & Knit Hats

Crocheted &/or knitted hats should be made about 1 - 1.5” less than the head circumference. Acrylic hats stretch and sizes vary!
If you make a hat, someone will fit into it!

Hat height is measured BEFORE the brim is added - from the bottom edge of the hat to the center top. If you want a brim, on newborn hats, plan to fold up about 1" for a brim; on adult hats figure 2" or so for a brim. Use your own discretion.

Preemies: 1 – 2 lbs
Head Circumference: 9" – 10" hat circ = 7.5" – 9" Hat height = 3.5 – 4"

Preemies: 2 – 3 lbs
Head Circumference: 10" – 11.25" hat circ = 8.5" –10.25" Hat height = 4"

Preemies: 4 – 5 lbs
Head Circumference: 11.25" –12.25" hat circ = 9" –11.5" Hat height = 4–4.5"

Newborn: 5.5 – 6 lbs
Head Circumference: 12.5" – 13" hat circ = 11" – 12" Hat height = 5 – 5.5"

Newborn: 6 – 10 lbs.
Head Circumference: 13" – 14 " hat circ = 11.5" – 13" Hat height = 5.5 – 6"

Baby 3 – 6 months
Head Circumference: 14" – 17 " hat circ = 12.5" – 16" Hat height = 6.5 – 7"

Baby 6 – 12 months
Head Circumference: 16" – 19 " hat circ = 14.5" – 18" Hat height = 7.5"

Toddler – preschooler (12 months – 3 years)
Head Circumference: 18" – 20 " hat circ = 16.5" – 19" Hat height = 8"

Child (3 – 10 years)
Head Circumference: 19" – 20.5" hat circ = 17.5" –19.5" Hat height = 8.5"

Pre-teens & Teens
Head Circumference: 20.5" – 22" hat circ = 19" – 21" Hat height = 9 – 10"

Adult Woman
Head Circumference: 21.5" –22.5" hat circ = 20" –21.5" Hat height = 11"

Adult Man
Head Circumference: 23" –24" hat circ = 21.5" –23" Hat height = 11"–11.5"

FLOWERS to Crochet

Flowers for many uses… to decorate gifts, clothing, purses, baby items, children’s items, for hair pins or barrettes, for over buttons…
This pattern works with many hook and thread combinations.

Chain 6. Join with a slip stitch to beginning chain to form a "loop".

Chain 3. (equivalent to triple crochet)
Work 2 or 3 triple crochets into main "loop", over yarn tail.
There will be 3 or 4 triple crochet in each petal. (use your discretion). Single crochet, then start next petal.

Work five petals. (3 or 4 tc, 1 sc)

Slip stitch to beginning petal.

Now using the yarn tail that you have crocheted to the loop, gently pull the center tight.
To finish off, pull yarn to back of flower, cut, and tie to yarn tail using a square knot.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Article June 24, 2009 The Explorer News

Holy Needles

By Randy Metcalf, The Explorer
On the third Monday of each month, women of Casas Church and their friends share knitting and crocheting techniques, all while creating blankets and hats for less fortunate newborns.

They call themselves Holy Needles.

"I always think of the old Batman shows when I hear the name," Cecilia Tompkins joked during this month's meeting. "Holy Needles, Batman!"

Much like Batman is a protector of his city, Holy Needles is fighting to protect newborns from getting cold heads, feet and bodies. Needles and yarn are their tools.

Smiles and laughter fill the room on the Baptist church's grounds, located at 10801 N. La Cholla Blvd., as the handful of women work on an assortment of knitting items, from hats and booties to blankets. Their conversations drift from their likes for simple sewing machines to their favorite patterns. One even explains how she loves to have her dog snuggle next to her as she watches TV while knitting.

Holy Needles is Donna Bishop's brainchild. In January, when she met within her small adult Bible fellowship group discussing community out-reach, Bishop started thinking how she could help people beyond the month of December.

"We do so much (charity) around that time of year," said Bishop. "I wanted to see what we could do beyond Christmas. Something throughout the year."

The original idea was to help battered women. With one call leading to another, Bishop learned about the Northwest Medical Center's Women's Center, where nearly half of the women who give birth are in "financial distress."

"They said the babies don't have anything to go home to," Bishop said. "So I started there. We try to focus on infants. We branch out if we need to."

Since their official first meeting in March, the group has been lending its clothing- and blanket-making abilities to families with newborns and those who also might be displaced due to a house fire or similar setback.

