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Book Review: Seasonal Slow Knitting

Updated: Sep 11, 2022

Are you someone who finds your knitting practice, ahem, changing in the summer? I know a lot of y’all garden and get outside during the summer, and maybe knit just a smidge less. Me too!

Let me Introduce You to Seasonal Slow Knitting

Seasonal Slow Knitting is Hannah Theissen’s newest book, and it's a delicious hardback book filled with tactile delight.

Do you know the feeling of poking through the things at your LYS register, trying to find one last unnecessary but indulgent small treat? Like, you don’t really need a new set of stitch markers, but they add delight to your practice?

Seasonal Slow Knitting captures that exact feeling. Packed with essays that are both practical and indulgent and designed to take you through the year in a mindful and grounded way, this book is a delight.

Knitting for Summer

"Embrace the desire to flutter from one yarn to another like a butterfly, swatching in various stitches and making notes, paging through pattern books and magazines.’

Coming in sweaty from yard work and a little sun soggy when I finally sit down in my knitting chair, the idea of simply skeining up some treats from my stash and dabbling instead of doing Serious Knitting sounds just right.

In Seasonal Slow Knitting, you’ll also find patterns (these baby blankets look so tender and weighty and practical!), tips for darning, and a sweet dialogue on the relationship between tea and knitting.

Finally, if you’re a ‘book person,’ you’ll want to hold this book in your hands. From the solid construction and embossed hardback to the heavy pages with beautiful, saturated photography, this book radiates Hannah’s attention to detail and appreciation of fine craftsmanship.

And no, this isn't an ad! I picked up a copy of Hannah’s book when I met her in person at Maryland Sheep and Wool, and I’ve been toting this book around and marveling at it ever since, and I couldn’t keep it to myself 😊 If you want a copy for yourself, you can find it on Hannah’s webpage (and even see a brief video tour of the book!).

My Summer Knitting Tips

I think it's natural to take a break from thinking about sweaters in the summer. I used to be a seasonal knitter, breaking out the needles along with the first pumpkin spice candle. But I find my practice - and my wardrobe - have grown since I began incorporating summer knitting.

Plan a season ahead

Don't cast on in summer, for summer. Think about what you want to wear when you break out your fall wardrobe. Look at all the selfies you took last September; what did you wear the most? What can you knit to go with that?

A flat lay with half of the front of a hand knit sweater. It's a medium blue with warm tones, fingering weight, lace top.
Wooly wool, but in fingering weight and lace - my perfect fall garment!

Or plan a full year ahead

I'm so guilty of casting on a summer knit in August - without enough time to finish it for summer. Then the poor dear goes right into the naughty bucket.

If you want a fresh, juicy summer cast on and it's already mid-summer, plan to finish it this fall and gift wrap it for yourself to open next June. Bonus? You can choose a longer, more ambitious project, and plan to work on it in chunks over the next 10 months.

Embrace wool

I know. A typical tip is to go with a plant or lightweight fiber. But I find that a nice fingering weight wooly-wool prevents my fingers from getting sweaty (this makes sense, right? We love wool because it's wicking and temperature regulating?). Fingering weight wool also will give you a garment you'll be excited about in early fall.

Knit an unexpected layer

We all think of knitting layers as being the OVER layer - cardigans, chunky sweaters, scarves. What can you knit for yourself that would be an under layer?

The Ruffle Addendum is an ideal summer-to-fall top because it slips effortlessly under your fall jackets and cardigans.

To make this strategy work, think sleeveless or short-sleeved, in a color that transitions well across seasons. Choose a silhouette with a 'tidy' underarm - no drop shoulders or dolmans.

Bonus Goodies

Tap into trends! If you're looking to build multi-seasonality into your wardrobe, keep an eye on the trends for coming seasons. How? Go on Pinterest and search, or if you want to be knit-specific, download a copy of Julie Robinson's Trend report here for free.

What's in my glass? It's Tulsi tea from Cherry Valley Organics. It has a woody, herbal bite to it, and is light and turns beautifully into iced tea. I recently had to give up a lot of my go-to teas, so I'm on a discovery journal and this one's great! I like to stick a little snippet of thyme in my iced drinks of all kinds, it adds a sophisticated twist.

This post was adapted from an email sent to my Studio Updates newsletter group. If you'd like to get content like this delivered right to your inbox, you can subscribe here.

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