Posted on Leave a comment

Temperature Pi Blanket – April Update

March finished with a mini-heatwave, but on 1st April the temperature dropped like a stone to 8° and then hovered in the low teens until the middle of the month. We did, however, have a lot of sunshine, and I have already used up more than 2 complete balls of Rowan Kidsilk Haze Eve Green (well over 420 metres in total) in the first 4 months of the year. In fact, although we had a couple of days of snow/hail showers early in April, and a few light showers that just dampened the top layer of soil, the month has been exceptionally dry, with many parts of the UK reporting near drought conditions, and moorland fires marring the landscape from Devon to Lancashire.

There were no increase rounds this month (the next is due on the 14th May). I calculate that, in the first four months of 2021 I have worked nearly 43,000 stitches; as a percentage of the total number of stitches for the year, I have worked 9.81%.

The temperature blanket continues to enthrall me, with its lovely spring greens echoing the view from my window as I knit. The trees are in leaf, the damson and plum trees are in blossom, and the blackcurrant bushes are providing nectar and pollen to the many bumblebees that hover around them. The moorhens that live on our pond have produced a brood of tiny black pompoms, and the sparrows and bluetits have been busy building nests in our nestboxes. I love Spring!

It’s not too late to join in and knit your own Temperature Pi Blanket. You can download the pattern and accompanying spreadsheet from Payhip

Posted on Leave a comment

Temperature Pi Blanket – 1st Quarter 2021

The first 3 months of 2021, 90 days in all, have been very interesting weather-wise, here in West Yorkshire. The temperature graph for these 90 days looks like this:

Of those 90 days, we had:

  • 30 days of predominantly sunny weather
  • 21 days of overcast skies
  • 16 days of rain
  • 12 days of snow
  • 5 days of storm
  • 3 days of high winds
  • 3 days of fog

[I define stormy days as a combination of high winds and lashing precipitation (either rain or snow).]

This data has come as a bit of a surprise, as I my impression of the same period in previous years is of cloudy skies and rain, lashing rain, or drizzle. We have even had prolonged and heavy snowfall in late March, notably in 2012, when were were cut off from the outside world for a week! So this year, with its 30 days of sunshine, has altered my perceptions of my environment.

January saw a few warm(ish) days, but on the whole it was cold, with only 7 days of sunshine. February, normally relentlessly wet and miserable, surprised us with warmer sunnier days towards the end of the month, reaching a high of 13.25° on the 24th. March started with three days of thick fog and ended with a mini-heatwave (23°!).

The Temperature Pi blanket began with pale icy blues and ended with greens and yellows.

The fancy clip-on markers in the image above mark the end of each month, the small calabash pins mark every 10 days as a reminder of my progress.

Every month, I blog about my progress with this project here on the Granary Knits website; I would love to see examples of other knitters’ temperature blankets, so please post photos on Twitter using hashtag #TempPi2021.

Posted on Leave a comment

Temperature Pi Blanket – March Update

There is a saying that “If March comes in like a lion it goes out like a lamb”, and vice versa. March certainly arrived tamely with three days of dense fog, not unusual where I live on the side of a hill; we often find ourselves up in the clouds, and the accompanying lack of wind means it can last quite a while.

The blanket is getting big! I am already using two 150cm circular needles to comfortably accommodate the 576 stitches. The first half of the month was cold, but by the 16th temperatures were beginning to rise, and the month ended in the low 20s and very sunny. In fact the temperatures on the last two days of March were a UK 50-year record for the month.

The warmth at the end of the month – reaching just over 23 C on one day – is certainly helping to dry out the soil and open the buds on the trees and bushes. The daffodils are colouring the border of our driveway and the leaves are unfurling on the apple trees. Suddenly, it is all looking very green and yellow!

