The Hidden Costs of Summer Knitting

The seasons have changed: it’s getting hot in the northern hemisphere, and cooler in the southern hemisphere.

Seasonal knitting is an interesting question: I know a lot of knitters who tend to put their needles down in hot weather.  Makes sense to me – do you really want to have a massive wool blanket draped over your lap when the mercury rises?

The colder the weather gets, I crave larger projects: blankets I can wrap around myself as I work, and big sweaters I can cuddle up with.

carefully knitting small things in the summer sunshine

I knit socks and lace in the summer, for the most part, and I choose the yarns carefully.  My hands get very warm and a bit clammy – I’m funny that way – and I’m always nervous that I might accidentally felt the yarn.

About 10 years ago, I offered to make a shawl for a friend’s wedding.  She was getting married in northern Ontario, in late September.  The evenings can get pretty cool there, so we chose a  mohair yarn.  All well and good, but a September wedding meant I was knitting in August – and it must have been the hottest August we’d had in some years.  It was a big shawl, too. At the time, I had a window air conditioning unit in my living room.  I spent every evening for four weeks huddled beside the window, with the air conditioning cranked up to maximum.

I finished it on time, and it was beautiful, and the bride loved it.

And a good thing, too: I can say with absolutely certainty that it was the most expensive thing I’ve ever knitted.  The yarn was pretty inexpensive – it was the air conditioning bill that pushed the price up.

*Spread the joy!*

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8 thoughts on “The Hidden Costs of Summer Knitting

  1. Cindy

    while reading your post I felt like you were talking about me too!
    I started a new job along the coast and I once tried to knit on the beach at lunch time but as I’ve been attacked by sea birds I just decided to return to my usual bench: such a safer place!! provided with the right amount of shadow. That makes high temperature more bearable plus, and at least, my work is safe!

  2. Ash

    I know exactly what you’re talking about. I’m making a stole (due in December with a million other projects). I finally settled on using superwash sock yarn to keep from ruining the thing before I could show it off!

  3. Christina

    I can just imagine knitting the mohair shawl in the summer. I am in hot humid Arkansas and like you I am doing lots of socks this summer!

  4. Wool Free and Lovin' Knit

    It’s a scorcher here too but I’m still knitting whenever and wherever I end up in A/C. Today, for example, I had 2 hours to knit in the waiting room of the muffler shop with the A/C going full blast. I was working on an afghan square but after about 60 min. I wished I had the whole darn thing on my lap. However, home now and the needles are staying in the bag until the sun goes down — still, gives me time to catch up on blogs and hunt down new patterns. Summer is a great time to dream and plan for fall/winter knitting!

  5. Bee@LarderTales

    I’m a little slow at knitting big projects so I find I need to start them in summer if I want to make sure I get to wear them that winter. I just keep them as my cooler days knitting

  6. Nicole

    I knit all summer. I can’t stop knitting. To me it would be like stopping breathing. This summer I’ve made soft cotton T-shirts for my daughters from Wolles Creations. VERY LIGHT! I’m also using Cotton Fleece and knitting up various things from Barefoot Knits. My girls love getting new knitted things from me.

  7. Leslie

    Summer in the Midwest is a roller coaster of temps and humidity. I knit daily and have thanked myself for taking a sock class this winter. This has become a perfect way to keep at the wool without baking under a lapful of sweater and 14 pounds of super lovey cat. If I sit to knit, he’s on top of me! We also have what I think of as a second “winter” when we hide from the heat and humidity. When the A/C is cranked for week-long stretchs, then I get out the bigger projects.

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