July 18th, 2012

Summer Project Ideas from Kirsten Hipsky

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Whew! It’s hot all over the Northern Hemisphere right now, and it’s hard to even think about those heavy wool and alpaca sweaters we love so much in winter, much less knit them. But high temperatures don’t have to mean idle hands – it can be the perfect time for some special projects that you might not think about in the other seasons.

First, there are small projects: sure, you may not want to wear hats and mittens right now, but in a few months, you’ll sure be glad to be able to throw them on for the first cold snap and to give to knit-worthy loved ones for the holidays (That’s right! Holiday knitting! In November, you’ll be glad you started now). And the small size means you can easily knit them on the go without a lot of yarn or work-in-progress in your lap.

Try the Silver Lining Hat, out of light and lovely hand dyed Valley Yarns 2/14 Alpaca Silk or crocheting the delightful Wheatleigh Hat and Gloves.

 

How’s about making some cute little penguins and polar bears to make you think of colder days? Knitted and crocheted toys are perfect little projects to carry around during the summer.

 

Another tip is working with thin yarn and plant fibers. The less warm fiber in your hands, the cooler you’ll be. Consider some fast and fun, loose-gauge lace weight sweaters, like the Bordeaux Pullover, made with Valley Yarns Colrain Lace or the elegant Iced Branch Shawl out of the cool and surprisingly easy to knit Valley Yarns Longmeadow.

Making socks? Fingering weight wool is cooler and more breathable on your hands and feet than thicker wool yarns. Try our soft and smooth Valley Yarns Huntington in the Sunny Day Socks.

If your knit-worthy gift recipient is demanding a warm winter blanket, and you have to knit it right now, no sweat! Just find a pattern that’s made of small motifs, squares or strips that you can join together later, like the stunning Amethyst Brook blanket or the refreshing Valley Log Cabin Blanket. (Hint: This tip can also apply to sweaters – even if you’re usually a fan of seamless construction, summer has a way of making you appreciate those small cardigan fronts!)

 

And let’s not forget spinning and weaving! Nothing like the cool breeze from a fast spinning wheel, and the summertime is a great time for spinning up all your fiber for fall, winter and spring knitting.

Weaving is a great way to work with less elastic, cool fibers like cotton, tencel, and linen for projects that are needed in every season. Another big bonus for weaving – none of it’s sitting on your lap! If you don’t already know these great, all-seasons crafts, consider taking the summer months as chance to learn something new. You may want to check out Learning to Weave by Deborah Chandler or the Learn To Spin Kit from Nancy’s Knit Knacks.

What kind of projects do you like to do during the hot months of summer? Share your ideas in the comments below. We’d love to hear how you deal with the heat.

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Dena

Ecommerce Marketing Manager at WEBS - America’s Yarn Store
Dena started working at WEBS in 2006, shortly after she learned to knit. She also dabbles in crochet and weaving. She finds knitting complements her marathon and triathlon training really well.
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  • Madtownmama

    I admit the heat (and extra kid time) has cut into my knitting time and mojo for the summer…I know it would be smart to think about holiday knitting now, but I just can’t! I prefer knitting with wool and animal fibers, so I stick to small projects in the summer, things that won’t cover my lap, like socks and hats and mittens, which are always well-used in Wisconsin winters.

  • Kelly H

    As soon as August comes I’m planning, or knitting, my fall sweaters for my two boys.  Before that it’s free-reign to knit indulgent stuff for *me*.  That makes knitting hot stuff more bearable.

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  • Gorget1234

    A salesclerk at a bigbox craft store where I buy buttons told me that summer wasn’t the right “season” for knitting. She got an earful!