Blog

  • My Temperature Blanket Recipe [Free Crochet Pattern]

    Please note this post contains Amazon affiliate links. See the bottom of post for full disclosure.

    I have been getting a lot of interest on my half-finished Temperature Blanket from 2020 (I promise to finish it this year, wink wink). So I thought I would answer all the questions and give my basic recipe for how I am making one. When I finish my blanket, I will update this post with a full pattern, but this will definitely get you started! I’m going to walk you through my process for picking colors, creating a temperature range, and helpful tips for making your own Temperature Blanket.

    One of the biggest factors to a successful Temperature Blanket is to pick colors you like. It does not have to be rainbow colors. However, make sure to choose a yarn that won’t be discontinued any time soon and comes in a wide range of colors. For my first blanket, I picked Knit Picks/We Crochet Brava Worsted yarn. It’s an affordable yarn that I’ve used before and enjoy working with, plus it comes in so many different colors. You’ll want to pick about 10 or more different colors, depending on the temperature range you want to create. Obviously the more colors you have, the more colorful and nuanced your blanket will be. Also make sure to add in a neutral color, like cream, gray, or black, to use as a Monthly Marker.

    The next thing you want to do is decide whether you want to record the high temps or the low temps for each day. For my blanket, I choose to focus on the high temps. It’s also important to create your own temperature range based on your local area, since some places don’t range in temperature as much as other places, or your temps may be more extreme (hot or cold) than other parts of the world. For example, I live in Arizona where it doesn’t really get below 50 degrees Fahrenheit for the high during the winter and the summer can be as high as 120 degrees Fahrenheit!

    Make a list of the colors you have and then divide up your temperature range amongst the colors. For my range, I did a 5 degree gap, since I wanted to make sure my blanket had a lot of colorful nuance. Here’s my Temperature range as an example:

    Mesa, Arizona Temperature Range

    • 115 and Above: Dove Heather
    • 110-114: Caution
    • 105-109: Seashell
    • 100-104: Rouge
    • 95-99: Cotton Candy
    • 90-94: Blush
    • 85-89: Seraphim
    • 80-84: Lady Slipper
    • 75-79: Freesia
    • 70-74: Tranquil
    • 60-69: Tidepool
    • 59 and Below: Hunter
    • Monthly Marker: Cream

    Another important factor to a successful temperature blanket is to not make it in one big row-a-day block, because 365+ rows makes for a way too long blanket. It’s better to break it down into panels or squares so that your blanket will come out to a more manageable size. This also means less work each day/week since you’re only working on a portion of the blanket at a time. For mine, I decided to do two panels. It works out almost exactly even to split it into the first half of the year and the second half of the year, including a starting row and the 12 monthly markers.

    The great thing about modern technology is that you can always access temperatures online. This is helpful for working on your blanket once a week or once a month, instead of trying to keep up daily if you’re like me and can’t commit to a daily year-long project. It also makes it easier to catch up should you fall behind, since you can always look up and record your temperatures for past dates. It also means you don’t necessarily have to do a temperature blanket for your current year! Pick a special year (like the year you were born or your child was born or you got married, etc) to help commemorate a milestone year you want to remember. I did go ahead and write down the daily temps in my notebook (or you can use a knitting project notebook like this) so I could cross them off as I worked that row and keep track of where I was for when I inevitably abandoned the project and came back to it.

    You’ve got your yarn, you’ve got your temp range, now it’s time to get started! I chose the crochet moss stitch for my blanket, and that will be the pattern I share below. I highly recommend making a gauge swatch with all of your colors in order, so you can see how they will work together, as well as to measure your gauge. Gauge is not essential for this project, but it’s helpful to know you won’t get a blanket that’s too big or too small. Use the instructions below to start your blanket!

    My Temperature Blanket (Crochet)

    • Finished Size: *coming soon*
    • Gauge: 16 sc and 16 rows = 4”/10 cm. Use a gauge tool like this to check your gauge swatch.
    • Hook: US Size H (5 mm) Clover Amour hook
    • Notions: Chibi yarn needle, scissors, tape measure
    • Yarn: Knit Picks/We Crochet Brava Worsted (100% acrylic; 218 yards/100 grams per skein) in 13 colors: 1-2 skeins in each color. See above for example colors. You could also get a couple sampler packs of Brava Worsted where all the colors are picked for you.

