What is a temperature blanket, and why are people crocheting or knitting them?

This blanket is SUCH a fun project for any skill level

The first three and a half months of my 2024 temperature blanket completed. (Jack Roskopp)

When I learned how to crochet last year, never in a million years did I think I was going to be working on a project that would take me an entire year to complete. Yet here I am, a few months into the year, and I’m making a temperature blanket that will take me a full year to make, start to finish.

Now, you may be asking why am I making something that will take a full year to make, especially a blanket? We all know that blankets can be huge, but any person who knits or crochets knows that a blanket shouldn’t take a year to make. A month or two? Sure! But a whole year? That’s kind of outrageous.

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So before you get your crochet hook in a twist, let me explain just what exactly a temperature blanket is, and why it takes a full year to make.

What is a temperature blanket?

The name sounds kind of confusing, but once you understand the idea behind it, it’s a really simple concept. What you are making is basically a visual representation of the weather in a specific location. The location can be where you live, or if the blanket is a gift, it can be the location of the recipient of the blanket.

Each row of the blanket represents a single day of the year. The color that is used corresponds with the daily high temperature of that day. So, for example, if the high temperature for April 10 is 67 degrees Fahrenheit, I would crochet the color the corresponds with a 67 degree day. The next day, if the high temperature happens to be 58 degrees, I would crochet one row with the color that corresponds to 58 degrees.

If you live in an area where the temperature and weather is constantly changing, you will end up with a blanket with many different colors, which is kind of the point of doing it.

What colors should you use for a temperature blanket?

That is totally up to you! Typically, people chose cooler colors for the colder temperatures, and warm colors for the hot temperatures. As you can see in the photos of my temperature blanket, I pretty much did the same thing. I used blues for the colder temps, greens for the milder temps, and orange/red/pink for the hotter temps.

But like I said, this is all up to you! You can pick whatever colors you want for your blanket. I’ve seen examples where people use all different shades of the same color, or just random colors for the entire thing! Whatever your heart wants, just do it!

How do you organize a temperature blanket?

When you’re working on a project that is going to take an entire calendar year, you have to stay organized. There is just no other way. If not, you’re going to miss days, forget what color to use or so many other bad things that could do wrong. Here are some tips that have helped me keep my temperature blanket organized as the year goes on.

The first thing I did, even before I started my initial chain to start the blanket, was to make a key that showed what colors I was using for the temperature increments.

You want each color to represent a section of temperatures, and the easiest way to do that is in increments of 10. For example, my key has a color for 19 degrees and below, 20-29 degrees, 30-39 degrees, 40-49 degrees and so on. My last color is 90 degrees and above.

This is the key I made to help me remember what colors I chose for my blanket. It's a nice way to visually see what you are doing before you start. (Jack Roskopp)

Because I live in Michigan and we experience all four seasons, this is an easy key to figure out. However, if you live in a place like Texas or Florida and want more variety of colors, perhaps you do increments of five degrees, which will insure that your blanket will be more colorful when it’s all said and done.

Another huge tip is to keep a log of your progress as the year goes on. I’ve seen some people set up an Excel spreadsheet, but I decided to log my information into a notebook.

So what am I logging? The date, the temperature and the color I am using. I do this before I start crocheting my row for the day, so that if I get a day behind or so, I know the last date I crocheted on my blanket. I want this thing to be as accurate as possible, so avoiding any easily avoidable mistakes like this is key.

Where do you find the high temperature of the day?

This one is pretty easy. I just use the weather app on my phone, and I use the city that I live in. If I get a few days behind on the blanket, I will use the website AccuWeather to check what the high temp of the day was. It’s great that there all of this information is easily searchable on the internet.

The first few days of making my temperature blanket in early January of 2024. It's crazy to see how much it's grown since then! (Jack Roskopp)

There is also some online talk about using the high temp of the day, or the average of the day. I suppose that an average temp will give you a more realistic portrait of how it felt outside that day, but I found that you don’t get as much color changing if you use just the average. I want my temperature blanket to be as wild and chaotic as possible, so I get super excited anytime I have to change colors.

Do you need to be good at crochet or knitting to make a temperature blanket?

My gut reaction is to say no, because you are just crocheting and knitting in a straight row. You will have to learn how to color change at the end of a row, but there are so many YouTube video tutorials out there that can explain how to do this. When in doubt, just YouTube it!

I’m only a few months into crocheting my temperature blanket, but it has been one of the more rewarding projects I have ever worked on. I’m pretty new to crochet, so working on a project that is long-term (and easy!) has been fantastic. Getting home from work, changing out of my work clothes, and turning on some TV to crochet my row for the day has truly become the highlight of each and every day.

I know that it’s hard to find some free time for yourself these days, but carving out just a half hour or so to work on this project has brought me so much joy and a huge sense of accomplishment. Anyone who has built or made something of their very own will know what I’m talking about.

Also, you don’t have to start this at the beginning of the year! Because it’s a year-long project, starting it at any time in the year, especially in the first six months, is totally doable!

If you decided to start a project like this, let me know! I’d love to hear how it’s going, or if you have questions on starting your own blanket. You can email me at jroskopp@grahammedia.com. Happy knitting and crocheting!

About the Author

Jack is a Digital Content Editor with a degree in creative writing and French from Western Michigan University. He specializes in writing about movies, food and the latest TV shows.

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