I’ve done annual challenges in the past. I’ve kept track of the color of the sky, how many pies I baked, the number of books I read, and Great British Bake Off recipes I tried, both successes and failures. But I have never been able to keep track of the temperature every day for a whole year.
“Why would you want to?” you might be asking.
I wanted to keep track to I could make a temperature blanket. Temperature blankets are a thing. You divide temperatures up into bands, assign a color of yarn or fabric to each band, and then work away at it for a year. At the end, you have a record of the daily temperature in your area. And also a blanket.
I’ve tried to do temperature blankets in the past. I’ve never been successful, I get to about February or March and then think to myself, “This is the most boring project you’ve ever undertaken. Stop now and reclaim 20 minutes of your day every day.” I’ve always taken that advice, but when December came around, I would see other people’s temperature blankets on social media and think about doing one for the next year.
It’s kind of been an aspirational form of crafting. A someday-my-life-will-be-together-enough (or empty-enough) that taking 20 minutes every day to crochet part of a blanket would be no problem.
My life isn’t together or empty, but 2022 was the year I finally finished my temperature blanket.
(I finished in 2022 if you count February of 2023 as part of 2022. At this point, I’m not going to be picky about actual dates).
I kept up fairly well through October, because I chose a pattern that was interesting, and also manageable—instead of each day taking 20 minutes, this year I made blocks for each week, so even if I got behind, I could do a whole week in about an hour.
It all fell apart in October because that’s when I realized I had committed myself to Christmas knitting and needed to start. So, two sweaters, an afghan, and a pair of socks later I realized that if I actually wanted a complete blanket, I needed to do about 12 more weeks of work.
I seriously thought about letting it go. Or stopping part way through October and just calling it good. But I was so close that I knew I could push through and finish.
So, I did.
And here’s what I’ve learned.
I already knew how to crochet.
I already knew that I liked to keep track of things.
I already knew I was persistent. Stubborn if I’m honest.
I take it back. I did learn something—not everything has to have a lesson or a bigger point. Sometimes I can just do things because I want to. And I can stop doing those things when I don’t want to keep on. I might pick them up again. I might not.
Those previous attempts at temperature blankets weren’t failures. They were what I needed to do at the time. And that’s fine.