As requested by some of my readers, here are the three “A Bit of Ireland” afghans. The middle one in blues was the first, the green on the right was the second and the final one on the left is the latest one. I have other circular blankets I have made and will show them too.
This is the third blanket of this design I have made. I made us one a good few years ago, then M’s mum which we got back a few weeks ago after her death, and this final one is for the bedroom. One thing I was not happy about is a line that has appeared within the knitting where the rounds meet, and this is not on any of the other blankets, and I have made it exactly the same way and with the same needles. It will be placed over the headboard, so the line will be hidden, but again, not a happy bunny.
Pattern: A Bit of Iceland
Designer: Stephen West
Yarn: Women’s Institute
I bought the pattern for the Great American Aran Afghan a couple of years ago and decided since we are in lockdown I would make it. Not that I was able to do a great deal as I had to go back to work as the company decided to ignore the fact that they are no essential services. I could go on, but will not here.
So far I have managed to make two of the twenty squares, and I am quite happy with the result. Lots of cable work, which I love. However, and there always is, some of the patterns do not read right and need correction. The square I am doing at the moment states in the instructions start with row 17 on pattern B, then row 1 on the far side, but when you look at the chart layout it reads the other way round, so row 1 then 17 on that row. I decided to follow the first instructions, but got partway though and thought it looked odd, so started again. Hopefully this time it will work. I had a slight problem with the second square as it seemed too large, and I thought it was my tension, but when I did it again it was the same size, and when finished it worked in the end.
So far these are the two squares I have managed to do.
Now, I will preface this post that I understand that many people have died due to the coronavirus outbreak about the planet. That aside, I have never seen so many bloody idiots about reacting to the news. I have witnessed people stealing from other people’s trollies, people running about supermarkets like they are on supermarket sweep. I went into the supermarket this morning to get bananas at 7 am, and the place was rammed full of people panic buying. Most of the shelves were empty and one woman had a trolly full of toilet roll. As she went past me I shook my head and muttered “idiot”, she saw me shaking my head and shouted at me, I am a mother, which my reply was “no, you’re an idiot stockpiling”. I understand people want to have things in, but they forget there are other people about, and what about the elderly who have not been able to get supplies? I also wanted just one bag of sugar and a carton of orange juice too. Due to the stripping of the shelves, I was faced with a 5kg bag of sugar which I did not want and a four-pack of orange. The orange was not a problem, but I was forced into getting this huge bag of sugar, all because of the dickheads acting like it’s the end of the world.
We have not gone mad, and we have enough food in the house for a few weeks, but that is usual, so no stockpiling. One of the things I noticed was the lack of pet food as people have stripped the shelves of that too. The big supermarket close to work has no meat, poultry, tinned food, rice, pasta, pet food, frozen chips/fries, cleaning products of any kind, long-life milk, sugar, tea coffee, water, and the list goes on. My friend who works there said she has never seen so much greed in her life and that people are fighting over things. However, the supermarket has a big responsibility to stop people doing this by limiting purchases to stop hoarding and madness, but so far nothing has been done and they are letting the raids carry on.
Our government seems to reflect that of the USA, and are doing very little about it all, and their so-called measures are just laughable. I think our PM watches the great Cheeto and follows his lead, and we all know the Cheeto buries his head in the sand and patronises his nation with instruction to calm down as it’s all fine.
Our latest instructions are that those over the age of 70 and people that are in “risk” groups have to stay in for 12 weeks, and others should not go out, “even for food and essentials”, but, can leave the house “for exercise and, in that case, at a safe distance from others”. So, they can keep fit, but cannot buy food, in essence, could be the healthiest corpses about. The blind leading the blind in the UK.
One of the things which are becoming annoying is the lack of information. We are not getting told any demographics about those that have died, those that are ill, and those that have it and are fine. The news from the USA is that the average age is 80 and all had underlying health conditions, but we are in the dark here. Although we live in the country, we have a city 24 miles north, 17 miles south and 40 miles east, the Irish sea to our immediate west (safe zone lol) and all cities have reports of people with the virus, so the circle is slowly closing in.
