As it gets warmer, don’t you spend more time outdoors? I know I do! If you want to keep your crochet with you, I’m sharing 6 tips for taking your crochet outside for the summer, along with a roundup of 15 free shawl patterns to bring with you! Each of these patterns is made with a lighter weight yarn, so you’ll be able to get a lot of crocheting done with just one skein.
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6 Tips for Taking Your Crochet Outdoors for the Summer
#1 – Travel in style
Choose the right bag or container for crocheting on-the-go. A bag that is easy to wash if it gets dirty or sandy will get the most use. If you’ll be near water, consider something that is coated to keep your supplies dry. I like using The Yarnit because it has a base and it’s designed to keep out sand and dirt.
Last summer, I was introduced to the team at @theyarnit and was given a Mr. Sparkles #yarnit to try out. It has been invaluable in keeping my @madelinetosh Prairie lace #yarn from tangling. I’ve been worked on this #crochet lace shawl on the subway, on the bus, during a 2-hour meeting in an auditorium (where it was stowed under my seat), and at home on the couch with a frisky cat on my shoulder. The yarn feeds easily through the porthole and the globe’s material has survived several drops, too. I’m definitely going to be using the YarnIt to keep my future lace and sock yarn projects from getting tangled as I switch bags and locations. #IGotItFree #crocheting #crochetersofinstagram #instacrochet #madelinetosh
A large cosmetics bag is another option. You can also use a specially designed project bag that zips or snaps shut.
#2 – Ditch the (heavy) weights
Take the opportunity to use lighter weight yarns in the summer. Lace, superfine, and fine weight yarns and crochet threads are great for the summer. Thinner yarns and thread are lighter on the hooks, so you’ll be able to easily work with these as the temperatures rise. Lighter weight yarns and threads also have more yardage per ounce, so you can carry just one skein and still get a lot more project finished while you’re out. An added bonus – you’ll also be able to use your projects right away when you finish!
I love crocheting shawls in thinner yarns in the summer, so I’ve included a roundup of 15 free crochet patterns in light weight yarns at the end of these tips.
#3 – Focus on plant fibers
Cotton, linen, hemp, bamboo, and other plant fibers are great for summer projects. These yarns and threads are more breathable than animal fibers or synthetics are. When it’s hot out, your fingers will thank me!
If you’re new to working with plant fibers, start by using a pattern specifically designed with cotton, linen, hemp, or bamboo. The drape and care for these yarns is different than synthetics and animal fibers, so using a pattern that takes that into account may make your first plant fiber project more successful.
#4 – Swap out your hooks
Use wooden or bamboo hooks when outdoors in the summer. Your aluminum hooks may feel sweaty and can easily transfer heat from your hands and the fibers you use. Wooden or bamboo hooks will stay cooler and make crocheting more comfortable. These hooks are also easy to wipe down with a damp paper towel.
If you’re new to wooden hooks, there are two brands that I’ve used and personally recommend. Louet Kollage Square Crochet Hooks feature an inline aluminum hook in a squared, erogonmic wood handle. I don’t usually like inline hooks, but I find that with the addition of the handle, these are very easy for me to crochet with.
Who doesn’t love getting goodies in the mail? The folks at @louetnorthamerica have invited me to try out their square #crochet hooks. So far, they look like a cool addition to my hook collection. (I may or may not have a small hook collecting problem, but that’s a story for another day.) I’m going to use them for a few projects and then I’ll be back to let you know what I think! #igotitfree #crocheting #instacrochet #crochetersofinstagram #crocheted #ganchillo #haken #undergroundcrafter
#5 – Bring the right project
I find that projects that are less complex work best when I’m outdoors since there may be more distractions than I’m used to indoors. Similarly, I enjoy bringing along portable projects that don’t weigh down my bag. Before you head outside, think about whether you’ll want to be working on that project if it’s noisy or hot. If the answer is no, switch it up for something else!
You might also want to consider incorporating the outdoors in your project. Perhaps yarn graffiti is allowed in the park you’ll be visiting, or you can find some beautiful stones to cover with freeform crochet while taking a hike.
And, don’t forget the notions!
Of course, you’ll need all your usual supplies in the summer, like your hook, yarn or thread, a yarn needle, a ruler, and a pair of scissors. But if you plan to get some serious crocheting done while you’re outdoors, don’t forget to pack these additional warm-weather accessories.
- Avoid squinting, read your pattern more easily, protect your eyesight, and look great, all while crocheting.
- Pattern protection. If you’re using a printed pattern, cover it in a plastic sheet to keep dirt and sand away. If you’re using a tablet or other device to read your pattern, consider using a screen protector to avoid scratches and other damage.
- Manicure kit. If you’ll be participating in outdoor activities, don’t let a hangnail ruin your crocheting! Bring along a nail file and clipper for emergency repairs.
I hope you’ve found these 6 tips helpful. Now that you’re prepared, here are 15 stunning free patterns for lacy shawls that would make great projects to work on and wear outside.
15 Free Crochet Patterns for Shawls in Light-Weight Yarns
Roundup by Underground Crafter
As I mentioned before, I love crocheting shawls in lighter weight yarns in the summer. You can carry just one skein of yarn with you and make a lot of progress! For this roundup, I chose patterns that were designed with lace, super fine, and fine yarns (0, 1, and 2 weights). If you’re a threadie, some of these can be made with crochet thread instead. Photos are copyright the respective designers/publishers and are used with permission.
- Flora and Fauna Shawl by Fiber Flux for Furls: This lacy shawl is crocheted in sock yarn and adorned with decorative fringe.
- Solomon’s Knot Whisper Wrap by Petals to Picots: This lacy rectangular shawl features an optional beaded edging.
- Meadowland Shoulder Wrap by Same DiNamics Crochet: This wrap is crocheted in panels which are then joined.
- Joyful Josie Shawl by Wilmade: This round shawl includes a video tutorial.
- Northampton Shawlette by Pattern Paradise: This triangular shawl features the popular v-stitch.
Center column, from top to bottom:
- Trillium Scarf by Persia Lou: This lacy triangle scarf is made with a super fine cotton/linen blend yarn and can be worn as a shawl.
- Turning Seasons Scarflet by Creative Crochet Workshop: This striped, triangular scarflet in sock yarn can be worn as a shawl.
- Simple Lace Isosceles Shawl by Underground Crafter: This simple pattern uses one skein of lace weight yarn.
- Poison Ivy Wrap by Suvi’s Crochet: This wrap features the pineapple motif in the body and as a dangling edging.
- Milan Summer Wrap by The Country Willow: This shawl uses the treble (triple) crochet for added drape.
Right column, from top to bottom:
- Fall Sparkles Shawl by Jessie At Home: This lacy triangular shawl also features beads.
- Spring Fling Triangle Scarf by The Unraveled Mitten: This pattern is perfect for showing off a skein of hand dyed sock yarn.
- Kramer Lux Wrap by B.Hooked Crochet: This triangular wrap includes both standard crochet and broomstick lace.
- Pom Pom Happiness Shawl by Wilmade: This pattern uses a “cake” yarn to do the colorwork for you. It also includes a video tutorial.
- My Story Shawl by Look At What I Made: This triangular shawl features a picot edging that is crocheted as you go.