Sunday, 28 October 2018

Knitted Temperature Blanket [Free Pattern]

My blog has been fairly quiet for a while, and one reason for that is because I recently finished my PhD in psychology! One part of our journey was a year-long internship in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. I decided to document my year there by making a temperature blanket. That means that you knit one row per day with a colour corresponding to the temperature outside. I had seen some finished blankets online, but actually had a hard time finding a good pattern, so I made up my own that I am going to share with you. Here are some of my tips!

Creating a Legend:
The first thing you need to do is create a legend. You can follow mine, but it might not be a good fit if you live in a warmer climate, or even another part of Canada. I would suggest making your own legend, or following one from Pinterest if you aren't into math.

First you need to choose the number of colours that you want to use (I used 9). I recommend using multiple shades of the same colour, and throwing in some neutral shades as well. I have seen some that are rainbow colours, but they are a little bright for me. I used reds, blues, and browns.

Next, you need to get a sense of what the range of temperatures will be for your location. If you go to the weather network you can find their monthly forecast page that will give you past weather data.

If you are in Canada, you can also look at this Government of Canada website to get an idea.

For my legend, I had -45'C as the extreme cold temperature, and 35'C as the extreme high temperature. I wanted the colour to change at 0' so I modified things that way. I only ended up having 1 day of -37 and colder, and I ended up having a couple days of +37 that I hadn't included in my legend, so I re-used another colour.

Take the extreme temperatures and subtract them to get the total number of degrees in your range.
E.g. 35 - (-45) = 80

Then divide that number by the number of colours you want to use.
E.g. 80 / 9 = 8 (ish)

Then make your legend, using a range of that number of degrees (8) for each colour. I also decided to add a second strand of lighter white yarn on days that it snowed. Here is how my legend turned out:

You should buy 2 balls of each colour, just in case. I only bought one ball of each colour, but ended up running out of a few colours. Unfortunately Michael's had discontinued the exact colour that I needed so I had to find a replacement. It ended up not being very noticeable because you are changing colours so often.

I recommend making a chart where you can write down the temperature/colour for each day and check it off. If you're anything like me, you may not be able to knit every single day and may need to do some catching up. I just had a little notebook and made a chart by hand.

I used the exact temperatures from the website above, and knit the row a day behind. I used the measured temperatures, not the windchill or humidex temperatures. I used the following temperatures:

Fall: Daily Average
Winter: Daily Low
Spring: Daily Average
Summer: Daily High

Now you're ready to knit! Here's how:

6mm (US 10) circular needle
Approximately 18 balls of worsted weight yarn (I used Impeccable from Michael's) Note: you will have yarn leftover, but buy at least 2 balls per colour

Cast on 167 stitches

Knit garter stitch (knit every row) across. Knit one row per day for a total of 365 rows.

Cast off and sew in all the ends.

Finished size is approximately 46" x 64".


  1. Hello!
    I have been wanting to make a temperature blanket for awhile, and decided that 2019 was the year to do it! I have been searching for a good source to break down my temperature chart and figure out where to even start. This post has been so helpful!! I am so happy to have found it! Thank you for the information. I am excited to get started.
    Also, congratulations on your PhD!

  2. Thank you so much for this! I'm working on my own at the moment, and your's gave me a lot of inspiration. I linked to this post on my own blog. =)

  3. I was wondering how you incorporated the "snow" yarn ❄️ I didn't understand if you added an extra "snow row" on days that it snowed or if you just did a white row that day instead of the corresponding temperature. Any suggestion would be appreciated. Can't wait to start!

    1. I think she held a thin white strand against the current yarn. So, holding double. The colour is the same but will have a white marled effect.

    2. Thanks. Would that make the snow rows bulkier? I'm also wondering about the rows - do they alternate sides each day or forward and back per day?

    3. On the snowy days I knit two strands- the temperature colour, and the white colour at the same time. So yes, it does make it a little bulkier for those rows. The white yarn was a lighter weight so it wasn't a noticeable difference.

      I just knit garter stitch back and forth as you normally would, one row per day.

  4. When you say one row per you mean across and back each day? Or across today for one row, back tomorrow for the next row?

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  6. I am knitting my blanket. What is the best way to attach the yarn from one row to the other?

    1. I just tied them together in a knot and then sewed in the edges. Nothing glamorous but it worked!

  7. If someone bought the yarn to make one of these but paid you to make it, how much would you charge???

    1. Hi Melissa, in general, I don't find that I can ever get paid enough for my time for knitting projects for others, so I mostly make them as gifts unless it's something small like a hat. This blanket takes a verrrryyyyy LONG time to make, so I would be tempted to charge a couple hundred dollars personally, which would work out to about a dollar a day (not much money for your time, but a lot of money to spend on the blanket). My two cents!

  8. I love this idea and recently started a temperature scarf, but what do you do with all the loose ends?? It would take forever to weave them all in.

    1. Yep, weaving in the ends is the worst! I did not break the yarn at the end of each day, just in case it was the same temperature the next day. If it was the same colour in a couple of days I just brought the yarn up the side so you don't have to weave them in every single day. I would also recommend weaving the ends in as you go along because it would be so annoying to weave in 365ish ends after you are basically done the blanket!

  9. Hi Jenna,

    We'd love to feature this pattern as the 'pattern of the month' in our new data science journal out of Cell Press. You wouldn't need to do anything other than confirm your permission and we'd include a link to this page in our first edition eTOC.

    Please let me know if you'd be interested.
    All the best,