Yarns for Summer Knitting

My gran always used to say, “Never cast a clout until May is out,” and since we’re now well and truly into summer, it’s definitely acceptable to cast off the shackles of heavy wool and embrace something a little more summery instead. After all, we give our wardrobes a makeover when summer arrives, so why not our craft supplies as well?

It’s not a surprise that cotton is a perennial favourite when it comes to summer knitting projects – it’s soft, light, comfy and is available in a kaleidoscope of beautiful colours just perfect for that new season knit we’ve had our eye on. But if – like us – your needles are itching to try something different, there are plenty of exciting new alternatives out there, all jostling for a place in your yarn box.

T-shirt yarn has definitely been growing in popularity over the last few years and is a fantastic alternative to cotton. With natural elasticity, it’s good for tops and day dresses and also knits up into great shopper bags – mix and match primary shades in a colour block style for a bright and breezy tote that will look perfect at the pool.

Another pretender to the crown is jute. If, like me, you thought jute was the garden string you used to tie your tomato plants back, you would of course be right – but designers have also been embracing the yarn for home accessories. With its natural colouring, jute is great for adding texture to a room in the shape of a rug, door mat, hanging planter or storage basket, and perfectly captures the global traveller trend that has swept the high street this year.

If you’re especially environmentally-minded, how about some ethical plastic yarn made from recycled plastic bottles? Becoming increasingly comercially available, more and more companies are now championing the product. Check Pinterest for inspiration on how to use it, including funky coasters and plant pots!

And finally, let’s not forget an oldie but a goodie; raffia. Beloved by school children for generations, the brightly coloured crafting stalwart is a versatile addition to any yarn stash. Great for knitting, weaving, structural crafts and adding finishing touches to straw beach bags and accessories, we particularly love this year’s trend for knit and crochet raffia clutches. This often- overlooked little yarn definitely deserves a place in your summer knitting basket.

So there you go – now grab those needles and your exciting new yarn, get out in the sunshine and start knitting!