Short sleeves, please.
All I’m thinking about lately are short sleeve knits. My summer uniform consists of capri pants or full skirts and knit tops. Knit tees and tops are some of my favorite things to make because you’re never stuck on sleeve island and you can wear your gorgeous knits in the summer. In May, I’m still able to wear some of the lighter knits in wool with short sleeves but as summer heat and humidity rolls in I’m all about cotton/linen yarns and breezy knits. Here’s what’s on my radar this month as the temperatures continue to rise.
I love a knit with an ultra-feminine vibe, and Nancy Ricci’s My Boy Lollipop top is a super cute, cropped feminine piece. I think it would pair perfectly with a full skirt and a pair of sandals. The kind of outfit I envision myself wearing while riding a bike with a baguette and my mini-chihuahua Jellybean in the front basket—if only I had a bike! It’s knit top down with a DK weight yarn; for summer I’d totally knit this with a lighter weight cotton blend yarn.
Every time I see someone make Shay Johnson’s As If Tee, I wonder why I haven’t made one for myself yet. I love the sheer mohair panel at the top and how you can dress it up or down. It also looks good on varying body types because you can modify it easily to fit your shape. Make it cropped, knit it a bit longer, pair it with mohair in the same color or make a bold contrast—there are endless possibilities. I have to make myself one by the fall because it’s a great piece for transitional weather, and it will be my go-to top for every holiday party.
If you haven’t knit a sweater sideways, I suggest starting with Amy Christoffers’s Cosette top. It’s knit from arm to arm, and seamed up the sides. The construction is so clever that I wonder why more sweaters aren’t knit this way. I knit this top two summers ago using six different shades of cotton yarn from my stash for fun vertical stripes, but it’s just as beautiful as a solid. I also love the shape. It’s a perfect crew neck tee with a curved hem that you can wear with everything. I live in this top all summer.
I’ve knit Melissa Schaschwary’s North Fork top several times. It’s the knit piece I turn to on a hot summer day when it’s going to be humid and gross out. It’s light and breezy when knit with a cotton or linen tape yarn. You can keep the sleeves short or add on a bit more length if you’re in a cooler climate. You can also create fun color combos with the stripes. I made my most recent version with a bit more ease than previous versions, and found that I loved throwing it over a bathing suit at the beach or just paired with shorts and sandals.
As the temperatures go up, make cooler yarn choices to help expand your summer wardrobe. You’ll thank you me when you don’t have to worry about sleeve island.