If you can’t stand the heat…

It’s hot.
And there’s lots to do. I need to order yarn for the autumn, publicise my new course schedule, I need to respond to email messages. Right now I need to write this blog post. So I’m sitting here, trying to focus on what it is I’m writing about and like a belligerent parrot, all my brain will give me is, It’s hot.
People wander into the shop, seduced by the shade of the interior, glance around exhaustedly, and leave with weak apologetic smiles, as if to say “Sorry dear… it’s just that well.. you’ve got a pretty shop but in this heat.. I’m not being funny or anything but wool.. knitting… nah..” And the trouble is that I don’t blame them. In spite of everything I’ve said and truly believe in: that knitting is a perfect summer holiday relaxer, that cotton is a great fibre for trying out light lacey stitches, that there’s more to knitting than hats and scarves, that you must try the linen – it is divine to work with and wear, that bamboo needles are a gift for the sweaty-handed.. In spite of all of that I’m also struggling with my knitting mojo in this heat.

So this is me trying to pull myself together and summon up reserves from my deepest stash of fibre love to find some inspiration and get back in the knitting saddle. No matter what you think about knitters’ gravitational pull towards winter months and colder climbs, if we put our minds and needles to it, the summer and the heat can be our friends. After all it’s the time of the year for having some time.  Think hammock in the dappled shade of the trees that support it, think deckchair under a parasol on the beach, think picnic blanket abandoned by the rest of your tribe who have headed for a rounders match or to splash in the waves.

sock knitting on the beach at Abererch, Snowdonia

Lace a thread of linen or cotton through your fingers and let your hands do their old familiar thing with the needles and stitches. Can you think of a better way to unwind and isn’t that what the best summer holidays are made of? It’s true that the pattern may need some concentration before the rhythm of the stitches kicks in but remember how delightful it feels when your knitting takes flight and you know the path you’re on with it. And if you’re struggling to summon up the energy to seek out the patterns here are my suggestions for this year’s summer knitting adventures..

These projects will lend themselves to cottons and linens. Linen for the way it looks, feels and gently drapes and it’s a joy to work with. And cotton for the summer is obvious – cheap, airy, gezillions of colours. I’ve also included socks because of how practical they are for travel knitting: short, little DPNs and never more than one ball of wool so that a sock project will easily fit in with everyone else’s swimming stuff and the water bottles and sun screen, and finishable too – a few trips to the beach plus a train or plane journey home and your done. Pull out a blade of grass or use an earring if you lose your stitch markers. I’ve included light cardies because even if you don’t finish before  your shoulders stop burning, the idea of it will be soothing. Here we go…

Hanna Fettig’s
Lineal Cardigan

Heidi Kirrmaier’s
Vitamin D Cardigan

Heidi Kirrmaier's Vitamin D in linen

© tovefagerstrom

Kat Coyle’s
Flying Home

© Quince & Co.

Quenna Lee’s
Ivyle lacy top

Quenna Lee's Ivyle

© James Brittain

Susan Lawrence’ Pieces of Eight Baby Socks

Susan Lawrence's Pieces of Eight Socks

© Susan Lawrence

 Anna Malz’s
Sceles top

© Juju Vail

Georgie Hallam’s Rainbow Dress

Tikki's Rainbow Dress

© tikki


IrishgirlieKnits Blathnat

© IgnorantBliss

Kat Coyle’s
Linen Top

© Kat Coyle

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