Over the last few years, temperature blankets have been taking the crafting world by storm (pun intended). And it’s easy to see why! They’re fun to make, can incorporate lots of colors, and have the potential to be a truly unique gift or heirloom piece.
To make one, the basic concept is that you work a row for each day in a color that corresponds to that day’s temperature. Work in plain garter stitch or single crochet, or follow a simple pattern that lets all those beautiful colors shine.
The temperature blanket phenomenon is one example in the rise of the “data art” movement, where artists turn numeric information into something tangible and aesthetically pleasing. Learn more about data art and see some gorgeous artwork here.
You can track all kinds of information into your knitting, not just weather! Perhaps you remember the public transit delay scarf that was making the rounds online earlier this year, where one knitter made a scarf that chronicled the length of delays she faced on her commute to work in Munich.
If – like us – you’re most excited about documenting the seasons around you into your yarncrafting for your very own piece of “data art”, the start of a new season is a great time to begin your own temperature blanket. Of course, you don’t have to make this project for the year ahead… You can choose to commemorate a big life event instead, like making one for the year and location a couple got married, or for a baby’s first year.
Whether you choose this year or a different time period, weather tracking websites are essential in this process. Lots of crafters recommend Weather Underground for gathering historical weather info: https://www.wunderground.com/
The color range is the key you will work from to determine which color to work with each day. See the sample color chart below, which we created for the climate in New York City using Vanna’s Choice yarn.
We want to encourage you to consider your own climate and get creative! If your climate is different (like if your city rarely sees freezing temperatures), you may want to adjust the temperature ranges. And of course, you can always substitute other colors.
Since color variation is the star of the show in temperature blankets, we recommend keeping the pattern itself quite simple. Patterning options include traditional stripes, granny squares, log cabin, chevron, and more.
If you want to work from a written pattern, here are a few pattern options to consider:
|Summer Stripes Afghan||Knit|
|Updated Ripple Afghan||Knit|
|Cozy Ripple Lapghan||Crochet|
There are quite a few temperature groups and patterns on Ravelry, where you can brainstorm about your design and see what other crafters are making.
And you can find inspiration on Instagram too!