How to Resize Your Iced Tee

If you are interested in knitting the Iced Tee, but want to change the sizing, this guide will walk you through the process step by step. After learning how to resize the Iced Tee, you’ll have the basic skills you need to resize many different patterns!

Before getting into resizing, let’s talk about garment fit. How do you know what size is best for you? When I make a fitted pattern, I usually start by taking a look at the pattern’s finished bust measurement. Keeping that number in mind, I compare the pattern’s finished bust measurement to my actual bust measurement.

A lot of the time, garment patterns will contain information on how much ease is desired, especially on a modeled version. Ease is the difference between the garment’s measurement and your bust measurement. If the pattern’s measurement is larger than your bust, then that is called positive ease. If the pattern’s measurement is smaller than your bust, that is called negative ease. If the two measurements are the same, then you have no ease.

As the Iced Tee doesn’t contain any ease information, it’s up to you to decide how much ease you want, if any. When I’m not sure how much ease to include in a garment, I often look in my closet for inspiration. Measure your favorite top, and use this measurement as a reference for how you want your Iced Tee to fit.

There are two basic ways to change the size of a pattern. One way is to change the gauge, and another way is to change the stitch count. Since changing the gauge is the easiest way to change the size, we’ll begin with that method.

How does changing the gauge of a pattern change the size? Essentially, a tighter gauge will make the garment smaller, and a looser gauge will make the garment larger. Even minor differences in gauge will affect the finished size, so it’s a good reason to make a gauge swatch before you start the project.

Let’s take a look at the pattern’s gauge. The gauge is 26 stitches over 4 inches, or 6.5 stitches to the inch. It’s important that you have the correct gauge if you want to make the pattern in the size as written. For example, let’s say your gauge is 28 stitches over 4 inches, or 7 stitches to the inch. While a half stitch difference may not seem like a big deal, that half stitch gauge difference adds up to a lot when making a garment.

At the written gauge, 6.5 stitches to the inch will create a garment that has a bust measurement of 39.5”. At 7 stitches per inch, the garment will have a bust measurement of 36.5”. As you can see, that half stitch makes a big difference in the finished size! (Another good reason to make gauge swatches, right?)

If you’d like to use gauge to change the size of the pattern, first decide what you’d like the finished bust measurement to be. Then divide the number of stitches to cast on by the bust measurement. The resulting number will give you the stitch gauge you need to aim for.

For example, my bust measurement is 35”, and I want zero ease in my top. So I’d divide the cast on number (256 stitches) by my bust measurement, 35”. 256/35 = 7.31. So I’d want my gauge to be about 7.3 stitches per inch to get a top that measures 35”.

To change pattern size based on gauge, use this formula:
Cast-On Number ÷ Bust Measurement = Gauge

If you are on gauge, and don’t want to change the gauge of the fabric, you can make the pattern larger by casting on more stitches. (If you’d like to make the pattern smaller, I’d recommend changing the gauge instead of the stitch count, so that you won’t have to modify the Ice Cube lace pattern.)

The Iced Tee stitch count is based on a multiple of four, so to make a larger size, you will want to cast on an additional multiple of four stitches. Half of the new stitches will be added to the back section, and half of the new stitches will be added to the front, one quarter on each side the front lace panel.

Let’s say we want to increase the size from a 39.5” to a 42”. Remember, the new stitch count has to be a multiple of four. At the recommended gauge, 16 more stitches will add about 2.5 inches around, which will make the top 42”.

After casting on the 16 additional stitches, you can follow the pattern as written until round nine.  Starting with round nine, we will change the directions slightly to incorporate the extra stitches.

Here is round 9 as written: K12, ICL 9 times, k8, pm, k to end.