Where I work we are suppliers of building materials, so are in contact with people all the time. It is a family business, so we are all involved with every aspect of the company and as such are all in contact with customers, who are in contact with their customers, who are in contact with many others, therefore, we cannot hide from it. The owner is off ill, and now her son seems to be coming down with the same thing, which she said is norovirus as she if vomiting and can’t get off the toilet.
Today more and more people were calling to see if we were open or we had closed due to this virus. A lot of customers visiting were asking the same thing, so I think it will be a short time from now till we have to close for isolation.
Now, on the positive side, I have just taken delivery of 20 balls (4000 meters) of aran yarn to start making The Great American Aran Afghan which will be quite exciting to do. Remember all you who do knit and crochet, this is the time we have been training for all our lives. Isolation and a massive stash of yarn. It’s going to be like the perfect holiday. Needles going, Netflix playing, feet up and tea to keep us going.
So, here we are in the middle of summer, and soaring temperatures that are a little too much for us British. Not complaining, as I would rather have hot than cold. Anyway, I digress, “yet again” I hear you all say rolling your eyes.
Because of the heat and not being able to take the dogs out all the time I have become a little bored with day to day life and feel I need to do something to keep myself entertained whilst the pooches snooze in front of the fans. I thought about doing some educational courses, but then I am not sure if that is what I really want to do, and if so, which of the thousands of courses do I go for. I then thought I would concentrate on my reading and read more, but I get so comfortable I start to fall asleep, and it is not conducive to read with blaring lights and other stimuli so I don’t sleep, again!
Yesterday I printed out the Great American Afghan and thought to hell with it and I would start that, but then I thought I need to think about the yarn I want to use and what colourways I fancy. But with all that comes the cost, which seems to mount up each time I find a yarn I love. Also doing a large project like a blanket in this heat could be a a bit much, but it is a passion I have with large projects. I think I want and need to do some knitting, but really do not know what the hell to do. Over the last few years, well, three to be exact I had collected a knitting magazine (120 issues) which gave away yarn each issue and a pattern and I thought should I do them, but again, I cannot decide. The yarn is acrylic, which is okay, but I prefer to use wool, alpaca etc as it is nice to work with, so back to square one.
I need inspiration from somewhere, or someone…
Well, this is becoming more and more interesting as I search for this book or needle in a haystack as it is becoming. So far I am not doing very well, usually shipping is about $45 to $60. One lady on Ravelry had it for sale then when I messaged her she had “given it to a friend”, so that is a closed door on that.
I read on Knitting Paradise that a lady bought it from WHSmiths here in the UK for only £6, I thought WOW, that is a hot lead, but alas on WHSmith site, it does not exist, and she only bought it last year, WTF!. I have called Waterstones and the lady just could not find it because I did not have an ISBN number, god forbid a boolean search on the site.
In the town, there is a second-hand bookshop that holds vast stocks of old books and magazines, but even he could not get it.
I still have hope, and will keep looking as I am not one to give up easily, and K at NothingBitKnit has been keeping me on my toes with loads help.
I really want to make this afghan. I have looked high and low in the UK for it at a reasonable price, however, I can only find ones that are priced way out of my budget. The cheapest was £57.05 plus delivery, which is outrageous.
I have tried Ravelry, and LoveKnitting, but to no avail. eBay I see again silly prices, and most of the time they are only in the USA, which means on top of the silly price customs charges are added on delivery which is an extra 20% then handling charges for the courier because of the customs charges, so it just keeps getting more expensive as the day goes on. I know that items can be marked as a “Gift” and there are no customs charges and extras, but getting a seller to do this is hard work.
I even tried the county library and nothing.
Looks like this will be a pipe dream knit that always manages to elude my grasp.