Summer Knitting Projects to Beat the Heat
Ahhh, summer. It’s officially here today, and I couldn’t be happier! Well, I guess I could be happier, because I’m visiting Scottsdale, Arizona, and it is WAY TOO HOT! I’m a person who likes the heat, but seriously, Arizona, you’re impersonating the sun.
I’m from Spokane, Washington, where summer is beautiful—warm, sunny, dry—all of the things that summer-lovers enjoy. It doesn’t normally get too hot, although sadly, that’s changing and it’s getting hotter every year. We live in an area of the country that gets a lot of wildfires, and we have to go indoors to avoid the smoke on days when the wind blows smoke into our valley.
Throughout the summer, I take advantage of the clear days and enjoy time outside, gardening, sitting in the hammock swing, swimming at one of the many lakes that surround us, and reading. It’s glorious. But on those smokey days, I stay inside and knit.
My summer knitting is not too much different than my non-summer knitting, honestly. I’m a sweater knitter, and I don’t stop that in the warm weather. What I do is choose different types of sweaters to knit. I take the construction and yarn into consideration, picking patterns that are pieced so they’re more portable (and I don’t end up with an entire sweater in my lap!), and I like to knit with non-wool fiber, such as bamboo, linen, silk, or cotton.
Here are three summer knitting patterns that meet (almost) all my criteria:
Van Damme Tee
This tee makes for relaxing summer knitting. The allover seedling stitch creates a textural look that’s is really eye-catching and three-quarter-length sleeves are great for breezy evenings at the beach or at an outdoor concert.
Designer Sarah Soloman chose a luxurious baby yak and silk yarn, mYak Baby Yak Silk, a blend of 50% baby yak and 50% silk. The light, shawl-like fabric makes a drapey piece that can be layered or worn on its own.
The VanDamme Tee is worked in pieces, so you can easily take this along on your summer adventures!
I absolutely love Amy Gunderson’s summery cardi. It’s such a great layer to pack along.
The Kindling Cardigan is worked back and forth on the bias in one piece to the neck and then divided for working the right and left sides. So this is one of those projects that I actually advised against, but what saves it is the yarn. Amy chose Fibra Natura Cotton True Sport for her cardi, and that along with the open stitch pattern make it a great summer knitting project.
The pattern is made by stacking sections of bias-knit rows—such a cool way to build texture and drape!
One interesting thing to note is that this piece is intended to be worn with quite a bit of negative ease, which means you’ll choose a size that’s smaller than your bust. The model in the photos here is wearing the 20½” and she has a 33½” bust. So you might think this isn’t available in your size, but we’ve got you!
SUMMER KNITTING TIP: If you simply must knit a wool sweater in the summertime, drape a 100 percent cotton pillowcase or a doubled-up piece of sheeting fabric across your lap. It’ll be a nice, cool barrier between you and that warm wool!
Desert Sunset Shawl
If you haven’t tried mosaic knitting, this is the project for you!
I know, this isn’t a sweater pattern, but I couldn’t leave this fab colorwork shawl out, and sometimes hot days bring cool evenings!
Amy Christoffers’ Desert Sunset Shawl uses a slip-stitch pattern to create gorgeous texture and to showcase the beautiful hand-dyed yarns in rich colorways. The triangular shawl starts with a garter tab and is worked from the center neck down and outward to the points.
Fabulous Yarn Hedgehog Fibers Sock Yarn is your medium for this masterpiece—the colorways available are simply amazing; for the best results in this pattern, choose three shades with quite a bit of contrast. You’ll be amazed at the colorwork you can achieve by simply slipping stitches strategically. This is a great knitting technique that you’ll find extremely addicting.
Take this beauty on a long road trip. It’ll keep you busy and happy for miles.
I hope you’ll cast on one of these perfect summer-knitting projects!
P.S. What’s your summer-knitting go-to project?