  • On round 9, you’ll start by knitting one quarter of the new stitches, or 4 stitches, since ¼ of 16 is 4. It’s helpful to mark this section of the fabric with a stitch marker. That way you’ll have a visual cue that this section is a plain stockinette section with no patterning.
  • Then you’ll begin to follow the round 9 directions. Knit the 12 stitches as written, knit the Ice Cube Lace repeat nine times, knit 8, and place marker as indicated in pattern.
  • Knit another quarter of your new stitches, or 4 stitches, and place a side marker.
  • Finally, knit across the back stitches, which is the “knit to end” direction at the end of round 9. You’ll have eight extra stitches in the back section.

You can follow the pattern as written by this point until you get to the division of the front and back.

So that means for every patterned row, you’d do something like this: Knit new number of stitches (the first ¼ of stitches added), follow the pattern as written until you get to the first marker, slip marker, knit new number of stitches (the second ¼ of stitches added), slip marker, knit to end of round.

When you get to the division of the front and back, you’ll want to make sure to divide the top in half evenly, since you’ll have extra stitches in the fabric. Splitting the middle of each side panel will ensure the top is properly divided. You can use the beginning of round marker and side marker as a visual cue on where to split the top.

That’s really all there is to it! If you have any more questions about sizing the Iced Tee top, please email us at info@knit-purl.com, or give us a call at (866) 656-5648. Happy knitting!

July 29, 2015 by Oleya Pearsall
Tags: Kits Patterns

Year of the Goat

You might be aware that it’s the Year of the Sheep, according to the Chinese Zodiac. Since the character for sheep and goat are the same, it also means it’s the Year of the Goat. As knitters, it’s easy to just focus on sheep, but goats deserve a little attention, too.

Goats lend their fiber to two luxurious blends of yarn we carry and love a lot here at Knit Purl—mohair and cashmere.

You might have some of these fibers in your stash, but how much do you know about their history? Do you know what projects are they best suited for? What does an fiber-producing goat even look like?

We did some research on fiber goats, and created this informative infographic. It turns out that there are quite a few interesting things to learn about our friend the goat.

First, let’s explore mohair. You might recognize the presence of mohair in a yarn due to its fuzzy halo (like in Shibui’s Silk Cloud yarn). Mohair fiber comes exclusively from a breed of goat called Angora, which is not to be confused with the angora yarn that comes from rabbits.

Angora goats are named after the capital of Turkey, Ankara, which is where the breed originated. The word mohair comes from the Arabic word mukhayyar meaning “choice.” Makes sense, doesn’t it?

Angora goats have a fascinating story. Since originating in Turkey, they have been imported to South Africa, Australia, and North America. Within North America, they now live primarily in the Southwest, especially Texas, which is the largest producer of mohair in the United States. While the U.S. is the largest North American producer, South Africa is the largest producer of mohair in the world.


Image source: Wikipedia/Erica Peterson https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angora_goat#/media/File:Quebec_angora_goat.jpg

This is what an Angora goat looks like. As you can see, Angora goats have a unmistakeable curly fleece, which is shorn twice a year. Originally bred in white, Angora goats were bred in color beginning in the late 1990’s. Now Angora goat fleece comes in shades of white, black, red, grey, and brown!

What qualities does mohair have? Mohair is well-known for being soft, shiny, and warm. It keeps you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Mohair’s micron count (a way of measuring the fineness of fiber) is on the lower end on the micron scale, measuring between 20 and 30 microns. The lower the number, the finer and softer the fiber.

Mohair has scales just like wool, but they’re not fully developed, so it doesn’t hold together quite like wool. On its own, mohair yarn tends to be slippery and stretchy, so it’s frequently blended with other fibers like wool, alpaca, and silk.

Wondering what to make with mohair? The fiber is a good match for projects that benefit from a  nice amount of drape. It makes warm, soft, and light fabrics for shawls and wraps. Yarns with mohair also look elegant in lace patterns with loops and wraps.

Want to give mohair a try for your next project? Try Silk Cloud, which is a 60% kid mohair/40% silk blend from Shibui, with a dazzling array of colors and beautiful halo.

