Weather Blanket 2017

For a few years now, I’ve been googling Weather Blankets (aka temperature blankets, afghans, etc.) and wished I had my shit together enough to properly set one up and stick with it. Well, 2016 was pretty crappy for me, so I’m glad I didn’t bother creating a knitted monument to that year. I won’t get into it here, but let’s just say it sucked far beyond  celebrity deaths and U.S. election results. And seriously, we lost two of my favourite people, Leonard Cohen AND David Bowie, for fuckssakes. Anyhow, on to 2017, best to at least try to start out on an optimistic note, right? Before WWIII or that nuclear holocaust or whatever else we’ve earned, as a people, one way or another.

Anyhow, I digress… if you are unfamiliar with a temperature blanket, it is essentially a striped blanket, with stripe colour corresponding to a specific range of temperatures. You knit/crochet/whatever a stripe a day, using the colour that represents the temperature for that day. In my case, I’m going with the high for the day, at the Ottawa International Airport (YOW), as determined by the folks at Environment Canada. You make a stripe a day for the year, and unless we’re all doomed, you’ll end up with neat record of temperatures that you can use to keep warm next year.

In late December, I started trying to math this thing out. I took a look at last year’s data using Weatherghan (a pretty nifty site, really) and tried to estimate how much yarn of each colour I’d need if Ottawa 2017 was the same as the shitshow that was Ottawa 2016. I decided to go with an acrylic, since it’s not animal-sourced, easy to care for, and cheap. I also wanted something I could physically pick out locally (i.e. not online) and also obtain some more of if I ran out. So, I went to Michael’s and bought a bunch of this stuff…

yarn

Impeccable by Loops & Threads. I decided to pick up 8 colours, roughly corresponding to some kind of rainbow that made sense temperature-wise. I’ve seen blankets made with more colours, which definitely helps define the changes in temperature better, but I think I’d go nuts with more than 8 colours. My colours include: Amethyst-#01310, Claret-#01532, Pumpkin-#01630, Gold-#01613, Fern-#01222, Aqua-#01201, Teal-#01205 and Navy-#01110.  Then I mapped out some temperature ranges and added some yarn samples…

Weather blanket

 

This is literally the most organized I’ve ever been as far as knitting projects are concerned. Seriously, look at that print out. This gives you an idea of how the colours are worked out. For example, on February 16th, 2017, the temperature at the Ottawa International Airport reached a high of -4.5°C, which falls under my -6°C to 0°C range, which means I use light blue to make a row. As you’ll see shortly, I am crocheting this guy. I tried knitting it, and didn’t like it as much as a simple, single crochet. So anyway, you crochet/knit/whatever a row for each day, and you’ll get something like this…

Except, you end up being annoyed by the uneven way the stripes are turning out when you work single crochet in the usual “crochet to the end of a row and flip work” fashion, so you rip out about two months’ work and start again, crocheting the stripes one-sided.

Weather blanket

Ah, much better. You know, it doesn’t feel like I’ve really started a project unless I am incredibly unsatisfied with it and rip it out a couple times.

So that’s my progress as of early March. It’s a bit of a crapshoot, really. Depending on the temperature trends, you might get a run of days that fall into the same temperature range/colour, or you might be changing the yarn all the time. I’m kind of enjoying that aspect of it. It’s helping me go with the flow, in a sense. Living one day at a time, trying not to control everything, being spontaneous, just letting it happen… all that stuff that I find remarkably difficult. Who knows what it will look like at the end of 2017. Will the stripes gel nicely together? Will I need to buy more yarn?Will it be big enough to use as a back-up sail on my post-apocalyptic desert dune buggy thing? Let it go… Breathe… etc.

 

 

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