If July 2021 was a reasonable approximation of Summer, then August has definitely felt like Autumn. On the very first day there was dew on the early morning grass, huge skeins of wild geese flew over the house several times, and the air felt slightly crisper, that little bit cooler. The shortening days became more overcast, there were even a couple of stormy days, high winds and hurrying clouds, almost unheard of at this time of year. The highest temperature achieved during the month was 25°C, the lowest 15°C, and the colours of the blanket reflect this, being largely mid green with a few days of yellow.
I have now completed days 213 to 243 inclusive, continuing with 1,152 stitches per round. I have worked 177,012 stitches, and the blanket is 40.58% complete (in terms of the number of stitches worked).
July weather has been mixed, to say the least. One week, we had temperatures in the low to mid 30 degrees Celsius, the following week, it struggled to reach 13 Celsius, and Storm Evert hit us hard for 24 hours. We experienced a full week of rainy days, and a full week of baking temperatures and relentless sunshine; on the whole, a bit of a roller-coaster. It is important to point out, that I speak only about Yorkshire in the UK. Canada, the USA, Siberia, Turkey have all suffered devastation from uncontrollable wildfires; and Wales, Belgium, Germany, and much of central Europe had to cope with torrential rainfall and flooding that overwhelmed towns and villages. In the face of such destruction, it seems rather trivial to be writing about a knitting project.
The Temperature Pi Blanket has been cosy to knit under for the last few days after the temperature dropped; during the heatwave week, it was a severe trial; but I managed to keep up with the project and completed the month more or less on time.
I have now completed days 182 to 212 inclusive, continuing with 1,152 stitches per round. I have worked 141,300 stitches, and the blanket is 32.39% complete (in terms of the number of stitches worked). I have now used all but one of the colours on my colour/temperature chart, the dark pink/red for 36 – 40 degrees; I suspect that this year we shall not reach such high temperatures, but August may yet surprise us.
The second Quarter of 2021, shows a steady rise in temperature overall, although there were a few blips along the way, notably May which was cold and wet a lot of the time. The 90-day graph for outdoor temperature looks like this:
The quarter comprises days 91 to 181 inclusive. Of those 91 days, we had:
43 days of predominantly sunny weather
28 days of overcast skies
15 days of rain
2 days of snow
2 days of storm
1 day of high winds
[I define stormy days as a combination of high winds and lashing precipitation (either rain or snow).]
The 43 days of sun are no surprise, but only 15 days of rain in 91 days overall is not much. There was no rain in April, just 2 days of snow, but May more than made up for it with 12 days of rain (plus light showers on other days). April had one day of high winds, and May had 2 days of storm, but otherwise the period has been very calm. The rain in May caused everything – fruit, vegetables, grass, and weeds – to flourish, and we benefited in June with good crops of strawberries, currant bushes heavy with ripening fruit, and peas and beans setting lots of pods.
None of the data is particularly surprising; the move of the rainy season from April to May has been happening gradually for a number of years. And I would not expect us to be having storms or high winds at this time of year, they usually happen in late September and October. All in all, a calm period of mostly sunny skies.
June has been summery . . . sort of. We have had lots of sun here in West Yorkshire, but also lots of cloud, several days of rain, and the temperatures, whilst warm on the whole, have been a little up and down. On the 25th, it was so cold we resorted to extra layers and woolly socks to keep warm!
With the warmth and the wet has come a burgeoning of growth in the garden, the weeds are growing very well, but so are the fruit and vegetables. We are having a bumper crop of strawberries this year, the blackcurrants and redcurrants are heavy with fruit, and the apples are all looking healthy.
We have also delighted in watching the moorhens raise their first brood of chicks – originally 7, but now only 5. They have rapidly progressed from black pompoms on legs to smaller paler copies of their parents, with flicking tails but as yet no red and yellow on their beaks. The parent moorhens were obviously so pleased with their success that they built another nest and have just hatched a second brood of 5 chicks.
The Temperature Pi blanket is now at half its expected diameter. It is already a good size for a couple of people to snuggle under on a cold winter’s day. Working on it in the summer heat is challenging! There are lots of rounds of yellow, a few days of orange, and some dark green, witnesses to the fluctuating temperatures, which have been quite low for this time of year. The Doulton Border Leicester yarn continues to be a delight to work with. It is bouncy, soft, and light in the hand, the colours have good depth, and the blanket drapes beautifully. In addition to this blanket, I have used it in designing two shawls, and the results are excellent.
I have now completed days 152 to 181 inclusive, continuing with 1,152 stitches per round. I have worked 105,588 stitches, and the blanket is 24.21% complete (in terms of the number of stitches worked).
May was wet. Wet and cold. Miserable. If it wasn’t raining, it was cloudy and dull, and cold – did I mention cold? And then, in the last few days of the month, the sun came out, and suddenly there was the merest hint that summer might actually happen this year!
You can see how cold it has been in the image below evidenced in the bands of dark blue, and the paler blue haze shows the rain on warmer days. The last three days were a lovely change, with yellow denoting the warmth of the promise of summer.
I have now completed days 121 to 151 inclusive, increasing the number of stitches to 1,152 per round . I have now worked 71,028 stitches, and the blanket is 16.28% complete. This is going to be big!
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!
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 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.
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.
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.
I started my 2021 Temperature Pi Blanket project a little late, because I was waiting on delivery of several of the yarns, but I made sure I had recorded temperature and weather each day on my spreadsheet so that, once I had them, I could steam ahead. January represents relatively short rounds and several rounds could be knit in a day, so there was no problem in keeping up with events.
The weather here in January can be very variable; we can be buried in snow or deluged with rain. 2021 started quite mild, and although the overnight temperature dipped below zero Celsius once or twice, the maximum temperature hovered mostly around 4 or 5 degrees Celsius. We had some snow, and the first storm of the year, Storm Christoph, but also several days when it was sunny but cold. As the month drew to its close, it became milder but also wetter with odd flurries of snow, and then the last two days were very frosty and cold.
I have completed 31 rounds, beginning with 9 stitches per round, and have now reached 144 stitches per round. It will be interesting to see what February will throw at us!