Too Many Colors!
I went to the yarn store today. I do LOVE my local yarn store, Red Fox Yarns, in Vienna, VA.
I realized as soon as I got there, however, that I was not going to find 17 different colors that I would like all put together in one blanket. I had somewhat suspected that. So I spent more time than I would like to admit sorting through the wide selection and narrowing it down. Personally, I don't want a full rainbow on my blanket. I want something that suits my general taste and will work in either my family room or office.
Ultimately, I decided on 8 colors, which I would spread across my vaccine range in roughly 500,000 increments.
Devil in the Details
Okay... to do this, there are a few things that have to be planned out.
1. I need a pattern. I am still a beginner crochet-er. I want someone to tell me how to stitch each stitch. Plus, why invent a wheel when there is a whole internet of wheels already invented. I like the look of this one, and the pattern is simple.
2. I need to find my data source. It took a bit of hunting, but I knew it had to be out there. I found it at the CDC.
To easily see the raw data, just expand the "Data Table for Trends in Number of COVID-19 Vaccinations in the US" section below the lovely chart.
3. I need to define my range of colors.
Hold on.... while it may be pretty reasonable to assume that in Fairfax, Virginia, the temperature will never go above a high of 110 degrees Fahrenheit, I really don't know what the maximum number of people vaccinated each day will be. But I want to pre-define my range so I can really pick out a suite of colors that I like. Dilemma.
I found a few articles that discussed this. Washington Post quotes Eric Tobal and says "We can get to 3 [million per day]. https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/interactive/2021/vaccination-pace-herd-immunity/.
CNBC quotes Dr. Carlos del Rio of Emory University as saying "we need to start vaccinating about 3 million people a day". https://www.cnbc.com/2020/12/30/covid-us-needs-to-vaccinate-3-million-people-per-day-to-hit-goal.html
Since I really don't want to fall off the end of my range, I have decided to plan up to 4 million doses a day. I decided to break it down into 250,000 vaccine increments. I am not yet sure what colors I will actually use, but I assigned a rainbow of colors for now, so you get the idea.
For those not immersed in the crochet and yarn arts worlds, there is a thing called a "Temperature Blanket" that is popular. A temperature blanket documents the high (or low... designer choice) temperature of a favorite place each day of a particular year. The designer picks an assortment of colors and assigns temperature ranges to each yarn color. So if, on January 1st, the high temperature is 15 degrees Fahrenheit, and if the color light blue is assigned to 10-20 degrees, then the first row of the blanket is stitched in light-blue. At the end of the year, you have a blanket of 365 days with each row representing a day.
People do fun things with this… perhaps instead of a calendar year, the first year of a baby’s life. Or some other meaningful time frame.
I, however, have no interest in a temperature blanket. But it did occur to me that something similar might be interesting.
For those not paying attention, there has been a global pandemic ravaging the world for the past year. In late 2020, some vaccines emerged that have offered some hope. The United States, and really the world, is now in a big push to jab needles into arms and hopefully stymie this terrible virus.
I have decided to document this effort with a “2021 United States Vaccination Blanket”. The idea? To stitch each row in a color that represents the number of vaccinations applied in the United States on each day of 2021. Lets Get Vaccinated!!
While you are here, check out the CDC Key Things To Know about COVID-19 Vaccines page and learn everything you need to know!
I discovered my love of data a few years ago, when I started working for Britepaths'. As an important aside, Britepaths is a Fairfax Virginia based non-profit that works with low-income working familes to build resiliance through financial literacy. Check them out!!