Knitting isn’t a winter sport. When the calendar marches toward spring, I immediately gravitate to lightweight yarns and transitional projects like this one: Apogean.
I love pieces I can layer, and lightweight knits hit the spot beautifully as they can often dance between being both a shirt AND a sweater. Fiber choice is key – this one is knit with an ultra light fingering weight BFL/Nylon blend from The Farmer’s Daughter Fibers which breathes beautifully and lays so light and soft against the skin that you’d almost swear you weren’t wearing wool. Cotton yarns and I aren’t really friends (I love to wear cotton, but I don’t love knitting with it), so I’m always tickled to find other fiber blends that I can use instead. Plant fibers like linen, hemp and even silk (which isn’t quite a plant fiber, but you get the idea) are also favorites for warm weather knitting and work beautifully for seasonal transitions.
But it’s more than just fiber content and how heavy the yarn is – those are no-brainers; it’s also in the details. When you’re contemplating a sweater to get you through the warm seasons or work as a transition piece, look for components that maximize breath-ability and cover less skin (in the areas you’re comfortable with). The more density and texture a pattern has (think: cables, bobbles and deep textured ridges) the more weight the overall design will carry and the less air flow you’ll enjoy. For cold season knits, that’s exactly what you want, but in summer? Not so much. Plus, the heavier knits don’t usually transition into the warmer months quite as easily. Stockinette creates a lighter fabric, and the v-neck and short sleeves are obvious perks for a design you can wear on a warm day.
Even better? When you devote all that time to a hand knit project – you ultimately want a garment that you can wear for more than one or two seasons out of the year. Here’s where layering comes in handy. While a lightweight tee can be just that – a tee – it can also be one layer in a more complex outfit. Here are some examples.
Layering is where it’s at, friends. So when you’re thinking about styles and colors for your next project, I encourage you to think about the end result: how will you wear it? where will it work in your current wardrobe? will it work as a transition piece? can you layer it? The more versatile and wearable a garment is, the more you can justify the time it takes to make it…
…and the gorgeous yarn that goes with it.