If you’re looking for a woolier option, some other choices are Twirl’s Twirling Petals and Isager Irish’s Tweed. Both contain mohair blended with wool and other fibers, and are worth exploring!

 

Cashmere is another fiber that comes from goats. Unlike mohair, which is from a specific breed of goats, cashmere fiber can come from any goat, including but not limited to the Cashmere breed. Cashmere specifically refers to the soft, downy fiber found on the undercoat of a goat, which Angora goats do not have. You might recognize the presence of cashmere in a yarn due to its softness and hand.

The name cashmere comes from the word Kashmir, a valley between the Himalaya mountain range, and the Pir Panjal mountain range. This is where the production and trade of cashmere originated, perhaps as far back as the Mongolian empire. Currently, most cashmere is currently produced in Northern China, which produces somewhere between ½ and ⅔ of the world’s cashmere.


Image source: Wikipedia/Charles Esson https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cashmere_goat#/media/File:Old_O102_cropped_small.jpg

This is what a Cashmere goat looks like. Cashmere goats produce a double fleece. Underneath the outer coat, made up of guard hairs, is a soft, downy undercoat, which is harvested for cashmere. Every spring, the goats naturally shed their coats. The fiber often undergoes a dehairing process which combs out the finer down fibers from the coarse.

Cashmere is renowned for its softness, but it has other pleasing qualities, like warmth, strength, and lightness. Its micron count is on the low end of the scale, and usually ranges between 14-19. That explains its extreme softness!

Now, what to make with cashmere? It’s a fantastic yarn in sweaters, shawls, scarves. It’s perfect for items that go next to the skin, and project that you want to keep you warm. Since cashmere can be delicate, it’s best for things that will not get too much wear or abrasion.

If you’re looking for a new cashmere yarn to try, Pepperberry Knits offers a pure cashmere yarn in lace, DK, and bulky weights. For equally luxe blended options, try yarns like The Fibre Company’s Road to China Lace, Shibui Knits’ Pebble, Madelinetosh Pashmina, and Sunday Knits’ Eden.

July 22, 2015 by Oleya Pearsall

New Brooklyn Tweed Color Ideas

Today, Brooklyn Tweed released five new colors in both the Shelter and Loft palettes. This exciting news opens up a whole new range of design possibilities and color combination ideas. The new colors easily nestle in with the existing ones, yet stand on their own beautifully.

Curious to see how these colors would work in a design, I searched Knit Purl’s pattern inventory for ideas. I wanted to find something that used multiple colors, but wouldn’t be too warm for the summer. I settled on the Vector Wrap, a rectangular garter stitch wrap knit on the bias. It’s a perfect project for playing with color, and the pattern is easily memorized—perfect for taking with you on a summer trip.

Using the new colors as my starting point, I came up with a few different color combinations for the Vector Wrap.

For this red and purple combination, I chose Cinnabar, Long Johns, Homemade Jam, Thistle, and Plume. I love the brightness the Cinnabar brings to this combination, and the red to purple gradient is so pretty. This would make a very eye-catching Vector Wrap!

For this earthy yellow-green combination, I chose Bale, Hayloft, Fauna, Artifact, and Meteorite. Bale is pale yellow with subtle flecks of orange and brown, and I love how it looks with the golds, greens, and browns in the color palette. This is probably one of my favorite gradients.

For this blue and purple combination, I chose Tartan, Almanac, Old World, Plume, and Soot. Tartan is definitely one of my favorite new colors. It’s such a deep, vibrant teal, and it looks great with all the blues and purples in the palette. It’s a nice pop of color in this otherwise dark color combination.

For this blue and grey combination, I chose Sweatshirt, Faded Quilt, Flannel, Almanac, and Old World. I liked the idea of a subtle blue and grey gradient Vector Wrap that would go well with jeans. The new color Flannel fits right in with the grey/blue color spectrum.

