I was told that knitting at the beach was "impossible" and "icky" because of the sand, sunblock, and surf spray. Being that I'm stubborn by nature, I was determined to prove everyone wrong! Here's my tips, based on my recent vacation to Maine, on how to knit at the beach:
1. Knit with something "non-wooly" - Cotton, hemp, or linen are great choices for beach knitting. They're perfect summer fibers and won't stick to your sunscreen or skin in the heat. I used some Rowan Cotton Glace I had leftover from a previous knitting project (hey hey, stash busting!).
2. Pick something small, portable, and simple - Since my project wasn't going to be large like a sweater, I threw a small Ravelry project bag in my beach tote that held my yarn, needles, and a zipper pouch with scissors and a tape measure. Even though my knitting project was a mesh lace bag, it was easy to remember a four row repeat and not have to fuss with instructions blowing all over the place.
3. Sand and sunblock will get in your project - That's why I chose to knit something that wouldn't matter to me if sand and sunblock got in/on my project, such as a reusable mesh tote bag. I found it helpful to use hand sanitizer to clean my hands and make them less slimy and slippery when I knitted. I didn't notice sand sticking to my cotton yarn that much, but I'm sure it's there. Not a big deal to me.
4. Use something to hold your yarn in place - The cup holder on a beach chair was quite handy to keep my yarn from tumbling out of my lap and rolling down the beach. It was also pretty windy most of the days we were out on the beach, so I was grateful that my yarn was kept snug and in place at my side. A yarn bra or yarn keeper would be nice alternatives if your beach chair doesn't have cup holders.
5. Leave your Addi Turbos at home - My cheap Boye needles were exposed to salt water, sunblock, and were lost in the sand several times. I would never want that to happen to my expensive Addis! The same goes with other treasured knitting notions (or yarn) that you wouldn't want harmed.
Have you ever knit at the beach?