The group has even sparked the interest of young people within the church. Last month, Holy Needles formed a second monthly meeting targeted at younger people along with those who want to learn how to knit and crochet. The teachers are longtime needle workers who share their years of experience.

Now reaching around 40 members, Holy Needles is knitting for its next big donation in the coming months.

"There really isn't a strong need for blankets in Arizona during the summer," Bishop joked. But Holy Needles is still busy trying to match or even beat its last donation of 222 hats, booties, blankets and other items to the Women's Center.

Anyone who has been around quilters, knitters and people crocheting know the hats and blankets don't make themselves.
Depending on the skill level of the knitter, hats can be done in an hour or two. Infant booties can be completed in a few hours. Blankets demonstrate the real time commitment.
Chelsea Taylor, who was experiencing her first Holy Needles meeting last Monday afternoon, is no stranger to knitting needles. She can knit a baby's blanket in a couple weeks, but the large blanket that covered the table in front of her takes around two months to knit.

"I can't sit still," Taylor explained of why she took up knitting seven years ago. "I will even sneak my yarn into the movie theater. I take my stuff with me wherever I go."

"People who would like to donate yarn or fleece materials may contact Donna Bishop at, or call at 668-9180. The group also has a blog,

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Arizona Daily Star Article June 21, 2009

Group helps others one stitch at a time
By Danielle Sottosanti
Arizona Daily Star
Tucson, Arizona Published: 06.21.2009

A crafty group is knitting, crocheting and quilting up a storm in Oro Valley.
Since forming in March, the group Holy Needles has grown from eight members to more than 40 and donated 222 handmade items for newborns at Northwest Medical Center's Women's Center.
"I really feel an extraordinary passion to this," said Donna Bishop, the group's coordinator. Bishop, a 53-year-old Marana resident, created Holy Needles, which grew out of the fellowship group she is in at Casas Church, 10801 N. La Cholla Blvd.
Holy Needles meets twice monthly at the Oro Valley church. Members work there and at home — knitting, crocheting and quilting the items they donate — all with an attached business card that reads: "Created with love by someone who cares about you."
In May, Holy Needles made its first donation to Northwest Medical Center's Women's Center, 1920 W. Rudasill Road, where its handiwork goes to needy families.
Twenty items out of the 222 the group donated are left, said Kim Chimene, the hospital's marketing director. Though the center also receives similar donations, there still is a need for them because of the large number of families that need items for newborns, she said.
To help gather yarn and other supplies, Bishop posted notices asking for donations on the online forum People from the church and the outside community have responded to the need.
Using those donations, the group is knitting, crocheting and sewing blankets, booties, hats and quilts for its next donation. It will probably be in September, Bishop said.
She anticipates that the donation will be larger than the first and go to several places because of Holy Needles' growth.
Holy Needles used to meet only on the third Monday of each month, but in May Bishop added another monthly meeting on the last Saturday of each month to accommodate people who work weekdays.
Group members are of all skill levels and are not just from the Northwest Side. Some participants don't go to the meetings but work on their crafts at home and donate them.
Holy Needles' most recent meeting was Monday, and it drew two new members — Northwest Side resident Mary Weaverling and North Sider Chelsea Taylor.
Weaverling, 57, learned to knit when she was in the fifth grade, but she took a hiatus from knitting and crocheting until she learned about Holy Needles through her church fellowship group.
"Knitting at home is fun. It's relaxing, but it's nice to be in a group to see what they're making and learn from them — different stitches and different ways of working with the yarn," she said.
Like Bishop, Weaverling is a member of Casas Church. To join Holy Needles, people must be members or be invited by members of the church, including Bishop. People who are interested in joining can e-mail her at holyneedles@
Taylor, who went to her first Holy Needles meeting on Monday, is not a Casas Church member. She learned about the group through her job at Office Max, where she designed the group's business cards.
Taylor, 23, plans to attend any group meetings that don't conflict with work and is glad to have an outlet for her knitting.
"I just knit all the time — for someone, and I don't always have somebody to knit for. This sounded fun because it's a reason to knit," she said.
Contact reporter Danielle Sottosanti at 618-1922 or at

Members of Holy Needles work on some of their latest handmade wares to be donated. Those involved in the effort at Casas Church last Monday included Margie Beaver, front, and in the background from left, Donna Bishop, Darlene St. Clair and Pat Childers.
jim davis / arizona daily star
To learn more
E-mail or go online to for more information on Holy Needles, a group that makes and donates blankets, beanies, booties and items for newborns.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Busy, Busy...

