By Minnie Apolis
As some of you know, I have been involved with the RSVP knitting project for a couple years now. I started by simply sorting the finished knit items created by other, more talented volunteers. The yarn was donated to RSVP, and picked up by the various knitters. They donated their talents and time to make hats and mittens for the elementary kids, and lap robes or afghans for seniors in nursing homes.
Well, it was all so inspiring that eventually I took up knitting needles and with my barely remembered introductory lessons from home ec from many moons ago (we will NOT specify just how many moons ago that was!), I started to knit a few items.
I do confess to perusing the offerings on YouTube, which has oodles of brief how-to video clips about knitting. I learned a better way to cast on stitches, and learned how to do assorted new stitches like the Irish mesh and the related bamboo stitch. I have progressed fairly rapidly from being a rank beginner to mastering a few favorite stitches, and making assorted items like baby hats and a scarf and beret for myself. I even entered the strange new world of using a circular needle, and boy was that something new for me to wrap my head around.
THE SCARF: Knitted from Red Heart yarn in camouflage colors on size 7 straight needles. The midsection is in wide ribbing, 4 knit, 4 purl, repeat, with the idea that the bulk would fill the gap between my neck and the winter coat. The segments on either side of the ribbing are in solid bamboo stitches. On the ends are ruffles knit on a larger needles than the rest of the scarf.
THE BERET: Knitted from some green variegated Red Heart acrylic yarn on size 8 circular needles. The whitish spots are a metallic silver and green yarn that was worked in with the variegated yarn on the brim side of the hat. When I ran out of the metallic yarn, I switched to using a double strand of the variegated yarn. This was knit using an instruction sheet for something called the All Day Beret found on StitchNationYarn.com by Debbie Stoller. The difference was that I worked it in Irish Mesh rather than something called Diagonal Stitch by Ms Stoller.
BABY CAPS: These were made from baby yarn, a very soft and stretchy yarn for the purpose. I do not have a circular needle small enough for this item so I knit them on straight size 6 needles and seam it up the side. Most of them are straight stockinette stitch (all smooth on the right side and knobby on the wrong side), but I like to jazz them up a little with maybe some checkerboard pattern on some of them, or a few rows of purl stitching. The pink ones have some feminine-looking bamboo stitches. The larger orange cap pictured is for a baby about a year old; that one will go to the day care center.