Knitting is my new yoga

As a child, I was fortunate enough to have both a Mam and Nana who could work magic with their knitting needles.

My mother and I had matching, homemade mohair jumpers in a range of colours and, my Nana lovingly crafted half a dozen dog coats for my Westies (Mr Thomas and Gethin). The pink and red ‘Doctor Who’ scarf I begged her to keep extending for me, is a staple in my camping wardrobe.

I’ve picked up very basic skills over the years, but as with everything, I fall over when it comes to following patterns… I prefer to freestyle!!

To date, I’ve made a few hats and cardigans and, a couple of scarves. My little girl was the star of the show at baby group in this hat I created.

I don’t know what it is about knitting that I find so relaxing. I’ve dabbled in lots of crafts, but have mastered very few (none!). I can lose hours at night to knitting and really enjoy being able to take small projects with me on camping trips or long train journeys with work. More often than not, it’s a portable craft that has a purpose. Perfect!

My most recent project (while not not very portable because it’s grown huge!) is ideal for me, because I’m in charge of choosing every bit of it.

I’m knitting a TEMPERATURE BLANKET. I’m really proud of what I’ve done so far with it and hope it’s a project that’ll become a bit of a legacy piece (like Nana’s ‘Doctor Who’ scarf).

You knit a row each day, in a colour representing a particular temperature. I’ve decided to knit my little boy’s first year (Oct 11 – Oct 12) and have just reached June!

I’m a bit all-or-nothing with my hobbies, so after an initial blast, it’s been left in a corner for a few weeks. My me-time this week though will be all about the blanket and I’m adamant I’ll reach the end of July before the week is out!

This is how you can make your own temperature blanket:

  1. You’ll need a selection of wool and appropriate sized needles (I’ve used Robyn chunky wool, bought from Shaws, knitted on size 10 circular needles).
  2. Decide if you’re knitting the current year, meaning you knit a row or two at a time, or if you’re picking a year gone-by that’s significant to you (I picked a year gone-by because I’m not patient enough to go day to day, without being able to set a colour plan).
  3. Go to a website where you can find the average temperature for today and previous days.
  4. Plot out your dates and if you’re working retrospectively, your temperatures.
  5. Now this is the fun bit, pick your colours to correspond to ranges of temperatures. Because I already know my temperatures for the year, I’ve decided to change colour every fourth degree – this means I have 8 colours in my scheme.
  6. Now, knit (marking off each row on paper as you go).

I look forward to the hour before bedtime arriving, because I cwtch up in the corner of my sofa and get engrossed. Inevitably I end up tangled in wool, but when my alarm sounds, sending me to bed, the sense of achievement is brilliant – it’s an instant hit of having nailed something because the progress is there to be seen.

If you fancy giving knitting a go and don’t have anyone to help you along or you prefer to try and work stuff out for yourself, YouTube is the obvious place to start, but there are also some really good books on Amazon. I like ‘Knitty Gritty’ (unfortunate name!) and I’ve just noticed that there’s a follow up to it too which I might get.

Good luck if you’re going to give a temperature blanket a go… Share your pics.

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