Crochet for Any Season!
Sometimes finding the perfect project to get my hook on is such a challenge. I’ll find a shawl I love and discover that it’s not thick enough for the snowy Colorado winter, or I’ll fall in love with a scarf that is just too thick for the hot mountain summer. These moments can prove frustrating unless you know how to alter the project you love for the season you’re enjoying! So Susanna Tobias, project editor of Love of Crochet and Interweave Crochet, Sara Dudek, associate editor of Interweave Crochet, and I put our heads together to modify a few beautiful Interweave patterns and make them work for any weather. As far as we’re concerned, it’s always crochet season.
Notes on Yarn
Before I get started, I want to chat about yarns, which are key to your project alterations. Warm-weather projects call for yarns made of plant-based fibers such as cotton. Of course, there are plenty of suitable yarns that will keep you cool, but they key to all of them is that they breathe and don’t trap heat. On the flip side, if you’re altering a garment or accessory for winter warmth, go for thicker, heavier yarns made of animal fiber. Check out “Lisa’s List: Fiber Animals Ranked by Hotness” for some winter yarn ideas. Just remember: when you switch yarn, you should check your gauge to be sure you don’t need to swap hook sizes as well!
You also want to think about color when swapping out yarns, and this is really where you can spice things up to fit your personality. Darker colors like blues, browns, and greys really fit a winter aesthetic. Pick which fits your taste and lifestyle; for example, a warm, deep red might match a fun night out. Personally, I love deep blues! For late spring and summer, you can exchange the dark hues for colorful pinks, yellows, light blues, and greens to imitate the greenery blooming outside of your window. Yarn companies are always coming up with beautiful colorways that will fit any season and help you step out into the world in some stylish crochet wear.
Now that we’ve covered some yarn-swapping basics, let’s check out a few patterns that can be altered to fit your tastes!
Jill Hanratty’s Quatrefoil Sweater from Love of Crochet Spring 2017 is a classic sweater that calls for Bio Sesia 5, a Plymouth yarn made of 100 percent organic cotton. The sweater boasts beautiful filet flower patterns that make it a perfect breathable top for summer. If you want to alter it for winter wear, try swapping its rich claret color for a navy blue or brown. Susanna suggests switching to Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine; 3 (3, 3, 3, 4) hanks will make a swanky sweater that’ll keep you warm all winter.
Jen Lucas’ Flibbertigibbet Shawl (isn’t that name just so much fun?) from Interweave Crochet Winter 2017 is a funky asymmetrical shawl made from Stitch Sprouts Yellowstone, a wool/silk mix that is both fashionable and warm. Lighten it up for summer wear with six hanks of Tahki Cotton Classic Lite. Try it in sky blue or lavender to match the summer flowers in bloom.
Turn snowflakes into flowers by altering Natasha Robarge’s Snowflake Shawl from Love of Crochet Winter 2016. The original pattern uses two colors of Manos del Uruguay Serena, which is made of baby alpaca and cotton. Try a single color in four balls of Plymouth Yarn Nettle Grove. Seagrass is a light green that would spring up this shawl and make the snowflakes look like flowers!
Have you altered a pattern to make it more suitable for the season you’re in? Let me know in the comments! I would love to hear from you.
Editorial Coordinator, Interweave Books
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