Temperature Blanket: May Update
May 15, 2018: the first lilac square of the year.

May 15, 2018: the first lilac square of the year.

Last month I talked about how April didn’t go as planned after my vacation to New Zealand. By month-end I still had all of the April squares to do on top of needing to start keeping on top of the May squares. Now it’s the end of May, and thankfully, I made it! It was a lot of work that stressed me out a few times and left my fingers feeling raw more than once, but all the April squares are finished, while May is completed more or less up to where I’d normally be for a month-end update. Whew!

A couple of notable milestones occurred while making all those squares:

  • April 12 marked the date I could seam the first and second rows together!
  • On May 12 I was able to add the third row!
  • On May 15 the high reached 28°C (82.4°F). Hot, at least for this time of year! This triggered me to use yarn from the highest temperature bracket on my chart for the first time. Each color has now been used at least once!

Teal and purple... Best colors ever. :)

Teal and purple… Best colors ever. :)

As the pic at right shows, Pow Purple seems to be taking over right now. The weather this month has been gorgeous overall; the trees have all leafed out and flowers are opening up everywhere. It’s been lovely to have the windows open in the evenings so fresh air can come in. There is a May tree growing below my living room windows and the flowers, brief as they were, smelled great. Spring is my favorite season of the year!

I’ve started considering whether May’s fantastic but warm weather might be a sign that it’s going to be a hot summer here. Depending on how things go in June and July, if we start to edge up toward 33°C (91.4°F) or more it could be worth adding one more color to my chart. This would restrict Lilac to 28°C to 32°C, while the new color would take 33°C and above. Temperatures in the low- to mid-30s aren’t unheard of here but it’s not like we regularly bake either (but hey, global warming and all that…), so I won’t know what will happen until we get closer to summer.

I like purple but I also don’t want the blanket to become dominated by it when I’m already seeing so much! Unfortunately, my remaining color choices with Bernat Blanket yarn seem rather limited… I might be forced to use pink… Shudder! Fingers crossed we don’t hit 33°C or more.

Before showing May’s squares, let’s backtrack a bit and have a peek at April.

April 1 through April 30 squares. Gaps are for April 12, 13, and 27 which have already been seamed into the first few rows of the blanket.

April 1 through April 30 squares. Gaps are for April 12, 13, and 27 which have already been seamed into the first few rows of the blanket.

Winter was trying its darnedest to hang on for dear life while I was away. The first half of April looks a lot like the earlier winter months, lending credence to the fact I live in the Great White North. In the end I even have a solid white square for April 16 because it was so cold that day! The second half the month is much better. April 28 is the first square to have Pow Purple and boy does that color really pop!

Seeing the squares all laid out like this is a bit of a relief for another reason. When I was choosing colors for my chart, I had to do almost all of it based on photos on the Yarnspirations website and then ordered a lot of the skeins without having the opportunity to see the real color in person because my local stores simply didn’t have them. Even after I received my shipments, holding the Glacier, Seafoam, and Light Teal skeins together made me concerned that they might be too close in shade to be distinguishable in the blanket. Thankfully that’s not the case!

A very pretty month! The May 12 square is already in the blanket.

A very pretty month! The May 12 square is already in the blanket.

The May squares are so pretty! I enjoyed making these ones even though the color combinations repeated a lot. Dark Teal and Pow Purple seem easier to work with than previous colors have been. The quality of the yarn feels better: more squishy/soft/bouncy than the others. But maybe it’s just a perception thing because I am so fond of these colors to start with! :)

My temperature blanket is finally taking shape!

My temperature blanket is finally taking shape!

This was the really fun part of working on this project this month: seaming! No, really! People seem to hate seaming but this month I looked forward to it. After doing all these squares individually, seeing them pile up all over my living room like an invasion of fuzzy coasters, and then finally when they started to overflow out of the bag I’ve been keeping them in, it’s tremendously satisfying to be able to start putting the blanket together. It’s finally a thing that I can hold up and start to hugsquish!

Originally I was going to use the mattress stitch to join the squares, as I wanted the seam to be invisible. Before I finished the first row I decided that wasn’t going to work. There are too many varied colors in the blanket for any one color of yarn (even grey) to be properly hidden, and it ended up looking pretty bad. I pulled it all out and started over with the Flat Slip Stitch Join instead. With black yarn, this stitch is turning out to be pretty sharp and so far looks like it will give the squares some good definition.

The pattern for this blanket puts the squares together in essentially a corner-to-corner fashion. January 1 is that grey square with the dark center in the bottom row on the left. The days then snake up diagonally back and forth, which is why right now the three rows look totally random rather than like a traditional temperature blanket. I didn’t want a million ends to weave in so I’m seaming each row with one continuous piece of yarn instead of joining each square one at a time. This means I won’t be seaming vertically until the end of the year when the blanket is finished. The top row in the photo still has each square tagged with its corresponding date so I can be sure I’m placing the next squares correctly and can’t accidentally put them on with the blanket flipped the wrong way around. :)

Each square measures about four inches. Each seam adds maybe another centimeter or so, and there are seventeen squares in a row. When all the vertical seams are finished, the blanket will be about seventy inches wide (spans most of the width of my small living room). Nice and big and comfy! Right now it’s annoyingly floppy since it only has two seams holding everything together but that (along with curling on some of the squares) will settle down as more seams are added.

Mom's May progress. Green for a green spring!

Mom’s May progress. Green for a green spring!

Mom was busy during the month of May but managed to get her squares done too. The good weather means her blanket suddenly has swaths of green in it. She’s starting to think about joining the finished month panels together to get her blanket taking shape as well.

Getting to the end of May means we are almost halfway done our blankets. Mine will have 425 squares in it at the end (365 days plus 60 blanks). Finishing this month means having 211 squares done… It’s a lot! This also means 2018 is coming up on the halfway mark pretty soon as well. Time flies when you’re having fun!

If you’re making a temperature blanket this year, how is yours coming along? Be sure to let me know in the comments below. Blankets are big projects but being almost halfway there means the homestretch is coming up already! Keep at it, and happy hooking!

January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September
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