I love a day at the beach – and I don’t just mean the beautiful white, sandy coves of somewhere on the continent (as lovely as that is) – I also include the British seaside in that. Sand in your sandwiches, a ‘gentle’ breeze, ice creams that melt in your hand and then stick to your leg so you get covered in sand… the whole shebang. It’s what a day at the seaside is about.
Our nation’s love affair with the coast has lasted for years and we’ve seen it all – from the bathing houses of the Victorian promenades to the string vests, deck chairs and spotted hankies of the Fifties and Sixties, from kiss me quick hats and donkey rides to buckets and spades and fish and chips – and through it all, you’ll find us there, come rain or shine, stoically enjoying ourselves – either burnt to a crisp or wrapped up in our winter woollies.
So in celebration of our love for the seaside, here are our top coastal knits for this summer (not including knitted bikinis; while we love a bit of retro glamour, especially when it comes to beautiful knits, there are some things that should probably stay in the past…).
Perfect for carrying all our beach-y paraphernalia (and, of course, our latest knitting project!), where would we be without our trusty beach bags and picnic boxes? From chunky knit totes to string-like shoppers and vintage-style straw baskets with raffia embroidery, there are plenty of patterns to choose from – and if knitting a bag isn’t your thing, how about making your own on-trend slogan bag by stitching an i-chord to a shop-bought basket?
Whether you choose to channel timeless Riviera chic in a knitted cotton Bretton top, a day on the open waves with bold sailor stripes, or an on-trend colour block in chunky red, white and blue, there’s no shortage of inspiration out there for nautical woollies. Also think beach cover-ups in the shape of floaty merino ponchos and warm and cosy Arans for when that sea breeze gets a little too brisk. And if you love a bit of vintage rockabilly style, there’s always the traditional sailor collar…
Cutting a Rug
Love it or loathe it, sand is more often than not part of a day at the beach. While I love the beach, I’m not a sand fan, so the first thing in my bag is always a nice big blanket to sit on. Knit up your own rug in a super chunky, washable yarn – or maybe even capture the boho beach vibe with this year’s on-trend circular blankets (don’t forget the all-important tassel edging!).
Finally, if you’re lucky enough to have a beach hut, why not whip up some bunting in nautical colours, then hang round the door to create your own version of an iconic seaside image? If you haven’t got a beach hut, don’t worry – it looks just as good festooned across a windbreak! If you’ve got time, go full-on vintage charm and make a matching tea cosy, too! We love the seagulls with nautical stripes…