And for those thinking about getting a jump start on their fall knitting (I certainly am!), I have another combination for you. I thought the Flight Pullover would be perfect for playing with some of the new colors. Since I have fall on the brain, I chose some autumnal hues: Tallow, Bale, Wool Socks, Embers, and Pumpernickel.

I envisioned Pumpernickel being used for the body of the pullover like in the original pattern, and the other colors for the Bohus-style yoke. This color combination makes me think of leaves changing color in the Autumn. Just thinking about it makes me so excited for fall.

I hope these ideas inspire you to try some of the new Brooklyn Tweed colors, and see what new combinations you can come up with!

July 15, 2015 by Oleya Pearsall

The Lace Knitter's Tool Kit

Continuing with our Month of Lace-inspired blog features, this week’s post is all about tools.

If you've been curious about lace knitting, but not sure what you need to get started, we've put together a handy list of materials for you.

1. Lace-weight yarn: While not a strict requirement for knitting lace patterns (you can knit lace with any weight!), lace-weight yarn is commonly used for lightweight, airy pieces. Pictured in Isager Spinni, color 101.

2. Pointy lace-tip needles: The sharp, pointy tips of these needles are a must-have for performing common lace maneuvers like k2tog and ssk. Pictured: Addi Lace Circular Needles (brass).

3. Blocking wires*: After finishing a lace piece, you'll want to block it to open up the lace stitches. The thin blocking wires can be used along straight or curved edges, as they are quite flexible.

4. Brass stitch markers: These locking stitch markers look just like safety pins without the coils. They make keeping track of lace repeats easy, and their thin, unobtrusive nature works well with fine lace yarn.

5. Highlighter tape*: This removable, transparent tape is useful for keeping track of rows in a tricky lace chart.

6. Addi Turbo Rocket Needles: Similar to the brass Addi Lace Circular Needles, these needles also have sharp, pointy tips but are covered in nickel for speedier knitting.

7. T-pins*: Often used in conjunction with blocking wires, T-pins help define scallops and points in lace pieces, as well as hold the blocking wires in place. Fork blocking pins work in the same manner, and are great for creating straight edges.

*Available for purchase in-store only.

Want to learn more about knitting lace? We're offering a basic lace knitting class on Saturday, July 18, that’s a great introduction to lace knitting! Find out more details about the class on our site here.

July 08, 2015 by Oleya Pearsall

Interview with Larissa Brown, designer of the Bubbly Stole


It’s Month of Lace here at Knit Purl! All month long, we’ll be sharing our favorite lace yarns, patterns, tips, and tricks. For this year’s Month of Lace, we invited local knitwear designer Larissa Brown to design an exclusive shawl pattern for us, which we've made into a kit.

Larissa designed the Bubbly Stole, a modern colorblocked stole featuring a beautiful zig-zag lace design. Curious about her design process, we spent a few moments chatting with Larissa about knitwear design, lace knitting, and more. Read on to get to know a little more about Larissa.

 

How did you get into knitwear design?
Thanks so much for asking! I’m really excited to be working with Knit Purl and Shibui yarn, because the store and yarn company actually played a fun role in how I got into designing.

I started by knitting improvised personal projects and sharing what I did on my blog Stitch Marker in the early 2000s. Knitty.com was a fairly new magazine, and I decided to send in my idea for a bath pouf made of giant nylon yarn. “Bonbon” was my first published design. Not long after the bath pouf, I entered a scarf design contest at Knit Purl, and the “Eden Scarf” became my second published design. I was overwhelmed to see my pattern for sale in the store. My very next project was a 22-design book—a steep learning curve! Knitalong: Celebrating the Tradition of Knitting Together came out in 2008 and includes the Eden Scarf in Shibui Sock. I’ve used Shibui yarns for patterns in Knitty and in both my books.

