After our inaugural blog piece about knitting during Covid-19, I suggested “summer knitting” as a topic because, after all, it is July. However, I didn’t realize we would be weathering a 19-day marathon heat wave of over 90 degrees. I am talking about it being so hot that when you go outside you think you just walked into a sauna, but not one at a spa — it’s tough.
So in this heat who wants a blanket full of yarn on their lap? Not me. Yet, I do knit year round, because thankfully the places where I am sitting with yarn in my lap are usually air conditioned. I do know several people who stop knitting in the summer and many more who roll their eyes at the mention of cotton yarn. I have even had yarn store employees ask me when they are suggesting yarn for a certain pattern, “How do you feel about knitting with cotton yarn?” To be honest, I am on the fence when it comes to cotton yarn — it’s a love/hate relationship. I knit a cotton blanket for my daughter when she was pregnant with her daughter. Now 18 months later, they both still use it and love it. My daughter asked me to make another for a friend of hers who is due next month. Boy, am I struggling with it. I’ve ripped it out several times, stitches seem uneven to me, and I see every little mistake. But I will keep going in hopes that after a wash and block, it will be a useful and meaningful gift.
When my daughter was young, I knit her many sweaters and still have some today to pass along to my granddaughter. For some reason, and I don’t know why, I only knit my son one sweater. It was a mixture of green and brown, like speckles, and the fiber was wool. I can picture it exactly in my mind, but I don’t have it anymore — I wish I did. It was heavy, itchy and hot, yet my son who was about 5 years old, LOVED it and wore it to bed the first night I gave it to him. He did that with new sneakers, too. He wore the sweater a few times after that night. Then one very, very hot summer day months later, I found him in his room, putting the sweater on to go outside to play. I said, “That sweater is for the winter, not for the summer. It’s too hot to wear today.” He said “I want to wear it, you made it for me.” My heart melted and I didn’t care what season it was. A winter sweater entwined with a year-round love.
Executive Director, Project Knitwell
Carol Caparosa is the founder of Project Knitwell. She lives in Washington, DC with more partially finished projects and skeins of cotton yarn than she’d like to admit.