Temperature Blanket

For a few weeks I’ve been toying with the idea of whether to make a temperature blanket. It’s gone in and out of favour several times and now I’ve finally made a decision …

… yes, I will!

The project manager in me wanted to have everything organised and ready for a start date of 1st January, 2021 – that feels the ideal day to start recording the temperature for the year to come. So, here I thought I’d log how I came to the decision and what materials to use and then post how I get along over the next twelve months. The temperature blanket isn’t something I’ll produce as a pattern but I’m hoping that once the blanket is complete it will give an insight into what I did, what worked and what didn’t.

What is a temperature blanket?

This is how I describe it – a temperature blanket is a record of the temperature in a certain place over a period of time.

Usually worked in knit or crochet, it can also be in other crafts such as patchwork. It can be personalised to include events such as birthdays, special dates. Average temperatures of days, weeks or months can be recorded from a set location, or from where you happen to be on a particular day. A temperature blanket is unique to it’s owner, there are no rights and wrongs, just do your own thing.

Why a temperature blanket?

I love to make throws and have found this year, 2020, they’ve been used more than usual as we’ve often sat outside during lockdown. Great, also, for those chilly evenings when we’ve been able to meet with friends in the garden. I’ve often looked at temperature blankets and, though I like them, until now I’ve not taken the bait. Why now? Well, I fancy doing a personal project that will last throughout the year and this seemed as good as anything.

What have I planned so far?

Rather than go head first into my temperature blanket I gave a lot of thought as to how I wanted it to look.

It was an easy decision to crochet rather than knit, simply because I haven’t worked on a large crochet project for some time. So, with that in mind, my thinking turned to how large I wanted the blanket/throw to be. Did I want to work a piece to represent each day? Or each week? Or each month? The finished size doesn’t really matter, so long as it’s large enough to use as a lap blanket and not so big that it becomes cumbersome.

I spent a ridiculous amount of time looking at crochet pieces (and fell in love with so many of them) only to come to the conclusion that I wanted to keep it simple. Why? Well, I have a few Fair Isle throws which are intricate so I thought I’d let the colours of the temperature blanket do the talking. This thinking also led me to the yarn I’d use. Though this will be quite a different blanket to those I’ve already made I’d like it to co-ordinate, so …

… it has to be Rowan Felted Tweed.

My next step was to work out the pattern. I want to go for as much colour as possible and will crochet a piece every day in a colour to represent the temperature at home in North Wales. I researched past temperatures (thank goodness for technology) and think that a range of -4 to 31 should suffice. If not, I’ll adjust as necessary. I’m going to work with 18 colours for the temperatures, each covering two degrees, and one colour for the background. I’ll have 365 pieces which I’ll put together as a square of 19 by 19 (361 pieces) and then one piece in each corner to connect the edging which will be done in the background colour.

Unless I change my mind somewhere along the way!

Each piece will be a circle within a square. The circle will be the temperature colour with the background colour making up the square. I’m fortunate to have most of the colours of Rowan Felted Tweed which made it fairly easy to put the colour scheme together. Actually, I can’t believe I’ve just written that as it took hours! I put my initial thought on colours together then tweeked it here and there until I was happy. Usually I work with colours of the same tone but with this I’ve mixed it a bit; hope it turns out well, time will tell.

Then came the practice squares.

I wanted to make sure this was right as I don’t want to change my mind part way through and think “I wish I’d done it that way instead”. I made a few before I settled on the one I’ll be using, measured it’s tension, worked out the finished size of the blanket and, happy with all that, I’ve put the wool and crochet hook aside for me to make a start tomorrow.