Happy Friday, lovely knitters!
And welcome to summer – at least in my neck of the woods. I know knitting isn’t usually what people think of when they think of summertime, but I love summer knitting. Somehow my schedule feels freer, things seem easier, and I’m more able to convince myself to leave the computer mid-afternoon and get a couple of great stitching hours in.
It doesn’t hurt that I’m usually doing the knitting outside, taking in my beloved garden:
But the truth is that I’d enjoy summer knitting even without the view. Today here on the blog, I wanted to share a little bit about my new KAL, what makes my own summer knitting successful, and a couple of new sweaters with you.
We’re at it again over on Ravelry – it’s time for my spring/summer KAL:
If your needles are clacking away, I hope you’ll join us! My Year of Sweaters KALs are low-stress, fun ways to share your knitting with others. They also come with the chance at a great prize – 2 free months of CustomFit patterns, plus a personal consultation with me. Head on over to my Ravelry group to find out more.
Best Summer Knits
I adore summer knitting, but I do tend to change up the kinds of projects I knit when the temperature rises!
Summer materials. In the summertime, my fingers search for light, airy, delicate materials. Want a couple of ideas? I personally have two more Isham Road samples on the needles, out of Crave Yarns Caravan – a light sport-weight mix of silk, wool, and camel. It’s smooth, light, and lovely – and the airy, oversized design suits this yarn perfectly.
Classic Elite’s Firefly is another of my favorite summer yarns. It’s light, slinky, and feels lovely on the needles and in a garment. I’ve used it for several designs, and keep meaning to make a new sample of my Nantasket vest for myself. Look at this drape!
But really, there’s no end of great summer materials. I suggest trying a lighter-weight yarn, possibly with some plant fibers blended in, to beat the heat.
Smaller pieces. I’m a big fan of knitting sweaters in pieces any time of year, but that’s especially true in the summertime. They’re so much more manageable in my lap than a giant one-piece sweater! Paired with a lightweight summer yarn, pieced open cardigans like Hakone or Mine Hill mean you’ll never have a lapful of wool.
Accessories are another great option – I had fun knitting a larger version of my Bayberry Cowl this spring, and I’m looking forward to diving into Kate Atherley’s Women in Mathematics collection this summer too.
Inspiration. Finally, I don’t know about you, but summer is the time when I’m least able to control my crazy design urges. Sometimes I wake up and there’s a new sweater in my head – summertime is when I give myself the most permission to plunk everything else on hold and make it.
This leads to a lot of swatching:
And it also leads to some of my favorite sweaters. How about you? What are your tips for great summer knits?
New Sweaters Ahoy: Firth
I have a couple of new sweater samples to share with you today, both of which solidly qualify as great summer knits. The first is a new sample for my Firth design, out of one of my very favorite summery yarns – Habu N80.
I love a great basic V-neck, and when the temperatures rose for Rhinebeck last fall I thought I’d whip up a quick lightweight sweater to wear. Hah! Fast-forward several months, and I finally have a great warm-weather sweater for summertime.
This version of Firth showcases CustomFit’s flexibility – I worked up the design in a completely different yarn and gauge, in a different silhouette, with a different length and fit, than the original. I just love how it turned out!
I’m really into tunics right now, and this super-long length and lighter-than-air fabric has already gotten some wear.
New Sweaters Ahoy: Sanderling
My other new summer sweater exemplifies all of the rules: A light yarn, an in-pieces construction, and letting myself run wild with the fiber. A few weeks ago, my friend Kim visited for a few days to collaborate, and she brought a delicious suitcase full of yarn with her.
Mostly while Kim was here I behaved, and sketched and swatched and planned like a responsible adult. But she brought some of my favorite Chameleon sock yarn, in the most perfect colorway, and I couldn’t help it! Amidst our other work I decided it had to be part of my summer wardrobe:
Like, right away.
I banged out the back while she was here, and finished up the rest of the sweater shortly thereafter. It’s a slightly shorter tunic than my Firth, but equally as versatile.
This is my Sanderling design, which I originally worked up in a DK-weight linen blend. It works so well in fingering wool-silk.
The yarn I used is part of a really exciting new plot of Kim’s: Her Mad Science Series. These are kind-of-repeatable colorways that give knitters a taste of Kim’s delicious creativity. The colorway I fell in love with, Phrenology, is a deep green, with blue undertones and gorgeous bits of golden-browny-mossy goodness.
Words fail at how lovely the fabric is to work with, and to wear. There’s a reason I have at least half a dozen sweaters in this yarn!
So that’s what’s up in my knitting world lately – how about you? I’d love to hear what’s on your needles, and see you online.
Until then, though – happy summer knitting!