I expect it’s no surprise that I was unable to avoid being distracted! despite having a full project list.
You see, I went on Ravelry and found that someone had left me a message asking what colours I had used for my spectrum blanket because they wanted to make a ‘temperature blanket’. I sent them the LINK and wondered what a temperature blanket might be.
When I found out I was quite intrigued and the idea appealed to my scientific mind. Of course I don’t need or want to make another blanket at present so I tried to put the thought out of my mind. However it kept coming back until a little voice in my head said “you don’t need a blanket and it would be too much of a commitment but what about a scarf? You can never have too many scarves!”.
the planning thinking about it meant making four different decisions.
Since I am planning a lot of knitting my first thought was to make it a crochet project but what sort of stitch? Now I would like to try the ‘V’ stitch that I have heard other people talking about lately (though I now realise the double sort is what I am using for the edge of my blanket) so I tried out a couple of versions. But I rejected it because I wanted a more solid look and unless I only recorded the temperature every other day it would be a crazily long scarf.
By now I realised that only dcs (US-scs) were small enough to allow me to crochet one row a day. I like linen stitch very much and that was my first thought. But you notice that when you only have one row of a colour it is discontinuous, so I rejected that too!
Then I tried a simple plain row of dcs and that was okay except that when you crochet back and forward some rows appear narrower than others. That was scientifically unattractive so I turned to knitting. (These colours are unlikely to be adjacent on the actual scarf!)
I won’t bore you with my thought on different knitting stitches but in the end I decided that plain stocking stitch was probably best and that I had a choice between a scarf that was a bit less than 4ft or 8ft. 4ft is a bit short for a scarf so I chose the latter which meant two rows per day.
Now the one thing that had worried me all along was the ends.
After my original thoughts on crochet scarves and making samples I decided to short cut the process and go on Google and Ravelry. Here I discovered that other people had also chosen to make a scarf rather that a blanket and I found various crochet ones including one that used linen stitch!
I also found THIS. Here the idea was to make a cowl rather than a scarf but the clever idea was to knit it on circular needles so all the ends would be inside and so didn’t need to be sewn in. And the icing on the cake was that on the first of the two rows in each colour she slipped the first and first of the second half stitches so both edges would look the same. I had considered knitting in a circle to avoid ends but hadn’t been able to decide where to position the mismatch where you change from one colour to another.
I made a sample to see if sixty stitches would be about right and I got a width of about five inches which seemed quite enough.
She was using Sports weight yarn but since I have always thought that DK was a bit thin for a really warm scarf two sided DK seemed good.
The big question having decided the basics was which temperature did you use? since it can vary quite a bit over twenty-four hours. Do you choose maximum or minimum or an average of the two? My inclination was to go for daytime and therefore maximum temperature.
Now I did briefly think of buying a Max and Min thermometer and putting it in the garden but in the end decided to let other people do the measurements for me.
However by the time I had realised that weather forecasts only tell you what the temperature is expected to be, not what it was, I had found that the nearest weather station at Southampton Airport not only gives out historic data but also graphs showing the change from hour to hour, I therefore decided that I would use the temperature at midday from their graphs.
Now that I knew the sort of temperatures I would be dealing with it was time to choose the colour range.
A lot of people had chosen to change colour every 5 deg F. Now I knew that living in the UK, I would find temperatures quoted in centigrade and chosing a new colour every 3 deg C seemed to work out nicely.
Some people had just used the basic rainbow colours, other people had all sorts of choices, but I decided that my spectrum colours would do as well as any other and so I decided to use them, though I omitted ‘shrimp’ as I thought it fitted least well. I decided that the temperature round here is unlikely to drop much below zero at midday. So -2 to 0 is purple. (If the temperature does go any lower I will use black.)
My temperature range goes up to 39 deg C just to be on the safe side but actually I will be quite happy not to need to use the darkest red.
So that is that and here is the scarf finished up to yesterday’s temperature. As you can see the temperature in January has been fairly stable.
This is a good project to use up oddments of yarn though I may end up having to buy some if I run out of any particular colour.