2018 Temperature Blanket

2018 was not my year!  Due to some big stuff happening in my personal life I found myself drifting away from blogging and this space was, sadly, left neglected.

Through the tough times I did continue my crafting, including my big, year long, project of making a temperature blanket.  You can see all of the information about the start of the project here – Temperature Blanket January.  There are also monthly updates for the beginning of the year if you wanted to explore the archives.

But to recap –  I chose to make my blanket using the midday temperature, as defined by the Met Office app on my phone, at my home location.  I had an alarm set for 12.01pm each day and at this point I checked the app and either recorded the temperature in my bullet journal or screenshot it to record when it was more convenient.  Then I crocheted one row per day using the temperature and the following scale.  These are all colours of Stylecraft Special DK yarn.

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It turns out that the extremes of my scale were a bit optimistic! I didn’t end up using either the hottest two, nor the coldest two in the end and my blanket represents temperatures from -2 up to 26 degrees celsius.  It was both quite a bit colder and quite a lot hotter than that at points through the year but not at midday.  By choosing the middle of the day to record the temperature I gave it chance to warm up from the coldest bit of the day but not yet reach the dizzying highs of the summer time.  This is definitely something I would change the next time I do a blanket, for surely there will be a next time!

So do you want to see it all finished and read the final stats?!

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The finished blanket measures 180cm x 132cm and has used just over 13.5 balls of yarn or 2.5 miles! The perfect size for sofa snuggles, in fact it has a child wrapped up in it most of the time that we are home.  I didn’t keep track of how many balls of each colour I used, obviously some are more prevalent than others, this count is based on the weight of the blanket.

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I added a simple border of trebles (UK terminology) in cream and although the edges are still pretty wonky from where I haven’t kept a proper stitch count or turned with much care it does serve to tidy things up a bit.

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I know each row took roughly around 15 minutes, leaving me plenty of time to fit other creative pursuits in to the year.  I didn’t work on it every day, preferring instead to do a couple of chunks a week but all of those 15 minutes add up!  Factoring in extra time for sewing in ends I think it comes in at around 95 hours or almost 4 days of work!

And all stretched out as a record of the year…. drumroll please…. it looks like……

this!

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I will not be making a temperature blanket in 2019. I have a sketch and plans and even a gauge swatch for how I would like to do it but even at my most optimistic calculations it will take at least twice as much time as this one has and I am choosing to prioritise that crafting time into other endeavours. But I will be keeping the plans safe for the future…

Temperature Blanket 2018 – July 2018

This year I am making a temperature blanket!  I have chosen to make my blanket using the midday temperature, as defined by the Met Office app on my phone, at my home location.  I have an alarm set for 12.01pm each day and at this point I check the app and either record the temperature in my bullet journal or screenshot it to record when it is more convenient.  Then I crochet one row per day using the temperature and the following scale.

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You can find more information about the stitches, yarn and overall process in the post Temperature Blanket 2018 – January Update.

Are you ready to see July?  It is very exciting…

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Look at all that lovely, sunshiney, yellow!  And what’s that I see?  It’s orange! I got a new colour!

The heatwave which began in June bringing above average temperatures to much of the UK, continued on throughout most of July meaning the midday temperature didn’t drop below 16 degrees celsius and we hit a high of 26.

As I seem to write every month, the temperatures did get up much higher later on in the day, right up into the red yarn colours, but midday was a fair bit cooler than the daily high and that is reflected in the colours of my blanket.

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I love the way the whole blanket is looking so much.  From the dark blues back at the start of the year, past the purples of the cold snap which brought us the snow, waiting for what felt like the longest winter ever to end and spring to finally bring the greens and from there into the yellows of summer.  Will August bring me a row of red?  How will the  rest of the summer look?  I am so excited to find out!

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Temperature Blanket 2018 – June Update

This year I am making a temperature blanket!  I have chosen to make my blanket using the midday temperature, as defined by the Met Office app on my phone, at my home location.  I have an alarm set for 12.01pm each day and at this point I check the app and either record the temperature in my bullet journal or screenshot it to record when it is more convenient.  Then I crochet one row per day using the temperature and the following scale.

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You can find more information about the stitches, yarn and overall process in the post Temperature Blanket 2018 – January Update.

Here’s June!

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Mainly green and rounding off with a change to lots of lovely sunshiney yellows as the UK entered a heatwave with temperatures well above what is average for this time of year. For the third month in a row I have to mention that we were hitting the higher temperatures and warmer colours towards the top of my scale but not at midday.  The midday temperature remained resolutely below 25 degrees denying me the use of a new colour. It is getting quite frustrating!

