Summer is here, and for many of us, that means more time with family, more time outdoors and less time with the fiber arts. While it can be refreshing to scale back our project load and focus on other things, we’ve shared some tips below for fuss-free crafting that will help keep your momentum through the summer season!
Keep it simple. When it’s hot, schedules are different, and it can feel like we’re busier than ever, the last thing we need is a complex pattern that requires extra brain power. Aim for a pattern that is easily memorized, doesn’t require looking at a pattern (or at least doesn’t require frequent references to the pattern), and doesn’t need much counting! Regardless of what type of projects you like to create, working on a simple pattern will provide a relaxing activity that you can pick up - for however many minutes you can - and put down again just as easily when the bucket of water balloons needs to be refilled!
Think about your fibers. There’s a reason we don’t wear wool in the summer - it’s too warm! This goes for working with it too. Wool retains heat and having a pile of it in your lap while you’re working can be too much! Mix it up and work on a project using silk, cotton, linen, or a blend that includes plant fibers. These fibers are much cooler, more breathable and you’ll be able to enjoy the time you get with your project so much more if it doesn’t make you uncomfortably warm!
(Learn more about fiber in our Learning Center article: Yarn Fibers!)
Break out the color! Summer is such a playful time of year which makes it the perfect season to go wild with color! Even if you’re a neutral or muted colors kind of person, add in a pop of color that excites you and makes you want to work with it. Even if you’re working on a gift knit, using a bold color will break you out of your routine and give a fresh perspective on your craft, most likely inciting a rush of creativity!
Use the light to go dark. If bright and bold just isn’t for you, take the opportunity to go dark instead. A big drawback to using dark saturated colors like black, navy or rich charcoals and purples is that it can be nearly impossible to see your stitches. Use the additional hours of daylight and avoid eye strain while creating the classy piece you’ve been dreaming about!
Don’t overcommit. When we have a big project on the go, it can feel like work; work with no concrete end in sight. That can be daunting! If you know you won’t have as much time or motivation to work on your craft over the summer, grab that hat pattern, mitten pattern or sock pattern than you’ve been eyeing! Work up a quick gift or be ready for the cooler months! These smaller projects require smaller commitments and provide more instant gratification to enjoy even if our crafting hours are limited.
Wash your hands! Our fibers pick up the moisture, dirt and grime from our hands as we work with it, and as the temperatures rise, our hands have a lot going on! Sweat is the first thing you may think of, and it’s important to pay attention to this as you work. Taking breaks and having a towel nearby can help avoid putting real sweat into your efforts! Don’t forget about things like pool chemicals and sunscreen too. We recommend a quick wash before picking up your project no matter how long ago you reapplied! Also, consider this your reminder to wear sunscreen!
Bonus Tip: Clean your tools! Have you ever been working on a project and your hook or needles just seem tacky or slippery? Gunk builds up on our tools, and all those things we just mentioned are on our hands? They collect on the surface of our supplies, so make sure you wipe down your tools every now and again too. Not only will your projects be cleaner, but you’ll probably notice a difference in the process of stitching too!
What do you think? Are you a summer crafter or do your needles and hooks take a summer vacation? How do you determine your summer projects? What tips would you add to this list? We have so many questions and hope you’ll share your thoughts in the comments below!