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Someone You Should Know: A Handcrafted Commitment

Sioux Falls woman makes 2020 temperature blanket
Published: Jan. 6, 2021 at 8:16 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Most people probably want to forget the year 2020, but a Sioux Falls woman found a way to make a keepsake that has nothing to do with the pandemic.

Even the coldest days are now keeping Sharron Castle warm and snug.

“I’m making a temperature blanket and what it is, to start a temperature blanket, you need to pick out 10 colors of yarn that you want to use, so you can divide the temperature from 0 to 100. And the way I did it is every 10 degrees is a certain color. So, if today was 20 I’d use that color and if tomorrow gets to be 30, I’d have a different color in there. So you will see, it’s all different colors,” says Sharron.

Stitch after stitch, row after row, through color the blanket tells a story of the temperature outside in Sioux Falls each day of 2020, from January 1 to December 31.

“And then it went into summer and I chose green because the grass is green and tan because of the beach,” Sharron says as she shows the blanket.

Unlike most stories, the end of this one is similar to how it began.

“The colors that I just finished with are the ones that I started with. You can see off of the first month (January) and the last month (December,) the colors are almost the same.”

Sharron worked on the temperature blanket all year long after getting the idea in 2019.

“I had heard about it late in the fall and the closer it got to the end of the year… I thought that would be a good time to start. A friend who had already made one encouraged me to start it so I did, you can knit or crochet,” Sharron explains. She continues, “It’s easy, because it takes me about 20 minutes, so I do my two rows and put it down, sometimes I’m a day behind, but that’s all.”

She would knit two rows for each day. Multiply that by the 366 days we had in 2020 and that’s more than 730 rows.

“That’s why it got to be 8 feet long,” she says.

In order to do all this, she had to keep track of the daily temperature in Sioux Falls all of 2020.

“I always watch the news sometime during the day and when Phil gives us 4 or 5 days in a row, then I jot those down on my little book that I keep. So, get up in the morning, if I’m going to knit then I look and see what temperature it was yesterday, if that’s the day that I’m on, do my two rows then I’m done with that for the day,” Sharron explains.

We started looking up days in her notes, like the extra one we had during the leap year on February 29, an extra warm day, which you might not recall.

“Temperature was 56, color was white,” Sharron says.

This turned out to be another activity Sharron could do at home during the pandemic. She encourages others to give it a try.

“Anybody who likes to knit, I think it’s something you can take on, and if you can start and if you don’t like it, or just go for 30 or 60 days and understand how the colors, how the temperature makes a difference in what you’re knitting.” Sharron adds, “I’m happy with it. I knew it’d be colorful because I had ten colors available but, nothin’ to it.”

Sharron has known how to knit almost all her life. She learned when she was a girl, about 10 or 12 years old.

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