New Year, New Project (WIP): Hot, cold, up, down, Stitch, Stitch, GO!

A crafty day keeps the snow at bay!

A crafty day keeps the snow at bay!

Happy New Year, friends! I hope your holidays were both restful and refreshing.

My 2018 began with the usual after-party cleanup rituals alongside the looming prospect of a 3 hour drive home from our mountain-cabin getaway. The air was crisp and frigid cold, clocking near a low of -25 °C as the sun began to rise. This of course, was high up in the Rockies, but was almost warmer than the Christmas weather the week before in Calgary.

Every muscle in my body ached with the strain of the previous day's activities on sticky, knee-deep snow churned about between slender trees on dizzying slopes. I have enjoyed snowboarding for many years, but it certainly has gotten harder to bounce back from the rigorous downhill activity as of late. Next year, I might stick to the cabin (but probably not!).

View of the inversion layer from the top of Kicking Horse Resort.

View of the inversion layer from the top of Kicking Horse Resort.

My partner agreed to take the wheel for our journey home, and I was more than delighted to lie flat out in the passenger seat. I passed the time checking in on my favorite needlecraft blogs for reactions to gifted holiday garments, New Year's resolutions, and "best of" nominees for 2017.

Almost everywhere I visited, I was dazzled with photo after photo of rainbows of skeins and temperature charts, bolstering dozens of ambitious plans for elaborate and colourful temperature blankets in 2018. Up until exactly this point, I had some serious misconceptions about what a temperature blanket actually was. I had wrongfully assumed that they were designed as colour gradient shifts, rather than an actual representation of weather data over the course of a year.

A year of variables in colour.

A year of variables in colour.

How deluded I was! A temperature blanket is actually a living catalogue, like a journal entry, of the daily changes in our environment. Furthermore, variations in colour and design could be used to track other variables, like weather conditions, length of commute, what you had for dinner, physical wellbeing, spiritual experiences, anything you wanted, really!

It was one of those moments where I had suddenly uncovered something that should have been glaringly obvious, but excitement quickly took over my embarrassment. I immediately decided that I would hop on the bandwagon (headfirst!) and compile a temperature blanket of my own. But there is so much more that makes up a year than the weather, So, what else would I want to track, if I could?

Canadians who live in even the Southernmost regions of the country are well aware of the extreme effects that seasonal changes can have on our physical environment, not to mention on our spirits. Due to the tilt of the planet’s axis, our summer days are bright, long and pleasant, but our winter days are short, dark and usually quite cold. Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, is a well documented phenomena that provides evidence that long hours of darkness result in a deterioration of mood and overall wellbeing. But how much does the temperature itself contribute to that effect? I was curious to measure my emotional state against the annual rise and fall in Celsius. Does being cold make me cranky? Am I in a better mood when I’m warm? At what outdoor temperature do I reach my optimal disposition?

I decided that 2018 would be an excellent year to track both the weather and my mood, because there is no time like the present, and this is a pretty important year for me (PS - I'm getting married!), so what better way for me to capture this turn around the sun than in the form of yarn and hook?

Crochet with all the colours of the wind!

Crochet with all the colours of the wind!

I selected Johanna Lindahl’s Wind Flower Hexagon “granny-square” because, let’s face it, it’s really cute, and I wanted to make a hexagon pattern blanket. I plan to observe the highest temperature of each day in my home city or Calgary, Alberta, to determine the colour of the outer border of each square. Likewise, my prevailing feelings of the day will dictate the colour of the inner flower. I am looking forward to the wacky (maybe horrendous) pattern of this blanket as I am well aware that my emotional state can be more erratic than a Calgary chinook in the dead of winter! ;)

Temperature (Outer Border)
35 °C or hotter: Crimson
25 °C to 34 °C: Salmon Pink
15 °C to 24 °C: Pale Orange
5 °C to 14 °C: Pale Yellow
-4 °C to 4 °C: Mint green
-5 °C to -14 °C: Teal
-15 °C to -24 °C: Pale Blue
-25 °C to -34 °C: Periwinkle
-35 °C or colder: Violet

Emotional State or Mood (Inner Flower)
Happy, bubbly, or cheery: Pale Yellow
Sad, gloomy, or downright miserable: Pale Blue
Productive, energized, hyper: Pale Orange
Balanced, zen, content: Mint Green
Accomplished, proud or grateful: Teal
Tired, sick, or off-kilter: Periwinkle
Creative, inspired, or crafty: Salmon Pink
Cranky, irritable or angry: Crimson
Worried, stressed or anxious: Violet

And lastly, here are my own 2018 New Year’s resolutions (Please hold me accountable!):

  • Post weekly to bi-weekly blog entries including stories, completed projects, photomontages, free patterns, garden updates, pattern reviews, successes, failures, WIP's, pet pictures, and everything in between. Writing is good for the soul!

  • Complete my wedding dress by August 1st, 2018, if not sooner! See next week's blog for all the details!

  • Obligatory shape-up for said wedding and dress.

  • Grow my wedding bouquet, and maintain a sustainable vegetable garden throughout the summer.

  • Prepare for and contribute to my Landscape Architecture admission portfolio. This means improving on my landscape drawing/painting skills and completing large, design-oriented projects!

  • Complete 1 Wind-Flower Hexagon per day, capturing the weather and my prevailing mood for that day (365 total!).

Wheew! That's probably sufficient. Do you have any resolutions or big projects to share? Any temperature blanket tales of your own? Feel free, as always, to post in the comments below!

Traci Bee