Here we are, another year has passed and a new year has begun. You may have seen buzz in the crochet world about temperature blankets. What the heck are they and how do they work? Read on, friend!
Temperature blankets are a wonderful way to remember a special year, such as the birth of a baby, the year of your marriage, or to simply document each day in real-time as they pass. The problem is that traditional temperature blankets can be cumbersome and can get monotonous to work on. Learn about temperature blankets and check out this list of awesome non-traditional temperature blanket ideas!
Thanks to Valarie for the photo!
Non-Traditional Temperature Blanket Ideas
When making a temperature blanket, you’ll have different yarn colors for different temperatures. Depending on where you live and the climate, you may end up using mostly blues and purples (for very cold days) or you may end up with a yellow, orange, and red blanket (for warmer days). The color palette can consist of any colors you desire. Simply create a chart with the temperature ranges for each color on your palette, and be sure to encompass all of the temperatures you normally see in your area.
If you live in, say, Texas where the temperature doesn’t fluctuate much, use smaller temperature ranges for each color. Maybe just one or two degrees instead of 5 – 10 degrees per color. Look up old weather data to get an idea of your temperature ranges, or look up your birth year, the year you were married, the years your children were born, etc. Check out this awesome color palette by Katy_Katz_life on Instagram. I love the vibrancy of her color choices!
A good idea when crocheting temperature blankets is to choose a yarn brand that has no dye lots. This way, if you do need to buy more yarn, you don’t have to worry that the dye lots match. Some great examples of dye lot-free yarns are Red Heart and Caron Simply Soft, among others.
Helpful tips when planning a temperature blanket:
A common issue for temperature blankets is that because you’ll end up with 365 rows, it may end up very long and consequently, very skinny, which throws the entire blanket out of proportion – albeit still usable.
1. Make a gauge swatch! Making a gauge swatch is ESSENTIAL to planning and executing your temperature blanket. Simply work up a small bit in the stitch you intend to use, then multiply your measurements to get an idea of the finished size of your blanket. For example:
Let’s say your gauge swatch is 4″ square and consists of 12 stitches for width and 10 rows for height. This means that each stitch is approximately .33″ wide and each row is approximately .4″ tall.
This means that if you crochet one row per day for 365 days, your blanket will be 146″ tall.
Yes, as in over 12 FEET tall!!
If you don’t mind having a blanket the whole family can quite literally cuddle under while watching a movie, that’s great! Now decide how wide you would like your blanket to be (ie: proportionate), and how many chains/stitches you should start with. To do this, take the width measurement from your gauge swatch and multiply it out. If you want the blanket to be 60″ wide, divide 60 by .33 (the width per stitch) and you’ll find that you need to start with about 182 stitches. By doing the simple math, and if you have the gauge I used above (12 sts x 10 rows= 4″ square), you know that if you start with 182 stitches and crochet 365 rows, your blanket would end up measuring about 60″ wide and 146″ tall, or roughly 5′ x 12′. Cool, huh?
Learn more about gauge and measurements and how to calculate them here.
2. Choose your stitch wisely. If you want to keep your blanket to more “normal” proportions, choose a stitch that is very short. Examples of short stitches include the Moss Stitch, the Waistcoat Stitch, or keep it super simple by using the Single Crochet. This will help to keep it under 12 feet tall. 😉
3. Use a fancy or noticeably different yarn (think sparkly yarn or a totally different color and/or stitch) on special days such as birthdays, anniversaries, vacations, etc.
4. Slow and steady wins the race!
Non-traditional temperature project ideas:
Now, if the idea of an entire blanket is daunting (you’re not alone!) consider some of these alternatives…
1. Temperature scarf. Each day/row is much more manageable when you’re making a scarf instead of a blanket! Still use the formulas above to calculate how wide and long your scarf will be and you’ll be able to knock those quick rows out a day at a time.
2. Granny squares. You could work up a Granny Square blanket as Hazel has done in this photo. You could do 19 squares x 19 squares (a square for each of 361 days) then add a border four rows wide to make it 365! Love this!
Or, instead of crocheting one Granny Square per day, how about one Granny Square per week? You would finish with 52 squares at the end of the year and if you make one square per week that has 7 rows, it could look like this:
Round 1: Sunday
Round 2: Monday
Round 3: Tuesday
Round 4: Wednesday
Round 5: Thursday
Round 6: Friday
Round 7: Saturday
Weave in the ends from color changes as you go. You could even turn it into a wall hanging as Kate has done below. Gorgeous work, Kate!
3. Make a 12-point Star. I love the idea of a 12-point star blanket. Each point of the star is one month, and each row of each point is one day. In the end it ends up being a good size blanket (one example I’ve seen stated it ended up ~54″ across – sounds like a great size to me!) Find a tutorial and pattern for each point here.
4. Temperature snake. Find a simple snake pattern you like (I’m partial to this one by Golden Lucy Crafts) and simply change colors every day. It’ll be a long snake, but it will be fun to make!
5. Temperature Dachshund. Similar to the snake above, a looooong wiener dog would be adorable! Here’s a free pattern to get you thinking.
6. Corner to Corner. Corner to Corner (C2C) blankets are a great way to track temperatures. You can use a certain number of blocks per day or just one block per day. Michelle from the Heart Hook Home Crochet Community shared this photo of hers. This throw is 80 blocks wide and 100 blocks tall (8000 blocks total) and she crocheted just 22 blocks per day. Put in those terms, and in bite-sizes pieces, that seems totally manageable! Here’s a tutorial on how to crochet a Corner to Corner, and here’s a tutorial on how to change colors in a Corner to Corner.
7. Make a continuous circle. Start in a spiral and work your way around and around. Each day can have as many stitches as you like, and from what I’ve seen the number of 50 stitches per day makes for a nice size blanket.
And last but definitely not least, check out Amy’s gorgeous Tunisian version using the pattern from TL Yarn crafts. I LOVE this!