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How to Crochet a Temperature Afghan in 8 Minutes a Day

One year ago, I noticed a Facebook post about a crocheted Temperature Afghan. With a bit of research, I learned that the afghan consists of 365 rows, one stitched each day of the year according to the day’s high temperature. Cool! I wanted to make one, but knew that such an undertaking would require motivation and diligence as the year wore on. Then the idea came to let each day and it’s crocheted stitches represent the three months leading up to son Eric’s wedding to sweet Amanda on April 1 plus the beginning year of their marriage. The Temperature Afghan would be a gift for their 1st Christmas.

Son Kyle liked the idea and thought the gift would be well-received. He assisted as I set out to choose colors and get started on January 1. The unique gift was appreciated as you can tell in these photos.

If you love to crochet, maybe you would like to begin a Temperature Afghan as 2018 begins. You only need to know how to chain stitch and do a single crochet stitch to make the one I completed.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Set up your Color Chart. In Ohio, our high temperatures  can range from zero to one hundred degrees Fahrenheit. I chose a color for each ten degree range with one for below 30 degrees, one for 30-39, one for 40-49, one for 50-59, one for 60-69, one for 70-79, one for 80-89, and one for 90 and above.

Select your yarn. I used  LION BRAND Vanna’s Choice medium (4) weight acrylic yarn.  My colors from below 30 to above 90 were Eggplant, Colonial Blue, Silver Blue, Fern, Mustard, Rust, Cranberry, and Burgundy. I used about thirty 3 1/2 oz balls (5,100 yards). I started out by purchasing 2 or 3 balls of each color and bought more as needed.

Choose your stitch.  After doing some calculations and test swatches, I realized that 365 rows of crochet could get VERY long, so the stitches needed to be small and compact. I used a a combination of chain and single crochet called the Seed Stitch (instructions below). This created a tightly worked, warm fabric.

Choose your width. My completed afghan is 80 inches long and 57 inches wide, great for cuddling or putting on a twin sized bed. You can make it narrower by using a shorter beginning chain, but remember that the length is determined by the number of days.

Get started.

Abbreviations: ch = chain, sc = single crochet, sp = space

Notes: After crocheting each row, leave the yarn attached until you know the high temperature of the next day. If it’s the same, chain 1, turn, and work in the same color. If it changes, cut the yarn leaving a 6 inch tail. Pull the new color through to complete the last single crochet of the row, chain 1, turn, and single crochet in the first single crochet.

Begin: Using a size G crochet hook and the yarn color that corresponds with the day’s high temperature (mine was Silver Blue for a 44 degree day), chain 300.

Row 1 (Right side): Single Crochet in second chain from hook, * chain 1, skip next chain, single crochet in next chain; repeat from * across: 299 stitches.

Row 2: Ch 1, turn; sc in first sc and in first ch-1 space. (ch 1, sc in next ch-1 sp) across to last sc. sc in last sc.

Row 3: Ch1, turn; sc in first sc, ch 1, (sc in next ch-1 sp, ch 1) across to last 2 sc, sc in last sc.

Repeat rows 2 and 3 until you have crocheted a row for each day of the year.

Weave in all ends by threading the yarn onto a large eye needle, drawing it through several stitches (hiding as best as you can). Then turn and weave back through a few more stitches. Carefully trim the end close to your work. It’s a good idea to work your ends in as you go, although I only did this about once a month. I wanted to know where each month began, so I didn’t weave in the ends for the last row of the months. Then, as I was working the finishing round, I crocheted a picot stitch at the beginning of each month.

Edging Round: Choose a color to outline the entire afghan and make a neat edging. I used Mustard because most of the months included at least one row of that color and I liked the way it looked. Working in the ends of the rows on the sides of the afghan and the single crochet and chain stitches on the ends of the afghan, single crochet evenly all around. (On the sides, I worked 4 sc in the row ends and then decreased over the next two ends so the edge would lay flat. To decrease, pull up a loop in the next row end and one in the next to have 3 loops on your hook. Then yarn over and pull through all 3 loops, making one stitch over two row ends.) If you want to indicate where months begin, work a picot stitch: ch 3, sc in 3rd stitch from hook. Single crochet in the next stitch or row end and continue. Work corners as follows: sc, picot stitch, sc in the corner. Sc in next stitch and continue.

Finishing by Christmas: Six days before the afghan needed to be ready to wrap, I checked the weather forecast for  likely high temperatures and worked 3 rows a day. I also began the edging round a few days early, stitching down one side, across the beginning chain and up the other side to where I left off. Then I only had a short distance to work up when time was running out! Here I am beginning the last row (it was a bit emotional).

