04 January 2024

Temperature Project Lessons

One of my fundamental teachers of 2023 was my collection of temperature projects: the digital charm square mockup, the crochet project, and the wide assortment of digital temperature quilts I started the year with vs. the four digital temperature quilts I finished.

I learned if I don't like a color in a daily project, I'm not likely to finish the project. I learned using colors I adore makes it easier for me to finish the year. However, hot summer temperatures can make me dislike a color I love, not because the color doesn't go beautifully in the project, but because it symbolizes sweating and discomfort. I just don't like hot weather! I guess I should live further north!!! Or in Gunnison...

(affiliate links to my designs)

I learned I don't necessarily want to use up ALL my hand-dyed crochet thread, particularly hard-to-acheive colors.

I learned I like digital temperature projects better than fiber projects because they are easier to catch up on when something, such as a pinched nerve in my back or an extended family medical emergency, keeps me from my daily goals.

I learned I do not like catching up more than about five days on a daily crochet project. Especially when my back is not cooperating.

I learned I like gradient color charts better than rainbow color charts.

I wound up liking two of the new (to me) digital projects I designed myself so much, my creative juices began percolating again at the end of the summer. Could I do it again? Could I come up with two more original projects???

I came up with two brand new potential schemes for 2024's digital temperature projects. I learned that new daily challenges get me excited when current projects become boring (thanks to a string of solid high 90s).

Especially when new ideas involve photography!!!

I was fascinated to discover I could design 12 new snowflakes based on my 2023 crochet temperature project motif. I mistakenly thought I'd designed 13, and 13 has always has been my lucky number. Perhaps I will have to design one more... In the meantime, I created a snowflake frame you may download for personal use. Merry belated Christmas!

My 2023 crochet temperature project (or, rather, the snowflakes I designed based on the project motif) forced me to perfect my foundation crochet. This newfound crochet strength has left me extremely satisfied, excited, proud and giddy.

Of course, those of you who have been following along know I questioned finishing the December portion of my 2023 temperature crochet project, due to work demands and then health challenges. Now that work is taking a deep breath and counting to ten and Lizard's most recent health crisis is beginning to heal, I'm catching up and adding in those final two rows. No more doubt!!!

I literally rang in the new year while Lizard peacefully slept (for the first time in at least three weeks) by catching up the 19 days I'd lost. I still have to finish that final row, so 12 more days (which the forecast says will include a lot of my favorite blue hand-dyed threads!), and I'll be done.

Because the end of the year was so difficult to keep going and because I've started new digital temperature projects for 2024, I've decided not to create a new crochet temperature project for this year. I ruled out doing a 10-month temperature quilt or afghan because November and December can be the prettiest months of a temperature project. I have considered doing perhaps a month-long crochet project or perhaps even a crochet temperature snake. I suppose I could even do a temperature lizard...

Although I'm not doing another motif crochet temperature project in 2024, I learned from working on this project I can set a motif-a-day goal for one of my favorite motif WIPs and perhaps finish one of those in the next few months. It would be awesome if I could finish two this year. Three would be a real bonus.

For now, my 2023 digital snowflake temperature quilt is one of my most favorite creations of all time. (It should be complete on January 14.) Even though it is digital, it still took a lot of time, a commitment every single day, and a complete redo of January and February when I discovered my digital snowflakes would not print white via Spoonflower the way I was then doing them. I really would love to create a fiber version of this quilt one day, and I think that would be the creative capstone of my life. However, my 2023 crochet temperature project has taught me I cannot commit to such a crochet/quilt endeavor until I retire. And even then, caregiving takes precedence. Perhaps the fiber version of this work of art will live its life in my head. That's not such a bad thing...

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