I know. “Knitting” and “summer” aren’t necessarily words that you’d put together. In fact, “knitting” is far more likely to conjure up images of thick blankets and snuggly mugs and general cosiness (especially if you’re on Pinterest).
But the advent of warm weather does not mean that you need to pack your needles away. Far from it.
In fact, some of my very favourite knitting projects – and plenty of the ones on my to-knit list – are summer knits. In particular, I’m a huge fan of a handknitted summer top.
And I’m sharing my favourites with you below. They’re all size-inclusive, so there’s an option there for every body.
But first, a word on fibres for summer knitting
You see, there are two things that make summer knitting into actual SUMMER knitting. There’s the choice of your pattern, sure. But you also want to be thinking about the yarn you’re knitting it with.
Yes, you could knit a sweater pattern with a lovely cosy aran-weight wool, and just leave the sleeves off and say it’s your summer knit. But the reality is that that wool might well be a tiny bit too warm to wear all that much.
Very helpfully, I wrote an entire blog about summer yarns and fibre choices last year. If you’re stuck on what to knit with, I highly recommend giving it a read.
Summer yarns often mean plant fibres, and they can behave a bit differently to wool, but they can also be just as lovely.
Still. Let’s get on with the patterns, shall we?
My favourite knitting patterns for summer tops
Flutterbutt Shirt by Jessie Mae
The Flutterbutt Shirt is a few years old now, but believe me when I say it’s a good’un. Lovely little frilled sleeves, a cracking peplum, and neat neckline details make it a top-notch chuck-on-able choice. I knitted mine in yarn from Weku Yarns, and as you can see it’s a brilliant pattern for variegated yarns.
Because that’s what you want in summer, isn’t it? Something you can just chuck on without any fuss.
Oh, and did you know that there’s a matching short pattern? Well, you do now.
Koi Tee by Gingko B.
I’ll admit, I’m yet to knit this one, but I’ve had my eye on it for a while. It’s a classic raglan with a bit of detail that steps it up a level in the fancy stakes. Check that split hem, for instance. Excellent with high-waisted jeans, or skirts, or chucked on over a dress.
You see, it’s that chuck-on-able again.
Ellie Summer Top
If your Instagram feed is anything like mine, then this one will have cropped up a fair few times for you. And with good reason.
It’s a sleeveless top with all over broken rib (not painful in knitting, I promise) and neat travelling stitch detail under the bust. I knitted one last year, and thoroughly recommend it. The pattern’s written brilliantly, and the construction is great.
Hoopoe by Valerie Rachel
Pom Pom magazine have got form on summer patterns; my to-knit list contains more than one of the designs that have featured in recent summer issues.
But I’m going to shout out for Hoopoe here, because I think it’s just not got the attention it deserves. It’s got a smart intarsia in the round construction, endless options for fun colour combinations, and, crucially, it passes the chuck-on-able test.
In a rare move for me, I used the recommended yarn of this one, because BC Garn BioBalance is a lovely cotton/wool summer yarn. And I would thoroughly recommend it.
Crescendo Summer Top
If you’re in the market for a simple little summer tee with some classy lace detailing at the yoke, then the Crescendo Summer Top is for you.
Again, I’ve yet to actually knit this one, but having knitted a number of The Knit Purl Girl’s patterns, I have absolutely no qualms in recommending it. Sophie’s patterns are always well-written and really enjoyable to knit.
Sunset Camisole by Sari Nordlund
Oh Good lord. Look at that frill. LOOK AT THAT FRILL.
This is a pretty new pattern, but it is calling to me like some kind of yarn-y siren.
I mean, that’s pretty much all I have to say about it, isn’t it? THE FRILL.
Or can I interest you in one of my summer patterns, perhaps?
Come on, you didn’t think I was going to let this entire blog post go by without putting in a plug for one of my own patterns?
I’ve got a 3 for 2 offer on my summer top patterns, which is automatically applied at checkout on Ravelry.
Whether you’re after a circular yoked tee with an optional bust adjustment, a drop-shoulder tee that you can wear with the lace panel in the front or back, or a classic tee with a fluttery sleeve, I’ve got quite the selection now.