Asheville Tempestry Project

Handmade craft meets climate data.

The Tempestry Project is a global climate mosaic for visualizing yearly data on maximum temperatures. The Asheville Tempestry Project will knit a collection of 100 years of climate data, to be displayed at a public venue for communicating climate science. Interested? Read on…

A series of Tempestries showing climate change over several years

Each Tempestry is a scarf-sized knitted wall-hanging that portrays daily maximum temperature data for a specific location over one year.  So that everyone’s Tempestries everywhere can be compared visually with each other, colors are standardized. The Tempestry Project supplies a template that matches temperatures with their corresponding yarn colors. The Tempestry Project was founded by Justin Connelly, Marissa Connelly, and Emily McNeil in Anacortes, WA. There is a  Facebook group where people can ask for knitting/crocheting advice and share their Tempestries.

Yarn colors are standardized to correspond with maximum daily temperatures.

During 2019 and 2020, AS IF Center will coordinate a series of Tempestries that show max temp data over several years for Asheville, NC.  Asheville is not only our nearest city — it is also headquarters for the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI), housing NOAA’s climate data. Our goal is to have at least one Tempestry for every decade from 1910 to 2020.  

When the Asheville Tempestry series is complete, the Tempestries will be donated to an Asheville organization that focuses on climate science and science education, and will be displayed where they can help educate the public about climate change.

There are three ways to participate in the Asheville Tempestry Project. You don’t need to know how to knit! You can

  1. Download data from NOAA and populate max temp information in a yarn color spreadsheet (data are automatically converted to the corresponding color). This is fun for people interested in climate data and have some fundamental skills working online …and/or
  2. Knit a Tempestry. The pattern is easy, even for beginners who have never knitted before …and/or
  3. Sponsor a knitter by purchasing their yarn and needles for about $50. Once we connect knitters with sponsors, you will be on your own to work out details. Sponsors please note: AS IF Center will not be responsible for any unfinished Tempestry knitting projects. Knitters who can’t finish can send their unfinished project to us and we can try to find another knitter to finish it — but no guarantees.

You can also take on a whole project on your own, start to finish — download the data, buy the yarn and needles, and knit one yourself.  You do not have to live in the Asheville area to participate. But please get in touch with us to select which year your panel will represent.

We meet to knit together on the second Sunday of each month, from 5pm – 6pm at White Labs Kitchen and Tap, upstairs in the Culture Room.

Contact me for more information, or if you are interested in participating.