Knitting in the Florida Heat

peaceful knitting by the window with my cat and a cup of coffee

Knitting with wool is a year round thing for me. My house is air-conditioned so summer is actually a good time to knit. And summer here lasts nearly year round!

The “good” parts of summer are cool enough to open windows occasionally, but the dead of summer is too hot and humid to ever do that. Even when the AC is running day and night the humidity is high inside the house.

Florida knitters probably knit more projects that are made with “summer” type yarn, such as linen, cotton, and sock yarn. Little shawls and lightweight sweaters might get some use here. Household cotton dishcloths and towels are a good choice too. Unfortunately for me, I like knitting sweaters. With wool.

Knitting In The Heat

I can’t wait for “sweater season” to begin knitting sweaters because that season never arrives here.

Sweater knitting can be tough when the body of the project wants to cover my lap while I knit the sleeves. Usually I knit in the living room chair where I can toss the body onto the arm. Then Fontana my cat decides to sleep on my lap! Double heat… LOL.

Knitting something like a sweater is actually easier to do in summer when the AC is constantly running. Once the windows open it can be too hot to knit with wool in my lap (plus a cat). So, I guess my sweater knitting season is summer!

knitting cat in lap

Drying Hand-knits in Humidity

My knitted projects can take a long time to dry.

Everything I knit gets blocked out in a spare bedroom. I’m lucky to have a bed no one uses now. The ceiling fan goes on to circulate air in the room and help the process. The dehumidifier I bought seems to help quite a bit too. I close the room off and that works well.

When the Cumulus sweater needed drying, I blocked it out on boards on the bed. The ceiling fan stays on day and night while the dehumidifier helps dry out the room.

Drying my wool sweater in Florida on a spare bed

Wool dries pretty fast. When I knit with Alafosslopi, which is a bulky wool, then drying can take longer. I think I was drying the Carbeth cardigan when I realized I needed help with the humidity. Carbeth was knit in Alafosslopi and had a bulky rollover neck. It took a couple of days to totally dry.

Even when the major heat is gone, the air here remains humid. I have to dry my hand knits this way even in winter – with the window closed.

Knitting Project Selfies

As you can probably tell, I take my own photos. The iPhone gets propped somewhere and I set the timer. It usually takes many tries before I get something I can crop to look okay.

But all that wool can be tough to handle wearing when the temps are near 100 degrees and the humidity is high! The photo sessions are done quickly. I guess I could wait until January and take all my sweater, hat and mittens photos on the few cold days.

I don’t get much sympathy for living in a place where there is no snow and very little ice – sometimes the birdbath freezes. When it comes to knitting, Floridians face different challenges.

When Hurricane Ian hit at the end of September 2022, we lost power in the house for four days. I spent much of those days knitting. In fact, I decided to try some mosaic knitting because my new book had just arrived. It was a great thing to have such a hobby on long days without electricity. I sat in front of the window with a breeze blowing and enough sunlight to see well. Because the storm came late in the season, the air was not so hot. Once Ian blew away, the weather became downright NICE!

Florida’s Lack of Yarn Shops

People in Florida see no real need to knit I suppose. All that heat keeps us in capris and sleeveless cotton tops. For that reason, there is quite a lack of yarn shops. And if I find one, there is a lack of the nice types of wool I like to knit with. It makes sense, but it forces me to buy all my yarn online.

The Four Purls yarn shop near Orlando used to come out to the coast and sell yarn out of their traveling truck. But they have not been here in a while. Probably because of gas prices. They don’t seem to sell the yarn I love to work with because no one wants anything made of wool here.

knitting divider

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