Summer Knitting: yea or nay?

I have ‘crazes’, as my husband calls them. I get interested in something and become completely obsessed about it until it no longer interests me. Knitting became a craze for me in 2009 or so, and it’s actually stuck, long past most of my best before craze dates. So because I had to have something on my knitting needles ALL. THE. TIME., I naturally included summer garments in my repertoire. I’m not sure I’m going to keep that up, though. I haven’t had much luck in the ‘yes, I’m going to wear this a lot’ department for the summer clothes I’ve knit.

This one looked at first like it was in the running for lots of wear. It’s a lovely lightweight jacket made from Drops Design pattern 108-33 using Katia “Sombra” yarn, a slubby, linen-nylon-cotton blend. I’m always drawn to asymmetrical designs like this. But it’s a design you kind of have to be careful wearing — the bottom front gapes open (despite the button I added on the inside to keep it in place). So this is now in the ‘probably destined for Goodwill’ pile.

"Lin" jacket from a Drops design pattern
“Lin” jacket from a Drops design pattern

Lin jacket - back view

Next up is the always ill-advised sleeveless turtleneck in wool. When would anyone ever wear such a combination? It’s no good for fall or winter for obvious reasons, and wool + turtleneck x summer = stupid. This is from the pattern Perfect Periwinkle Turtleneck Tube Vest from Stephanie Japel’s book Fitted Knits. I really love the design, though, and it does have fairly mystical boob-enhancing properties. And it was an easy knit. Some knitters on Ravelry have added sleeves to theirs, which is brilliant. File this one under looks-great-but-impractical-to-wear.

The "Perfect Periwinkle Turtleneck Tube Vest" pattern, in turquoise Cascade 220 wool.
The “Perfect Periwinkle Turtleneck Tube Vest” pattern, in turquoise Cascade 220 wool.

The "Perfect Periwinkle Turtleneck Tube Vest" pattern, in turquoise Cascade 220 wool.

Here’s another cute top, the Cowl Shell by Myrna Batten, this time in 100% silk. This is more workable than the wool top above, but I still find it too warm for sleeveless days. I knit this 2 years ago, before I discovered that silk yarn groooooooows with wear and washing. I guess that’s why smart people always tell you to wash your gauge swatch. I’ve never done that in my life — it’s anathema to my oh-my-god-I-have-to-start-knitting-that-pattern-RIGHT-NOW nature. So this photo was taken as soon as I finished knitting it, when it was a good size XS and fit me, and now I’d say the top is about a Medium. Still wearable…let’s just call it ‘drapier’.

Silk Cowl Shell pattern by Myrna Batten
Silk Cowl Shell pattern by Myrna Batten
And that’s my cat Mitzi. She’s a cute pea.

So as I learn more over the years of knitting about what works and doesn’t work, I’m thinking of abandoning summer knits. Which is not to say I won’t be knitting in summer — I’ll just be sweltering over an aran-weight cabled cardigan in a 35 degree heat wave. And I will always be annoyed that all the knitting magazines have to publish their requisite ‘spring summer’ editions full of patterns I will never knit or wear. Why don’t they put some winter patterns in those magazines? I mean, it can take me several months to knit a sweater, so doesn’t it make sense to start one in June so it’ll be ready when the cool Fall weather hits?

What about you? Do you like wearing handknits in summer? What are your favourite projects?

And now here is a completely gratuitous picture of my other cat, Lexie.

Cat Toes!
Cat Toes!

3 thoughts on “Summer Knitting: yea or nay?

  1. Enjoyed this post! I can totally relate to your knitting style of ‘I must begin knitting this now!’ I have often been remiss of not knitting swatches to check my gauge or to practice a new technique. I’m learning the hard way though. Anyway, I’m truly enjoying knitting and it sounds like you are too.


    1. I am learning the hard way, too, lol! Sometimes I think I enjoy knitting more for the process than the outcome, though…hence STILL not washing my gauge swatch.


  2. Lori: you are the perfect model for your designs. So enjoyable to read your posts and see you!

    About the turtleneck, I instantly thought about making separate sleeves. Like those ones Preloved features at times… Or sleeveless gloves. Maybe transforms this summer knit into a fall delight. Bare shoulders but otherwise warm.

    And if your drop-drape cowl or your XS-to-Medium-stretch tops are destined for goodwill, consider an Icelandic home first. 😉


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