I really hate summer weather.
Because of my ginger status, if I am outside for more than two minutes, the sun tries to murder me with its UV death rays. I tend to spend the summers barricaded in my house watching Netflix.
For many craftsters, the heat means knitting must be packed away under the bed with the coats. The last thing I want to do is make itchy wool sweaters when looking at them makes me sweat.
To make it worse, Southern California boasts its “beautiful” six-month long summers.
Epic knitting fail.
Because I start to feel withdrawals when I’m not clicking and clacking away, I’ve learned to adapt my knitting to ensure 12 months of yarny pleasure. Instead of filling your room with ice cubes and dressing your dog up like a penguin, here are a few knitting project ideas for the warmer seasons.
No outfit is complete without a little knitted goodness, and small accessories are the perfect complement to everything. Not only do these cut down on the wool-to-skin ratio, they are usually quick to knit, resulting in instant gratification. This category can include purses, iPhone or iPad cases, wristbands and more.
My favorite accessory is the hipster bow.
Simple and sweet, these versatile bits of loveliness can be made up during one How I Met Your Mother marathon (Why yes, that is indeed how I spent my last break from school… How’d you guess?).
My favorite pattern is the bow from this headband, though my head is too awkwardly shaped to pull off the headband part. A run to the craft store can supply pin backs, barrettes and more, making these an easy last minute gift for the hipster in your life.
They are also a good add-on to less than wonderful work costumes.
Is that just me? Oh. Right.
These may seem counterintuitive, but light scarves and shawls are great for summer when someone leaves the air conditioning on too high or you need to dress up a t-shirt and shorts. Knit with yarn as thin as spider webs in intricate lacy patterns, the knitting is never heavy or cumbersome, making it ideal for hot days.
Shawl patterns have a wide range to choose from, with really simple shawls for beginners or extremely complicated projects that require so much focus, you may cuss your dog out when he interrupts you. Sorry Scruffers.
One of my favorite designers is Stephen West. Not only are his designs absolutely beautiful and extremely simple, he’s rather attractive, which pretty much always works on me.
My favorite category of summer knitting: toys. These are extremely fun, extremely adorable and extremely useless. It really doesn’t get much better. The sheer amount of toy patterns floating around online is ridiculous, which leads to endless inspiration. I’ve knit everything from donuts and gnomes to sea horses and Brian Wilson.
Toys are great gifts, and everyone is always impressed, even if it’s just a square with a cute face. You have been warned; however, as one knit toy leads to a plethora of requests from literally everyone who sees it.
My favorite toy pattern book is Amigurumi Knits by Hansi Singh. Her patterns are brilliant with complicated stitchery that’s darn near witchcraft. Nothing is quite as cute as the Loch Ness Monster pattern. Who doesn’t want their very own Nessie?
Although I still despise the temperatures in the triple digits, my fingers shall knit on in the comfort of Netflix and air conditioning throughout the summer, creating my own tiny army of bow-wearing, shawl-adorned toys, obviously.
All photos by Alex Walper.