I’m positively overwhelmed by the response to my 2019 temperature blanket project. So many makers are getting on the daily crochet train. Have you?!
Since announcing the project on the blog and on YouTube, there have been a few recurring questions. Never fear – I’m here to help. I’m answering all of your questions so we can clear up the mystery of temperature blankets together!
I covered the basics of temperature blankets in the post “What’s the Deal with Temperature Blankets?” I shared what temperature blankets are, what a color gauge is, and suggestions on picking a stitch and color palette. Let’s take a deeper dive into some questions that came out of the TLYCMakers Facebook group.
How should I pick my color palette?
I firmly believe that a bad color palette can ruin this project for anyone. Picking colors you love right from the start will keep you motivated to soldier on throughout the year.
Traditional temperature blankets were made in rainbow colors (ROY G BIV), probably to better understand fluctuations in the weather throughout the year. I think rainbows are a fine choice, but keep in mind that we’re working with yarn, which comes in EVERY COLOR UNDER THE SUN!
Think outside the box when it comes to color. I went with an ombre color palette with pinks, oranges, mustard, and some neutrals sprinkled in. Consider centering your palette around your favorite color and building from there. Don’t forget to consider different hues – have you thought about brights, pastels, neons, or maybe heathered colors?
How many colors should I use?
This really depends on how intricate (complicated, lol) you want your blanket to be. I’ve seen makers choose between 5 and 12 colors. You have a lot of freedom here. I’d suggest picking your colors based on your preferred palette rather than some arbitrary rules or formula.
How do I personalize a temperature gauge for my city?
One of the biggest challenges of starting a temperature blanket is making a temperature gauge. There are plenty floating around Pinterest, but a personalized gauge can account for the number of colors you use and the true variance of your local weather.
Here’s how I figured out my gauge:
- I picked my color palette, which has 9 colors.
- I referenced Weather.com, searched my city, and clicked on Monthly. Near the center of the page is a graph that let me know that my city’s average temperatures for the year range from 19-86 degrees.
- I added a 10-degree buffer to the top and bottom of my range (just in case this year was warmer or colder than average), which brought my range to 9-96 degrees.
- I subtracted 9 from 96, which let me know I had 90 degrees to work with.
- I divided 90 by 9 (the number of colors I have), which let me know that I’d have 10 degrees to each color.
- I then made my gauge in groups of 10 (9-18, 19-28, etc.) and assigned a color to each group. I dropped the highest number and lowest number from my range, so my highest range is just anything 79 degrees and above and my lowest range is anything 18 degrees and below. Easy peasy!
You can adapt this exact process to any climate, no matter the variance in weather. If you live somewhere with weather that doesn’t vary as much, you’ll have fewer degrees in each group of your gauge, and vice versa.
I’m starting my blanket late. Where can I find the temperature for dates I’ve missed?
There’s a handy website called wunderground.com where you can select your city, click the History tab, then input the date you need. This site can tell you the high, low, and average temperature for just about anywhere dating back to 1930!
What stitch or pattern should I use for my blanket?
Choosing a stitch or a pattern for your temperature blanket is another place where you have lots of freedom. It all depends on the size you want your finished blanket to be, your personal style, and the yarn/hook combination you chose.
As many makers quickly determine, a blanket with 365 rows can get very big very quickly. Compensate for the size by using lighter weight yarn (I went with DK for this purpose), a smaller hook, or a smaller stitch. Single crochet rows are classic. Granite stitch (a.k.a. crochet moss stitch), granny stitch rows, and cluster stitch rows are great choices too.
If you want to go in a completely different direction, here are some more suggestions:
- Pick a stitch you love from your favorite pattern book – go for something solid and simple
- Hdc v-stitch
- Corner to corner
- Tiny hexagons or granny squares
- Tunisian crochet
- Make 12 squares that are 30 (or 31) rounds each and sew them together.
- Scrap the whole blanket idea and make a scarf or shawl. Someone even made a temperature cat!
What’s the best way to store my project over the year?
A lot will go into how you store your project while you work on it. One of the main questions will be – Does this project need to be portable? If you’re planning to work on this project at a sip & stitch group or on vacation, I’d suggest going with a large tote bag.
Personally, my blanket will be staying at home, so I splurged on a super cute gold basket from Target. I’m keeping all of my blanket notes in a notebook that I always have on hand, and I’m tracking daily temperatures in my planner, which I always keep with me.
Won’t a temperature blanket have a lot of ends to weave in?
Sadly, darling, the answer is yes. When you’re changing colors on every single row, you’ll end up with a year’s worth of ends to weave in.
My suggestions are to work over your ends as you go or pick a day each month to weave your ends in and get them out of the way. Whatever method you choose, do yourself a favor and don’t wait until New Year’s Eve to manage your yarn ends.
What do I do if I fall behind or get overwhelmed?
This is the question that came up the most and is one of the main reasons there are abandoned temperature blankets around the world. Like years past, life will happen in 2019 and there may be days (weeks? months?!) that you may get behind. The most important thing to do is not freak out. Remember that we’re working with yarn here – it won’t expire and it’ll be there when you get around to it.
Try your best to keep up with tracking the temperature on a daily basis. Keep that info in a spreadsheet or notebook so you can reference it when you do get back to your blanket. When you finally have some free time, get as caught up as you can but please don’t let this project stress you out, honey!
Personally, the only thing I can commit to doing every day is brushing my teeth. I already know that I can’t crochet on a blanket daily, so I’m batching my crochet time to Sundays. I’ll write the daily temperatures in my notebook and crack open a fine (cheap!) Riesling on Sunday nights for my special crochet time.
If you need a bit more help staying motivated while you work on your temperature blanket, join the dozens of crocheters and knitters in the TLYCMakers Facebook group who have started theirs! You can also use the #CrochetTempBlanket2019 hashtag on Instagram. I’m planning monthly check-ins here on the blog and in the Facebook group and would love to keep up with your project too!