Holy Needles' members hard at work...

CROCHET: learn online from this talented woman...

home page of all her videos...

playlst of hundreds of her videos...

written directions/info...

Infant Hat, Simple to Knit


with size 8 needles, c/o 68 stitches


with size 11 needles, c/o 40 stitches

K2 P2 for 7 inches

next row: final 1: K2 tog, P2 tog

next row: final 2: Purl across

next row: final 3: K 2 tog

next row: final 4: Purl across

next row: final 5: K 2 tog

Run yarn through remaining stitches; tighten, and sew up back seam.

optional...attach pom pom or flower or other decor to top of hat.

© Copyright 2009 by Donna Bishop for Holy Needles, Tucson AZ

The Holy Needles Beanie Hat to Crochet...


***Newborn size = 6” width, 6” height***

3 or 4 ply soft yarn
I, J or K hook (depends on size desired, thickness of yarn, and tension)


ch 4 or 5; sl st to form ring. Wrap yarn tail around circle so it can be pulled later (to close hole).

ROUND 1: ch 2; 15 dc in ring. Join with sl st into the top of the first dc (to complete the round) (15 total)

ROUND 2: ch 2; 1 dc in same space as ch 2; 2 dc in each st around. Join with sl st into the top of the first dc (to complete the round) (31 total)

ROUND 3: ch 2; *1 dc in next 4 st, 2 dc in 5th st. Repeat from *. Join with sl st into the top of the first dc (to complete the round) (37 total)

ROUNDS 4 – 9 (or more… until 6” length/width. Or add 2 more inches to length for brim): ch 2; 1 dc in same space as ch 2; 1 dc in each st around, joining each round with a sl st into the first dc.

Fasten off & securely weave in ends. Do NOT knot your work… weave back & forth inconspicuously instead.

(about crocheting in rounds: each round begins with chains that equal the height of the row (1 ch = sc & hdc; 2 ch = dc), and ends by joining the last stitch with a sl st into the top of the first dc, to create a round)

Use your discretion when creating this beanie. Adjust your stitches accordingly, to create a beanie that fits a newborn… (laid flat) 6 inches wide by 6 inches high (to fit 12-14” head). Everyone’s tension is different, and hook size and yarn type all make a difference. When in doubt, rip it out!
trio of twisties (décor for top of beanie)

Leaving a 10” tail, chain 10 (not too tight). Work 3 sc or dc in 2nd chain from hook. Work 4 sc or dc in each of the next 7 chains. Slip stitch in last chain (do not finish off).

Continue to *Chain 10. Work 3 sc or dc in 2nd chain from hook. Work 4 sc or dc in each of the next 7 chains. Slip stitch in the last chain. Repeat from *1 or more time.

Finish off, leaving a 10” tail.

To attach: Take the 3 twisty tails, and attach to your hat using a yarn needle. Thread 1 tail through top of hat, then thread the other tail through the top of the hat close to the other but not through the same hole. From inside the hat weave in ends.

Copyright 2009-10, Donna Bishop. All Rights Reserved for Holy Needles, Tucson AZ

222 Newborn Items Donated!

What an awesome accomplishment! After only 2 months of existance, Holy Needles donated 222 newborn items to a local hospital in Tucson!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


HOLY NEEDLES says... Please come join us, to share your time, your talent, & yourself as we reach out to those who desperately need what we can create & give.

Come with your needles &/or hooks… to crochet, knit, sew, quilt, or with your scissors, to cut & knot a yard of fleece! Bring your talent, bring your knowledge… don’t know how? We’ll teach you! Come relax & create.
Can’t join us? Create items from home & we’ll get them donated for you!

Donations of fleece and soft yarn are welcome. Cash donations are welcome… make your check out to “Casas Church - Holy Needles” with account 1-000-2759 on the memo line.

JOIN our blog... Share your ideas/gifts with each other!

This is the first ever post for Holy Needles. We have so much to share, it's hard to figure out where to start. We began our journey in March 2009, with the start of a monthly meeting at Casas Church in northwest Tucson. Our current Mission… to prayerfully, generously create blankets, beanies, & booties for needy children in our community.
Holy Needles meets the 3rd Monday of each month, 1- 4pm, in Ocotillo, & the Last Saturday of each month, 9am-Noon in Saguaro; both on the Casas campus 10801 N La Cholla Blvd, Tucson.