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Thinking of taking a summer knit break?
Consider these 5 good reasons to keep on knitting

Summer 2003 is about to debut in the northern hemisphere. Many knitters take a break from knitting during the summer, but I think summer's custom-made for engaging the sticks and string. Here are a few reasons why:

Knitting as sanity saver

I owe my love of summer knitting to Little League baseball.

My sons Michael and Dusty (now 21 and 25) played Little League baseball from the time they were 5 until high school. Each summer they played regular season AND All Star games, as they were both good ball players.

Like most parents, I got very involved in their games - sometimes too involved! One summer, three different umpires threatened to throw me out of the ballpark for disagreeing too loudly with their calls.

Was it the summer heat that changed me from a peaceful person into a crazed Little League baseball mother - a menace to myself and my embarrassed sons? Maybe. Statistics show emotional temperatures tend to rise with the thermometer.

I started to bring my knitting to all their baseball games. The excess attention I had been giving the game, I put into my knitting instead. It provided just the balance needed so I could be the kind of sane, supportive sports mom I really wanted to be. Over the years, people asked me how I could knit and watch the game at the same time? I would reply, "Knitting keeps me from getting thrown out of the ballpark." Usually they would smile a knowing smile and then start keeping track of my process and projects from game to game.

It may not be Little League baseball for you. Maybe it's a family reunion with the brother-in-law that always pushes your buttons or the company picnic where you have to be nice to all those people who make your life hell during the week. Anywhere you might need to put some space between yourself and something or someone else, knitting, at least for me, is the perfect therapeutic boundary-setting activity.

Natural light

In my opinion, there's no better knitting than knitting in natural light. No other season gives us as many natural light hours in a day as summer. I'm committed to using as many of them to knit as possible.

Personally, I love to knit outside. Give me a chair on the porch or under a leafy green tree and I'm happy for hours. Those of you who prefer the air-conditioned comfort of The Great Indoors can take advantage of natural light as well - just find a window and pull up a chair.

Natural light is the best light for determining true color values. This makes summer a great time to plan colorways for winter projects. [Not to mention try your hand at dyeing your own yarn when you can experiment outside.]

Summer is prime Knitting In Public (KIP) time

Some of the best summertime-only public places to knit:

  • Outdoor patio at the local cafe
  • Table at our Saturday morning Farmer's Market
  • Outdoor ______ (fill in the blank) festivals
  • Sporting events - amateur or professional
  • Lunch hour and a sidewalk table at my favorite deli
  • Anywhere I'm going to be outside and sitting for more than 15 minutes

While it's technically not KIPing, don't forget knitting in the car. [As long as you aren't the one driving!]

A recent news report says that during summer 2003, most Americans are planning vacations closer to home because of the economy, fears of terrorism and recent SARS outbreaks. The report went on to say that a large percentage of those planning to travel are opting to drive to their vacation destination. If they're knitters, they could relax en route to their destination while creating something fabulous.

I like to keep my knitting in a bag that's always ready to walk out the door with me. If you are working on a project that's too big or bulky for the car, consider putting together a bag especially for the car that contains a smaller project, better suited to traveling.


Rest and relaxation

Summer is the season of doing. From yard-work and gardening to your favorite physical activities, there's always something to do. I confess, I have a hard time knowing when to stop. If I'm not doing, I'm not being productive. Yes, I know, I'm a Type A personality. Yes, I know that makes me prone to stress-related illnesses. That's why knitting is so perfect for me. It gives me much of the same benefits a short nap would, but allows me to feel like I'm accomplishing something.

Two or three knit-breaks inserted throughout the day can provide the extra physical and mental energy I need to make the most of my day.

Get a jump on the holiday gift list

Summer's take-along projects can turn into winter's completed holiday gifts. Hats, scarves and mittens are good take-along projects that make for great gift giving.


Teresa lives in Dayton, Ohio, where she and her partner C just bought their first home and their beagle Sade now rolls with exuberant joy in her very own yard of real grass.

Read about her adventures in her blog.