If you are lucky enough to have some downtime this summer, pool/beach time and road trips are a great time to do some easy crafting. If you already have a big handwork project going, lucky you. If not, here are some suggestions.
I like to do things that don’t require too much brain power when there is a lot going on around me (#distractable). That way I can focus on catching up with friends and family. It’s not really the time to be reading a detailed knitting chart (been there, messed that up). At the same time, sitting around with nothing to do with my hands makes me seriously tetchy!
Here are some simple ideas for the pool/beach/road trip, if idle hands make you tetchy, too. One note: I like knitting at the pool and in the car, but not so much at the beach. Something about sand and yarn just doesn’t seem to mix, but maybe it’s just me.
Embroidered Tote (or Hat)
This is one of those things that just seems perfect for the beach or pool. You could start using your new bag or hat before you even get home! Get a new raffia (or palm leaf) tote or hat, and then zhoosh it up with some embroidered flowers. Do you even DIY?? I thought so.
There are a couple of tutorials out there on how to do this, a good one on Enthralling Gumption (she add rope handles to a basket, so that’s an option, too), and one on A Beautiful Mess, with pearlized raffia (which is rayon, so not as natural looking). The only other supplies you need in addition to the bag or hat and the raffia, are a tapestry or yarn needle and some scissors.
I plan on getting a classic French/Morrocan market tote, with the double handles, and this set of paper raffia ribbon with all the colors, and making one for myself. Just be aware that because you are using paper. It really can’t get wet.
Punch Needle Projects
I am really into punch needling these days! It’s very satisfying, though not as easy as you might think. It does take a little practice to get the stitches the right size, but it’s not nearly as challenging as learning to crochet or knit or embroider. It’s so easy to just pull out and redo any stitches you don’t like and doesn’t require a lot of brain cells, so you can dish with your sister or friend while you punch punch punch.
The smaller projects are perfect for taking on the go, great for the pool or road trip. There are some great kits on Etsy, so you don’t have to click around trying to gather all the supplies. I love the colors of this adorable daisy kit, or you can create your own design with this kit (again, great colors). I’m hoping that Rose Pearlman will have some of her kits back in stock soon in her Etsy store. Hers are a bit more of an investment, but that’s because the tools in her kits are much better quality, worth it if you anticipate doing more punch needle in the future.
Small, Easy Knitting Projects
I don’t know about you, but I never feel like knitting a big blanket or sweater in the summer, though maybe with cotton or linen yarn… I do like to get a jump on some of the smaller things for colder weather though, like hats, scarves, and gloves. They’re easier to cart around and won’t make you hot with a bunch of knitting in your lap.
I actually made this Easy Knit Scarf with No Purling on a trip to New England last summer. It was the perfect handwork riding in the car or sitting by the lake watching the family fish. (I like to experience the fishing without actually participating.)
I am not an exceptional crocheter, and many of the projects I see don’t encourage me to become better. These Double Thick Potholders from Sewrella are adorable though, and there’s even a printable PDF of the pattern you can download and tuck in your bag. I love the Re-Up Cotton yarn she uses for these, too, and the price point is ridonculously good.
We all drool over those incredible boro fabrics from Japan, right? And we wish we could have beautiful mending on our denim fabrics, but who has the time? You do, sitting by the pool, chatting with your family and friends. Erin at Wren Bird Arts has everything you need to get started with visible mending for your jeans and other bits, including tutorials and a shop full of patterns and supplies.
I hope you have the opportunity this summer to kick back with some handwork! Please share this post with all your crafty contacts, pin it on Pinterest, and share it on Facebook.