Many people put down their knitting needles for the Summer in the belief that knitting is for Winter, or at least for times when the weather is on the cooler side. I agree to the extent that no-one wants to hold a large wooly project in their hand and lap when the temperature starts to rise, not that we’ve had many warm days in the UK so far. However, there is no need to give up on knitting at all – I know I’d get withdrawal symptoms which are not pretty. The trick is to pick projects which are small and to put away the aran weight wool!
It would be stating the obvious to say cottons, linens, silk and bamboo are the yarn to knit with in the warmer months. But also consider Tencel and similar man-made materials which are now being introduced for use by crafters, which draw sweat and heat away from the body.
Projects shouldn’t be too large – knitting blankets/throws or that jumper for your man are genuinely best saved for the Autumn. Try anything for children, including toys, lots and lots of accessories like bags, hair wraps, shrugs and jewellery, Summer tops and anything small for the house like curtain tie-backs, cushions, over-the-door tidy or anything similar that takes your fancy.
Most importantly, pick a light and airy pattern to make the knitting just fly off your needles without over-taxing your, hopefully, over-heated mind. I love anything lacy, meshed or the old favourite, drop-stitch. Here are some examples of these three.
Norwegian Fir Lace
I love the contrast of Norwegian firs which I associate with Christmas, in a lacy Summer pattern. And the purls make this lace very tactile and interesting.
Multiple of 12 stitches plus 1
Row 1 (RS) P1, *p2, k5, p4 repeat from * to end.
Row 2 and every following WS row Purl.
Row 3 P2tog, *p2, k2, yo, k1, yo, k2, p2, p3tog repeat from * to end ending with p2tog.
Row 5 P2tog, *p1, k2, yo, k3, yo, k2, p1, p3tog repeat from * to end ending with p2tog.
Row 7 P2tog, *k2, yo, k5, yo, k2, p3tog repeat from * to end ending with p2tog.
Row 8 Purl
This pattern is very versatile for Summer wear – include it in tops either all over for beach-wear (if you’re daring) or in strips to show flirty skintone at the sides, back, near the neck and/or on the arms.
There are very many different ways of knitting drop-stitch patterns. This is just one, and I’ve used this as it produces a rather nice wavy drop stitch which is less revealing than a straight drop stitch. By this stage, I’m afraid I was running out of yarn (!) so apologies for the rather small sample, but I think you can see the gist of the pattern quite clearly.
Even number multiple.
Preparation row (RS) *P2, k1, yo, k1, p2, k2; rep from *, end p2.
Rows 1, 3 and 5 (WS) *K2, p2, k2, p3; rep from *, end k2.
Rows 2 and 4 *P2, k3, p2, k2; rep from *, end p2.
Row 6 *P2, k1, drop next st off needle and unravel to the yo 6 rows below, k1, p2, k1, yo, k1; rep from *, end p2.
Rows 7, 9 and 11 *K2, p3, k2, p2; rep from *, end k2.
Rows 8 and 10 *P2, k2, p2, k3; rep from *, end p2.
Row 12 *P2, k1, yo, k1, p2, k1, drop next st off needle and unravel 6 rows down, k1; rep from *, end p2.
Of course, any form of ribbing also works really well to help you look on-trend but cool in the Summer.