Let’s start to “Meet the Staff”

 As founder of Sin City Knit Shop, I have always been proud ofthe staff I have chosen to work beside me and with me to offerthe best service to our clients.

 I appreciate their devotion, extra time and thank them for  opening their hearts to share their knowledge with all.

 This holiday season I send to you a special Kudos each week dedicated to my staff.


Chapter One 



Maria Hoham has been with Sin City Knit Shop from the first day we opened the doors.  I first met Maria at a meet up 4 months before Sin City Knits LLC was born.  The new business was in the planning stages and not to many people were privy to this secret.

I was introduced to Maria by Chantal Clay, Chantal was a very big help with the shop plans and I thank her to this day for her support…one of the best things Chantal did was to host a meet up on a regular basis AND that is where and when I met Maria and so many other devoted knitters and crocheters.

After the introduction, my brain exploded with ideas and possibilities to aid in the success of Sin City Knit Shop.  I could barely contain myself and keep it quiet.

The first Sunday after we opened, I hosted a Fashion Show at the shop.  I asked Maria to come, bring some knitted garments to share and talk about her knitting history.

WOW——what a success!  She took this seriously…and asked her daughter, Nina, to assist her with the fashion show.  However, I think she was surprised by the number of people attending the show.

Behind a divider screen was the rolling rack and table FULL of her hand knitted garments.  The classroom area was set up with chairs in rows.  It was just like a real fashion show setting.

At first Maria changed from garment to garment behind the screen before walking the runway aisle.  It did not take long before she got comfortable and started stripping off the garments in front of the crowd.  All the time this was going on, she was talking non stop about each garment.

I think the fashion show started at 1 and was supposed to last until about 2:30.  At 3 pm, I was supposed to start a sock class…at 3:30 I started clapping and saying thank you Maria but that still did not stop her.  She was in fashion heaven and so was the audience.  Needless to say this was a success!

The Knit Dr was born!!!!!   Had anyone ever had a Knit Doctor and used the title for a knit shop?  I don’t know that answer BUT since the fashion show day…she has been known as the Knit Dr of Sin City.

I cannot even count the number of people who have learned from Maria’s knowledge.  I just know everyone who has connected with her consider it a gift.

Her prescriptions for knitting are considered as the best medicine for all.Sincere thanks to Maria, my friend, my adopted sister, my mentor and advisor.  Love you for all you do!

If you have not already…Stop in the shop to meet Maria…your life will be enriched!

You could say…she has grown to be an accomplished knitter.

We, at the shop, are so proud of her.  Every time she finishes a garment, her eyes sparkle and she smiles with pride.

I introduced you to Penny because she deserves the praise.  As you can see in her pictures, her work is beautiful.  She has applied herself and gotten fabulous results.

Thank you, Penny, for being a big part of our Sin City Knit Shop’s family.  We love you!


Chapter 2

Now I need to introduce you to Terri Melquist.

I first met Terri at my church many years ago.  We were in several church musical productions together and became very close.  Yes, we danced and sang together long before we became knitting friends.  Terri is one of my most trusted friends.

This amazing woman is a very organized, intelligent and is amazing at keeping her life in order. Oh, did I mention she is very independent?    I like this about her.  She has been with Sin City Knit Shop since day one with support for Sin City Knits and happy the shop is close to her home.

Terri works her day job at Sunrise Hospital where she is a true professional and handles the job with grace.  When she is at the knit shop, you would think it was her main source of income.  Always a professional and I never have to worry about how she handles Sin City’s business.  In fact, when she is on duty, I get to relax, get out from behind the desk and take care of the customers.

You will find Terri at the shop on Thursday evenings hosting the meet up group, Chicks with Sticks and on Saturdays keeping the front desk problem free.

Terri is one of the original members of TINK YARN.  She jumped in with both feet to make Tink Yarn a success.  Tink Yarn is a classy hand dyed yarn in several weights now living at Sin City Knit Shop.
Check out our website every month to see the new “colors of the month.”  Every month she offers 3 color waves and they are all beautiful and exciting.  The tourists and locals love her yarn.

A couple of insights about Terri…she is always keeping her eyes and ears open for new ideas and promotions to benefit Sin City Knits.  Always…always…keeping the shop’s best interest at heart.  Her knitting friends on Thursday night have elected her “Employee of the Month” more than once.  (I did not know we even had an employee of the month.)I am so proud to have Terri in my corner and as my true friend.


