After a fairly horrendous year in 2019, I lost my sewjo and creative drive. I struggled with getting my creative thoughts in a line and so started a vicious cycle. Crafting for me is not only my job but my balance, I have to create. I wasn’t sure at the end of 2019 that I was actually okay so I wanted to set myself a slow crafty project to add to throughout the year. Something gentle and something that wouldn’t need too much design… after all I can get caught up in details.
I decided on a temperature blanket, but as I’m a very slow knitter I decided a crochet blanket was for me. But what stitch? I had a look around the internet and as a self taught crocheter, I’m still very much learning and keen to absorb new stitches. I came across the linen stitch while on my winter break in the alps. I’d taken two balls of yarn with me and a little hook, my intention was to work on my neon shawl made from Easy Knits “Limey Bastard” but my mind just wouldn’t let me focus even in the beautiful, snowy, alpine wonderland around me. Instead one evening while relaxing after a day of skiing with the smalls, my little LOL doll mad mini me begged me for a blanket for her new LOL doll. I found two new wonderfully easy and textured stitches: V stitch and Linen stitch.
Linen stitch reminds me of a Granny stripe but smaller. It’s easy, repetitive workings produce a gorgeous texture with minimal thinking power. This was my stitch. Now, how large do I make this blanket? The linen stitch needs a foundation of stitches divisible by 3. I wasn’t sure how many stitches I’d use though until I picked my colour ranges.
I chose Patons Acrylic DK yarn, mostly because it has a great, clear colour range but also because it’s inexpensive and I didn’t know how much yarn I would need exactly, but I knew I’d want at least 20 balls. Why 20 balls? The beauty of the temperature blanket is that once you set your temperature ranges and coordinating colours, you’re not longer in charge of the design.
So I had pre determined that I wanted to keep a constant track of the temperature highs of wherever I woke up on each day. I use Accuweather and the high from each day in the town that I wake up in. As I started the New Year and my temperature blanket in the French Alps, I wanted to capture the difference in temperature but you can pick any place in the world. I decided the colder the temperature the cooler the colour and so hopefully creating some kind of rainbow transition. My chart is below, feel free to use it!
My Temperature Yarn Chart 2020
|Patons DK Colour Code||Temperature Range (ºC)|
|02076 Ocean Blue||9-10|
|02314 Lilac||–1- 0|
|02313 Purple||–3- –2|
|02310 Grey||–5- –4|
So, once I got back to the UK, I looked up the few days in France that I hadn’t crocheted and chain stitched a foundation row until that length went comfortably over my lap but was a multiple of 3 in order to incorporate the linen stitch. This landed me at the total of 300 chain stitches as my foundation.
So then I basically set out to work, ideally adding each row a day at a time, colour determined by the temperature of the day. However life happens, I’m currently a month or so behind but using our current situation to catch up during our virtual community groups via Live events on Facebook. We sit down at 1pm on Wednesdays (Wellbeing Wednesdays) and Fridays (Knit & Natter) for an hour and a half or so, you’re more than welcome to join us whether you’re crafting or not. It’s times like these we need to keep the balance I spoke of before. Be gentle on yourself and be kind to others. And in the words of my late father, “Look for the helpers, there are always helpers in times of need”. Chin up, chest forward and carry on crafting.
One last thing, you can start this project whenever you want. It could easily be a very cool scarf but if you fancy using my method above, we’ve popped a pack together including a starter 100g ball of every colour in the chart plus crochet hook. Buy here.