Summer Yarn: Guide To The Best Summer Yarns For Knitting

Summer Yarn for knitting in the warmer months. There are gorgeous yarns perfect for summery lightweight garments. Don’t stop knitting projects during the summer months! Using these yarn types bring such joy and keep you cool.

Summer Yarn

I reviewed, fact checked and updated this post on May 16, 2023.

Table of Contents

Best Summer Yarns: The Best Choice For Good Yarns For Summer Knitting

When you think of summer, one doesn’t think of knitting. That doesn’t mean you can’t knit in warmer weather. Most of us relate to knitting in the fall and winter seasons. Wearing warm knits made of wool, alpaca, mohair, and angora.

We tuck ourselves under snug blankets and wear warm shawls around our shoulders. The colder months aren’t just for knitting. Spring and summer inspire and unleash knitting creativity! Spring yarn is a great gift for a knitter.

What Is The Best Yarn? – In Summer, you’ll want to use plant fiber yarns. Plenty with lovely textures. Add a drape to your garments and be functional like dishcloths and scrubbies. Here’s the best yarn for warm weather.

1 Cotton

Cotton is an easy yarn to knit with, comes in an array of colors, and there are many to choose from. For recommendations, see here. Simple open-air shawls and shrugs, and summer baby blankets are great summer knitted items.

Cotton is breathable, more so than synthetic yarn like acrylic. One of more inexpensive plant based yarns. I love cotton yarn for summer garments! It becomes super soft after multiple washes.
It’s the best yarn for beginner scarf in the warmer seasons as it creates a breathable fabric. (All the above have international shipping options, including to the United Kingdom.)

I experience sweating on warmer days! If you’re anything like me, cotton yarn is a perfect choice for summer yarn projects. Knitted items made with this yarn are absorbent and dry quickly, a winning combination!

Other fiber yarns trap sweat against your body. This can irritate your skin. No-one enjoys being hot, sweaty, and irritated! If you like natural/synthetic fiber blends, try a cotton/viscose blend. Consider organic cotton yarn for clothes. It’s better for the environment.

It’s not treated with harsh chemicals. There is some lovely organic cotton available. Dishcloths/Scrubbies are great summer knitting projects. Using cotton yarn, try patterns with different stitches. This keeps the knitting fun and interesting.

These projects are quick to knit and make great gifts. I attest to this. I make dishcloths while traveling. They’re great! If you know people who love making summer knits, gift cards for their favorite yarn shop might be a perfect gift.

To add some fun to your project, sometimes cotton is made into novelty yarns. (1)

2 Silk

Silk yarn is luxurious and has amazing properties. Keeps you cool in warm weather and toasty in the colder weather. For recommendations for your knitting project, see here.

Silk is made by the caterpillar of the silk moth (the silkworm.) Silk is also often blended with cotton and makes a gorgeous summer weight yarn. The only downside of this good yarn for summer is it stretches.

Combat this by knitting summer garments for the hot weather, with a beautiful drape rather than a figure-hugging top. Complex or intricate stitch patterns show up very well in silk.

It’s one of the more expensive yarns for summer. If the garment you’re knitting is something you’ll get a lot of wear out of, it’s worth it to use these natural fibers. Particularly for the silky soft fabric.

@trixieknits 100% Silk Laceweight Shawl in soft shades of blue, pink and cream
@trixieknits 100% Silk Laceweight Shawl. Follow @trixieknits for more lovely pics.

3 Bamboo/Cotton Blend

Bamboo/cotton fiber yarns blends are a popular choice. They feel soft and light against the skin. Be particular with your gauge as bamboo/cotton blends have more drape. For recommendations, see here.

After a few washes, some yarns become softer. Testing a knitted swatch comes in super handy. To check how comfortable a yarn is, place it against your cheek or throat. An excellent choice for socks. Lightweight sock yarn is made from this blend.

