For many people that means a welcome end to the cold weather and the start of a whole raft of activities – the arrival of the kiddies home for the holidays, summer camps, school catch-up programs and long car journeys to the beach or the mountains. However, that poses some problems for us knitters… How do we manage all of these summer activities but keep knitting wherever we are?
Well, the good news is that we're ahead of the game right now and have enough time to prepare. So, I have put together a Guide for the Summer Knitter to help make this the best knitting season of the year!
#1 - Get ready for some selfish knitting
Yes, you can do it! Knit something just for yourself. You know that you will be thinking about all of holiday knitting projects by the beginning of September, so now's the time to focus just on you.
Choose a pattern for that summer scarf you've always fancied. Or how about a canvas-lined bag such as the Sarasota Shopper – perfect for your next long road trip.
#2 - Download an armful of patterns
You won't have time to look later on, so choose three or four knitting patterns now that will give you a whole range of projects for the summer, such as the Ryedale Bracelets pictured here.
Then you can go ahead and load them onto your iPad or print them out ready to go.
#3 - Check out the on-line yarn stores
Many yarn stores have offers at this time of year so now is the time to see what is available and get stocked up. Buy all the yarns you need for the patterns you have downloaded and place each pattern with its yarn in a bag ready to take with you.
Choose a yarn which will be just for right for the summer, such as Knit Picks Shine used in the Kimpton Scarf and Wrap pictured here. Then you can wear the item straight away!
#4 - Map the yarn stores along your route
If you know you’re travelling to a new town, then Google Maps is excellent at locating yarn stores nearby. Find the area you're interesting in, then type in “knitting yarn” or “knitting store”. The map will then show all the yarn stores you can investigate.
Then you can plan your walking tour to take in not just the famous landmarks but also lots of new knitting shops so you can explore and buy some yarns ready for the journey home.
#5 - Remember the notions
It's so frustrating when you come to the end of your knitting and don't have the right bits and pieces to complete an item.
So gather all the zips, buttons, closures and so on for each of your projects and put them right into the bag with the yarn and needles all ready. Then when the knitting is done it won't be long until the item is finished!
#6 - And that goes for knitting tools too
Have you ever been on a plane and dropped an interchangeable needle end down the side of the seat? Or been unable to find the crochet hook you need right now to catch that dropped stitch?
So, check your tool supplies and make sure you have spare needles and all the other essentials with you. Add in a pair of scissors, a tapestry needle & blocking pins too. Then put them into a handy notions bag so you know exactly where they are.
#7 - Look out for the #summerknitting hash tag!
Yes, you can't escape it. Twitter hashtags are making their way into mainstream knitting. However, the #summerknitting tag is a great way of finding some inspiring summer projects.
In addition to Twitter, look in Pinterest, Instagram and even a general Google search for some great ideas for your summer knitting! Check out the fashion pages too so you can make something in just this season's colours.