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Trying something new for 2024: Crocheting a Reading Blanket!

folded crocheted blanket next to a ball of yarn with a crochet hook in it

Do you keep track of your reading? I have, ever since a traumatic book club incident (no, no longer in that book club, thankyouverymuch) first with notebooks, then Goodreads (see sidebar!) and finally paper planners (I’ve used this one, this one, and am currently enjoying this one–I print my own, but the ones Bess prints for you are also fabulous)

This year I’m adding a new reading tracking method to my madness: a reading blanket!

The idea came from my daughter, who showed me a few TikTok videos about the concept when I mentioned that I liked the idea of making a mood blanket but knew I’d never be able to decide on *one* mood every day (unless it was tired. I’m tired every day…)

Just one example! Try your own search and see all the options that show up 🙂

Mind. Blown!

I had to decide what I was going to track and how–using colors for genres seemed like a no brainer (though the granny squares in the covers’ colors are super cute–maybe next year?) I don’t really pay a lot of attention to book lengths–most ebooks, especially review copies, don’t have page numbers–so I wasn’t going to track that. Star ratings were tempting, but did I care enough about them to track them? Maybe not.

Then I thought–what if I kept track of how I read them–ebook, audiobook, or print? Maybe even went a step further to differentiate between eARCs or final versions of ebooks? Perhaps by using different types of stitches?

In the end, this is what I came up with: 16 (so far! I’m trying really hard not to add more) colors for genre, 4 different types of stitches. 12 of my colors are the complete line of Lion Brand’s Basic Stitch Antimicrobial Yarn, and the other 4 are from their Heartland line.

Reading blanket with Darcy Burke's IF THE DUKE DARES on top of the reading blanket, and numbers pointing to the 4 types of stitches used (1=half double crochet, 2=a type of stab stitch, 3=bobble stitch, 4=half cable)

The 4 stitches I decided on are:
1=half double crochet, eARCs
2=stab stitch, final versions of ebooks (purchased, library, free from authors/book clubs)
3=bobble stitch, audiobooks
4=half of a cable, print books

Because 2 of the stitches (3 and 4) have a definite right and wrong side, each genre/color stripe is both the special stitch and a single crochet row going back the other way.

The genres and colors I’m tracking are:
Lavender Mist=contemporary romance
Bluestone=sports romance
Spice=rom com
Lilac=historical romance
Maize=Library Journal category romance titles
Hazelwood=romantic suspense
Charcoal=nonfiction (other)
Clay=horror/paranormal/monster romance
^Smoke=true crime
^Olive Branch=erotic romance
*Congaree=Library Journal (other)
*Black Canyon=women’s fiction
*Capitol Reef=graphic novel
*^White Sands=science fiction/aliens/fantasy
*Heartland Yarn color
^a color/genre I haven’t used/read yet in 2024

I’m really loving it so far, though there is a possibility I might have to make it into 2 blankets in the end if I read a similar number of books this year to what I read last year (200) because it could get crazy long. Or maybe I’ll let it be crazy long, we’ll see. As of February 16, I have 27 books tracked on it, which is 54 rows.

Kate Ruggle's Fish Out of Water on top of the reading blanket

Having the visual representation of what I am reading makes me consider what I’m going to read and how I’m going to read it, because I want to make sure my blanket has as much variety as possible. I do have some assigned books with due dates, but when I’m choosing what book to read next in between those, I can look at my blanket, see what’s missing, and decide what I could do to fill in the holes. (Pun only kind of intended ;))

What do you think? Have you ever tracked your reading with any (or all!) of these methods? Do you do something else? Would you consider creating a reading blanket? Let’s talk about it in the comments!

(If the idea of a crocheted reading blanket interests you and you want some more ideas–or you’re not a TikTok person–This Pixie Creates has a helpful post with even more ideas here.)

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