Hit Refresh

When people think about renewal they picture spring showers, sprouting daffodils, and fresh green grass. Generally, everything associated with Spring or maybe even the restart of the New Year. For me, it’s that start of the summer knitting season. It’s a time to put aside knitting or crocheting heavy blankets and sweaters in favor of smaller, lighter projects. Socks mostly, if you’re me. And I end up spending the majority of summer thinking about what I’ll make during the other three seasons. I even start making promises to myself as if it were January first:

I will finally knit a Christmas sweater.

I will limit my project ADD to only three WIPs at a time instead of my current average of six.

I will knit a sweater for my husband.

I will stop losing my scissors all the time and buying new ones. Like really, somewhere in this house the pixies and brownies have acquired a horde of them. They could open they’re own specialty scissor shop now. I wonder if they’d give me a discount?

In a lot of ways, knitters and crocheters are the direct opposite of non-crafters. We’re the busiest in the dead of winter, buying up yarn and churning out projects as quickly as possible before the gamut of holidays hit. And then there’s the post holiday I-O-U knitting… Meanwhile, non-crafters are in hibernation until spring or summer.

Megan-Anne and I like to joke around that you can find knitters and crocheters wandering the streets during the summer time with a 100 yard stare, forlorn and wondering where the crunching leaves and threat of snow went. They’re counting down the days until Starbucks announces the return of the pumpkin spice latte, which’ll mean it’s time to break out the hand-knits again.

I miss you, pile of sweaters!

But, we don’t need to wilt in the summer. I know that as a people we tend to get the summer blahs instead of the winter blues, but I’m here to lay out a list of projects we can make instead of staring out into the middle distance. I got your backs lady-bros and dude-knitters!

~ ~ ~ SHAWLS ~ ~ ~

With the rise of shawlettes/scarves becoming fashionable outside the knitting world, they’re becoming more popular than ever. Here are a couple of our favorites.

On the Spice Market by Melanie Berg
The pattern is available on Ravelry HERE and Knit One is hosting a month-long KAL at their store in Pittsburgh. If you’re in the area, it takes place each Wednesday evening from 6-8 PM and Sunday from 3-5 PM, starting Sunday July 3rd. If you go, say hi to Kylen for me!

For materials, you’ll need one fat hank of fingering weight yarn. We recommend Vacation Yarn in one of the new colors: Baskerville or Alastair. Although, we’ve seen people chose one of our kettle-dyes for it, Chandler and Laotto being the most popular. After that, it’ll be time to embrace the mini-skein mania and pick six complementing colors. We have 20 colors to chose from (pictured below) and you can get ’em here.

 

VY Mini Solids 2

 

Diamonds in the Rough by Michael Snow
For you Tunisian crochet lovers, this pattern is available for free on Ravlery HERE. The subtle diamond texture works up quickly and has a lovely drape. Although, I’d recommend doing the repeat an additional three times or so if you or your intended recipient like to wrap scarves around your neck instead of wearing them as shown.

Just like On the Spice Market, this pattern requires fingering weight yarn. However, this dapper design requires something a bit more cashmere-y. Check out our brand new luxury fingering weight, Interlude Yarn, for this project. With a content of 70% Superwash Bluefaced Leicaster, 20% Silk, and 10% Cashmere, it’ll take this bad boy to the next level.

~ ~ ~ SOCKS ~ ~ ~

Megan-Anne and I are addicted to making socks. They’re the perfect on the go project. When Megan-Anne was pregnant with Mabel and spending a lot of time in waiting rooms, she always had a sock project in her purse. I’m pretty sure almost everyone got a pair of socks from her for Christmas last year. For me, simple socks like the Jello Mold socks below, are the way to go for Netflixing on a Sunday afternoon. It’s what I’ll be doing all this weekend since the new Gilmore Girls is coming out soon! I have seven season to rewatch.

Jello Mold Socks (1) Jello Mold by Megan-Anne & Jac
Whether you’re ready to make your first sock or just want an easy on the go project, this is the one for you. You can find the pattern HERE on Ravelry or grab the kit from our store. It comes with the required yarn, stitch markers, pattern, and a project bag. For most sizes, you can squeeze two pairs of these socks out of one skein of Vacation Yarn, but don’t let our recommendation hold you back. You can kick it up a notch and treat your toes with some Bluefaced Leicester blended Adventure Yarn.

Crocheted Socks by Sue Norrad
Ever entertained the idea of crocheting socks? This is a great pattern to start out with, and you can get it HERE for free from Ravlery. You’ll need 100 grams of worsted weight yarn. Depending on your gauge and size modifications, I’d grab two just to be sure you’ll have enough. Worst case scenario, you have left overs to make a pair for a friend or you can whip up a beanie.

Personally, I find that socks crocheted from worsted weight yarn make the best house slippers. I’ll probably be wearing a pair this weekend as I revel in new episodes of Gilmore Girls. Socks made with fingering weight are either too thick to wear outside the house unless it’s the dead of winter or the fabric bites into my feet. Some people –COUGH-Megan-Anne-COUGH– think I’m just dramatic and have Princess and the Pea Syndrome. I think those people are just jealous of my delicate, ladylike feet. Grab a squishy skein of 8-ply worsted weight Crossroads Yarn and try it out for yourself.

~ ~ ~ HOUSEWARES ~ ~ ~

Buttoned French Press CozyButtoned French Press Cozy by Jac
This pattern is available for free right here on our website and was made with our Vacation Yarn. Since it requires less than 20 grams of fingering weight yarn to knit it, you can either make it with leftover sock yarn or a mini-skein. The simple pattern is another great one for on the go and will fit in our purse with no problems. Or, if you’re new to knitting and want to squeeze in some low commitment level practice, I’d recommend this for you too.

After I made this as a Mother’s Day gift last year, I whipped up one for my own house. My french press likes to wear a sweater to Sunday brunch and knit night. Now yours can too!

Tiny Cacti by Julie King
This pattern is available on Ravelry here. It’s a quick and easy crochet pattern that can either be made to fit in a tiny pot or you can crochet one for it. These little guys are disgustingly cute and I’ve had my eye on them forever. One of these days I’ll get around to making them to display on my desk. To crochet them, all you’ll need is a bit of worsted weight yarn and the ability to single crochet and make single crochet decreases.

And yes, I know this is technically considered an amigurumi. But some of us have cats, who are dicks, that won’t let us have real plants. Crocheted or knitted plants are the closest I’ll ever get, and I’ve decided that it makes this a houseware. So there.

Whether you knit/crochet some of my pattern suggestions or it inspires you to hunt down something new, I hope it helps you hit the refresh button this summer to prepare for autumn. I don’t want to see any of you wandering the streets with a 100 yard stare. Get knitting and tag me @jac_attacking in your Instagram posts so I can see what you’re up to!

~Jac
Know that in my heart it’s always PSL season.