Chapter 3

Let me think back to 8-10 years ago.  When one of the employees of a local knit shop moved out of town, the owner asked me if I would like to work on Mondays.   I decided it would be fun.  Within a few weeks, the shop’s customer base grew very large on Mondays and I had to chance to meet a lot of new people.   Among those new people was Carol Davenport, a classy, quiet lady who wanted to expand her knitting skills.

It was not long until I was able to call Carol a dear friend.   Let me sing her praises!

I could always expect to see Carol at 10 am every Monday…like clockwork!  Within the couple of years I worked for the shop, Carol and I became close friends.

We don’t get a chance to hang out (mainly because I rarely hang out—no time) but I always know if I need to talk or laugh all I have to do is give Carol a call.  She is always there for me.  AND when I say laugh…I mean laugh until we cry!!!!  We can laugh at the dumbest things.   It probably would not be funny to many other people,  but to us…we understand each other’s sense of humor.  This is worth more than a million dollars to me.

Carol has worked for Sin City Knits since day one.  She was my back up when I needed to handle outside business.  Carol lives in Henderson, Nevada with her 2 kitties and is a big animal lover at heart.

Carol has supported only Sin City Knit Shop since the day the doors opened.  She brags about it!  She will not buy any knitting product from anyone else.  (Whew…I have a hard time keeping up with new products just to keep her happy!!!!)  Giggle Giggle…Now she is laughing!!!!!

In December 2012, we were celebrating the first holiday season of Sin City Knit Shop.  It had been a long time since I had seen my family back in the midwest and when I got the call about a family reunion, I was worried about being able to leave especially at Christmas time.

When I told Carol about it, she immediately put her holiday plans on hold and told me she would cover the shop for 4 days.  I could not believe anyone would give up their holiday plans so I could see family for the first time in years.  But Carol offered and I took her up on her offer.

It was a great comfort to me knowing I could leave town and she could handle the business with grace.  I will always be grateful for that opportunity…it gave me a chance to reconnect with family members..

I have seen Carol’s knitting skills grow over the years…some skills I am responsible for but most of the credit goes to Carol.  She has made beautiful garments and is always working on a couple of projects.  If she runs into a snag, she either figures it out or finds someone to help her figure it out.  I am very proud of her accomplishments.

I thank Carol for being my trusted friend and I am proud to have her as part of Sin City Knit Shop’s family.

Pop in the shop on Tuesday or Wednesday and say thank you to Carol for being there for you also.


Chapter 4 Barbara Tolleson

It is my pleasure to introduce you to a very special Angel in my life.  Her name is Barbara Tolleson.  Many of you who already know Barbara understands why I call her an angel.

Barbara is talented, creative, knowledgeable, calm, patient and always pleasant to everyone she meets.  Yep, I think I nailed the description of my dear friend—Barbara.

About 10-12 years ago I met Barbara when I enrolled in a magic loop-2 socks at at a time class at a small local knit shop in Las Vegas.

OH for Heaven’s Sakes….. I did not know what I was getting myself into.  MAGIC LOOP & 2 SOCKS AT A TIME!  I knew I could learn magic loop but was not sure about 2 socks at a time.  So I opted to focus on Magic Loop and one sock at a time.  Whew—I am glad I did!

Barbara had me doing magic loop in about 5 minutes.  Her teaching manner was calm, informative and to the point which made learning easy.   To this day I have her sock pattern memorized and have made about 2 dozens socks.  Of course there is a lot of onesies but if I had made the matching sock it would be over 48 pair—Yep the pattern is embedded in my brain!

Many times I have thought—what in the world was wrong with the owner of that small knit shop, why didn’t she have Barbara teach more classes—I will wonder forever!

Fast forward about 4 years from my sock class day to the Henderson Spring Quilt Show…I attended that year’s event thinking I would just see numerous beautiful quilts.  As I strolled down each isle looking at all booths, I walked up on a familiar face—Yes, it was Barbara in a booth selling her hand made bags.   I immediately stepped up and started talking to her like we were old friends.  After a few minutes I could tell she did not remember me and thought I was just a crazed fan.  Even though she was very polite, I could not wait to get out of the conversation before I embarrassed myself anymore.  As I excused myself I could tell she was happy not to have to act like she knew me anymore. So embarrassing!

Fast forward again about another 4 years…shortly after Sin City Knit Shop was born, one day the doors opened and to my surprise in walked Barbara to check out the new shop.  “Oh boy”—I thought—I know her but will she remember me as a student or the crazy lady from the quilt show?

