Great American Aran Afghan

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.

Holy Explosions Batman…

As mentioned in a past post, I have been decorating the kitchen, which is taking forever. We bought a lovely new grey blackout blind, soft fabric, and very touchable. Today I decided I would install it. The old blind that I removed is the same size, but, and there is always a but, the screw holes were not in the same place, and needed to be moved about 10mm. Easy! I got out my drill, put in a small masonry bit and made the first hole, moved down the required 25mm and did the second. I then swapped the drill bits to a slightly larger one and widened the first hole.



All the electric sockets were off. I was at a loss as there should be no reason that the electrics were tripped. I went to the trip box and turned them back on, and inspected the hole, all of 2-3mm wide. There was a little charring and I was now wondering what the hell or indeed WTF I had managed to drill in to. Now, this is only 40mm away from the window, so again, there is no reason at all as to why any electrical wiring should be close to it. As far as British Regulations are concerned, all electrical cables in walls should be at a depth of 50mm, and if this is not possible then it should have a metal capping in order to protect them and stop anything hitting them, i.e. nails, screws and of course drills.

I decided to poke the hole with a small bore wooden dowl in order to see if there were another reaction and BANG! Electric sockets all off. I then decided to turn the electric back on and see if it tripped without being touched, and thinking about what the hell I am to do next. I kept touching the wall to make sure there wasn’t a fire in there, oh, and checking all the fire alarms. After some time I decided to take the dogs for a walk and came back to find the electric off. That was it for me, I would call Phil the electrician I know and keep an eye on it.

The next few hours passed without any concern. I made dinner, put the dishwasher on, the washing machine completed its load and all was well. Then whilst I was walking out of the kitchen there was a massive bang, almost like a small explosion. With this, I decided that I had to investigate what was going on as I could not risk waiting for Monday to speak to Phil. Grabbing a chisel and hammer I cut out a square in the plaster only to find that I had indeed drilled right through the centre of a mains cable and through the earth wire and scarred the neutral cable with the drill. Holy Shit! I was so lucky that I had not been electrocuted. I millimetre over to the right and I would have hit the live cable and been thrown across the kitchen, or worse killed.

The cable was only just under the plaster, about 2mm deep against all regulations and extremely dangerous. But the big question what why was it there. I decided to cut the cable, strip back the main covering to show the wires. Their plastic shielding was, of course, charred, so I cleaned them up and insulated them so nothing and no one could touch them until I could buy a junction box to make a repair tomorrow. So where did it go? Turns out that this cable feeds the sockets 5 foot below and to the left. I only know this as now I have temporarily isolated them that group of sockets no longer work, and the bedroom ones above the kitchen do work. I have no idea why the feed comes from the top of the house to the bottom, as this is no way to set wiring. So tomorrow I am heading to the electrical wholesalers and getting what I need to make a temporary repair until Phil can have a look and decide the best way to deal with it, and of course, I will now have to channel the walls to the correct depth and install new cable and joy of joy, concrete the gap and then plaster, wallpaper and paint the area.

As can be seen, the cable runs down the edge of the window and just below the surface of the plaster. You can see the scorching on the back of the wallpaper that I cut away as an access flap. The walls are so dry the plaster is crumbling.

I should not be surprised as this is not the first time we have found problems with the electrics. I once found that the earth wires were not connected to any of the lounge sockets, and in the upstairs hall the wall lighting was connected to the mains cable with sellotape, and behind this large light fitting was a massive hole that had live wires suspended and not connected to anything at all. That time I went to the electrical wholesalers and sorted the problems with termination blocks and cable connectors, concreted the hole up, plastered, painted and fitted new lighting. The guy who used to own the house (Bob) needs to be shot, as he was a contractor, and should know better.

Well, onwards and upwards, at least no one was hurt, and I will be able to repair it, and it is safe for now until I make the temporary repair tomorrow.

Progress, Sweater So Far…

Since the passing of Lilu, I have not been in the mood to knit, so in effect, since my last knitting post update on this sweater, I had not done a single stitch. The last few days I decided to delve back into it, and not before time.

The nights are drawing in and the weather is definitely on the change, Autumn is in full flow and Winter is on the brow and heading this way fast. Friday night I dove back into it and made quite a bit of progress. Later that evening whilst letting Harper out into the garden to do her business I heard Canadian Geese approaching, and by the sound of it, the flock was enormous. After a minute they started flying over the garden and were making the most incredible sound. The sound of geese fills me with sadness as it is a marker for the end of summer and that autumn is truly in flow, but at the same time, it makes me happy to see all these gracious birds heading over to winter at Martin Mere, which is not too far from us. These geese took over 15 minutes to pass over, all the time I stood in the garden looking up smiling, listening, and of cause getting wet as the rain it never stops.

This moment in the garden has spurred me on to finish off my sweater, so the next month I intend to complete it before the cold hits hard.

I have done 54cm of the garment and have 5cm to go until I start the armholes, so with that, the front should be finished quite fast.

The rest it does not really have a pattern, just plain back and arms. I have never had to sew a knitted garment together, so that will be a small challenge, but rest assured, I can sew and have over the years have done lots of sewing both by hand and machine (I have my own sewing machine).

More updates to come as I complete each bit.