4 Linen Yarn

Another great option for lightweight yarn for summer is linen yarn. For recommendations, see here. While linen yarns are more expensive, they are a beautiful choice for summer crochet and summer knit projects.

These yarns have a lovely sheen and drape, and can also be blended with silk. Linen is naturally moisture-resistant, so it’s a great yarn if you like luxury.

Recommended Top Summer Yarns Comparison Chart

Our Best
Selections

Best For
Most People

Our Luxury
Choice

Our Best
Budget Pick

Made By

Lion Brand

Knit Picks

Lily

Product

Pima Cotton

Samia

Sugar’n Cream

Made In

Turkey

Japan

USA/Canada

Fiber

100% cotton

Cupro/Silk

100% cotton

Source

Plant

Plant/Animal

Plant

Yarn Form

Ball

Ball

Ball

No. Colors

18

10

39

Dye Lotted

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yarn Weight

4 Medium

2 Fingering

4 Medium

Skein Weight

3.5oz

1.8oz

2.5oz

Skein Weight

100g

50g

71g

Yardage

186

188

119

Meterage

170

172

109

Machine Wash

Yes

No

Yes

Machine Dry

Yes

No

Yes

Dry Clean

No

Yes

No

Hand Wash

Yes

Yes

Yes

Bleach

No

No

No

Softener

Yes

No

Yes

Iron

Yes

No

Yes

Needle Size

mm

mm

mm

Needle Size

US 8

US 1-3

US 7

Knit Gauge

19 sts

28 sts

20 sts

Hook Size

5.5 mm

2.75 – 3.5 mm

5.00 mm

Hook Size

I

C-E

H

Gauge

16 sc

24-26 sc

20 sc

Ply

3+

10

Elasticity

✓✓

✓✓✓

✓✓

Luster

✓✓✓

✓✓✓✓✓

✓✓✓

Repels Stains

No

No

No

Allergy Free

Yes

Yes

Yes

Pilling

Sometimes

Sometimes

Sometimes

Consistency

✓✓✓

✓✓✓✓

✓✓✓✓

Versatility

✓✓✓

✓✓✓

✓✓✓

Thickness

Medium

Thin

Medium

Splitting

Slight

No

Slight

Stitch Quality

✓✓✓✓✓

✓✓✓✓

✓✓✓✓✓

Drape

✓✓✓

✓✓✓✓✓

✓✓✓

Twist

✓✓✓

✓✓✓

✓✓✓

Oeko-Tex

No

No

No

Colorfast

Yes

Yes

Yes

Vegan

Yes

No

Yes

Texture

Smooth

Smooth

Smooth

Warmth

✓✓

✓✓

✓✓

Softness

✓✓✓

✓✓✓✓

✓✓✓

Comfort

✓✓✓✓

✓✓✓✓✓

✓✓✓✓

Durability

✓✓✓

✓✓✓

✓✓✓

Price

$$

$$$

$

Value

✓✓✓✓

✓✓✓✓

✓✓✓

Returns

60

90

90

Overall

★★★★

★★★★

★★★

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Summer Yarn Pin

FAQS About Summer Yarn

What Is Summer Yarn?

A great summer yarn is one that’s soft, with rich, beautiful colors, cool breathability, and lovely drape. They’re comfortable to work with when it’s hot. 🙂

People comment knitting with animal fibers during warmer months makes them feel heavy and sticky. There’s a reason animal fibers aren’t popular in warmer climates!

Gorgeous Summer Yarns are cotton, linen, bamboo, silk, hemp yarn, and blends of these yarns. Expert knitters swear by knitting yarn like bamboo/silk or bamboo/cotton for breathability.

  • Other blended yarns are cotton and merino.
  • Crochet yarn for summer is made of the same materials. Perfect for summer crochet patterns.
  • Choose any type of summer knitting pattern with these yarns.
  • Another excellent yarn mix is cotton and linen yarn. Cool sweaters and loose vests are great picks for these yarns. They vary in yarn weight so thinner yarns are my recommendation.