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Halfway through the year here is a photo of half a blanket!  I’m really pleased with the size at the halfway point, it is going to be perfect for sofa snuggles once it is finished. To the end of June the blanket contains 9 different colours of yarn representing temperatures between -2 and 24 degrees celsius.

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And all stretched out so you can really see the story the colours are telling.

Watch this space to find out how the blanket grows and the story develops as the year progresses.

Temperature Blanket 2018 – May Update

This year I am making a temperature blanket!  I have chosen to make my blanket using the midday temperature, as defined by the Met Office app on my phone, at my home location.  I have an alarm set for 12.01pm each day and at this point I check the app and either record the temperature in my bullet journal or screenshot it to record when it is more convenient.  Then I crochet one row per day using the temperature and the following scale.

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You can find more information about the stitches, yarn and overall process in the post Temperature Blanket 2018 – January Update.

I’m a bit late with this update, things have been crazy busy at home but look how lovely May is, it was totally worth waiting for!

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Just one day of blue, back on the 2nd day of the month, the rest all in those wonderful, much longed for, greens and yellows.  I am so happy to have these different shades to play with.

As happened in April we are still seeing the daily high temperature being reached in the late afternoon, long after I have recorded the midday temperature for the blanket and we have had a few days hitting those oranges and reds later on.

Do you want to see it all together?

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I love the way it is coming together and the way the colours are changing.  I am still just as excited for the blanket now, 5 and a bit months in, as I was back in the last few days of last year when I decided I simply must make this project.

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Handily, the blanket is now big enough to sit under while working on, I could have done with that back when it was sub zero, not now when it is nice and warm! Never mind! It is still small enough to not to have to be covered by it and it does give me a good idea of what the finished size will be as we approach the halfway point of the year.  I wonder if I will get to use a new colour in this first half?  I’ll let you know in the next update!

Temperature Blanket 2018 – April Update

This year I am making a temperature blanket!  I have chosen to make my blanket using the midday temperature, as defined by the Met Office app on my phone, at my home location.  I have an alarm set for 12.01pm each day and at this point I check the app and either record the temperature in my bullet journal or screenshot it to record when it is more convenient.  Then I crochet one row per day using the temperature and the following scale.

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You can find more information about the stitches, yarn and overall process in the post Temperature Blanket 2018 – January Update.

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Here’s April!  What a thrill to have new colours and to move away from alllllllllllll the blue which has made up the previous 3 months.  The month started much as the one before  had ended, with mainly blue and the occasional row of teal but then something very exciting happened.  Over an eight day period I moved through six different colours, in order, culminating in a row of yellow which I hadn’t expected to see until a bit further into the summer.

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That’s 3 new to the blanket colours in a mere 3 days.  This jump in temperature wasn’t sustained and the single row of yellow really stands out within the month. The Met Office have said that in London (around 200 miles South of where I live in Yorkshire) the yellow day, April 19th, was the hottest April day since 1949 and although is wasn’t quite as hot here it was still unseasonably warm.

Some of my friends on social media were surprised to see that this warm day was ‘only’ yellow and here we really noticed the difference a couple of hours can make to the temperature.  At midday the temperature was 20 degrees celsius, a full 8 degrees cooler than the recorded top temperature of 28 degrees, reached at 5pm.  I’m expecting (hoping?!) that as we move further through the year we will be seeing the higher temperatures earlier in the day and we will hit those even warmer tones on the blanket.

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So here’s how the whole thing is looking at the moment.  I’m still on track for a blanket 150cm square before the border.  And I’m still mightily bored of blue.  This being Northern England we obviously followed much warmer than average temperatures with below average ones and plunged from the green back into the blue.

The friendly chap at the Met Office tells us that the Jet Stream, the wind that moves across the Atlantic causing the British weather to be oh so very changeable and therefore interesting, is moving itself into position so that it brings seasonally typical weather for a little while and so I have everything crossed that we will make the change and see the dominant colours for May being greener than they are blue.  Hopefully!

Temperature Blanket 2018 – March Update

This year I am making a temperature blanket!  I have chosen to make my blanket using the midday temperature, as defined by the Met Office app on my phone, at my home location.  I have an alarm set for 12.01pm each day and at this point I check the app and either record the temperature in my bullet journal or screenshot it to record when it is more convenient.  Then I crochet one row per day using the temperature and the following scale.

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You can find more information about the stitches, yarn and overall process in the post Temperature Blanket 2018 – January Update.

