Over halfway through the year and the blanket is shaping up. I’m out of the habit of taking progress photos, but I hit the end of July so thought it was time. I played catch up the last few weeks, so I’m only about 10 days behind now.
This is January-July:
Blanket pattern notes
I’m using the linen pixel temperature blanket pattern by TL yarn crafts. Big love for this pattern, and Toni’s content generally – she’s so joyful! Even in negative reviews on her yarn snob videos.
Key differences with my blanket are:
- 7 colours rather than 15
- ~7cm squares rather than 10cm – I’m aiming for sofa throw size, so that’s a foundation row of 15 chain*
- Used a spacer colour for the month – my bobble on it is feeble though
- 18 squares per row – with the spacer colour, it should take me to the end of the year without days in a border. I might need a longer block of spacers at the end.
I went with highest temperature for where I am in the world that day. So the bright strip of yellow and orange in mid-March was the trip to Brazil. And stripey days are when I’ve travelled from one place to another. It still surprises me how much weather varies between areas in Britain. Even though this is a nation where the cliché small talk is about the weather.
*Note on smaller square sizing: I have a medium to tight gauge generally, and did test squares with the 5.5mm hook. Some of my squares are smaller than 7cm wide to be honest. I’m not that precious about it and I’m aiming to keep them the same across the rows instead. I do keep forgetting how many stitches the foundation chain needs – I’m currently working on 15 ch, but may have started out on 17 ch.
Yarn and colours
I wanted to complement the colour scheme and rug (this flatweave rug by Kiliim) in my living room, so blanket colours are based on that.
I used the Temperature Blanket visualiser website to figure out my colour palette. It’s a really handy tool because you can use previous year’s temperatures for your location to get a rough idea of what your blanket could look like.
The only yarn not in the fluff range is the dark green, which was a DK weight yarn in my stash. I bought that from a Welsh mill about 15 years ago, so I’m glad to finally use it. I banked on the temperature it represents not coming up so much. Not fully sure what I’ll do if I run out later this year!
- 33-39ºC – grey – baby seal
- 26-32ºC – orange – squirrel tail
- 19-25ºC – yellow – egg nog
- 12-18ºC – mid green – scatter cushion
- 6-11ºC – light green – cotton candy
- 0-5ºC – dark green – from stash
- less than 0ºC, 40ºC and over, and spacer colour – white – fallen snow
So far I’ve used white as a spacer only. But I’m probably going to do a different kind of stitch if it needs to represent 40+ or <0.
Next time, I would add more colours to break up the temperature range more. I’ve ended up with large strips of one colour when the temperature hovers – as it does often in the UK. A row-by-row blanket would work with 7 colours, but a square one like this needs at least 10 I think. More if you want more colour variation.
So far I’ve spent something like £250-300 on yarn. This is for merino wool priced at £3.60 for 50g ball – one of the better prices I found for good quality merino wool.
Acrylic is a cheaper option. But if I’m spending this many hours of my life making something, I want to love it and I don’t love the feel of acrylic yarn. Also in a climate crisis, I feel better if I can reduce fossil fuel use in my creative practice.
However, this amount of money is way more than I wanted to spend on the blanket. I keep joking to Tom that it’s basically an heirloom now. I’m guessing I’ll have some leftover yarn because I totally guessed on quantity for each colourway. Educated guess based on how many times each colour was used in the temperature visualiser graph, but still a guess. Hopefully I won’t need to buy anymore.
Other process notes
I am doing a temperature blanket because I thought it was a good way to pace making a blanket. A lot of people online talk about how you’ll have periods of time when you run behind, and that has been true for me too. I started out sitting down everyday after dinner, but life gets busy sometimes.
To keep track, I’m using time and date’s past weather page to look up temperatures and then jotting down the highest. Because I’m noting on paper, occasionally I’ll colour in the squares I’ve actually stitched so I can see where I am at a glance.
After that, I’m basically just sitting down when I can – usually with the cat curled up next to me and something on the TV – and stitching until I get fed up. Or get up to date.
Charlotte’s other suggestion was to stitch in tails as you go. I redid sections once or twice at the start so I stopped threading them in after that. I will probably start doing it soon because it’s one of those dull jobs I’ll put off once I get to the end.
Hopefully I can keep it up and have a finished blanket come January.