    PATTERN: One Panel

    With Monthly Marker color, ch 92 (or an even number, because you’ll want an odd number plus 1 for pattern)

    Row 1: Sc in second ch from hook and each ch across, changing to first temp color in last st. Turn. (91 sc)

    Row 2: Ch 2 (counts as sc and ch-1 sp here and throughout), skip first st, sc in next st, *ch 1, skip next st, sc in next st. Rep from * across, changing to next temp color in the last st (unless you don’t need to change the color because still in the same temp range). Turn. Cut previous color if applicable, leaving at least a 6”/15 cm tail for weaving in later. (46 sc and 45 ch-1 sps)

    Row 3: Ch 2, skip first st, sc in first ch-1 sp, *ch 1, skip next st, sc in next ch-1 sp. Rep from * across to last ch-2 sp from previous Row, sc in last ch-2 sp, changing to next temp color in the last st (unless you don’t need to change the color because still in the same temp range). Turn. Cut previous color if applicable, leaving at least a 6”/15 cm tail for weaving in later. (46 sc and 45 ch-1 sps)

    Repeat Row 3 for each day from January 1 through June 30, adding a Monthly Marker stripe in between each month. If crocheting a leap year, end on a Monthly Marker stripe and fasten off first panel. If crocheting a non-leap year, add one extra color in June before the Monthly Marker stripe and then fasten off. You should have 189 rows.

    Repeat this process for the second panel for July 1 through December 31, adding a Monthly Marker stripe in between each month and ending on a Monthly Marker stripe. You do not need to add an extra row, and you should have 189 rows. Fasten off.

    FINISHING

    Weave in all ends with a yarn needle. I know, this part sucks, but it’s so worth it. Make sure to secure your ends thoroughly and don’t skimp on this part just because there are a lot. Better yet, weave in your ends after each month so it’s not so daunting at the end.

    Joining and Edging: *coming soon*

    Use hashtag #mytemperatureblanket and #kountingsheep when sharing your progress on social media! You can also tag me @kountingsheep on Instagram for a chance to be shared in my Stories. Link your project on Ravelry here.

    Please note this post contains Amazon affiliate links. This means that when you make a purchase through the link, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. All pictures and opinions contained in this post are my own.

  • Change Your Mind Shawl & More

    I keep forgetting that I’m trying to revive my blog and post more regularly. But this pandemic has been a whirlwind the last few months, and I took a designing break to give myself permission to just craft for myself. I also took a detour back into sewing, and I’ve been selling and donating cloth face masks. You can shop for them in my Etsy store here.

    I did break my designing hiatus to release the Change You Mind Shawl pattern and help raise funds to donate to a charity doing the work to fight police brutality in America. 50% of pattern sales through June 30th will be donated to Campaign Zero. If you are interested in learning more about doing the work of dismantling racism in your own life, a good place to start is with these books on Amazon (affiliate links): Me and White Supremacy or How to Be Antiracist. Here is also a helpful list of ways to actively put your words into actions.

    Change Your Mind Shawl was born out of a happy accident because I couldn’t decide on what pattern to create or colors to use. Sometimes momentary indecision can lead to a creative breakthrough. Instead of ripping out my work, I just kept going. It’s rare when I don’t plan out a design beforehand, so it was fun to let the creating happen as I knit. The simple garter stitch makes for a soothing project while the eyelets and color changes add just the right pop of fun.

    Change Your Mind Shawl is an elongated triangle shawl that uses 3 colors of fingering weight that fade from dark to light. The fading sections use rows of eyelets to create both a lace pattern and a shift in colors. This shawl is a great way to use 3 special fingering weight yarns from your stash. And if you change your mind about the colors, you can always make another one! Grab your copy of the pattern on Etsy here.

    The last thing I want to mention is that I have decided to move my pattern testing group over to Slack instead of Ravelry, due to the redesign that has made Ravelry inaccessible for people with certain disabilities, since the design is highly triggering for migraines, eye strain, seizures, and other health concerns. If you would like to join my new tester group, please follow this invite link here. Slack is an app you can download on your phone that allows users to create private work groups and chat threads to collaborate and work together. It’s also easier to upload and share files and photos, as well as receive notifications. If you are interested in testing knit and crochet patterns for me, I would love to have you join and come say hi in the general chatter thread!

    Please note this post contains Amazon affiliate links. This means that I receive a small commission when you shop through the link at no additional cost to you. All opinions and pictures in this post are my own.

  • New Pattern, Free Pattern, Yarn Destash and More!

    So much has been happening in the world right now, and it can be pretty scary for a lot of people. For me, turning to my crafting has been a comfort when my anxiety is heightened. That’s why I have a bunch of yarn related sales and a freebie to share with you today!

