What Is a Temperature Blanket?

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In The Crafty Cabin (my Facebook community), we’re working on temperature blankets together. I was asked the question the other day “What is a temperature blanket?”. Lately I’ve been working so much on tutorials and patterns that sometimes I forget people don’t know about certain crochet terms or phrases.

So, what is a temperature blanket?

The idea behind a temperature blanket is to crochet (or knit or quilt or whatever your craft may be) a certain number of stitches per day of the year. Some choose to do a row per day. The number of stitches in your row depends on how large you want your blanket to be.

You create a color key based on a temperature range. Depending on where you live, this will be different for everyone. Of course, someone who lives in the southern United States definitely will not want the same temperature range key as someone in Canada!

What colors do I use?

Traditionally, temperature blankets followed the rainbow colors associated with temperature. Red for hot, blue for cold. However, you can choose whatever colors you want! When choosing my colors, I went with colors that I thought all went well together and that I liked. While at the store, I held each skein of yarn up to each other. Just in case a 75 degree day came after a 30 degree day, I wanted to make sure those colors worked well together. I’m not a big orange or yellow fan, so I kept those out entirely!

How many colors do I need?

Obviously, the more colors you use, the more colorful your blanket will be. Of course, that depends on what the weather does! I ended up choosing six colors, mostly because it seemed like a good number for the range of temperatures we get where I live, and I couldn’t find many more colors that I liked together.

You can choose as many as you like. I have seen people with ten colors, and people with four or five. It’s your blanket; make it how you want!

what is a temperature blanket

Holy cow. That’s a lot of color changes and ends to weave in. Here’s my favorite way to weave the ends of color changes so you don’t have to do it all at the end.

Ok, so I decided on how many colors I want. But I still can’t figure out my temperature ranges.

The easiest way I read to determine your ranges, is to find the average high and low of your city over the course of a year. You can do that HERE. Take that range and split it between the number of colors you chose to use.

See the photo below for my example chart. This is my first one, so we’ll see how it turns out. However, I wanted to make sure I had a good mix of all my colors in the blanket.

temperature blanket color chart

You can stay up-to-date with my temperature blanket progress in The Crafty Cabin.

How many chains should I start with?

The Crochet Crowd has a great graphic on this. They list different sizes of afghans and how many chains you should start with for the appropriate size.

chain counts to start afghans
Credit: The Crochet Crowd

What is the best stitch to use?

Let’s be honest. If you do 365 rows of even just a single crochet, it’s going to be a pretty lengthy blanket. Here are a couple of different ideas:

  • Slip stitch all of your rows! This will drastically decrease the height of the stitches and therefore, the length of the blanket. It might seem boring, but slip stitch in the front loops to get a textured look.
  • Don’t do an entire row per day. My choice was to do a certain number of stitches per day, with three days making up a row. You could do any variation of this. You’ll just have to do some math.
  • Corner-to-corner! This pin has a great chart to follow of where you should be decreasing back down.
  • Make flowers for each day instead of a row, then connect all of your flowers together to make a blanket or wall hanging!
  • Along the same lines as the flowers, make hearts and connect them together!
  • Make granny squares and make each row/round a different day, so that you’re getting say maybe a week’s worth into one granny square. Then, connect them all together!

I’m not big on the temperature blanket thing, but I like the idea. What else can I do?

Here are some of the variations I’ve heard on temperature blankets, for those that don’t want to follow the actual temperature.

  • Relationship Blanket – Record how you’re feeling in your relationship, or any activities that occurred that day! Work with your partner to decide on it. It may be a very therapeutic project for both of you!
  • Mood Blanket – As another alternative to a type of therapeutic project, you could use this to record your own mood or mental state for each day of the year. It might just show you how many more positive days you had than negative.
  • Weather Blanket – Okay, so you don’t want to record the temperature, but how about the weather itself? Was it sunny? Did it rain? Did it snow?

How the heck do I keep track of the days?

Okay, listen, I’m such a start-to-finish person, so I was weary to start this blanket that I couldn’t just keep going on. Nope, I have to stop once I get caught up on days.

However, I wanted to make sure I had a place that I could keep track of temperatures so that I could go back and do a week, two weeks, three weeks, or whatever at a time. I can’t just do 40 stitches and stop! That’s not who I am.

I created this tracking sheet for myself, and for my Facebook community members, to allow anyone to keep track. Whether you decide to do a temperature blanket, weather blanket, or mood blanket, you can keep track of what you need to on here!

what is a temperature blanket

We’re having weekly checkins in The Crafty Cabin for our temperature/mood/relationship blankets, and I’d love for you to come join us!

If you’re wanting to learn how to crochet and not sure where to start, start with what basic supplies you need.

Need some inspiration for your very own temperature blanket? Check out my Pinterest board. It’s full of fun ideas for blankets!


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