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The Ultimate List of Summer Knits

Today, I’m giving you a fantastic guide: The Ultimate List of Summer Knits.

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Last week, I shared my personal knitting plans which include a couple of sweaters. But I neglected to discuss something critical: many people desire to knit small, portable, and lightweight projects during the summer. 

So, today, I have a pattern round-up of projects perfect for summer knits! I will break them down into six categories to make it easy for you to find that perfect summer knit. Please note all of the pattern links are Ravelry links.


In terms of lightweight and portability, socks definitely fit the bill. The other great benefit of knitting socks is that you could spend your entire summer knitting just socks, and have a wonderful collection ready for your feet by the time the weather cools!  The following patterns are my picks for ideal summer knits.

These are all simple, easy-to-memorize patterns with only knits and purls. They make perfect travel knitting projects too! If you’re looking for a pattern with more interest, I’d recommend checking Ravelry for Mystery Knit-Alongs. This is the time of year you’ll see those popping up.


Shawls, especially ones designed for light yarns make a wonderful summer knit. Each of these patterns was selected for its lightweight and/or breathable yarn fiber content. I also chose designs incorporating lace to aid in airiness. Heavy shawls laying across one’s lap in the heat of summer sounds miserable, but something light and airy such as one of the following patterns would be perfect.

shrug style shawl with lace edge details
gold assymetral shawl with drop stitch rows alternating with garter stitch rows


Toys are a great summer knit option. They’re small and usually quite portable. And the bonus is that they don’t require much yarn! While toys may not make the best travel knit because they can be a bit fiddly and require extra supplies you may not typically carry in your project bag such as stuffing, I still maintain they make a great knit for summer. They are quick and satisfying!

10. Frog by Claire Garland

Baby/Children’s Clothing

Baby items make a perfect summer knit for their small stature. Even if you don’t have a baby to knit for, children’s clothes are perfect too! Here are a few of my favorite baby patterns for you to try.

16. Baby Vertebrae by Kelly van Niekerk

(This is a photo of my son wearing one of the Baby Vertebrae’s I knit for him.)

18. Small Things Sweater and Romper by Carina Spencer

(This is another photo of my son. This time he’s wearing one of the Small Things Romper I knit for him.)

Lightweight Sweaters and Tanks

I couldn’t help but include just a couple of recommended sweater patterns for the summer. These were chosen for their summer knit qualities: lightweight and summer-appropriate yarn content.


A list of summer knits simply wouldn’t be complete without a few recommended hat patterns. They’re perfect, really. And even if you don’t prefer to use small gauge yarns, hats still work well because even in heavy-weight yarn, they’re not too bulky or hot to handle on a summer day. The other wonderful attribute of hats is they can be as simple or complex as you like! You may want to choose a more basic pattern for travel days and a complex one for sitting on your porch. You really can’t go wrong with hats (unless you don’t check your gauge…check your gauge to be sure you hat will fit!).

23. Knitting the National Parks by Nancy Bates

(Please note this is an affiliate link. I may receive a small commission when you purchase at no extra cost to you.)

So there we have the Ultimate List of Summer Knits.

There are endless summer knit options, really. It all depends on your personal knitting preferences. I love a mix of sweater knitting with smaller projects such as socks for travel and the hottest days. But unless you exclusively enjoy knitting blankets and heavy sweaters, I think this list has something for just about every knitter. I hope you have been inspired to keep your knitting needles moving throughout this summer.

What do you think? Did one of these patterns catch your eye? Did you find a new summer knit pattern you just can’t wait to cast on? Please do share in the comments. I’d love to hear what you’re knitting this summer!

If you’d like to check out my selection of naturally dyed U.S. yarn, you can do that here.

If you’re new to Henlia Handmade, I’d love to give you 20% off to give naturally dyed yarn a try. Click here for 20% off.

And if you’re looking to join the kindest, most friendly group of knitters, I’d love for you to join the Knit Many Together Community. Find out more by clicking here.

Thank you for reading today. Happy knitting!

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Mindy Kingery

When I'm not dyeing, designing or dreaming of yarn, you can find me painting, digging in my garden, hiking with my family or working on one of my many, many WIPs.

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