Every June, my brother and his family make the trek to Montana to spend the summer. , My brother’s beloved dog, Maggie, is the first to arrive because they have to send her out before the weather gets too hot for her to fly. We are always glad to see her when she arrives and she is very glad to see us after such a long flight. She enjoys her with her Grandma and Grandpa, as well as her Aunt Tammy, while waiting for her family to arrive.
For me, Maggie’s arrival signals the advent of summer knitting. I love summer knitting. I usually pick a series of small projects and focus on the completion of these projects by summer’s end. Though I usually design and knit a couple summer sweaters from cotton or linen, I mainly concentrate on mittens and socks.
I enjoy working with cotton; it absorbs moisture quickly and dries rapidly, which gives it a nice cooling effect for hot summer days. Cotton is also non-allergenic. The only drawback to using cotton is that it lacks resilience and is not as elastic as wool, so it has a tendency to stretch out and show any flaws in one’s tension.
Linen is one of my favorite plant fibers. It is derived from the stem of the flax plant. The process involved in producing linen is quite extensive, but the result is a lustrous, sturdy yarn. It has many of the same traits as cotton: it absorbs moisture quickly from the body and dries rapidly, but it also lacks resilience and has a tendency to wrinkle. Many people do not want to use linen because of the stiff feeling of the skein, but once it is knitted, washed and worn, it softens very nicely.
I like to knit mittens during the summer because they are small and very portable. I always have a sock or a mitten project that remains in the car in case of “emergency” (i.e., a long line at the bank or the coffee shop drive-thru!). My mitten projects also accompany me to picnics, the lake, Glacier Park and on hikes — I never know when I’ll have a quiet moment to knit, so I try to always be prepared. It is amazing sometimes how much I can get accomplished just by doing a row here and there.
So don’t give up knitting during the summer. Get those smaller project out that have been lurking in the back of your closet and put them in the car and see how much knitting you can get done this summer.