Yarncraft isn't just blankets and cosy cardigans; let's take a look at some patterns that are fun to make and use in hot weather. There are lots of patterns designed for summer use and you could also look through your favourite cold weather patterns and see how they can be reworked for warmer seasons.
Here are some great ideas for summer makes that will both feel good to work on and good to use during the hot weather.
Knitted and crocheted bags are an easy summer make and look great in neutrals, pastels or bright shades with summer outfits. Whether it's a big beach or market type bag or a small evening clutch that you want, you're sure to find plenty of patterns. Choose, cotton, linen, paper or raffia yarn for a cool feeling yarn to handle and a sturdy finished result. You make like to try my patterns for Day at the Beach bag and Amelina Small Project Bag
Hats are some of the most useful summer makes to use on hot, sunny days. A hat that fits you exactly in a cool, breathable fibre is ideal to keep the sun out of your eyes and protect the most delicate areas of skin without making your head feel hot and sticky. Making your own hat offers the chance to pick the perfect yarn and get just the right fit for you. The Vivid Bucket Hat is a fun and easily customised bucket hat pattern that works up really fast and is designed for cool, aran/worsted weight cotton yarn.
If you've got some special plants growing in your garden, or even indoors, and you want to brighten up a dull plant pot to match your home and garden décor, I've got you, or more accurately them, covered. The Cable and Bow Planter Cowl is a knitted cover for a 5" pot as written and has guidance on sizing up or down to fit pots of any circumference plus an eyelet and bow detail that looks sweet while also helping the cover to stay put even if it gets wet. The Windowsill Herb Planter is a great make for those who want some small but pretty pots. It uses the bottom of a milk/juice tetrapak type carton and two shades of cotton yarn crocheted to create a container that can have a plant directly inside or be used to cover a small pot.
Adapt winter patterns too
Don't feel limited to patterns intended for summer, look through some of your favourite cool season patterns for summer inspiration too. Here are a few of my patterns that have winter and summer versions with quite minimal changes.
Switch the Fibre
The Rose and Violet Creams Headband is designed with fluffy cotton alpaca yarn that traps a lot of warmth close to the skin to keep your head and ears cosy throughout the winter. Here is a dense cotton version in brown and brighter shades for the flowers that is perfect for keeping your hair out of your eyes in the kind of hot, breezy weather we're experiencing right now in London. It won't be as springy so you might need a smaller size in cotton and consider whether the version that has a small straight section at the nape instead of the standard oval for a cooler version would be useful to you too. You'll find the notes for that in the Make it your Own section, which is included at the end of almost all of my patterns.
Switch the size
When Simply Crochet magazine approached me to participate in their designer challenge to create a summer shawl, I had to send three designs to them to pick from with quite a short deadline. I looked through previous makes for inspiration and found one for a warm woollen winter neckerchief I'd designed just for myself to use in place of a scarf in the open neckline of my winter coat. I simply added extra repeats to create Shells on the Beach Shawl (as of course we don't use a coat in summer so it needed to cover the shoulders and back much more and that was the design they asked me to write up for the summer challenge! I'm so happy to be able to share it with a wider audience at last!
Switch the purpose
I love designing for magazines and most of them will allow designers to publish their pattern independently as it goes out of print a few months later, which is great as it's so annoying to find a pattern you like and not be able to get a copy because it's not sold anymore. Often, the designer gets the right to publish during the opposite season from the one the pattern was designed for so we have to get creative if we want to have a pattern that is useful as soon as it's available. I designed this cute tree shaped Christmas ornament for Knit Now magazine last year and had the right to publish it in February! to lavender bag. I didn't think many crafters wanted to be thinking of Christmas just yet, so I launched it as Fragrant Fir Trees Sachet, a natural room/drawer fragrance sachet that you can fill with herbs, spices or dried flower petals, making a new version in a summery fine woollen yarn instead of the acrylic yarn the magazine required for the original.
Switch the colours
Do you associate colours with the seasons? I know I do. Adding a garland to our home each season helps ring the changes and freshen up the room's look and I try to pick seasonal colours to fit the mood. Have a look at some of the colour schemes I have picked for my Crochet Flower Garland, a speedy last minute home and garden décor make that is perfect for decluttering your yarn storage of scraps and very satisfying to work up quickly on a large hook. What seasons/events/colour schemes am I missing? I want to make more, so let me know in the comments and I'll try to add them!
I designed the Fireworks Crochet Pendant pattern (which also creates a coaster/trivet/washcloth etc. if you change the yarn and hook size!) for Guy Fawkes Night which is our main fireworks event in the UK and takes place in chilly early November but I know that countries all around the world celebrate with fireworks at other times of the year so I need to promote that pattern at times when others might want firework themed items. Let me know when you are most likely to celebrate with fireworks and I'll add the date to my calendar to remind me, so you might find it has a special price a week or so before you are celebrating!
Did I miss anything? Let me know your favourite handmade items for hot weather in the comments below.