just in time

I recently posted that my daughter and I will be crocheting temperature blankets this year. Our plan is to begin with January 1st and to finish on the 31st of December, 2021. She’s a fly by the seat of your pants crocheter. I get it. I was, too, when I was her age. These days, I’m a lot more of a planner than I used to be.

I spent the last week preparing for this project. First, I had to find the perfect stitch. There are so many beautiful crochet stitches to choose from. After I had a collection of stitches in varying sizes from a variety of hook sizes, it was time to narrow it down.

Because it is my intention for the finished blanket to go on our bed, I asked Clark to weigh in. I handed him the collection of stitches I’d narrowed it down to.

He narrowed it down further to a toss up between the lemon peel stitch [ch an odd number; beg in 2nd ch from hook: *sc,dc* across, turn, ch 1 repeat for desired number of rows (you will always sc in a dc and dc in a sc)] or the linen stitch [ch an even number; *sc in 2nd ch from hook, ch 1, sk 1, sc in next ch* across, turn. Row; ch 1, sk 1st sc, sc in 1st ch space, *sk sc, sc in ch sp* across, sc in ch 1, turn, repeat for desired number of rows]

left: linen stitch right: lemon peel stitch

I also needed to determine how many rows per inch and stitches per inch I would need to create a king sized blanket for our bed. A whole lot of math later, I determined that I was aiming for about 7 rows per inch, give or take a little. Once I’d created the swatches of the perfect sized stitches, I handed them back to Clark.

Once I had my stitch and my hook size (looks like my trusty old G hook will be joining me for this project), I was curious how it would look with a striped effect. I created a mini swatch just to see. This is in a perfect color change every two rows pattern. The temperature won’t be as perfectly predictable as all that.

We’re afternoon shifters, so I want to capture the highs and lows. I was looking at some of the temperature afghans and other temperature projects that other crocheters have made over the years. I saw one that captured the highs and lows by assigning two rows per day. I’m already down to a G hook, I can’t imagine how much tighter I’d need to make those stitches.

Then, I saw one that divided the highs and lows perfectly down the center of the blanket. I’m making a king sized blanket for our king sized bed. So, that’s my plan. The blanket will be 436 stitches wide. That means 218 stitches for the day’s high temperature, and then 218 stitches for the days low temperature. Now, I’ll just have to decide who gets the highs and who gets the lows.

While I waited for my yarn to arrive, I decided to whip myself up a new winter hat. It flowed so quick and easy off my hook, that I managed to pull it all together in the amount of time it took me to simmer a pot of vegetable beef soup.

I was getting a little nervous that I’d decided to late that this was the year for the temperature afghan. I was starting to thing the yarn wasn’t going to arrive in time. They finally shipped, and they were estimated arrival was the 30th of December, but they still hadn’t arrived by the time I left for work. The box was waiting just inside the door when I got home from work.

I’m really quite excited to finally be beginning a temperature blanket. It feels like it’s been a decade or more since that first temperature afghan appeared on the internet. What a fun concept I thought it was, but every year it seemed like there was something in the way of my starting. This year, not even the slice on the tip of my dominant hand’s pointer finger will thwart my plans.

Follow along during 2021 to watch the progress of our temperature afghans.

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