This morning on Facebook one of my friends linked to an article in New York Magazine about “beach sweaters,” which it described as loose knit sweaters to use as a cover up.
The article was accompanied by photos of store bought sweaters ranging from $275 to $1,800. Although, to be fair, there was one for $75 as well. There was also a little slide show of “real” women (not models) they stopped on the street wearing similar styles.
It made me think how lucky we are to be knitters and crocheters. We have the ability to make ourselves similar garments that will be much more flattering because they will be in a style we prefer, sized to our bodies, and in a color we can select from the wide rang available at our yarn store rather than was it on the department store rack.
Knitting and crocheting also gives you more control over the fiber content, as well.
And we all know that unless you’re knitting a long coat out of cashmere or qiviut, you won’t be spending anywhere near $1,000.
I took a little stroll through our books and came up with some patterns that will work at the beach, pool, or on a picnic. Take a peak, then head to your local yarn store to gather supplies.
The spring and summer books from this Spanish brand offer a wealth of airy tops that fit the bill.
This Batwing Top (which is actually a poncho, but I have to stick with the official pattern name) is a free pattern on our website. (The English directions are on the second page of the PDF.)
It would be a quick knit on US10.5 needles. This project is knit in simple stockinette stitch, allowing the textured yarn to do all the work for you.
The sample is shown in three colors of Temis, a 55% Cotton, 40% Acrylic, 5% Nylon blend with approximately 137 yards per 50g, available in 13 colors. Make yours in stripes, as shown, or a solid color.
This beautiful crocheted top is another free pattern on our website. The pattern stitch isn’t difficult, but you’ll need strong pattern reading skills for this one as it relies heavily on a chart. (The chart is on the second page and the English directions are on the third page.)
This top is crocheted using an H hook and Alabama yarn. This 50% Cotton, 50% Acrylic blend with approximately 115 yards per 50g comes in 25 colors ranging from neutrals to rich primaries.
This cute cardigan from the Sport #69 book is crocheted using Gemini, a 100% Cotton yarn with approximatley 77 yards per 50g.
Gemini has a mesh texture, which give you a lot of flexibility when knitting or crocheting with it. You can either work with it as you would a traditional yarn, or open the mesh up to create frills, or switch back and forth. There is a video on the Katia website demonstrating the different options.
This last top is reminiscent of the Alexander Wang top the lady on the fifth slide in the New York Magazine article bought at Barney’s. It takes just two balls of Malindi, so you know you’ll be spending less than she probably did!
The pattern is in the Elegance #70 book. Malindi is a 100% Acrylic yarn with approximately 22 yards per 100g that comes in eight colors. You can watch a video showing how to knit with this interesting yarn on the Katia website.
You might think of Elsebeth Lavold primarily in terms of warm, cabled garments, but she does have a number of books for spring and summer.
The Mint top from The Sugar and Spice Collection is fun because it converts from a mesh tank top to a string bag. Talk about a multipurpose project.
Mint is knit using Hempathy, a 41% Cotton, 34% Hemp, 25% Modal blend with approximately 154 yards per 50g. This popular yarn has six new colors this season, bringing your choices up to 28.
For the more modest, consider the Glenda tunic from The Lazy Day Collection. With simple shaping and an asymmetrical hemline, this garment will be flattering on a variety of figures.
Glenda is knit using ViSilk, a 90% Viscose, 10% Silk blend with approximately 132 yards per 50g. There are six new colors of ViSilk this season, giving you 26 from which to select.
Louisa Harding, Noro, Ella Rae, and Araucania
With a name like Beachcomber Bay, it’s not surprising this Louisa Harding book has some good options. The Mussel top features drop stitches that allow your bathing suit to peak out while they offer ventilation.
The Long Sleeveless Wrap from Ella Rae’s Family Postcards book is a more modest option that will make a good transition garment in the fall as well.
The Lace Top from Noro Volume 31 features a drawstring belt to cinch the waist. It is knit using Karuta, a yummy 40% Silk, 30% Cotton, 30% Wool blend yarn with approximatley 165 yards per 100g, available in eight colors.
Last, but not least, is the beautiful Lacey Edged Jacket from Araucania. This amazing garment features both knitting (the body) and crocheting (the edging) for the bi-stitchual crafter.
It is made using Nature Cotton, a 100% Cotton with approximately 106 yards per 100g. This is a smoothie bulky yarn, thin/thick spinning, with soft texture and high quality. Great for fast projects, this 100% cotton yarn gives even more beautiful options for your creations. Six new colors have been added this season.
There are many more patterns on our website that can be worn as coverups depending on the look you are seeking. I hope the ones I’ve highlighted get your creative juices flowing. Stop by your local yarn store for even more inspiration.
Remember, your knitting and crocheting skills allow you to be in style and still stay unique.
Share a picture of your finished beach cover up on our Facebook page. We love to see the projects you make with our yarns.