Daily Challenge: 2017 Crochet Temperature Blanket

Christmas. 1986.  This was the year my Aunt Sheila gave me a homemade orange crochet bag filled with yarn, crochet hooks and lessons on how make that yarn into something.  Over the years I perfected my rows and could always knock out a mean granny square.  While I have made little blankets for family and friends newborn babies, I never took the time to make a “large” blanket for just myself.  So in late 2016, 30 years after I was introduced to the art by Aunt Sheila, I put myself up to challenge of a daily crochet temperature blanket.

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Daily Challenge?

Why a daily challenge? Well, back in 2015 I was challenged by a friend to take a picture with my phone daily and post it to Instagram.  It was so much fun to do.  You take hundreds of photos each year, but what if you could only pick one photo each day to post?  Challenge accepted.  By the end of 2015 I had a little flashback into each day.  The following year I made the photos into a book and the boys enjoy flipping through it often.  It was so simple, I used Pastbook to pull the Instagram photos right into the template and each day already had its label.

         

I absolutely LOVED the way this book turned out.  Think the best part is looking back during the year, knowing what some events occurred on a day and wondering why did I pick THAT photo!  While it was a blast to do, it did come with a bit of stress.  After a year of taking photos and making certain I didn’t skip a day, I needed a mental break & took 2016 off.

As the year-end neared, I had the itch again to try and do something daily once again.  A keepsake to highlight 2017.  I already did the photo thing, so I wanted something different.  I always wanted to crochet my own blanket & then Pinterest gave me the idea for the temperature blanket.  Thought this would be a win-win!

After heading to Joanne Fabrics I found myself standing in the middle of a vast selection of yarn available. While at times could be overwhelming I finally selected 12 colors for my blanket. Thought it would be best to select a brand of yarn that would be available for purchase throughout the year, and overall my colors were pretty standard.  These colors were then divided into 10° increments:

Below Zero:

0-9°
10-19°
20-29°
30-39°
40-49°
50-59°
60-69°
70-79°
80-89°
90-99°

Above 100°

I also divided each month with a gray row. If I did my math correct, I would have 376-row blanket plus a border.  I started out this great adventure with such enthusiasm!  The best part is that, at least in the beginning, is that the project is portable.  Hockey game – no problem!  Blanket serves a dual purpose, warmth and could knock off a few rows! Ok, maybe two rows…I did actually watch the games and might have chatted a bit with the other parents.

To keep track of the temperature each day, I selected the National Weather Service and used the “daily high” recorded at O’Hare Field.  I recorded them in my iPhone “notes” section, recording the date, high temperature and color stitch.  My color coding, that was more old school – I used a notecard, punched 12 holes and threaded a sample of each color on the card.  I was ready to make a blanket!

Learn From My Mistakes

Should have, could have, would have…there are certainly a few things I would change if I ever get the crazy notion to do this again.  I might have to since each of the boys has voiced interest in having one.  “The year I graduate high school!” (Too soon).  “The year I turn 30!”  (Has potential, might have arthritis).  “I get to keep this one!” (He is now in the lead as my favorite son).

  • Keep the same stitch:  I was worried that a blanket of this size would be too boring if just all half double crochet.  Boring is good.  Boring is consistent.  Trying to fix dropped and added stitches because you got sidetracked on a really cool stitch from a lady with a British accent on YouTube is the opposite of boring & includes quite a few swear words.
  • Be realistic about the size:  This blanket, once I finally finish it, should be able to cover my entire family of five.  Fully grown three adult boys plus parents (I really don’t have a hope of finishing this anytime soon).  This probably would have been smaller if I kept the stitch size down, so keep that in mind.
  • Keep up with the rows:  So, my blanket that I started in 2017 might be completed by 2019, but that’s pretty optimistic.  I am currently on August 2017.  It is August 2018.  Do the math.  The odds are against me.  It probably didn’t help that I fell behind in March following a trip to Ireland and really couldn’t catch up.  Be certain to set aside times to make this blanket a reality.
  • Don’t Give Up:  My blanket, even with all its quirks and uneven row, looks amazing. The colors look great and you can see the ebb and flow of temperature changes even from the first six months of the year.  I really am looking forward to adding the heat wave that occurred in the fall of 2017!  

If I can do this, with the minimal crochet background that I have, you can certainly tackle this.  But this girl is quite determined to have a very warm, and very large, blanket ready to snuggle on the couch with her gang for the holidays of 2018.  I need to finish it soon, so I have some time to rest before a possible 2019 daily challenge!  Stay tuned!

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