Temperature Blanket - Completed

A temperature blanket is a crochet or knitting project where one makes a blanket over the course of a year, doing a piece a day with the colours based on each day’s temperature.

For the full background and design of my blanket, see the previous blog post

God laughs

When we last left our temperature blanket, it was the end of July, and I said

we haven’t made it into the oranges/reds […] it would be nice to see those colours incorporated

Turns out I got my wish, but when I least expected it.

Going back to the original layout

The old layout

the plan was that when I got to the start of September, I would move to the top right, following a truncated z-ordered curve.

But then, come the start of September, we had an unexpected heatwave - including the hottest day of the year! (22.2C)

Following the original plan would have put these yellows and oranges next to the blues of March/April, which felt to me like it wouldn’t look so good.

Back to the old drawing board

The most obvious redesign - instead of shifting to top right, we simply continue downward, but otherwise adhering to the z-order layout.

The new layout

In retrospect, this feels much more natural.

Doing this, the completed blanket becomes 16x24 squares. This is slightly longer and thinner than the original design, and comes out to 384 squares total.

The original plan had 365 day + 12 months = 377 with 1 spare to represent the year (378 total). In the new plan, I was left with 7 spare squares.

7 is a bit of an ‘odd’ number, so I decided to use one to ‘sign’ the piece, and then use the other 6 as a block for representing the year as a whole.

The signature square is straightforward - it’s my initials, CO. I chose a shade of grey so that it would be cohesive with the overall design, without standing out or being mistaken for any of the other colours used.

Completed blanket

The year marker is more interesting. The original thought was to represent the year ‘2023’ in a similar way to the month markers, which are the month numbers in binary.

I hit on the fact that 2023 in hexadecimal is 7e7 which is conveniently 3 digits (and I have 6 squares to fill). It’s also a palindrome, which makes for a nice, symmetrical pattern.

Each square represents 2 bits - an outer ring and the centre, plus a separating ring which is always white. And each vertical pair together represent one hex digit (nibble?)

Completed blanket

The bits are read outside-in - so for example, top left is white outer and solid centre = 01, bottom left is solid outer and centre = 11; so all together the pair is 0111 or 7 in hex.

The complete pattern also looks kind of like a smiley face ° □ °

Naturally, the colour represents the average temperature across the whole year (9.9C).

I also broke the z-ordering a little - the December marker (binary of 12) looks too similar to the 10 year square, so I wanted to move it away from the year block so as not to confuse the design.

December layout

(If I’d thought of it sooner, I would have put the signature as the bottom-left square of the complete blanket, in the October region)

Wrapped up

Without further rambling, here’s the completed blanket

Completed blanket

(rotated 90 degrees, January at top right)

The completed blanket is ~118x170cm

Overall, it wasn’t too difficult on a technical level, but boy did it take a lot of time. Including joining and weaving in ends it took ~ 25mins per square, which comes out at ~157 hours (!) total, or ~3 hours a week.

As for the scarf I mentioned in the previous post; well… the blanket alone was a lot of effort. And I couldn’t muster the enthusiasm to keep working on it. Two year-long projects at once was a little ambitious, oh well.


[Now I’ve got to figure out what to do with the damn thing…]