Summer Knitting Ideas to Keep You Cool

When you think about summer knitting, you might think of cute tops made out of lightweight cotton or linen. I do too! However, if you’re like me, July is too late to start a garment project if you want to get it done in time to wear it this summer! (Although if you can start and get one done in time, then that is fantastic and I congratulate you.)

So I am going to suggest a few different projects to keep you occupied this summer, even in the hottest of weather.

1. Socks

O socks, how do I love knitting thee!

The picture shows a pair of socks knit out of self striping yarn, with the colors orange, purple, and green alternating with an off-white color.  These were a pair that I knit last summer.
A fun pair of self-striping socks that I knit last summer, in bright, summery colors.

Seriously, I love knitting socks. They are small, portable, and a great way to try out a wide variety of sock yarn. Also, I often love to match the yarn I use with the season I’m knitting it in, so I gravitate to using bright, summery colors in the summer.

Since they’re small, you won’t get hot like you would with a larger project sitting in your lap. They’re portable so they’re easy to take with you on any summer adventure you might take. And since they’re a relatively quick project, you can knit a few pairs over the summer, which will be nice to have in preparation for when the weather finally cools down!

Also, consider making shortie socks. The benefit of making shortie socks, aside from being appropriate for summer wear, is that they knit up super quickly. This is definitely one summer knit that you can get done in time to wear this summer!

2. Dishcloths

A set of three dishcloths and a dishtowel in a purple and white cotton yarn with a marled look, great for summer knitting.
A set of three dishcloths and a dishtowel in a purple that I made earlier this year.

If you do have a stash of cotton yarn hanging around, dishcloths are a super fast project to make. They are small enough so that they won’t drape over your lap. You can also explore different stitch patterns and techniques that you may have not used before. Many knitters love to give dishcloths as a gift, and summer is a great time to get started on gift knitting.

3. Hats

This picture shows a beanie knit out of self striping yarn, with an autumnal color pallete.
A hat that I knit out of self striping yarn last month!

Hats are another small project that won’t make you hot while you knit them. They also make a great gift, or work great as a donation to charity. Prepare to get addicted to hat knitting, since they work up very quickly!

4. Modular blankets

The picture shows three blanket squares, in a lace pattern, in the colors purple, teal, and a yellow-green.
A few of the squares I’ve knit for the Radvent Throw by Ambah O’Brien.

Modular blankets are blankets that can be knit (or crocheted!) in pieces, and then later seamed together. Summer is a great time to work on your squares (or other shape). When it gets cooler, you just have to put them together and ta-da! You have a blanket.

5. Lightweight sweaters or blankets

So far I’ve mentioned small projects that don’t drape over your lap, so why am I now suggesting larger projects?

Well, if you’re anything like me, it’s possible that you live with another person who runs warmer than you. So in the summer, they might keep turning the A/C colder. And then you put it a couple degrees warmer. And then they turn it colder again. Then suddenly you’re sitting on the couch watching Netflix, and you’re freezing, in the summer, even though it’s still 95 degrees outside.

Lightweight sweaters

This might be the perfect time to get a jump start on your fall sweater knitting. For example, if you have a busy life (don’t we all?) and you want to make a lightweight cardigan, then you might want to start it at least 2-3 months before you want to wear it. I find I get coldest in the evening while the A/C is going, which makes it a perfect time to knit on a project like this.

Larger blankets

Depending on how cold the A/C is running in your home, you may even be able to tolerate the weight and feel of a non-modular blanket in your lap. The past two summers, I’ve been able to pull out a larger blanket and work on it when the A/C was running constantly. In fact, I started the blanket shown below in the summer and mostly only worked on it during warm weather.

Of course, knitting these types of projects during the summer may not be an option where you live. If you don’t have A/C or rarely use it, I would recommend sticking with smaller projects and modular blankets during the summer. But for those of us who live where it gets ridiculously hot, and are more of a fan of cooler weather, I think the psychological aspects of knitting on a cozy project while waiting for fall can be quite comforting.

The picture shows a knit blanket in progress.  It starts at one corner and is knit diagonally, starting with a red/pink color, and fading to yellow and then green tones.
Blanket in progress

So I hope you’ve found a couple ideas for projects you can make this summer. It’s a great time to prepare for the coming season! And it’s a great time to work on gift knits, if that is your thing.

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