If knitting is something you associate with hats, scarves and winter woollies, then think again. Modern patterns and yarns are designed to be used with all sorts of different fibres, and once you’ve mastered the basics of knitting, you can adjust what you are knitting and what yarn you are using to suit, however warm it is outside. Knitted items which are perfect for the summer months can be a great choice when deciding what to wear to a wedding.
Given the British climate, even in the height of summer it’s handy to have a sweater or a cardigan which you can chuck in your bag and use when the weather turns unexpectedly cool. If you are planning on knitting this sort of item, the ideal choice of pattern is one which uses lace to create holes and pattern on the finished item. This will make the finished garment lighter and easier to wear, and will be cooler than a sweater which uses a dense pattern like stocking stitch or garter stitch. Short sleeves are always going to be cooler than long sleeves, and once you have been knitting for a while you will find it relatively easy to customise patterns and change sleeves from long to short.
Wraps, Shawls and Stoles
If a jumper or cardigan is just a step too far for the summer months, a good project for a novice knitter is a wrap or shawl. A wrap is really just a long rectangle of knitting, and you can use as simple or as complex a pattern as you want to make your wrap. There are hundreds of free patterns online on sites such as Ravelry, and most of the big knitting pattern publishers produce patterns for wraps and shawls too. Choose a yarn rich in natural fibres to make your wrap as these will keep you cooler than yarns which are predominantly nylon or acrylic. Look for brands such as Patons Fusion cotton, or linen mix yarns for summer knitting.
Cotton is the yarn which immediately springs to mind for summer knitting, but cotton can be difficult to work with as it does not have as much stretch as other types of fibre. Many brands such as this one are a blend of cotton with other fibres which give you the benefits of cotton but are much easier to knit with. Wool is normally associated with warmth, but wool is also good at allowing the skin to breathe and you will be more comfortable in a pure wool jumper than in one made of acrylic in warmer weather. Other fibres to look out for include cashmere, linen or even alpaca.
Knit in Comfort
When it’s hot, there is nothing worse than knitting a huge blanket which drapes across your lap and makes you warmer than ever. When the weather turns warm, stick to smaller items which will not cause this problem, or knit small squares to sew together into a blanket rather than knitting one large piece. If your hands are prone to getting warm or sweaty, many knitters find that using needles made from wood or bamboo are a better choice than plastic or metal needles.