 

What was the design process for the stole like?
When I had the opportunity to design with Twig, I drew out my old notebook, because I knew that this yarn was perfect for a project I’d been doodling for over a year. I wanted to create a big, wide stole with a lace pattern that meandered along, ending at varying lengths. Twig yarn creates a perfect fabric for summer evenings sipping cool drinks, and the idea emerged for a lace pattern that mimicked the bubbles in a champagne cocktail. After all the dreaming and drawing, it turned out to be quite a challenge to find a lace pattern that would reflect bubbles rising in a glass, and the process ended up consisting mostly of making a lot of swatches.

 

What was the most fun part about designing the stole?
The most fun part was re-watching An Affair to Remember. They drink pink champagne cocktails on their cruise.

 

And the most challenging?
The most challenging part was discovering a perfect edge treatment. To me, a neat, pleasing edge really makes a project complete, and I have my own preferred method of slipping edge stitches in my designs. But Twig wasn’t having any of it. I tried several kinds of slip stitches until I came up with one that works with Twig’s beautiful, rustic texture.

 

Was this your first time working with Shibui Twig? How did you like working with it?
Yes, this was my first time, and I love it. The fabric is amazingly light, the lace is airy and yet the design holds its shape so that you can appreciate the geometry of the pattern. This yarn would be beautiful worked in basic patterns, too, like garter stitch. It would create a gorgeous, rough-hewn-looking stripe pattern.


What do you enjoy most about knitting and designing lace patterns?
To me, the most enjoyable part of lace knitting is the moment when you take the project off the blocking board and it comes to life in three dimensions. You can finally feel how incredibly light it is, see how it drapes and how the light filters through.


What projects are you working on at the moment?
Today, I’m working on several shawl designs that all use garter stitch in eye-catching shapes and stripes. They’re made to feature highly variegated yarn, and I’m having fun using many of the hand dyed skeins I’ve collected over the years. In fact, I just finished a prototype that mixes fingering-weight yarn with a skein of Shibui’s cloud-like Cima that I’d been hoarding in my stash.

I'm also working on my second novel. The first one, Beautiful Wreck, is a time travel story that takes place in 10th century Iceland and does feature sheep shearing and spinning. I'm currently writing a companion book that will come out...hmmm, I don't know exactly when. Find out through my e-news! :)


Where can readers find more of your designs?
My designs can all be seen at http://www.ravelry.com/designers/larissa-brown, and more about my knitting and my fiction writing can be seen at www.larissabrown.net. I also send out a newsletter about once a month with new designs, freebies and news about my writing, too. You can sign up for my news here: http://eepurl.com/Y9N4T

 

Thank you for your interview, Larissa! The Bubbly Stole is absolutely stunning.

You can find the Bubbly Stole kit on our website here.

July 01, 2015 by Oleya Pearsall
Tags: Designers

Knitting Experiments with Inkodye

When I was a child, I always looked forward to the summer. It meant long days, no homework, and my favorite thing of all, summer camp. While I was fortunate enough to attend a few different types of camps, I always enjoyed science camp the best. My favorite part about science camp? Definitely the experiments.

Even though I love the idea of experimentation, I find that I don’t experiment nearly enough with my knitting projects. I am trying to change this now, but knitting is usually an un-experimental process for me. I find a yarn I like, choose a pattern (or vice versa), and get started. Other than changes in gauge, yarn, and a few modifications here and there, I largely stick to projects that will give me predictable results.

A product called Inkodye has opened my eyes up to a whole new world of surface design and experimentation. Inkodye is a UV light-activated dye which allows you to print images on fabric. It is a innovative way to add color and pattern to your knitting without relying on traditional methods like stripes, stranding, and intarsia.

The Inkodye process is fairly simple and user-friendly. All you really need to get started is fabric, Inkodye, image-making materials, and sunlight. You can make images by using photographic inkjet paper, or a technique called shadow printing.

We used the shadow printing technique to create our swatches. For our experiment, we gathered plant materials around our yards and then placed them over swatches of Shibui Cima in Ivory. Covering parts of the swatch with opaque objects blocked out the sunlight, resulting in negative images kind of like a photogram.