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Here’s March.  So much blue!  February ended with sub zero temperatures, snow and rows of purple yarn and that was how we started the month of March.  I was so hopeful that March would bring with it springlike weather and temperatures and a departure from the row after row of blue but it was not to be.

I have crunched the numbers, working out the average temperatures for each month using my blanket data and there has been an upward trend from the beginning of the year with March giving us more warmer days than January did but these warmer days were mainly still below 10 degrees celsius and therefore firmly in the blue zone.

The media were quick to herald the return of The Beast From The East mid month when the wind once again changed direction and brought us very cold air from Siberia but this time, in our low and flat bit of Yorkshire it didn’t bring us any more snow, just another row of purple.

As I have been complaining about the cold and willing Spring to spring forth I have been watching the effects of prolonged Winter on the garden.  These are photographs I took on the 21st March, the first day of Spring, this year and last.

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There is so much difference in the amount of greenery, shoots and blooms.  As I sit and write this almost a fortnight later there are a few more signs of the plants reemerging than there were on the 21st but we are still not up to the levels of last year.

The temperatures looked to be rising as we approached the end of the month but this year Easter fell over month-end and in the time honoured tradition of the the Great British Bank Holiday always having rubbish weather the temperatures went down again bringing overnight frosts and yet more blue.

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Quarter One is complete.  It is blue.  Really blue.  The day that I photographed this was grey and overcast with rubbish light and that is reflected in the vibrancy of the colours but I think that is a fair representation of the first three months of the year and so I am happy with the shot.  I am fond of the thick band of purple as it will always remind me of the first time my youngest child got to play in proper proper snow and the excitement we all felt at the unusual weather.

But I am now very ready for Spring, warmer days and some colours that aren’t blue!

Sock Club – Bend & Fold

This year I decided to organise a couple of crafting goals rather than just allowing myself to meander along between whatever projects catch my eye.  Not that I mean I’m going to stop choosing projects on impulse based on something cool I see on Instagram or Facebook or Ravelry or an idea that just happens to pop into my head but that I am going to do those things alongside the things I plan!  I have already posted about my Temperature Blanket , an ongoing crochet project that will take all year and for my knitting goal I am going to make myself 6 pairs of socks.

It seemed to me that the best way to achieve this knitty goal would be to sign up to a sock club.  A large number of the wonderful independent yarn dyers I follow run clubs but I felt myself drawn to The Knitting Goddess, I have bought yarn from Joy each time I have visited Yarndale and love her ethos of keeping it local, with all of her yarns being British and some being from Yorkshire.  It also doesn’t hurt that I also love the colours she uses!

Sock Club dispatches every 2 months with a skein of yarn delivered to my home and a pattern from the truly fabulous Clare Devine @ Knit Share Love arriving in my inbox and Ravelry library. This gives me a month to knit each sock and hopefully time to work those impulse makes in around them!

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This is the yarn for January. Its a blend of wool from Bluefaced Leicester sheep to make it soft and squishy and a little bit sheepy and nylon to make it strong enough for socks.  The colour is called Lepidolite which wikipedia tells me is:

Lepidolite is a lilac-gray or rose-colored member of the mica group of minerals with formula K(Li,Al,Rb)2(Al,Si)4O10(F,OH)2.[1][2] It is the most abundant lithium-bearing mineral[3] and is a secondary source of this metal. It is a phyllosilicate mineral[4] and a member of the polylithionite-trilithionite series

The theme for the sock club yarn is rocks and I am really looking forward to a drawer full of these earthy muted tones.

So to the pattern!  Clare has named this series of patterns Correlative Twins.  Each pair of socks contains two patterns for socks with similar but different patterns.  I have never been an odd sock wearer but the draw of learning more techniques and avoiding second sock syndrome was strong enough for me to overcome this barrier and knit one of each sock with my yarn to make the non matching pair.  You can find the pattern here on Ravelry.

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Sock one had these beautiful twisty cables made with twisted stitches and lots of knitting through the back loop.  I found the amount of counting needed to put my cables in the right places to be quite challenging and had to be careful to choose good times to knit these (not while watching my favourite TV shows!).

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Sock two had the same triangular panel containing the design but instead of twisty cables this one has a blocky arrow design.  I was feeling more confident by the second sock, found it knit up quicker and I think I like this one best.

Together the detail on both socks looks like this –

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And the full socks like this –

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The heels look a little funny on my sock blockers but are a detail on the socks which I really love.  On my feet they look much better!

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This is my first time shaping the gusset decreases beneath the foot but I find the little detail so pleasing I think it may become my go to heel shape in future.

I am thrilled with these socks and am really looking forward to pushing myself with new designs throughout the year.