    First up is a free pattern! I’m offering my Miss Priss Hat Pattern for free on Ravelry from now until next Thursday, March 26th. This pattern comes in 3 sizes, toddler, child, and adult, and has two embellishment options, flower or bow. Download a free copy of the pattern on Ravelry here!

    Next is a new pattern release, Neurodiversity Shawl! This crochet shawl was created in collaboration with Operation Social Justice set up by GamerCrafting yarns, and the pattern is inspired by my autistic daughter and our neurodiverse family. Through the end of March, 20% of all sales of this pattern will be donated to Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN). You can find more info about the pattern on Ravelry here and Etsy here.

    In addition to a new pattern and a free pattern, all my other self-published patterns are 50% off through the end of March! This is a great opportunity to grab some new patterns to try something new or do some gift crafting or even just make a special big project, like a blanket, for yourself. Use code spreadkindness at checkout on Ravelry here. Discount automatically applied on Etsy for all patterns here. *Please note that the Neurodiversity Shawl donation will be based on the original price, not sale price. So you get a discount while still helping a great cause!

    And finally, I’m have a huge yarn destash on Ravelry! I’m running out of space to store yarn, so these yarn babies need to find new homes! Expand your stash for a deeply discounted price while helping relieve my stash. Also, all yarn orders over $35 get automatic free US domestic shipping. Shop the destash sale here.

    However you choose to spend your unexpected downtime or isolation right now, I hope that you and your family are safe and healthy. It’s my hope that by spreading a little bit of kindness that we can bring a little glimmer of light and hope during this dark time. Happy Friday and happy crafting!

    PS>I also wanted to mention that if yarn and patterns aren’t your thing, you can support my work directly by buying me a virtual “coffee” on Ko-Fi here. Every little bit helps my family get through this difficult time right now, and I appreciate all types of support!

  • First New Pattern of 2020!

    ***Post updated with new pictures August 2020*** It’s been awhile since I’ve posted on the blog here, but I’m happy to be back today to announce my first new pattern of the decade: Baby Fade Blanket!

    This fun crochet pattern uses 3 colors of yarn to create a “fade,” moving from lightest to darkest. This pattern also works great with 3 different colors of yarn for a color blocking effect. I’ve been having so much fun mixing and matching shades of colors that I’m already almost finished with my third blanket!

    Do you have patterns that you return to over and over again, especially when needing a last minute gift? Well I can tell that’s what the Baby Fade Blanket pattern is going to be like for me. The easy, repetitive stitches make for great mindless crocheting (or maybe even meditative) at home or on the go.

    Also side note, I had my third baby last November. He makes the cutest little blanket model. With two older sisters, he’s going to get used to pink; however, I made a green version just for him.

    Grab your copy of the Baby Fade Blanket today! Available on Etsy here and Ravelry here. Check out the Ravelry page for a special coupon code available for release weekend only.

  • Simon Says Stashbuster [Free Knitting Pattern]
    Please note this post contains affiliate links. As I was getting ready to release my newest pattern, I realized that I don’t currently have any free knitting patterns on my blog. So in an effort to provide some free pattern options for my knitting friends, I decided that the Simon Says Stashbuster will be the first free knitting pattern! As with all my free patterns, you can find an ad-free downloadable pdf version on Ravelry and Etsy for a low cost if you prefer your patterns that way as well. Download Simon Says Stashbuster on Ravelry here or Etsy here. Simon says grab your scrap yarn. Simon says grab your knitting needles. Simon Says Stashbuster! The Simon Says Stashbuster is the second pattern in the Fun & Games Collection for Summer 2019. This fun throw pattern is a great way to use up lots of worsted weight yarn, since knitted blocks are made using two strands of different colored yarn held double, and then all the squares are seamed together. The pattern includes four different patterned, textured squares that use just knit and purl stitches. Beginning knitters just starting out will find this pattern an easy way to try new stitches; advanced knitters will find this a quick way to use up lots of stash. Whatever your skill level, will you play Simon Says Stashbuster? For other patterns in the Fun and Games Collection, click here. For a beginner book on learning to knit, click here. Or check out this learn to knit kit here. Simon Says Stashbuster Size: 43”/109 cm wide by 60”/152 cm long Gauge: 9 sts and 16 rows in garter st = 4″/10 cm (gauge not essential for this project) Needles:
    • US size 11 (8.00 mm) straight or circular (long circular is needed for the Edging)
    • My favorite Boye circular interchangeable set on Amazon here.
    Yarn:
    • Scrap Worsted weight yarn in colors of choice: approximately 2100 yards/1920 meters; 40 oz/1134 grams
    • Examples of yarn brands used in pictured blanket: Red Heart With Love, Red Heart Soft, Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice, Hobby Libby Crafter’s Secret, Hobby Lobby I Love This Yarn, Loops & Threads Impeccable
    Notions: Notes: You will need to make 12 Blocks to match the pattern measurements. Each Block should measure about 13″/ 33 cm by 14″/ 36 cm. If you end up making more Blocks for a bigger blanket, please note that you may need more yarn than suggested. Yarn is held double for each Block, and two different colors are used to create the variegated effect. This is a fun way to play with different color mixing, or you can keep it simple and use just a few colors. When using scrap yarn, try to use the same weight yarn throughout the blanket for consistency. The arrangement of the Blocks for seaming isn’t important as long as you have 3 Blocks across and 4 Blocks tall. For the pictured blanket, I made sure not to have the same pattern Blocks touching each other, but you can arrange your Blocks however you desire. Abbreviations (US Terms):
    • BO – bind off
    • CO – cast on
    • K – knit
    • P – purl
    • PU – pick up
    • Rep – repeat
    • RS – right side
    • st, sts – stitches
    • WS – wrong side
    Seaming methods tutorial here. Picking up stitches tutorial here. Pattern Block 1: Garter St (Make 3)