The colours of the blanket have changed from shades of blue to shades of green, too, even veering to yellow on the last two days of the month, and there have been a lot of sunny days, even if they have not been particularly warm. I have used nearly an entire ball of Rowan Kidsilk Haze Eve Green (denoting sun) just for the first three months of the year! In fact, there have been 30 days in the first 90 days of the year when the weather was predominantly sunny. That seems like a lot, given our latitude, and my experience of more than 20 years living in the same place!

I am now up to day 90, and have 576 stitches on the needle; the blanket is approximately 72 cm in diameter (unstretched), and I am very happy with my progress.

It’s not too late to join in and knit your own Temperature Pi Blanket. You can download the pattern and accompanying spreadsheet from Payhip

Posted on Leave a comment

Temperature Pi Blanket – February Update

Good progress has been made this month, and it has been interesting to see the temperature variability. We had a week of really cold days, when the temperature rarely rose above zero, followed by almost balmy days of 10 – 13 degrees Celsius to close out the month.

The old name for February, in some parts of England, was Filldyke, and we can certainly get a lot of rain. This year, we had snow and ice instead, which of course fills dykes and ditches when it thaws! The soil is waterlogged, although a good few days of wind and sun have dried out the surface.

The left photo above shows the blanket so far, both January and February. The right photo shows an interesting section of February, 15th to 19th; the temperature stayed within the same band, dark blue 6 – 10 degrees, but the Kidsilk Haze modulates each day – overcast, overcast, sun, rain, wind – in a pleasing way so that no two days look alike.

I am now up to day 59, and have 288 stitches on the needle, and the blanket is approximately 48 cm in diameter. I really like how the colours move and fluctuate, and the Kidsilk Haze gives a lovely halo of warmth and comfort.

It’s not too late to join in and knit your own Temperature Pi Blanket. You can download the pattern and accompanying spreadsheet from Payhip

Posted on Leave a comment

top five favourite knitting related blogs

I am a follower of quite a few blogs. These are my top five favourites at the moment, in no particular order.

Donna Druchunas
Donna designs the most wonderful shawls, lacy tops, and stranded colourwork socks and mittens inspired by Lithuanian and Estonian traditional patterns. On her blog she writes about knitting, designing, and living in Vermont. Her patterns can be found in Ravelry, and in books, such as Arctic Lace and Ethnic Knitting Discovery.

Kate Davies
I love Kate Davies’ stranded designs and I love her blog. She is so open and honest, reading it you feel like you are sitting chatting to a friend over a cup of coffee! I have knitted her Rams and Yowes blanket, her Peerie Flooers beanie, and her Northmavine Hap – the most wonderful rippling colourful interpretation of the traditional Shetland Old Shale pattern.  She has published many patterns on Ravelry and in book form. I particularly like The Colours of Shetland which has some brilliant colourwork designs, including the aforementioned Hap.

image

Being Knitterly
Nikki Merrell is a knitwear designer and writes a very interesting, if rather sporadic, blog featuring articles on techniques.  I am particularly fascinated by her dissection and analysis of how a knitted fabric is constructed,  and what actually happens when we knit a stitch. She is also very inclusive, giving instruction for both right and left handed knitters and for those who knit in the Continental style, not just for English style knitters.

Attic24
Attic24 must be one of the most visited craft blogs on the internet; Lucy has thousands of followers worldwide, and rightly so. She writes about her love of the Yorkshire Dales, her caravan, spring flowers, decorating, her family; but above all of those she writes about her love of crochet and of colour. And her crochet is really colourful! It leaps off the page, it’s vibrant,  joyous, ecstatic. I love it. In fact, it was finding Attic24 some years ago that rekindled in me my dormant love of yarn and got me back into full time crafting.

image

She writes clear photo tutorials of her designs, which are free, and which include the Summer Garden granny square blanket above – my interpretation in a more subdued palette!

Peacefully Knitting
Tina at Peacefully Knitting produces a regular blog full of insight and information about yarn and knitting. I always look forward to getting the email saying she has written another post.