Temperature blankets and other projects have been trendy for a while. The basic premise is that you do a small segment of work everyday for a year. You have a different color to represent each ten degrees of temperature, and on each day, you use the color representing the high temperature for the day. For many knitters, a temperature project is a sort of passive environmental protest. For others, it has the quality of a daily meditation. But the seasons and events of our lives have meaning too, and I think a temperature blanket could be a fun memento.
I'd like to propose a shorter term temperature project than a blanket with 365 rows or rounds--one with a more personal, sentimental purpose: a temperature baby blanket. This would be a belated baby shower present, or perhaps a first birthday present. It would have thirty squares, each representing the high temperature for each day in the first month of the baby's life or the calendar month in which the baby was born. For those who are so inclined, the blanket could even document the days for the child's zodiac sign.
Because all the days represented will be in the same time of the year, you won't need as many colors to represent all the temperatures in a month as you would for a full year. As you can see in the picture of my pallette, I used seven colors for December. The bottom three colors were last minute addition, due to a cold snap in the middle of the month. For a more colorful blanket, or variety in a very temperate climate, each color could represent a five-degree temperature range, instead of ten. You might also make the square for the first day, or whatever day you want to memorialize, out of a bright, contrasting color. I tried to created a graded pallette, but the colors available to me locally were limited. It could be fun to do a brightly colored baby blanket in primary colors.
The sample pictured used the temperatures for my hometown in December. I just made simple, five-round granny squares and worsted weight yarn, in the interests of demonstrating the concept quickly. If I were doing this as a gift, however, I would probably use a different square pattern or maybe do some kind of sampler. If I wanted to make a larger throw blanket, I would probably pick out a bunch of 12-inch square patterns, just like I did for the bedspread I made last year.
Because I made traditional granny squares, it was easy to join each new square to the blanket in the final round. I also started with the square for day 1 in the corner and added squares diagonally. Working corner-to-corner helped avoid striping, but not color pooling, when multiple days in a row were represented by the same color. With thirty squares, I arranged them into a 5 block by 6 block blanket. Since December has 31 days, I did the border for the blanket in the color for the 31st day.
A fun variation on this idea would be a decorative throw blanket made up of thirty larger squares. This bigger blanket could be a fun gift for a married couple's anniversary, documenting the temperatures for the month they married. The wedding day itself would be white or some contrasting color, and the border of the blanket would be the color for the temperature on the wedding day.
There are several options for how to do the border on the blanket. As suggested above, the border could be the temperature for the 31st day of the month or for a special day in that month that you want to commemorate. Another option would be to average out the thirty temperatures and make the border the color for the average temperature for the month. Of course, you could also use the color that was most or least frequent or whatever color you have the most of leftover. You could use a completely unrelated, neutral color to form a contrasting border that ties all the colors together, or you could do several narrow border rounds with one in each color used in the blanket.
If you start a blanket several days into the period you want to document or if you miss a few days, Weather Underground has a handy feature where you can see the high and low temperatures on a calendar for whatever month you are memorializing. Whenever you search a location, several tabs will load above the present weather conditions in that location. One of those tabs will say history (this link is set to Houston, just as an example). You click on that tab, and then set the month and year you want to search.
I started my blanket a few days into the month, so the history feature on Weather Underground was very useful to me. Then, since I didn't want to load Weather Underground repeatedly, I used my Google Sheets file, where I normally map out color arrangements, to note which temperatures went with which squares, as you can see in the first screenshot. The second screenshot shows how I arranged the days in assembling the squares.
This project was a lot of fun, and I love all the personalized variations you can make out of the temperature blanket trend.