    With 2 strands of yarn held together, CO 30 sts

    Row 1 (RS): K all sts

    Row 2 (WS): K all sts

    Rows 3-56: Rep Rows 1-2 (28 garter ridges on the RS)

    BO all sts in K st

    Block 2: Seed St (Make 3)

    With 2 strands of yarn held together, CO 29 sts

    Row 1 (RS): *K 1, P 1. Rep from * across to last st, K in last st

    Rows 2-52: Rep Row 1 (K the P sts, P the K sts)

    BO all sts in K st

    Block 3: Waffle St (Make 3)

    With 2 strands of yarn held together, CO 31 sts

    Row 1 (RS): *K 1, P 2. Rep from * across to last st, K in last st

    Row 2 (WS): *P 1, K 2. Rep from * across to last st, P in last st

    Row 3: K all sts

    Row 4: P all sts

    Rows 5-50: Rep Rows 1-4, ending on a Row 2 (WS)

    BO all sts in K st

    Block 4: Hurdle St (Make 3)

    With 2 strands of yarn held together, CO 30 sts

    Row 1: K all sts

    Row 2: K all sts

    Row 3: *K 1, P 1. Rep from * across

    Row 4: *K 1, P 1. Rep from * across

    Rows 5-50: Rep Rows 1-4, ending on a Row 2 (WS)

    BO all sts in K st

    Finishing Arrange Blocks as desired in rows of 3 Blocks wide by 4 Blocks tall. Seam Blocks together in rows using a single strand of yarn and a yarn needle, then sew the rows together. You can find a link to a tutorial on the different seaming methods here. For the pictured blanket, I used the whipstitch seaming method. Weave in all ends and continue to EDGING. Edging

    Use long circular needles to work the EDGING. Work one side of the throw at a time, picking up sts evenly along each edge so that it doesn’t bunch (too few) or ruffle (too many). Tutorial link for picking up sts here.

    Row 1 (RS): With 2 strands of yarn held together, PU and K evenly along top edge of the  blanket. Turn.

    Rows 2-8: K all sts. Turn.

    After Row 8, BO all sts with RS facing, but keep last BO st on needle.  Turn throw 90 degrees in preparation to PU sts along the next edge.

    Rep Rows 1-8 for each side of the throw.

    After last edge has been worked, BO final st. Weave in any remaining ends.

    Use hashtag #simonsaysstashbuster to share your projects on Instagram! Add your project on Ravelry here, or download an easy to follow PDF version of the pattern for a low cost. I hope you enjoy this pattern, and happy knitting!

    Pattern for personal use only. Please do NOT distribute copies of this pattern and do NOT sell copies of this pattern. You may sell finished items that you make using this pattern, but you are required to credit the original pattern/designer as follows: “Made using a pattern from Kountingsheep by Jenny Galusha-Luna: http://kountingsheep.com ” Do not use the photos from this pattern to sell your items. Do not copy and paste the pattern from this blog post to create your own pattern document. Downloadable pattern is available for purchase here.

    Copyright 2019. All photos and written content contained in this pattern are the property of Jenny Galusha-Luna

    Please note this post contains affiliate links. This means I receive a small commission when you shop through the link at no additional cost to you. All pictures and opinions contained in this post are my own.