I’m knitting a tempestry piece right now, for the year 1975. The way a tempestry works, is that you pull the average daily temperature for some time frame, and assign one color to a range of temperatures. So for example, if the daily temperature is 82 degrees, and anything between 80 and 85 degrees is supposed to be red, you knit a red row. If the next day, the temperature is 78 degrees, and anything between 75 and 80 degrees is supposed to be pink, then you knit a pink row.
What’s so amazing about this piece though, is that it’s part of a much larger project coordinated by my little town. They recruited knitters to each knit a tempestry for a year of their choosing. The average daily temperatures were pulled for our little Chicago suburb, and everyone is following the same color legend. The City also contracted with a local yarn shop to make kits, so you only had to purchase the yarn you needed, thus minimizing waste. This summer, all the completed tempestries will be displayed together, and we’ll be able to see a visual representation of climate change.
Here’s a picture of my work in progress. I’m doing an easy garter stitch on circular needles. Every time I complete a row, I mark it with an X. I also track every time I switch from knit to purl.
It’s a beautiful blend of data science and hand crafting. I’m up to August 1975, so still a ways to go, but thought I’d start documenting the process now! Can’t wait to see the finished exhibit.