Portable Summer Knits!
Like so many of you I'm looking forward to my summer break. This year will be the first time since starting Tangled Yarn that I've taken two weeks off in one go! We are going to Madeira towards the end of July. It will also be first time we have travelled as a family outside the UK in quite some time, so as you can imagine I'm really excited!
Normally our holidays are centred around walking and although I do plan to do quite a bit of walking in Madeira I'm also intending to indulge myself with plenty of knitting time whilst I watch the children swimming and having fun! I'm already planning what knitting projects to take, it's almost become as important as to what clothes to take!
SO WHEN IT COMES TO DECIDING WHAT KIND OF KNITTING PROJECT TO TAKE ON HOLIDAY WITH YOU THERE ARE A FEW THINGS TO BEAR IN MIND
- it needs to be portable. Socks, shawls, baby knits and accessories make good projects that don't take up too much room.
- uncomplicated patterns work best. Garter stitch is ideal because it easy knitting, it allows you to enjoy where you are and the process of knitting without having to concentrate too much on the pattern, so makes for a good "social knitting" project.
- avoid complicated lace with charts. Easy to memorise lace repeats are better.
- a pattern with a couple of design elements would be good to keep you interested.
So with all those things in mind I've managed to narrow down my favourite five portable knitting projects:
Pebble Beach Shawl
Designer Helen Stewart's pattern Pebble Beach Shawlette won a design competition back in 2014 to be featured in the Unwind Brighton programme. One of forty entries Helen's pattern was shortlisted and then won hands down when it came to the public vote with 961 votes!
Originally designed as a smaller shawlette Helen has since included two further sizes in her pattern. The smaller shawlette can easily be knit from one skein of your favourite sock yarn, you'll need approximately 400m / 437yds. A skein of Malabrigo Sock would be perfect and I think Ochre would be the most wonderful colour to use.
The medium shawl is designed for 600m/660yds of heavy lace weight yarn. Whilst the larger shawl is designed for 800m/880yds of lace weight yarn; SweetGeorgia BFL Lace is definitely worth consideration and I'm particularly drawn to the colour "Summer Skin" for obvious reasons.
Although Pebble Beach is a lace pattern there are no charts and the pattern is easy to memorise making this crescent shaped shawl the perfect holiday knitting project.
As I mentioned earlier garter stitch is a winner for holiday knitting projects. Melanie Berg's pattern Moonraker combines garter stitch knit on the bias with coloured slipped stitches which will keep you interested throughout the project.
Melanie's asymmetric shawl uses a 4ply yarn; for the two main colours you'll need approximately 100g of each whilst the two contrast colours 18g and 5g, so you can minimise how much yarn you pack by only taking what you need.
Choose a yarn that will add bounce to those garter stitch bumps; Malabrigo Mechita would be an ideal choice for a luxurious option or how about Mabel & Ivy Supersoft which will drape beautifully. I love this version of Moonraker by h-e-l-i on Ravelry, she has used Supersoft in Silver Grey, Flannel Grey, Kingfisher and Marlin.
Stephen West's Boneyard Shawl would make the ideal travelling companion. A triangle shaped shawl it couldn't get any simpler, stocking stitch and garter stitch ridges make this shawl the perfect holiday knit!
Originally intended for a DK knitting yarn, I've seen Boneyard knitted in all weights of knitting yarn from lace weight to worsted weight, so choose something that suits you. My preference for this shawl would be Kauni Wool 8/2 Effektgarn as this self striping yarn would keep me interested all holiday long! I discovered alwysknit's version of Boneyard Shawl on Ravelry, she has used the Kauni in shade EQ and has used less than 140g
Color Affection has been in my Ravelry queue since the year dot! With two weeks of pure knitting time I just know it would be the ideal time to cast on this much loved shawl by designer Veera Välimäki. It combines garter stitch with stripes and though there is an element of concentration as it uses short rows to make the asymmetric shape it's an easy to follow pattern.
The pattern gives instructions for both a laceweight version and fingering weight. I've been dreaming of this knitted in Debbie Bliss Rialto Lace but if you fancy something with a bit more bounce then Rosy Green Cheeky Merino Joy is worth consideration.
3 Color Cashmere Cowl
I like the different pattern elements in Joji's pattern 3 Color Cashmere Cowl. There are stripes, texture and lace; nothing too taxing so an easy holiday knitting project. Compact too so it will fit comfortably in your bag alongside your sun cream and sunglasses!
Joji's original cowl was knit in luxurious cashmere, hence the name! But I'm favoring Malabrigo Finito as this feels as soft as cashmere but without the expense of cashmere. The hardest part will be deciding on which colours to use but I've narrowed it down to either Mares, Mostaza and Paloma or Cereza, Natural and Plomo.
TAKE A COUPLE OF DIFFERENT PROJECT TO KEEP YOUR INTEREST GOING
Remember to take scissors or a yarn cutter, stitch makers, a needles for sewing in and a small crochet hook in case you have to pick up a dropped stitch! You might also find it useful to take another project just in case you finish your first or fancy a change one day, a vanilla sock would be a good idea!
Next week I'll be talking about taking your knitting on your flight. I've been looking into this over the past few days and it's a real grey area so do pop back for that. In the meantime I'd love to hear what knitting you are planning to take on holiday with you, do feel free to post your comments below.
About the Author
Rachel Owen is the owner of Tangled Yarn. As a mother to two teenagers life is never dull! When she's not knitting can be found wandering the Pennines with her faithful cocker spaniel Bailee. Her favourite colour is blue or is it green? And she could sink a ship with the amount of tea she drinks!