With a new year, comes a new rush of project energy. It’s the time of year I feel like I can commit to allll the daily projects, or at least two of them. One I’ve barely mentioned even to my main craft chat, for fear of spooking my brain, and having said brain convince me it’s a bad idea. (Clearly I’ve been reading too much Douglas Adams over the holidays, to think it’s completely reasonable to refer to my brain as an entity seperate to myself!). The other, I accidentally fell into, in the best possible way.
Like most of my accidental projects, it started with a lazy insta scroll. Joy, a friend from back in the day when forums were a thing and we all had toddlers and an addiction to quilting, posted her plans for a temperature cross stitch project, and shared a range of options she was considering. Ten screenshots later, I was just a girl, standing in front of the group chat, asking them to help her make a decision.
And so a decision was made. I kept coming back to one pattern, and then AJ said she’d join me. Car said she could be convinced. I popped back over to insta to let Joy know what we were thinking, and just like that…a quilt group reunion chat thread was born. Four quickly became five, then seven, as the project whipped through our insta feed and reached more of our old group. Some of my fabulous insta followers decided to join in as well. The #EBstitches2023 stitch along has taken on a life of it’s own, and with it, brought a whole new energy to my 2023 crafting.
There’s crafting, and rainbows, which, it goes without saying, are fabulous. But there’s also the bigger picture – sharing a project with my daily chat friends, objectively one of my favourite ways to craft, is a big draw, but so to is the chance to craft alongside our other friends for the first time in literally years. I think possibly Beetle’s quilt was the last big group project, one that everyone in the 2023 group contributed to. We’ve kept in touch to varying degrees, whether it be by insta, or the occasional face to face catch up, and it’s so wonderful to be coming back together. I hold fond memories of daily chat threads and everyone blogging and bees and round robins and swaps; it’s nice to bring a current day twist to that. If you feel inclined to join us, be sure to tag me on instagram (@barefootcrafter) so I can follow along too!
There were a lot of options kicking around, early on, before we decided this would be a group project. In the end, the simplicity of the squares, and the small commitment of each day won me over, and everyone tumbled down the rabbit hole along with me, and it took on a life of its own. The pattern we are using is Mini Motifs by Zahra Design Studio** on Etsy.
THE RULES (of my own imposition)
Each day is a single colour, so I will be recording the maximum temperature for each day. Last time I recorded both maximum & minimum (and altered the ratio of knots of each to show the changing length of day!). One single temperature to mark each day seems rather easy after that! If I’m home, I will be using the temperature recorded by our weather station – our property can be up to three degrees different to the official temperature recorded by the BOM. If I’m not home to track our maximum, or if I need to play catch up and don’t have the data to hand, I will use the recorded top. I’m also reserving the right to use the “feels like” temperature in the depths of winter, where the wind coming off the snow further up the tablelands can drop the apparent temperature by up to eight degrees or more. It’s going to be hard to stitch up the chart if I’m freezing my toes off! We’ll see how I feel in July, for that one. This year will be our first winter in our new house, all going to play, so I mightn’t feel it too bad and will stitch to official temperatures.
With a few of us joining in, we tried to get similar colours in a similar range so we can more easily compare our projects and our local climates. Joy downloaded our data and threw it in a spreadsheet for us, and also provided a colour grid so we could see what 2022 would have looked like. From there we were able to tweak our own ranges to suit our preferences and also to apply local knowledge – for me, 2022 was an unusually cool year. We didn’t have a single day register an official maximum over 34, which is rather uncommon. When I last did a temperature project, in 2019, it was the opposite, and my piece is filled with red, and even into winter, skews into the warmer tones. In the end, the range I decided on was:
|More than||Less Than||DMC Floss Colour|
Our over 39.5 degree days are maybe a week in February, in a normal season. While we can go as high as 44, it wasn’t worth it to me to break down those super high temps any further. Likewise, in winter, we don’t get super cold during the day, as a rule. Last winter, in what was considered a reasonably cold year, we only had 5 days with a maximum lower than 12 degrees. A catch-all category for those temperatures also make sense.
Last time I did a project like this, I used a known starting point for picking my colours and developing my range – the children’s Grimms Rainbow, which took pride of place in our school room filled with beautiful wooden rainbow toys. I saw it every day, and it worked well for me as a jumping off point. You can see those floss colours there and the temperature ranges I used in 2019 in this post here. It’s actually really fun to me, how similar many of my choices are, even without planning to. Clearly I have a narrow colour story when choosing project options!
THE STATE OF PLAY ON DAY FOUR
I only had cheap BigW Aida on hand, and for a year long project, I wanted something soft and enjoyable to use. Knowing it would leave me behind the 8 ball to start, I jumped online and ordered some of my favourite from Itchy Stitchy. Normally, I prefer linen for my cross-stitch substrate, but the point of this project is to keep it simple, and the colour at the end will be the focus, the fabric fading into the background, not really forming part of the design. Aida means I’m less likely to miscount. Less thinking means I’m less likely to give up. And so, I stalk the postie, waiting (impatiently) for my fabric to arrive. I’m logging my temperatures in my phone’s Notes app each day. I’m planning a million different add on projects to keep me occupied in the meantime, as well as powering through the last gnome, trying to get it finished before Epiphany in just two short days. I have fabric washed to cut into trousers, and another into a skirt. There’s also a couple of Christmas presents I need to finish to catch todays post. Maybe I’ll chuck an audiobook on, pull out the sewing machine, and distract myself from what’s promising to be our hottest day since 2021 with a finish or two.
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4 thoughts on “weather report”
I think your colour range is great. I’ll see what I have in my stash. I’ll also be calling in at Spotlight tomorrow for some Aida. It will have to do because I’m already behind. 😊
I haven’t tried Spotlight’s Aida before! If they stock Zweigart, get that, it’s really lovely to use
I did get the Zweigart! I’m a week behind but starting today. 😀
I’m still waiting on mine to arrive!!