A couple of days into the new year I discovered a really cool year-long project that is gaining popularity among crocheters all over the world. Most commonly called a temperature blanket, the idea is to crochet one row of a blanket every day for year but the color you use is determined by what the temperature is that day. A quick hashtag search on Instagram shows the temperature blanket trend going all the way back to 2011, but has really taken off as the must-do project in the last two years.
At first, I dogeared the idea as something to do next year, but as I looked at hundreds of color schemes and how unique each finished blanket looked I realized that there was no sense in waiting! It was still early enough in the year that I could catch up easily and continue with my year-long task. The hard part was now to decide on a temperature gradient, a corresponding color palette, and the design for my afghan. The beauty of this project is that even though there are hundreds and hundreds of temperature blankets, no two will ever be the same and you have full creative freedom. How big will your afghan be? What will your color palette be? Will you go bold or pastel? The rainbow or neutrals? What stitch will you use? Will you continue using the same one or mix in other stitches to mark holidays or special occasions? You become the designer!
For my own temperature afghan I decided on this color palette from Rachel Rae Loves, which simultaneously decided my temperature gradient. I love the pastels she picked out because they’ll give a softer appearance to my afghan versus a more traditional “rainbow” appearance with bold colors. All of these colors are done by Stylecraft Special double knit (8 ply or worsted weight) yarn. Two of my colors, white and cream, are 4 ply making them about equal to light worsted weight yarn so they’re a bit thinner. If you’re in the U.K. some other brands of yarn to consider are The Women’s Institute (part of their proceeds go to charity) or King Cole. If you’re in the U.S. Simply Caron is inexpensive and a softer alternative to Red Heart. You could also consider I Love This Yarn, Bernat Satin, Vanna’s Choice, or Lion Brand.
As for my design, I knew I wanted something simple. There are quite a few outline examples on Pinterest where some people chose to include new stitches or extra colors for days where it rained or snowed, for the start of the month, and/or for holidays and birthdays/anniversaries. I am in awe of these people, because I could never have come up with something so detailed. However, I don’t envy them because it seems like a lot to keep up with for one project. I decided that one stitch would be enough (because I like consistency) but that it needed to be something small, since I was going to have to crochet 365 rows. I also wanted something a little more visually interesting than a single crochet stitch. That’s when I discovered the moss stitch (also called a linen stitch). A moss stitch is a simple sc, ch1, sc sequence. Your chains create spaces in your work, and that is where you place your single crochet stitches. The result is a beautiful woven look in your work. To make things a little easier I used this moss stitch blanket pattern from Emily over at The Loopy Stitch. It’s a perfect pattern for this project since her blanket has a total of 371 rows, which is more than enough to get you through the year.
I have to confess, I have a current hook addiction. I picked up a pack of these ergonomic silicone-handled crochet hooks at a craft fair back in September and immediately fell in love. They’re so much more comfortable than standard aluminum hooks and relatively inexpensive. My pack of ten hooks (2 mm-6.5 mm) only cost me £12. I get genuinely disappointed when I start a project and realize that I can’t use one of my ergo hooks. I highly recommend you at least get yourself one to try out, and then buy the rest of them when you inevitably become smitten with the colorful silicone grips.
So that’s it! An easy diy recipe for a temperature blanket. It might be a tiny bit late to start one for 2017; however, if you think you’re up for the challenge of catching up then go for it! Doing a current temperature blanket is also not your only option. You can pick a year that is significant to you and create a blanket for that year (#historicaltemperatureblanket). You can use accuweather.com to view what the temperature was in days past to help you get caught up. This is what my blanket looked like for January 1-16. On the 13th I decided to add a strand of white in addition to my cloud blue for the temperature because we got snow!
I’m in love with the way all of these colors look together so far, and I’m excited to show you guys my progress over the course of the next 50 weeks! You can also follow my progress on Instagram; I’m posting there every few days but likely won’t update my blog with progress photos more often then every few months. If you’re currently working on a temperature blanket, don’t forget to post photos and use the hashtag #temperatureblanket so we can enjoy each other’s creativity and share ideas!
Until next time!