This gracious lady did remember me and that day was the beginning of a beautiful personal and professional friendship.

I am delighted to have Barbara as part of the staff at Sin City Knit Shop.  Her peaceful presence puts calm in the air.

Oh yes, did I mention she knits, crochets, spins, weaves, indy dyes fiber and yarn, sews, quilts, designs patterns, beads, AND teaches all of the above?  What more can I say other than…my advice to you is…Take the time to meet and learn from Barbara.  You will thank me later for that opportunity.

My sincere thanks and blessings go to my friend, Barbara Tolleson, may we have a long relationship together.


Chapter 5 Scott Grosz

I do not need to introduce this terrific guy to most of you but those who have not been in the shop for a while…Introducing Scott Grosz.

2016 was a year of change, new friends, new associates and so many beautiful patterns to knit.  In March 2016, luck was on my side when I answered the phone and talked to a man who was answering my call for open employment at SCKS.

Several days later a new face appeared in the shop.  Great!!!  It was a man, “Oh please let him be a knitter, we need and welcome more men.”   It turned out to be a man that knits and the MAN who called about the job opening.   YEAH!!

We had our meet and greet time where we got to know a little about each other.  Very interesting…he was retired and knitting was his pastime .  I asked what kind of career he retired from.  Here it goes…Director of Child Adolescence Psychiatry.    OH boy, “I thought”  is he in the right place or what?  (He can handle any kind of a situation.)

We decided on what days and times for his work schedule.  My next statement was: ”the first thing I want you to do is to make everyone love you.”  And that is exactly what he did with a 5 star rating.

Before long, Scott knew everyone’s name, their kids names, grandkids names,  what colors they liked, their knitting skill levels, what they liked to eat and probably their shoe size.   Everyone’s!

Within a few weeks he was designing accessories and knitting samples for the shop.  One—two—three—wham bam, he was knitting projects so fast I could not keep up with him.  Everyone wanted to make what Scott had made.  He was a wonder at remembering the quirks of each project and was a great help to others when they reached that difficult point of the pattern.

As an associate of SCKS,  he supports me and Sin City Knit Shop 100%.  “THAT” is part of what makes SCKS so special…associates who give their all at what they do.

To this day, everyone who meets Scott loves Scott.

Scott lives in Las Vegas with his 3 kids.  These 3 beagles keep him entertained and on his toes.

Scott keeps an eye on his mother who lives here in LV and spends quality time with her.

In his spare time, (what spare time?), he is either knitting or spending quality time with us at Sin City Knit Shop.

Your life will be enriched once you meet Scott.

Thank you Scott for bringing much joy to all of us.  May we have your friendship for a long time.


Chapter 6 Alaine Tingey

I take pride in the teachers who share their knowledge and creative talents with the family at SCKS.  Recently I discovered another talent to share with you.  Her name is Alaine Tingey.

This special lady has her hands in so many creative ventures that it is hard to recognize all she does…but I will try.

Alaine moved to Las Vegas from Juneau, Alaska in 2006.   She was working for the Alaska Department of Education.  Now she is a 7th grade Science teacher at Bob Miller Middle School. (Note:  This semester she has taught crochet to the students at Bob Miller Middle School.)

IN her own words…SHE LOVES YARN!!!!!  She learned to crochet from her grandmother and her mother fostered that love of crafting.  She also quilts, cross stitches and just added knitting.  Now we move on to the instruments she plays…piano clarinet and saxophone…LORDY—what else can she do…Oh yeah—she has taught dance—tap and jazz.

When I interviewed her for this Kudos article here is what she shared with me:
What brought you to SCKS-how did you hear about the shop?
“I first came into the shop a while back when I was looking for some specialty yarn to complete an order for my Etsy shop. (I worked around the corner at Schofield Middle School at the time so I was happy to see a shop so close.) It was awesome to be greeted into a warm and welcoming  atmosphere.  I was so pleased to get to chat with Debbi on after a  few visits she asked me if I would teach some classes. I love to teach and to get to teach something that I love to do is a bonus!”

Alaine has spread the word far and wide about SCKS. It is one of her favorite places to be.  She loves to pop into chat, stitch and learn new “Stuff”!
If you have kept up with what goes on at SCKS you already know Alaine has taught several crochet classes for us in 2016 and we look forward to her sharing her knowledge in 2017.

Now you know why I feel so blessed with my teachers.  Alaine is a great example!

Welcome to 2017 Alaine….SCKS looks forward to a long friendship with you.