working with wool in the summer

Summer in the New York metro area can become very humid and hot. I am working on a sample crochet project that is due in a few weeks. It is beautiful lace-weight wool shawl at a fine gauge. While I prefer small projects in the warm months, this was an opportunity I didn’t want to pass up.

As it is a sample to be used for publication, I need to follow the designer’s instructions and intentions exactly. In this case it requires that i treat the yarn carefully. The beautiful 2-ply lace weight is delicate and does not hold up to being reworked multiple times. It is a 100% wool and yes, can be felted.

I am working slowly and steadily to make sure all the criteria for a successful sample are met.

However, I do not always have access to an air conditioned environment that is conducive to working on the shawl. In general I don’t mind no AC, but sometimes it it just too hot and humid and it making progress becomes a true challenge.

Here are three tips I use as the heat and humidity climb and the deadline looms.

3 Tips for working with wool in humidity (without air conditioning)
  1. Cover your lap with an empty pillowcase or finely woven towel, choose something smooth. If you can choose a contrasting colour to the project you are working on, that is helpful as well. While this fabric adds weight to the humidity, I found the benefits outweighed the extra covering on my lap.
  2. Keep a small towel handy to wipe your hands and face dry. Sweaty and damp hands touching felt-able wool is a recipe for disaster!
  3. Take frequent breaks! I get up and walk slowly around and stand near a fan to cool off.


Do you have any favourite tips for working with wool in summer heat and humidity?

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