The hard part about experiments is that there is usually a little room for improvement. While I had fun with the process, there are definitely a few variables that I would change next time. Next time I would try flattening the leaves/petals out so they left behind a more defined shape, and seeing if leaving the swatches out longer in the light would result in deeper, more saturated colors. I also can’t wait to experiment with photographic negatives.

There is so much more you can do with Inkodye—you can try mixing different colors of Inkodye together to get new colors, you can fold and dye your fabric in the Shibori manner, and you can draw on transparency film and make up a hand-drawn pattern repeat! There are all sorts of project ideas in the Inkodye gallery.

Experimenting with Inkodye has made me realize that there is so much to explore in the world of knitting and surface design. Even if you don’t use Inkodye this summer, there are multiple ways to experiment with your knitting that you might not have considered before. Try combining two different yarns together. Knit freestyle, without a pattern. Go outside of your usual color comfort zone. Combine several techniques in one project. You just might be surprised at what you come up with!

June 24, 2015 by Oleya Pearsall

Swatch Sketchbook: Banded Agate

Last week, I explored combining plant-based sources of inspiration with swatching. This week, I'd like to explore the possibilities that lie in the world of minerals.

Ever since I was a child, I’ve been fascinated by gems, rocks, and minerals. I enjoyed collecting them in variety of colors, textures and patterns. I remember my favorite piece being a small rock of Fool’s Gold (pyrite). I thought it was something magical.

As an adult, I no longer collect rocks and minerals, but I still love to look at pictures of them on the Internet. One of my favorite sources right now is http://mineralia.tumblr.com/.

There is so much inspiration out there in the world of rocks and gems that it’s hard to know where to when deciding on a design. After lots of scrolling, I decided that banded agates were a great match for with my affinity for knitting striped items.

I love all the color combinations that nature comes up with in the layers of these agates (seriously, there is not a bad one in the bunch!), and the undulating effect is quite beautiful.

There are many stunning banded agates out there, and it was hard to choose one for my design inspiration. Here is the inspiration photo I used for the swatch: http://www.d.umn.edu/~mark0524/Project/Fall/LagunaAgate1.jpg

For my banded agate swatch, I decided on Shibui Pebble for the yarn (appropriately named!), and a basic ripple knitting pattern for the undulating stripes.

Since the rippling effect is not uniform in the agate, I decided to only do the rippling effect on certain rows, working across the rest of the row normally. One row stripes created with random increases and decreases created just the effect I was looking for.


Charts are a lot more fun when I get to use my colored pencils! Here is the knitting chart I made in my Knitters Graph Paper Journal.
June 17, 2015 by Oleya Pearsall

Swatch Sketchbook: Dandelions

The plant world is full of wonderful textures, color palettes, and shapes for knitters to draw inspiration from. Recently I have been finding myself drawn to dandelions, the invasive weeds that have been appearing on my front lawn this past spring. Even though they can be a nuisance, I do think that their white fluffy heads are beautiful and inspiring.

I wondered how I could translate the characteristics of a dandelion to a small knitted swatch, perhaps for future use in a shawl design. I decided to sketch out my idea in my Knitters Graph Paper Journal, which is full of blank charts to use for all sorts of knitting purposes.

For this particular design, I knew I wanted to create the appearance of a dandelion quite literally—capturing both the long, skinny stem and tufted head. After a few false starts, I decided the stem would look best as a twisted knit column on a background of reverse stockinette stitches.

Finding a way to make the seed heads was probably the trickiest part of the swatching process. I started by knitting rays of slipped stitches going in multiple directions, but the result wasn’t quite what I’d hoped for. After spending some quality time with the Internet, I was lucky enough to find a stitch pattern called dandelion stitch, and I worked that pattern into my swatch so that it stacked on top of the stem design.

After finishing the design, I experimented with a few different yarn combinations. I settled on Shibui Silk Cloud held together with Shibui Cima in Ivory. I thought Silk Cloud’s halo would nicely mimic the fluffiness of the dandelion, and the Cima would give the swatch a bit more structure.

