My Top 3 Summer Knitting Projects

As I write this, we’re on day 2 of a heat wave that will probably last 3 more days.  (Anyone else notice they’re not using the term “heat wave” anymore?  As if that will make it less hot.)

It’s not good weather for knitting.

Maybe I’m contrary person.  A heat wave hits, and I want to make baked goods & knit.

I don’t have central air conditioning and mostly rely on fans & opening the windows at night to stay cool so it’s definitely time to start a knitting project.

Crazy, right? Care to join me?

Scarf or Hat?

Hah!  Neither say I!  They may be the most popular knitting projects out there, according to Craft & Yarn Council, but if you’re going to knit in a heat wave, I say choose an extra special project.

Another study, as reported by The New York Times, shows that knitting helps people to deal with pain by redirecting the knitter’s focus away from the pain.  The theory is that the brain has a limited ability to process incoming messages.  By choosing to focus on knitting instead of the pain, awareness of the pain is reduced.

Being hot may not exactly be pain, but it’s extremely uncomfortable and I welcome the distraction of knitting.  But I want something really distracting, and small.


1.  The Christmas Stocking

A Christmas stocking can be as challenging and as large or small as you wish.  It’s a decoration.  No one’s ever going to wear it.  It doesn’t have to be practical and it can remind you of Christmas, even though it’s months away.

What’s better than thinking about snow, ice & Christmas in the middle of a heat wave?  We can’t spend the whole day in a pool or eating ice cream!

2.  The Ugly Christmas Hat

Everyone knows about the ugly Christmas sweater.  For many, it’s a tradition.  But sweaters are too big & warm to knit in the summer.  Instead, I suggest an Ugly Christmas Hat.

I recently ran across a pattern for a child’s Christmas tree hat.  I don’t have any small children to knit for, but I do have an adult daughter with a fondness for ugly Christmas head wear.   Usually, she has to find some sort of headband with antlers or bobbling ornaments.  This summer, I plan on adapting the pattern for an adult sized head, hers.

3.  Decorations

On Ravelry I’ve seen a lot of small decorative knitting projects:  woodland animals, flowers, various holiday related decorations.  They tend to be very small and quickly finished, perfect for summer knitting.  There are plenty of options if you want to continue the Christmas theme, but why not knit for lots of different holidays?

Right now, I have a project kit that includes a sort of flower swag.  I should have time to get to it after my Christmas projects this summer.  It won’t remind me of “cooler” times, but it’s been waiting much longer than I’m willing to admit.   And, it will remind me of warmer times when it’s the dead of winter.

I’m pretty sure these are crocheted, but you get the idea.


There you have it, ny top three knitting projects for the heat of summer.  I chose them all because they meet my hot weather knitting criteria:

  1. small enough that they won’t pile up on my lap
  2. fun
  3. unique enough to distract me from the heat

What about you?  How do you knit through the heat?  What are your favorite summer knitting projects?


Craft Yarn Council’s 2014 Tracking Study

“The Health Benefits of Knitting”  a blog post behind the New York Times paywall (sorry)

4 thoughts on “My Top 3 Summer Knitting Projects”

  1. It’s been a long time since I picked up a knitting needle. My mother used to knit and crochet all the time, that’s how I picked it up and I must say it was very soothing and helped to relieve stress. I knitted a few jumpers and scarves. I think the Christmas stockings would be a great project to try. Summer is a great time to pick up the knitting needle, but then again, if you really enjoy it, it won’t matter what the weather is like. Thanks. 

    • Hi Jamila,

      Yes, most knitters find knitting to be soothing & stress reducing all year round. Since you haven’t knitted in a while, i hope your life has been smooth sailing!

      I’m glad you like the Christmas stocking idea, maybe you will be inspired to pick up your needles again soon.

      Thanks for reading!


  2. I just love knitting and do it every night in front of the TV to relax at the end of the day.  I love your top 3 knitting projects, and they are great to do if you don’t have a lot of time because they are quick and easy. For beginners, a scarf is perfect to start off with.

    I am looking for my next big project at the moment, but in the meantime, I will settle down to make a Christmas stocking.

    • Hi Michel,

      I know, a scarf is perfect for beginners, and many knitters enjoy making them.  Not me!  I get very annoyed with most scarfs.  It feels like they go on forever and ever and I get sooo bored, so scarves are never going to make it into my top 3, unless I’m talking about projects for beginners.

      I’m glad my Christmas stocking idea appealed to you. Good luck with your next big project!  Mine is an afghan that is done in blocks, so it meets my fun & small criteria AND my big project criteria.

      Happy Knitting!



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