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Are you looking for a fun and creative way to document temperature changes throughout the year? If so, why not make a temperature blanket for your next knitting or crochet project?
A temperature blanket is not only an interesting way to record the weather – it’s also a cozy knit or crochet project that you can enjoy snuggling under throughout the year. Plus, it’s a great way to use up any odd bits of yarn from your stash.
Keep reading to learn what a temperature blanket is, how to make one, and get some free pattern ideas.
What is a temperature blanket?
A temperature blanket is a knit or crochet blanket that uses different shades of yarn to record each day’s temperature. You can record the daily high, low, average – even precipitation data!
The typical temperature blanket is made with 8-10 colors of yarn, each representing a different temperature range. Each day, a new row is added to the blanket in the color that corresponds to the day’s temperature. At the end of the calendar year, you’ll have a colorful blanket and a record of the year’s temperature.
How to Make a Temperature Blanket
Temperature blankets can be knit, crocheted, or even woven. You can design your own, or work with one of the many free patterns available.
Here are the basic steps to knit or crochet your own temperature blanket.
- Choose a pattern for your blanket. Patterns for temperature blankets range from simple or complex, so it’s easy to find one to fit your skill level and personal taste. Check out the list below for lots of good options.
- Decide on a color scheme for your blanket. There are many different ways to approach this step, so take some time to think about what you want your blanket to look like. Do you want to use a rainbow of colors, or a gradient of shades? Rainbow is a classic choice, but you might prefer a tonal shade range that better coordinates with your existing home decor. The choice is up to you, so you can be creative and have fun with it.
- Choose which temperature you will record. Will it be the daily high, low, or average temperature? Recording the average temps might give you a smoother gradient, while recording the highs might give you more distinct stripes.
- Create a temperature chart. Then, create a chart that outlines which yarn to use for which temperature ranges. For example, if the daily highs in your location range from 10°-100°, and you want to use 9 colors, your chart might look like this:
|20° and below||purple|
|91° and above||dark red|
Or, if you live in a more temperate climate with a smaller temperature range, you might choose to divide your chart into smaller blocks of 5° each.
Knitting and Crochet Techniques to Know
Here are a few knitting and crochet tutorials that you might like to review before starting your temperature blanket.
- How to Knit: Complete Guide for Beginners
- How to Crochet for Beginners: A Complete Guide
- Complete Guide to Knitting Gauge, and How to Measure It
- How to Weave in the Ends in Crochet
Supplies You’ll Need
And, of course, here are the tools and materials you’ll need to make a temperature blanket.
- Yarn. Find more tips on choosing the right yarn below.
- Crochet hook or knitting needles
- tapestry needle for weaving in the ends
- measuring tape or gauge ruler
- stitch markers (optional)
Choosing the Right Yarn for Your Temperature Blanket
When it comes to making a temperature blanket, choosing the yarn is the best part. Here are a few factors to consider when selecting your yarn.
- Fiber Content: When choosing yarn for your blanket, consider the fiber content. How warm do you want it to be? And how easy will it be to wash?
- Color range: Choose a yarn with a large color range. Whether you go with a rainbow palette, or something more tonal, you’ll want a yarn with lots of color options.
- Yarn Weight: Bulky yarns work up faster, to be sure. But if you want your temperature blanket to be a standard throw blanket size, you’ll need to choose something a little thinner. Most patterns in the list below use worsted yarn, which is a great medium weight, or DK yarn, which is a little lighter.
Yarn Ideas for Temperature Blankets
Here are a few popular yarns for blanket making. Each of these yarns is easy to care for, and comes in a large range of colors.
The individual pattern you choose will likely give you some yarn recommendations, as well.
Knit Temperature Blankets
Check out these patterns if you'd like to knit a temperature blanket.
Crochet Temperature Blanket Patterns
Or, if you'd rather crochet your temperature blanket, take a look at the patterns below:
Other Temperature Project Ideas
If a blanket seems like too big of a commitment - and trust me, I understand! - you might be interested in one of these smaller-scale temperature projects.
Alternative "Tracker" Blanket Ideas
Sometimes you'd like to make a temperature-style blanket, but the idea of tracking the daily temperature just doesn't interest you. In that case, you can adapt the concept of a temperature blanket to track any variety of daily data points.
For example, you might use different shades of color to track your moods or activities. Or, maybe you'd like to use different colors to represent the different notes in your favorite tune.
Here are some of our favorite alternatives to the traditional temperature blanket.
Tips and Tricks for Successful Temperature Blanket
Last but not least, here are some tips and tricks to keep in mind as you embark on your temperature blanket project.
- Consider choosing a simple stitch or pattern for your blanket, so the colors and temperature changes are the main focus.
- Use a chart or graph to keep track of the colors and temperatures, so you don’t lose track as you go. And if you miss a day, don’t worry. It’s easy to look up historical temperatures on most weather websites.
- Try to estimate how much yarn you’ll need at the beginning of the project, especially if you want to get yarn from the same dye lot. You can use last year’s temperature to help estimate how much each color you’ll need.
More Knitting and Crochet Ideas
Here are some more free knitting and crochet ideas to keep you busy.
- 25 Free Crochet Blanket and Afghan Patterns
- 27 Free Crochet Borders and Edgings for Blankets
- 27 Free Crochet Patterns to Make with Bernat Blanket Yarn
- 27 Free Crochet Baby Blanket Patterns
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Sarah Stearns has helped thousands of makers find their next craft project with free patterns and step-by-step tutorials on her blog, sarahmaker.com. Read more.
Her work has been featured in The New York Times, Scientific American, Good Housekeeping, Vox, Apartment Therapy, Lifehacker, and more.