Here is the resulting swatch:

While I like the end result, next time I might experiment with making more loops to fill out the dandelion head a bit more. Overall, it was a fun experience, and I really enjoyed combining natural inspiration and my Knitters Graph Paper Journal to create a design.
June 10, 2015 by Oleya Pearsall

World Wide Knit in Public Day

The days are getting longer and the weather is beginning to warm up. It feels like the perfect time of year to sit and knit outside with friends. Knitting’s portable nature lends itself well to outdoor events, and it just so happens that there is actually an entire day dedicated to the act of knitting in public. It’s called World Wide Knit in Public Day, or WWKIP Day for short. It takes place the second Saturday in June every year, and there are events worldwide. This year, Knit Purl will be taking part.

On Saturday, June 13, from 11:00 am–2:00 pm, Knit Purl will host a WWKIP Day event in downtown Portland’s Director Park. We’ll have fun demonstrations, activities, and more, including a rope demo from our Structure of Knitting class!

World Wide Knit in Public Day is the largest knitter-run event in the world, and it’s run solely by the help of volunteers. It was started 10 years ago by Danielle Landes, a knitter who wanted to find a way to bring the often solitary act of knitting out in the open. Taking part in this event is a great way to meet other knitters and share the activity of knitting with the public.

Even if you’re not in Portland, you can still join in on the fun. The World Wide Knit in Public Day website has a list of events taking place all around the world. Even if there isn’t an event listed in your neighborhood, you can always start up your own informal gathering. Whether it’s a group of two, or a group of fifty, knitting in public is a fun way to get out and show off your craft to the world!
June 02, 2015 by Oleya Pearsall

Warm-Weather Knitting

For some, knitting is strictly considered a cold-weather activity, bringing to mind thoughts of warm, cozy sweaters and thick, cushy scarves. Thoughts of knitting in hot weather might be too much to bear. But there’s no reason to put your knitting needles down for a season. Knitting during the summer can be fun and rewarding. Here are a few reasons why:

Wool lovers, rejoice! For those who might think twice about knitting a wool t-shirt, think again: wool can actually help you stay cool in the summer. Wool’s breathable qualities can regulate body temperature, absorb and evaporate moisture, and help reduce sweat and odor.

For those who just can’t bear the thought of working with wool during the summer, think of it as an excuse to try out a new type of yarn. There are quite a few plant fiber options to explore, in a variety of textures and weights. Some staff favorites include Joseph Galler Inca-Eco, and Juniper Moon Farms Zooey. Plant fiber yarns perform beautifully in lightweight accessories, like Shibui’s L.1 scarf in Shibui Linen (pictured above) and the Sea Salt Cowl in Hand Maiden Lino.

Consider knitting smaller projects, like toys, socks, and jewelry. In addition to being a lot easier to manage when it’s warm, they are great to take on summer trips, whether you’re going on a road trip or trekking across the globe. Best of all, they can be instantly gratifying!

Knit sleeveless tops! A vest or sleeveless top can be a quick project (no pesky sleeves to worry about) and a great entry into the world of garments if you’ve never made a sweater before. Vasa is one of my favorites, and I’ve just started one in Shibui Twig. Some other sleeveless options are Shibui Mix. No. 15 and Shibui Slope.

Take advantage of the abundant natural light and longer days, and take your knitting outside. Portable projects can be packed up and taken to the beach, out camping, or at the park. For those seeking a more social experience, World Wide Knit in Public Day is June 13th, which is a wonderful time to knit outside in the company of others.

I can’t imagine setting my knitting aside when the mercury rises. Even during the warmer months, there is still something soothing about the clicking of needles and creating fabric.  With all the sunlight, outdoor knitting opportunities, and project options available, I find more reasons to knit during the summer than not. Warm weather knitting is a great excuse to continue to indulge in your favorite hobby, so why not give it a try?

May 27, 2015 by Oleya Pearsall