And Spring will be here. At least that is what the calendar will say. We Montrealers know better, of course. That doesn’t keep us at Espace Tricot from getting new Summer yarns to tempt you to knit for the warm season also. Before we get to what I have to say, I just wanted to show you a picture of my finished pouf:
I used three IKEA Fjädrar inner cushions (65×65 cm/26×26″) to stuff it – plenty of volume for little cash!
Now back to business: Once again you’ll get to choose cotton, linen, silk, and various mixes of yarns that will give you a cooler fabric than wool. And once again I’ll get to hear things like:
“This yarn splits.” – It is true, a lot of summer yarns do not hold up or together as well as wool or hairy yarns. That is just the nature of things. My recommendation in this case is to use blunt tipped knitting needles, so that the tip is less prone to help splitting the yarn even more – avoid lace tips!
“My, I had so much trouble with it being slippery.” – Again, yes, cotton, linen and the like are slippery suckers on metal needles. You’ll have more control about them when using bamboo or acrylic (Marblz!!) because these materials are more grippy and less slippery in combination with a slippery yarn.
“This yarn is so hard to knit with.” – This can mean anything from the yarn being slippery, having no elasticity to having a tendency to split. I’ll encourage you to switch up your tools – if you knit with metal needles, try bamboo. If the tips are too pointy, use blunter tips. “Hard to knit with” can mean a lot of different things – if you complain about that I can try to help, but you need to explain further.
“I think this is hard on the hands.” – This is a complaint I often get from tight knitters. Due to the fact that there is little elasticity in summer yarns, tight knitters might have a problem. The only advice I can give here is: Let loose. (Yeah, I know. I wish it was that easy.)
These remarks come together for various reasons, however there is one fact that cannot be denied: Summer yarns rarely have elasticity.
Unless it is added, cotton, silk, linen and the like do have little if none elasticity, that is just in the nature of these fibers. That is also a reason why summer knits are often knit at a larger gauge than recommended on the ball band. Apart from getting a lighter fabric, it is more pleasant to knit at a looser gauge.
Personally, I do love knitting with linen. I like the crunch, the crispness of the fabric – and then, oh wonder, once you wash your sweater it becomes softer and softer. With each wash it becomes more like your favourite t-shirt you keep wearing even though it might have holes and needs to be replaced. (No, my sweater does not have holes. This is an analogy to make a point.)
As with our ‘hairy’ yarns we consciously choose natural fibers for summer. 100% cotton, linen and silk are very pleasant to wear and I encourage you to take the plunge into summer knitting, maybe with one of the designs Melissa put together this week?
Summer is definitely for knitting – I won’t stop, that is for sure!
Happy Knitting, as ever!