Temperature Blanket…

The motivation for me to write depends on the color of the sky.   There is another blog waiting, but it’s about letting go in 2020, not the cheeriest topic.  So, I’m writing about a Temperature Blanket because it\’s very exciting!

My Google phone spies on me all of the time, listening and remembering everything I research online.  It was designed to do that, I guess.  Being a knitting/crocheting weather geek, I receive “news” on those topics daily.  For a few days in December, my phone combined the two subjects and began showing me articles on “temperature blankets.”  I scrolled past the titles guessing they were some sort of blanket that keeps you warm in cold and vice versa.  Silly me.  When I finally clicked on an article, I discovered that a temperature blanket is an afghan knitted or crocheted a row or square a day according to the temperature. What a find!  A project that combines needlework and weather observation was just what I needed to boost my winter mood.  While it’s a big, year-long project, I knew I could easily commit to crocheting one row a day.

Rather than follow a pattern (there are oodles on the web), I decided to plan my own afghan.  I think I did it backward, but I finally solidified a plan to suit me.  Because the yarn is the fun part, I started there.   The only thing I  knew at that point was that I wanted washable wool yarn, and I needed to find it in a bunch of colors.  I went to Yarn.com (WEBS) and, rather than wasting  hours looking on the site, I did an online chat with a representative.  After I told her what I was looking for,  she suggested several brands and styles that might work for me.   Talking with her saved me time and frustration.  I highly recommend the chat feature on their site.  Valley Yarns Superwash Wool Worsted was my choice.  With 32 shades to choose from I had no problem deciding on my color progression for the year. 

Because I love changing colors when I crochet, and because I wanted a lot of color variation in my blanket, I used small increments. I broke my plan into four-degree sections. For instance, 5 to 9 degrees is steel grey. My colors include blues for winter, greens in spring, then yellow and orange for summer. If it gets really hot, 95 or above, I’ve chosen pinks. Buying the yarn gets tricky. You don’t really know how much you need. I bought one skein of each color to cover from 20 to 54 degrees to get me through the colder days. When the temps start to rise, I’ll start buying my spring colors. I can’t wait!

The size was the most challenging aspect of my plan. I did SEVERAL test swatches before I settled on my pattern.  At first I thought I’d do corner to corner crochet, which looks like little squares.  My test swatch measured one inch per row. Oops!  At that rate my blanket would have been a whopping 365 inches or 30 feet long at the end!  Finally, I decided on half-double crochet with worsted weight yarn using a size F hook.  I’m following a pattern of one full row, one row of halves, and one row of thirds. I didn’t want to use a row for each day because I thought it would look boring, and the blanket would still be too big.  
Who knew that I could combine my interest in weather with daily crocheting? The weather geek in me has existed for a long time. Years ago, I worked in aviation education, and couldn’t get enough of the idea of flight and weather. I actually passed ground school with flying colors. That means if I want to start flight lessons, I’m set!  Joking.  Crocheting is my speed now.

Yesterday was the coldest day (24) so far this year and I was able to use Mulberry for the first time.  It’s fun for me to look at my blanket and see what the weather pattern is.  Right now, the prominent colors are navy blue and white which means that we are often at 30o to 39o…a warm winter so far.  My favorite color is periwinkle blue.  It’s for colder temps, 25o to 29o, so I keep hoping for cold to use it more often.

It’s not too late to start a blanket.  You can easily find the temperature history for January.  I also think you could adapt this idea for other projects, especially for kids.  You could color a line or shape each day to form a beautiful weather history for 2021!

A daily check of the temperature is good for everyone!

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