Even if I lived in a hermetically sealed house far away from the world, I would know when the temperature started increasing in the UK. Visitors and sales to my site just drop off the cliff. I know that only the truly hardy continue to knit and crochet in the warmer seasons but I’ve often wondered why. There are so many wonderful project ideas for spring and summer and lovely crisp and cool yarns to match, I wouldn’t stop knitting for the world!
So what yarns should you choose to avoid overheating? The obvious choice is cotton. However it is too obvious. Some people hate working with cotton as the yarn tends to be “splitty”. This is certainly the case for some unmercerised cotton – the non-shiny variety. However mercerised cotton (which has been acid treated to ensure the fibres lie smooth) is beautifully soft, lovely to handle and wear and has a sheen to rival some silk yarns.
If you’re not tempted, then try cotton with a blend of merino – perfect combination of durability and softness, or cotton with rayon for increased draping power.
The other obvious choice is linen. It’s crisp, elegant and lasts beautifully. It is not however a forgiving yarn directly next to the skin so use it wisely.
Then there is silk. No-one needs an introduction to the alluring texture and shine. It has been used for centuries as the perfect material in the Summer.
Of course, if you can’t quite stretch to 100% silk, you could try one of the many silk blends – just avoid too high man-made fibre content. This one is a fair mix of wool and silk.
How about bamboo? Soft with a gentle sheen, good for baby knits, wonderful to handle and perfect to keep you cool in the hot sun. Not too dissimilar from silk!
So now on to the less well-loved or known yarns. I love ribbon yarn for lightweight garments – summer tops are done in no time, look fresh and trendy, are easy to pack, handwash on holiday and dry in no time at all. It is great for a beach coverall and shows glimpses of sunkissed skin. Perfect.
Or how about yarn with Tencel? If you’ve not come across Tencel before, it is manufactured from wood pulp so most definitely falls into the “Plants for Summer, Animals for Winter” categorisation for yarn choosing. It is appropriate for babies and cooling to wear.
I find that textured yarn adds extra air-pockets to standard stocking stitch and allows your skin to breathe, as well as cooling breezes in.
And if you’re still not convinced, how about using the yarn you prefer but just jazzing it up with some butterfly yarn?