As summer begins to wind down I have found myself thinking about the concept of “summer knitting”. Common wisdom says that what and how people knit changes during the summer. All of the wool gets packed away and out come the cottons and linens. Sweaters, hats, mittens and blankets go into the WIP pile and everyone starts knitting shawls and, well other small lacey things?
For me, this is never the case. But of course I am not a typical knitter. The stuff I am working on now might not be seen for 2 or 3 seasons – so I don’t really count. This led me to pose the question to the members of my Ravelry group about what affect the summer has on their knitting choices.
The specific question I asked was: Does the fact that it is summer (when it is summer for you – I totally know it is not summer in 1/2 of the world) change your knitting habits? Do you choose different projects, yarns, etc … or do you knit whatever you feel like year round? Bonus question – what are you working on right now? (All names are Ravelry handles.)
Djaquette, Georgia: I always have 3-4 projects going with many more started. Sometimes I knit more cotton and linen items during the summer, but I still knit smaller wool projects. I just finished Sister Bay Shawl in Fibra Natura Flax … I’m currently freeform knitting a shrug from Algarve Fashion Color fingering weight cotton.
Maryscottrph, Virginia: I work on anything I please; so far this month, I have completed a hat as well as the scarf, and I plan to finish sock 2 by this weekend and cast on a shawl…am I nuts? Quite possibly!
KathyInGeorgia (self-explanatory, eh?): I knit anything, any time. I use whatever yarn is right for the project. About the only concession I make to the temperature is that I try to avoid huge blankets in warm weather,. … I’m working on a Baby Surprise Jacket for a friend in London. I’m knitting a six- to twelve-month size (hoping for winter wear) for a baby born six weeks ago.
Waningestrogen, Washington: I live in the PacNW and have all my life. I like things on the cooler side, so the unlikely heatwave we’re having this year has me wilting when it hits 80 or better. When it’s hot, I still want to knit, but I’ll do socks or hats for small projects, and if I should get sucked in by a shawl, only laceweight will do. I don’t work on baby blankets or other large projects in the summer.
Catmagnet, Georgia: With the miracle of air conditioning, I pretty much knit whatever I want all year long. I alternate between small projects and large ones just because I may be bored or have a deadline – lately there’s been a lot more of having a deadline. I rarely knit on yarn heavier than worsted, preferring fingering weight most of the time, so the weather doesn’t have much influence on my knitting. I use wool all year long because I like it, and right now I’ve just started on a Love Child.
Cascadienne, Washington: It never used to matter to me because of AC. Now, living in the Pacific Northwest, with generally mild summers, I feel lucky to be able to knit pretty much whatever I feel like knitting. We even get chilly enough mornings and evenings that I’ll pull out my crocheted blanket of doom and work a row or two. If we get into a heat wave … I’ve discovered that I’m more apt to go for cotton or linen to use in smaller projects. I also crochet more in summer and have no explanation for that. Current WIPs: Love Child in Malabrigo Lace (Bergamota and Sunset), Barbara’s triangular scarf in a bulky weight, and Sandshore in Rowan Pure Linen (Gobi).
Joseybug, Indiana: My only real seasonal change is not working on heavy sweaters or blankets in the summer. It’s more of a general guideline, as I’ve done blankets and sweaters in the summer, I just try not to. I tend to try and actually do smaller, portable projects (usually socks or hats) in the spring and fall – during our heavy farming season – when there’s a high probability I’m going to be sitting in a truck or a tractor and helping my husband moving equipment and bringing seed/supplies and food. Right now, I’m working on a pair of socks and a shawlette.
Chassell, Georgia: I always have several projects going, big and small, more complicated and those I can grab for a wait in the doctor’s office waiting room or wherever. Living in the Atlanta area does make me think about fiber for such weather. So I always seem to do at least one or two projects from cotton (although I’ve decided that’s too hot) and, better, linen or linen/cotton blends or bamboo blends. So I made a tee this summer. But, I love wool, so I’ve got merino socks on needles, as well.
I hope that y’all found these answers as interesting as I. There seems to be some truth in changing knitting habits for the summer, but what I am getting is that if a knitter really wants to knit something – a piddling thing like weather isn’t going to stop them. ;) It does seem that summer is a great time for doing portable projects, which is good to know.
Does the summer season effect your knitting habits? Feel free to let me know in the comments. And a big thank you to all of the awesome knitters in my Rav group who helped feed my curiosity. I did edit the answers a wee bit for space, if you want to read the full responses you can pop over to the thread in Ravelry and continue the conversation there too!