Thursday 26 April 2012

A Knitter or Crocheter For All Seasons? - 3KCBWDAY4

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As spring is in the air in the northern hemisphere and those in the southern hemisphere start setting their sights for the arrival of winter, a lot of crocheters and knitters find that their crafting changes along with their wardrobe. Have a look through your finished projects and explain the seasonality of your craft to your readers. Do you make warm woollens the whole year through in preparation for the colder months, or do you live somewhere that never feels the chill and so invest your time in beautiful homewares and delicate lace items. How does your local seasonal weather affect your craft?
My crafting is definitely affected by the weather.  As soon as the weather starts to change I want to change my projects.  This can result in many unfinished WIPs.  We had a brief window of unseasonably warm weather in March and all I wanted to do was knit Summer tops, despite the window of warm weather only lasting a week.  I was so sure it was the beginning of Summer - what a fool!  I live in the UK where we have two Summers, one in March that lasts for a week and one in September that also lasts a week and only appears after the kids have gone back to school.

You would think with our very brief stints of truly lovely weather we Brits would be more sensible about knitting Summer projects, but we aren't.  We get giddy when the sun shines properly, in a blue sky, because it happens so rarely.  We want to cast aside our woolly knits and reach for the cottons and the linen blends.   I spent our brief window of sunshine planning what my Summer knits were going to be.  I even bought some nice Summer yarn to knit with.

Louisa Harding Mulberry Silk

I was going to knit my Aqua coloured Louisa Harding Mulberry into a Tulip Peasant Blouse by Connie Chang Chincio.  I had it all planned, and then we had a week of hail.  Great big ice chunks hurling from the sky will make even the most optimistic knitter reach for thick woolly knits. So instead of casting on my nice summery project, I went back to my regular knitting.  But that burst of sun has awoken my desire for light weight projects.

What I really need to do, is get some more light cover ups, as that is the kind of thing we need during our warmer months in the UK.  One project that really suits this country is the Wrapigan I made last Spring.


This is a cardigan in 4 ply or sock weight yarn.  It is light weight but great as a cover up in slightly cooler temperatures, in the Spring and Autumn mainly, but also in the middle of our regularly rubbish Summers too.

I have another sock weight cardigan that I am currently working on.  I started it last Autumn.

Austin Hoodie Blocking

It's an Austin Hoodie, another pattern by Connie Chang Chinchio.  She does great light weight knits and these really do suit our moderate climate.  We don't get many really really cold months here, but we also don't get many really really hot months either.  This moderation makes the lines between Winter and Summer knitting much more blurred.  It makes it harder to keep up the momentum with trying to plan ahead for the seasons, because sometimes they don't really change that much.

One way I did manage to keep ahead of the seasons this year was to knit a picnic blanket that was to be used THIS Summer.  I knit it over the last Winter, and strangely enough it has had a LOT of use during the cold weather, despite it's intended use, as it is very cosy to huddle under.  It is the Mitered Crosses Blanket for Japan.

Mitred Crosses Blanket

I can't wait to use this blanket as it was intended.  The aran weight garter stitch makes a lovely spongey grass covering, and as it has a high acrylic content it can be easily washed.

I knew that this blanket would have to be cool weather knitting, as the thick acryclic yarn would make my hands all hot and bothered in any kind of heat.  Though normally modular knits are perfect for warm weather, as it means you aren't sitting under a pile of yarn.

This notion of sitting under a pile of yarn is often why I don't plan ahead for my knits.  In Winter the idea is comforting and warming, whereas in the Summer it is a very unpleasant image.  This means that often I am out of sync with my knits.  I finish a project just as the season is changing, which means it gets put away for 6 months, until it is the right time to be used.  It is sad, but true, and I don't think I'm alone in this method of "planning" my knits.  I don't think I'll ever change, but I do hope that I can pick up my Austin Hoodie again now the weather is warming up, as it will be a perfect weight to throw on over a t-shirt when I pop to the shops.  It would be nice to think I'll finally get it finished and out of the WIP pile.  Maybe then I can start doing proper Summer knits, perhaps that nice tunic pattern.....


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