Tag Archives: granny squares

Join our Crochet Along: 2021 Temperature Blanket

Join us for the ultimate CAL (crochet along)! We’ll join crochet designer Toni Lipsey through 2021 in making her Bias Granny Temperature Blanket! What is a temperature blanket? It is a way of documenting the temperature throughout a given year.

A top-down view of a hand holding a crochet hook against a partially-completed crocheted temperature blanket in orange, rust, and gold tones.

1. Get the pattern:

About the Bias Granny Temperature Blanket

Document your year in color when you make the Bias Granny Temperature Blanket. This temperature blanket chronicles the temperature for each day of the year using one of three carefully curated palettes in Swish Worsted yarn. Each granny square is joined as you go for a comfy, oversized throw blanket. Adjust the colors and temperature gauge to fit your local weather range. By New Year’s Eve, your new favorite blanket will be complete, complete with 365 happy memories.

Get the pattern here: Bias Granny Temperature Blanket

2. Choose Your Yarn & Color Palette:

Toni designed this blanket for use with Swish Worsted, and has put together 3 color palettes using that yarn (see below), but you are also free to create your own color palette!

Get the 2021 Temperature Blanket Kits at 20% off!

If you want to create your own color palette, we will provide tips and tricks for that in a future blog post, or check out the WeCrochet Podcast episode 12: Show Your True Colors, in which we talk about how to choose colors for your project, and Toni Lipsey gives tips on how she chooses her wonderful color palettes.

Toni’s Swish Worsted Palettes

If you like, pick one of Toni’s 3 suggested color palettes in Swish Worsted:

A yarn color palette called "rainbow bright" featuring a range of rainbow colors in Swish Worsted yarn.
A yarn color palette called "Warm Tropics" featuring a range of warm colors in Swish Worsted yarn.
A yarn color palette called "Cool Coastline" featuring a range of cool colors in Swish Worsted yarn.

3. Create a Temperature Gauge

Use this temperature gauge to assign a color to a temperature range that works for your location (for example 31-38 degrees is assigned the Dove Heather colorway). Each day throughout the year, you’ll make a small granny square motif in the color to match the high temperature each day. At the end of the year, all the squares will be joined together to create a blanket documenting the year.

Here’s a gauge you can save to fill out:

Toni has made temperature blankets for a few years now, and we can’t wait to join her with this project in 2021! It’s a great reason to find time to crochet every day, and each person’s blanket will be unique to them! Be sure to share your progress with #WeCrochetTempBlanket2021!

How to Join the Crochet Along:

To participate in the 2021 Temperature Blanket Crochet Along, join and post here:

CAL Timeline:

You have the whole year to do this one!

This graphic is a list of the timeline for this CAL. Text for the timeline is shared below this image.

December 1: Pick one of Toni’s color palettes. We have kits available on crochet.com or check out the color offerings in Swish Worsted and create a color palette of your own.

December 7: Order your yarn! Be sure to get your order in before the end of the year, so you’ll be ready to start crocheting on January 1!

December 14: Look over the pattern and work up a practice granny square.

December 21: Assign your color palette to temperature ranges for your area. Pro tip: if you live in a climate where the temperature doesn’t fluctuate very much, assign a smaller temperature range so you can still use all the colors throughout the year!

January 1: Begin! Start making granny squares to match the daily temperature and keep it up as the year progresses!

February 1: First check-in! Share pictures of the squares you’ve made so far on social media with #WeCrochetTempBlanket2021

June 1: Second check-in! Share more photos and admire how everyone’s colors have started as the seasons change.

November 1: Last check-in! Share more photos of your progress. See the colors start to change again.

December 31: Finish up and share your photos! Use this day to join all your motifs together and finish up the crochet border. Be sure to share your photos so we can see your year’s worth of work and start getting ready for the temp blanket of 2022!

Watch Toni’s Join As You Go Tutorial:

Ashley Lee Zhong of Snapdragon Brand, Master of Granny Style
An image of Ashley Zhong wearing a colorful coat she made out of old crocheted afghans. Text that says: "Meet Ashley Zhong of Snapdragon Brand, and master of Granny Style."

From bespoke sweaters made from upcycled vintage afghans, to leggings and tops featuring colorful printed granny squares, Ashley Zhong’s Snapdragon Brand is a celebration of crochet. Self-described as a “friendly weirdo” and “obsessive thrifter,” Zhong’s style is exuberant, kitschy, and delightful.

Ashley stands in front of a granny square afghan backdrop, wearing glasses with granny squares on the lenses, and a granny square printed top.

You often use reclaimed vintage crocheted items in your designs. How did you get started in this direction?

I started by restoring some of the wonderful vintage afghans I found at thrift stores. I would buy them in any condition if I liked their style, sometimes with gaping holes, sometimes with rows and rows unraveled. I would sew them back up, hand-remove all the pills, and just enjoy the process of that. Even as a child I was really interested in the idea that they were handmade and from another time, so the process of restoring them was just another way of respecting and appreciating that tradition. 

Related: Learn how to turn an afghan into a coat

– Ashley zhong on The Hook nook life

I fell so in love with the pieces I’d been collecting that I decided I wanted to wear them because I felt like it was the best way to enjoy their colors and ensure their frequent use. 

Ashley Zhong models one of her crochet blanket upcycled garments, the Softglow Granny Duster. It's made of an old cream-colored granny square afghan and has large sleeves.
Softglow Granny Duster by Snapdragon Brand

How did you learn how to upcycle premade crochet work?

There are endless patterns for making crocheted garments, but very few tutorials for upcycling existing crochet, so I experimented to develop my own system and style. 

It is very important to me to use as much of the original afghan as possible and cut as little as possible. By wholly embracing the natural assets of each afghan, I feel like I’m making myself a part of the evolution of the piece, working side by side with the original maker to create something new. The original afghan dictates the new design and that often leads to some rather avant-garde results. If I am working with an afghan made of 12 inch squares, the sleeves will be long and wide, the body and lapels will be oversized and the whole effect will be pleasingly dramatic. 

The Rochester Coat is a long vest Ashley designed featuring the buildings of Rochester crocheted on the back of it.
The Rochester Coat by Ashley Zhong: The Rochester Coat is a long vest Ashley designed featuring the buildings of Rochester crocheted on the back of it.

What has been the most surprising thing about working with crochet?

I am constantly surprised by the absolute freedom of crochet. There are absolutely no rules to crochet. You can use any color, material, stitch or technique to make any item imaginable in this world. The only limits on the craft are the limits you put on yourself. Experiment regularly and embrace those things you’ve made that didn’t quite turn out how you wanted—you surely learned something in the process and that has value in itself. 

An office wall is covered with vintage afghans
We are jealous of Ashley’s office, which is covered in crochet afghans. 😍 Learn more at her blog post: Maker Full Time Part 2.

Buy her designs: snapdragonbrand.com

Learn How:

How to make a vintage granny square afghan into a cardigan

How to give your sunglasses a crochet makeover

WeCrochet Magazine cover - Issue 1

This article was originally printed in Issue 1 of WeCrochet Magazine.