Posted by: christinelaennec | January 14, 2015

Hebridean Average Temperatures Scarf

I recently finished a project that gave me great joy for months.  In August, I found Kristen Cooper’s “My Year in Temperatures – Scarf” pattern.  (I hope this Ravelry link will work for you!).  The original pattern is for a long, Dr. Who-like, scarf, with one stripe for the high temperature each day.  Thinking of a friend of mine from the Outer Hebrides who is a bit of a weather buff, I decided to make the scarf have one stripe per week, and the stripes running lengthwise:

Hebridean Average Temperatures Scarf for 2014.  January 2015.

Hebridean Average Temperatures Scarf for 2014. January 2015.

Hebridean Average Temperatures Scarf for 2014.  January 2015.

Hebridean Average Temperatures Scarf for 2014. January 2015.

Because the Outer Hebrides don’t experience such a wide range of temperatures as, for example, many places in North America, I realised that if I just used the colours of the official weather records, my scarf would only have about five different colours at the most.  So  I made up my own colour key, working in Fahrenheit:

My own colour coding.

My own colour coding.

The weekly high temperature range for 2014 was in fact between 43F and 64F, with one scorcher of a week in July when the average high reached 72F!  You can see the red stripe that corresponds to that week near the middle of the scarf.  It was a lot of fun to work out the average high temperatures for each week of the year so far, and from that the corresponding colour.  I used leftover Shetland wools (Jamieson & Smith 2-ply and Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift) and bought a few balls of wool where I thought I would need more.

Charting the average high temperatures for each week in 2014, in Fahrenheit.

Charting the average high temperatures for each week in 2014, in Fahrenheit.

I was really happy with the colour pattern that emerged.  Once I had knit all the weeks up to the present moment (in September sometime I think), I enjoyed finding out what the average high temperature was at the end of each week.  On New Year’s Day, my very first thought was:  “Ooh I can look up the high temperature yesterday, and find out what colour the final stripe will be!” (Atlantic, appropriately)

I’m hoping that my friend enjoys the scarf.  I sent it with accompanying paperwork, and a note saying, “No-one else will have one like it!”  I had such fun making it that I may do another such project in the future.  If I do one based on the weather records in the Hebrides, doing an Average Max Wind Speed scarf might be interesting!  The storms and gales there have continued to be very damaging, as you can see in this post from the Barefoot Crofter.  Friends of ours were without power for several days – not easy.  At least the phone land lines held up, and of course I hear there was tremendous community spirit on the islands.

The weather can be a trial, but for this project, it provided me with a lot of fun as well.



  1. That is absolutely magnificent. What a treasure of a scarf. Not only is it a beautiful thing in itself, but so interesting with the associated paperwork.

  2. I love this ides and your scarf! Your Ravelry link worked, and I added your project to my favorites. 🙂 Best wishes.

  3. What a great idea. My husband is a weather fanatic so might have to have to give this one a try. Looks a lot of fun too:)

  4. This is such an amazing scarf with a story to go along. I’m amazed at your precise record keeping and all the hours you put into this fabulous project. I’m sure it was a enjoyable project.

  5. Ohhhh, what a clever little project! The final result is so lovely – your friend must have been delighted.

  6. What a great gift and so thoughtful with all the paperwork to go with it. I too have been watching the forecast and reports from the Hebrides the winds are certainly causing havoc. Hope the Dafter is on the mend.

  7. I’m shocked! But what that demonstrates is how little I know you ( apparently just reading a person’s blog doesn’t tell you everything about the person 🙂 )
    What surprises me is that although I knew you were ‘academic’, in a number of senses, I didn’t realize that you had the sort of quantitative inclination that this project demonstrates. And what a wonderful gift this is! That scarf would be so special to the recipient for all the thought and care that you have put into it.

  8. That is totally brilliant! I love the idea of stripes going vertically. And the colours are beautiful.
    I hope your weather is not too dreadful. It’s cold and wet and windy here, but the snow hasn’t arrived yet.

  9. Thank you all for your enthusiastic comments! My friend sent me a thank-you card, saying it was “a great deal of work”. I did my best to explain that it was, in fact, a great deal of fun and no work.

    oldblack, your comment gave me a good laugh. I was always hopeless at maths and science, as taught in school and university (had to do some there as well – good old broad US curriculum). I know I was a real trial, if not cause for despair, of some of my long-suffering teachers. However, I find that in knitting and sewing, probably because I have a real reason for doing them, calculations are no problem for me (with the help of a calculator). Until your comment, I had never really thought about how much “quantitative inclination” knitting involves. If you saw my scribblings and calculations for earlier projects, you might have been surprised as well. I have often redrafted knitting patterns for a different gauge, which can involve quite a lot of arithmetic especially for curves. But because I consider what I’m doing to be knitting rather than math, I just sail on merrily!

  10. Love it!xxxxx

  11. What fun!!!! I love projects like that…..

  12. This is beautiful, what a great idea!

  13. I absolutely love that project – the planning & calculations involved appeal even more than the knitting of it! I can’t quite believe you gave it away (well, I can, because I know what it’s like to knit with a friend in mind) but I would absolutely love to have one of these!! Wow! Congrats!!

  14. Thanks everyone! Fifona, you could start one for 2015 for where you live!

    • Yes, Christine, I could, but I suspect Aberdeen temps are even less extreme than those in the Western Isles!

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