Seasonal knitting sometimes requires adjustments. I do know some folks who only knit during the colder half of the year, opting to hang up their needles when the mercury rises, but myself, I like to be able to knit year-round. To be completely honest, Vancouver does have a relatively mild climate – it rarely gets exorbitantly hot or cold, and rare is the day where the weather completely prohibits knitting.
That being said, I do tend to adjust my projects and expectations from season to season. Working a big, woolly blanket or bedspread is a great way to keep warm in the winter, but hardly a wise choice when knitting through July and August. Below are some of my personal tips for keeping comfortable and cool while knitting in the summer. Do chime in if you have any “hot” tips of your own.
1) Project Selection
The warmer months are the time to knit small and light projects. Think socks and mittens, light shawls and hats. Also go for lighter gauge yarns – lace and fingering weight yarns help to keep the bulk down and out of your lap. Lace and stockinette will be more comfortable to work with than garter stitch, cables, and colourwork.
2) Fibre Selection
Perhaps lay aside the extra-insulating angora and alpaca in favour of temperature regulating yarns out of fine merino or silk, synthetic fibres like Outlast, or bast (plant) fibres such as linen, cotton or bamboo. Just remember that these fibres have very different properties from one another – some research and swatching is highly recommended!
3) Location, location, location
Knit on the beach, in the evenings, or with a fan circulating air around the room (probably best not to point it straight at your hands while knitting). Also take your time – my knitting speed and stamina certainly suffer in the heat. I just can’t sit on the couch with a pile of fabric in my lap for very long – and that’s OK. Above all, stay cool, stay hydrated, and knit on!