Keeping Track of the Temperatures and Keeping up with the rows: I filled in a Blank Calendar chart each day with the high temperature and worked that day’s row. When I was away from home, I just filled in the chart and then stitched the rows when I got back. I also kept a list of interesting details including record highs and lows. I didn’t get to use the Burgundy yarn because we did not have a 90 degree day this year!

I marked the day of Eric and Amanda’s wedding by running a size 10 white cotton crochet thread with a silver metallic twist along with the Silver Blue yarn for the day.

It only took me 8 minutes each day and then about 30 minutes a day during the last week to get the Temperature Afghan done.

Download my printable Crocheted Temperature Afghan pattern here.

If you have any questions about this project before or after you begin, you can contact me in the Comments of this post or by using the Contact Form in the Thoughts Collected by Lisa header. I would LOVE to see a photo of your work! It will be a one-of-a-kind project and gift that will not only WOW the recipient, but possibly become a family treasure.

 

 

 

 

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Stocking Stuffers?

Perhaps this roundup of products, gadgets, and past-times will include the perfect last minute Christmas gift for someone you know.  Perhaps not.  These are a few of my new favorite things, things that I wonder how I got along without for so long.  I’ll begin with my idea of the most giftable and include some links where you can order.

THE CRACK POT

I know this is a great gift because several years ago I bought one for each of my family members.  They still mention how often they use their CRACK POT.  This little bowl has a nice handle, a rubber ring on the bottom to prevent sliding, and that indented edge where you crack your eggs.  It’s deep enough to beat lots of eggs in, and perfect for mixing up a cornbread mix or batch of pancakes.  It even goes in the dishwasher.

DIGITAL MEAT THERMOMETER

Why, oh why, did it take us so long to start measuring the internal temperature of our meat?!  Great gift for the one who grills, or broils, or roasts, etc.  I even used this when tempering dark chocolate yesterday.  As one who is pretty averse to under-cooked meat, I’ve eaten my share of dry burgers.  Now we prepare perfectly grilled chicken breasts and pork chops, and  juicy hamburgers that are not pink inside.

QUIDDLER CARD GAME

According to the box, “Quiddler, the Short Word Game, is a delightful challenge for rookies and wordsmiths alike.”  It’s much more than that to my husband and I.  I found this game that is for Ages 8 to adult and for 1-8 players at the Cleveland Clinic gift shop after Dave’s heart surgery.  We passed time by learning and playing Quiddler and still play several times a week 5 years later.  Begin making words with 3 cards with letters and progress up to a hand of 10 cards.  It’s fun!!! If you get the Deluxe version, an official Quiddler dictionary is included.

WORDS THAT WIN

Another gift for people who use words, this is the children’s book that I wrote.  It’s full of rhymes and colorful photos of kids of different ages who learn that what we say is important.  The last page reads, “At home, at school, or with my friends, I want to be well-liked.  I win by using words that help.  They’re true, kind, and polite”.  I have paperback copies of this 20 page book for $15.  You can use the Contact tab to let me know if you’re interested.

WOOL DRYER BALLS

If the person who does your laundry appreciates using natural methods, but, like me, doesn’t use a clothesline, he or she might love to find these in the stocking!  After using unscented dryer sheets forever, I discovered wool dryer balls and gave them a try.  I just bought this set from an Artfire shop and love the way our clothes come out of the dryer.  The balls bounce around with the load, absorbing moisture and preventing wrinkles.  I can’t believe how nice my clothing feels when it isn’t full of residue from dryer sheets.

SHORT PERSON LAUNDRY TOOL

Not everyone on your list needs one of these, but I can tell you that this little tool has been the solution to one of my laundry problems.  Our new washer is a large high efficiency top loader.  I am a small, short-armed woman who has strained my shoulder trying to retrieve those 3 socks that are clinging to the bottom edge of  the tub.  These silicone tongs from the kitchen store are perfect.

OK,  here’s where I move from legitimate Christmas gift ideas to a couple of products that have so improved my life that I just need to endorse them.  However, I have gifted these to  my mom, and I wouldn’t mind finding them in my stocking.  I don’t think my husband would either.  We both use Breathe Right strips every night.  We sleep better when we breathe better and there is less snoring.  Enough said.

Don’t put this in a Christmas stocking, but do get some for yourself if you have stubborn toenail fungus.  I had given up wearing open-toed sandals after losing most of the nail on my big toe.  I tried a few products and methods, but didn’t have any success until I found Funga Soap and just washed my feet with it in the shower.  My toe nail grew back nicely and I’m back in sandals.

Merry Christmas.

 

 

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