Updated: Jul 29
As the temperature rises and we start to look forward to sunny days and time outdoors, do you tend to put your knitting or crochet projects aside, feeling they will be uncomfortable to work on or won't be needed until the summer is over? Or perhaps you like to keep on crafting through the warm weather but find you face challenges enjoying your projects in hot or humid weather. Either way, I'm sharing some ideas here to help you enjoy your knitting and crochet during hot weather while staying comfortable.
Pick plant fibres
It's really helpful to consider the type of yarn that is easiest to work with in the heat. Opting for lightweight and breathable yarns is crucial for comfortable crafting in hot weather. Plant fibres like cotton, linen, hemp and viscose yarn (often bamboo based) are excellent choices as they provide good airflow and prevent excessive sweating compared to plastic based fibres and animal fibres which can feel warm and stick to the hands, affecting your tension. Silk is also an ideal warm weather fibre although it can be damaged by sweat so it's worth washing your project on completion to protect your yarn. Unusual yarns like cotton tape, t-shirt yarn, twine and paper raffia type yarn can be great to experiment with too.
Choose smaller projects that can be completed relatively quickly. This allows you to avoid prolonged contact with the yarn and reduce the chances of your hands getting sweaty or uncomfortable. Consider making small homeware items such as dishcloths, coasters; little amigurumi toys; or wearables like jewellery or hair accessories. Modular motif based projects like granny squares or hexagons can work well too for similar reasons and can be combined to make larger items like blankets or garments when it's not so hot. These projects offer a great way to enjoy your craft without sweltering under a huge woolly blanket or pullover.
Lace patterns are perfect to enjoy in the summer: Open, lacy stitch patterns can be stunning and also have the added benefit of being airy, lightweight and more breathable, allowing you to enjoy a cool breeze on a hot day. Whether you're creating a delicate lace shawl or a practical mesh shopping bag, these designs will help keep your hands cool as you work .
Make the cooler parts of the day your craft time, catching an early mornings or late evening session with your project when the sun's not as hot. Better still, find a comfortable spot outdoors, like a shady patio or balcony and enjoy the extra daylight hours the season offers.
Thinking about what your tools are made of and how they feel in hot weather can help ensure that your hands don't overheat and also enable you to maintain a comfortable grip and even tension. Unvarnished wooden or bamboo hooks and needles are less likely to make your hands feel sweaty than plastic ones and metal knitting needles or crochet hooks can actually feel cool to the touch compared to metal ones, so can be a great choice on hot days.
Don't forget to stay hydrated and take breaks from your project. It's easy to become absorbed in your project and end up sitting still and so focused on your work that you don't realise you have become uncomfortable, and of course that can happen sooner when the weather is unusually warm.
Another idea is to make sure you have a few projects in mind that are usable in warm weather. It's not always motivating to work on items that you'll be unable to use for a few months. Great ideas for summer projects are hats, all kinds of bags, jewellery, decor for your outdoors space, pretty camisole style tops and dresses and lightweight shawls and shrugs to protect your neck and shoulders from the sun or use on cooler summer evenings.
Let me know in the comments below what you'll be making this summer and also if you have any extra tips to share for warm weather yarn crafting.