A few years ago, I decided to make a temperature blanket. I thought it would be a fun project that would give me something to do all year long. Well, little did I know it would give me something to do for the next year and a half. Maybe even longer. Although I love the way my blanket turned out, it was definitely a labor of love. With that being said, I did enjoy the creative process, and I learned a lot along the way.
What is a “Temperature Blanket”?
A temperature blanket is a crochet blanket with 365 rows where each row reflects the high temperature of the day. Typically, each color of yarn represents a 10 degree range. For example, using a traditional ROYGBIV color story, the temperature ranges would be as follows:
Pink – 90 and above
Red – 80-89
Orange – 70-79
Yellow – 60-69
Light Green – 50-59
Green – 40-49
Blue – 30-39
Indigo – 20-29
Violet – 19 and below
For my blanket, I used the moss stitch. (If you don’t know what the moss stitch is, here’s a good YouTube video.) I don’t like blankets with big holes in them. So I liked the way the moss stitch created a dense blanket and that the stitches aren’t as “tall” as some others. Now that we’ve started with the basics, let’s get into the 5 things I think you should know before starting your own Temperature Blanket.
1. It’s ok to customize your Temperature Blanket.
As you can see, I did have to add two extra shades in there to get the full span of degree ranges. However, everything about this blanket is completely customizable. For example, I live in the midwest and know we spend a lot of the year in the 30-80 degree range. And green, yellow, and orange are some of my least favorite colors. So why in the world would I create an entire giant blanket out of colors that don’t match my decor and that I don’t even particularly like? With that in mind, I used the following color scale:
Red – 100 and above
Hot Pink – 90-99
Rose – 80-89
Blush – 70-79
Lavender – 60-69
Light Purple – 50-59
Dark Purple – 40-49
Dark Blue – 30-39
Light Blue – 20-29
Ice Blue – 19 and below
In fact, not only can you change the color scheme, but you can change the degree ranges as well. If you live in an area that the coolest high temperature you ever have is 60 degrees, you might not want an entire blanket made of just four colors. So you could change it to be 5 degree ranges for your blanket. The beauty of a temperature blanket is that every one will be different. Even from year to year. You could use the same color key 5 years in a row and have 5 completely different looking blankets in the end. Which I think is pretty awesome.
If you want a really great way to organize both your yarn and your supplies for this project, you should check out this yarn organizer bag from Amazon. My mom got me one for Christmas a few years ago, and it is SO nice for keeping things together but also tidy. Especially in a blanket like this where you’re switching colors really often.
2. Document everything.
Because of all of the different customizations you can make to your temperature blanket, it’s extremely important that you document everything. When I started my blanket, I created a chart with blank squares for the temperature and the day of the year. That way I could write the high temperature next to the day and I could cross of the day after that row was created. Overall this will help keep you organized. Whereas it might be easy to find your place in the first couple months of the year, once you get past like March, it’s really hard to count all of those rows to remember where you left off. Plus, make sure you make note of your yarn colors and temperature ranges as well. You don’t want to get halfway through your blanket and accidentally switch two shades.
Not only do you want to document everything so you don’t forget what color you’re supposed to be using or what row you’re working on, but it’s really great to keep everything for reflection. For example, I decided in my blanket that not only would I change the color scheme, but I customized the temperatures too.
At the time, I traveled a lot for work. So for my blanket, I chose to use the high temperature for wherever I was at in the country that day. Which means there is a day mid summer that is 100+ from when I was in Portland, OR. And there are also times that there are drastic temperature jumps because I left snowy KC for Dallas, TX, etc. So it’s pretty cool to be able to look back and remember where I was each day. (Although in KC we have some pretty crazy temperature swings in general, so there’s always that.)
3. Make sure your blanket is wide enough.
Another thing to pay attention to and customize for your temperature blanket is the width. I know there are standard widths for different sizes of blankets (lap, throw, twin, etc.). However, most blankets aren’t 365 rows long. Although you could stick with a standard throw blanket width, your blanket might turn out super long and skinny like a giant scarf. Of course you don’t have to make your blanket a certain size, just make sure you keep in mind the fact that it will be 365 rows long. Like I mentioned above, I used the moss stitch for my blanket because the stitches are more dense and “shorter” than say a double crochet. If you use a larger stitch, your blanket will be even longer. I ended up making my blanket 60 inches wide and I love how big and proportionate it is.
4. Don’t get behind.
Now that I’ve mentioned the fact that your blanket will be 365 rows long like twelve times, that brings me to lesson number four. Don’t get behind. If you work on your blanket every day, it will only take a handful of minutes to crochet one row. However, you won’t always have time every day. So maybe you decide to crochet a full week at a time. While one day may be only 5 minutes for one row, one week becomes 35 minutes of crochet time. Which in and of itself isn’t a huge time commitment. But miss two or three weeks (or more!) at a time and you’re all of the sudden several hours behind.
To be sure, this was the biggest lesson I learned. For the first 3-4 months of the year, I was rocking and rolling. So proud of myself and my little temperature blanket. However, once my work schedule got a little crazy in the spring, I missed several weeks and got SUPER behind. And in the end my one year temperature blanket took me a year and a half to make because I let things get a little too out of control.
5. Enjoy the process.
All in all, your temperature blanket is going to be an awesome statement piece and a labor of love. So make sure you take the time to enjoy the beauty of the process and the beauty of the finished piece. By creating a custom blanket based on your favorite colors/decor, you’re sure to have a gorgeous and unique blanket to love or give as a gift. To be sure, for the last several months of making my blanket I swore up and down I was going to give it away as a gift because I was so over looking at it. However, now that it’s finished (and looks so great in my living room), it’s one of my favorite blankets. Whether you decide to crochet a row a day, or several days at once, take that time to really enjoy the meditation.
Overall, creating a temperature blanket was one of the most memorable (and time consuming) products I’ve worked on in a while. I highly recommend it to anyone and think it’s a super cool present too. It would be a really great gift for a super memorable year. You could also add in special threads for special occasions. Maybe you start on January 1 and use a special color or sparkle thread on the day a baby is born or a wedding. Or you could start the blanket on the day a baby is born and show the high temperature for every day of the first year of their life. But no matter what you create, I know it will be stunningly beautiful and extra special. Just like you.
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