Here’s an excellent overview of the choices for warmer months.

@BirdiesKnits Cotton Yarn Shawl
@BirdiesKnits Cotton Yarn Shawl. Follow @BirdiesKnits for more gorgeous pics.

What Is Summer Weight Yarn?

It’s often described as a light worsted-weight yarn, somewhere between worsted and sport yarn. Using medium-sized knitting needles, it knits up quickly and has many possibilities for knitted items.

What Is The Best Weight Of Summer Yarn?

Many knitters highly recommend worsted weight yarn. A versatile weight and great for knitting shawls, sweaters, summer Afghans, summer shawls, and vests.

Given how many knit with this yarn, there are many colors to choose from. Other great choices for summer projects are DK yarn and sport weight yarn .

Choosing The Perfect Yarn For Summer Clothing

Here’s how to choose the perfect yarn for summer clothing.

  • Plant-based fibers are best.
  • Go for thinner yarns. It’s more breathable.
  • Avoid fuzzy yarns.
  • Experiment with looser tension and patterns.
  • Avoid acrylics. They’re uncomfortable in the heat.
  • If you use animal fibers, ensure the yarn is superwash.
  • Choose lace stitch or open patterns.

Is Acrylic Yarn Ok For Summer?

Acrylic yarns are not what I’d recommend for summer. Often a cheap yarn, it’s wonderful for lots of creations but not wearables for warm weather. For garments, it’s best to avoid it.

Can You Knit With Wool For Summertime?

Lighter weight wool is a great choice for summertime garments. Mohair wool is good for all sorts of things you’d love wearing – lace shawls, tank tops and t-shirts. Avoid wool bulky yarns as the fabric isn’t comfortable in warmer weather. Wool yarn is better suited for the cooler seasons.

What Patterns Should I Knit In Spring Or Summer?

There are spring/summer patterns available online (like on Etsy). You want light patterns and open-weave designs. Hats, mittens, and sweaters are stitch patterns for the winter.

In warmer months in your country, find inspiration to make knit and crochet patterns like lacy shawls, knit tank tops, halter neck tops, cute skirts, lightweight hats, and if you’re game, attempt knitting bikinis! Baby blankets using the best summer yarns make a lovely gift for babies born in the summer months.

Conclusion

Plenty of fabulous Summer Yarn to consider. Yarns made from plant fiber are the best to use. Hope you find something to inspire a gorgeous summery item. Have questions? Tell me below in the comments. (Your email address is never published.)

References

  1. Watkins, Phillppa. “Fibres and fabric.” Textile View (2002): 18-21.

About The Author

Jodie Morgan From Knit Like Granny

Jodie Morgan (Author & Founder)

jodie@knitlikegranny.com | Lives In: Chiang Mai, Thailand

Author: Jodie Morgan is a passionate knitter and blogger with 40+ years of experience currently living in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Taught by her mother and wonderful grandmother “Mama”, she fell in love with crafting from a young age. When she’s not knitting, you’ll find her enjoying a cup of coffee with cream, or sharing helpful resources and tips with the online knitting community. Get to know Jodie and the team on our meet the team page.

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Comments

  1. I m from the Caribbean and l am just learning to crochet garments for myself and grand children. What is the best yarn for my kind of summer project? Summer dresses, tops and crop tops.

    Reply
    • Hi Veronica. I recommend cotton. When I was in Mexico, I bought a lovely cotton yarn called Omega Fantasia. Knit Picks have lovely cotton yarns and cotton yarn blends for warmer weather garments. Cheers Jodie

      Reply
    • Hi Janne. Groups who knit chemo caps/beanies suggest cotton yarn or a cotton blend with acrylic or bamboo. 100% bamboo yarn is also good. Cheers Jodie

      Reply
    • Hi Nancy. Knit Picks have a wonderful DK weight called Cotlin yarn suitable for summer knits. It’s 70% Tanguis Cotton, 30% Linen. Cheers Jodie

      Reply

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