Let’s Go: A Garter Stripe Temperature Blanket for 2022

Dear Ann,

Welp. Cara Davis went and did it. Her post about her gorgeous temperature blankets put me over the line that separates merely admiring temperature knitting projects—I’ve seen so many good ones in my internet wanderings while I’m supposed to be working—to feeling the imperative to CAST ON NOW.

In case Cara’s post had the same effect on anybody else, I’ll share my plan. I cannot wait to have progress to show on this thing, and to see everyone else’s temperature project. (Be sure to share over in the MDK Lounge, and on Instagram, where the hashtag #MDKtemperatureblanket hopefully will keep us from straying too far afield.)

Yarn

I’m using Rowan Felted Tweed, God’s own colorwork yarn. It comes in a bountiful palette that is designed so well that all the colors look good together. Obvious bonus: we carry it in the MDK Shop, where it’s a fan favorite.

Right now, to enable everyone’s 2022 Temperature Blanket dreams, we’ve got a deal: 10 percent off Felted Tweed. Just enter the coupon code TEMPERATURE at checkout. Expires January 15, 2022. Order up a blanket’s worth, or fill in gaps in your stash of tweedy felters. If you’ve got a deep stash of discontinued colors of this all-time great yarn, I can think of no more glorious use for it than a temperature blanket. Maybe this is why you’ve been saving it!

Pattern

Kaffe Fassett’s Garter Stripe Shawl from MDK Field Guide No. 13 is a simple, blanket-sized template that will work perfectly for the sort of blanket where you knit exactly one garter ridge for each day of the year.

There are 392 garter ridges in this blanket shawl, shown here in Kaffe’s original colorway. Knitting 365 ridges for the year will absolutely not result in a too-short blanket, but if you like, you can use those extra 27 ridges to make dividers between the months, borders at the beginning and end, extra rows for your birthday—whatever you like.  I’m guessing I will knit 365 ridges. My cast-on number is 252, in case you don’t have Field Guide No. 13 handy.

I’ve been wanting to make a Garter Stripe Shawl ever since Kaffe sent us his first giant swatch for it. This is the year!

Plan

As Cara counseled, I picked one color for any day with a high temperature lower than 19 degrees Fahrenheit, and one color for any day higher than 95F. I divided up the in-between temperatures into 19 ranges of 4 degrees, for a total of 21 colors. (You can use the low or average temperature for the day, too—it’s up to you.)

To pick my colors, I started with the classic “Roy G Biv” rainbow colors: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, and Violet. I changed the violet end of the spectrum to pale, drab, and gloomy shades reminiscent of winter. I assigned shades of Felted Tweed into groupings of 3 for each of the other Roy G Bivs. I took some liberties, because I wanted to choose colors I like, and because in some cases—orange, for example—the Felted Tweed palette didn’t have as many options. (Aside from the orange-red of Zinnia, I chose hot pinks instead.)

Here’s where I ended up—I put all 21 shades in the gallery up top.

The middle column is Rowan’s shade number.

19 degrees or lower: Clay

20-23: Alabaster

24-27: Scree

28-31: Seafarer

32-35: Seasalter

36-39: Maritime

40-43: Delft

44-47: Ciel

48-51: Fjord

52-55: Vaseline Green

56-59: Electric Green

60-63: Lime

64-67: Cumin

68-71: Mineral

72-75: Sulfur

76-79: Pink Bliss

80-83: Barbara

84-87: Zinnia

88-91: Ginger

92-95: Scarlet

95 or higher: Rage

I tried to engineer my choices to get plenty of days in colors I’ll be happy seeing a lot of, and colors that will look good next to their likely neighbors.

But who really knows? It’s weather!

I already love having a new ritual to start my days in 2022:  every morning, knitting one ridge to represent the temperature from the day before. It’s hard to get my mind around how such a big blanket could come from knitting just one ridge every day. But it will!

Come on in, the temperature’s fine!

Love,

Kay

 

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