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Most crocheters and knitters are inspired to pick up their hooks and needles in the fall and winter to create wearables for the colder weather and gifts for the winter holidays. But, summer can be a great time to crochet and knit, too, especially if you choose your yarns and projects wisely.
To keep your crocheting and knitting fun – and comfortable – during the warmer months, try these four tips.
You might find yourself more inspired to play with lighter weight yarns in the summer. Lace, superfine, and fine weight yarns (also known as fingering, sock, and sport weight yarns, respectively) are great options for the summer months.
With thinner yarns, you can create projects that are useable as soon as they come off the needles. Projects made with thinner yarns are also lighter when on the needles, so they may be easier to work with as temperatures rise. And, lighter weight yarns have more yardage per ounce, so you create large projects with just one or two skeins of yarn.
You can find great tips for crocheting with thin yarns for the first time here.
Move lower on the food chain!
Another option for increasing your comfort in the warmer weather is to focus on plant fibers. Animal fibers, like wool, alpaca, and mohair, are primarily known for their insulating properties, so you might find these fibers uncomfortable against your skin in the warm weather. Synthetic yarns, like acrylic and polyester, retain heat and can also be oppressively warm against your skin in the summer months.
Plant-based fibers are breathable, so these are comfortable to crochet and knit with in warmer temperatures.
- Cotton creates a cooling effect because it absorbs moisture and dries fast. Because cotton is inelastic, avoid dense stitch patterns, like cables, for larger projects since they may add weight and stretch out the yarn.
- Linen also draws heat away from the body and is pretty sturdy. Like cotton, it’s inelastic and can sometimes feel stiff. Stiffness usually decreases over time and with washing.
- Hemp fiber is extremely strong and soft. It’s even more breathable and absorbent than cotton. Hemp fiber is frequently available blended with other fibers.
- Bamboo has a very soft feel but stretches a lot so it’s often mixed with wool to add elasticity.
Switch your hook and needles!
Consider swapping out your aluminum hooks and needles, which may feel sweaty as heat transfers from your hands and the fiber, for wood or bamboo hooks and needles. Some knitters find that circular needles are more comfortable than straight needles in the summer – even for knitting flat – because bulky projects can be moved away from the hands and wrists to rest on the cords.
Smaller, portable projects can be more comfortable to make and carry in the summer. Try socks or hats, or make motif projects that can be joined later to make blankets or bags. Other great summer project options include kitchen and home décor items like dishcloths, trivets, coasters, and cozies; and lacy projects like shawls. Jewelry projects are wonderful for summer, too.
Being thoughtful about your choice of yarn weight, fiber content, hook and needles, and project type makes it possible to enjoy crocheting and knitting no matter what the weather.
Here are some free Underground Crafter patterns you might enjoy working in the dog days of summer. Click on the image to get the pattern.