Months before my Go Pod arrived (I refer to the Pod as mine, since the husband had to be inveigled by all and any means into purchasing the thing) I began knitting a blanket for it. You see, my first instinct, regarding anything that remotely looks like a house, is to turn it into a home. My penchant for all things domestic knows no bounds. Take my own house for instance. I am in my element when doing the hoovering, the dusting, the washing up and the plumping up of cushions. ‘Yes,’ I breathe with satisfaction, upon witnessing order arise from chaos within my humble abode. The husband, on the other hand, would happily live amongst mess and disorder. Were he without a wife, our house would resemble those featured on telly programmes inhabited by inveterate hoarders. I keep up with the hoarding via the means of gigantic, sporadic rants (like an ancient Greek harpy) in which I threaten to chuck everything out in the garden (rain or not) if it’s not a) placed in the garage this instant or b) taken up the tip.
Back to the Pod. I went with the basic beige upholstery in the Pod, knowing this was a colour which would go with almost anything, but mostly ‘cos it cost a whopping £390 to change to another colour, and from a limited colour palette at that, featuring a hellish red, a puce purple and a vomit yellow. The Pod’s cupboards are crafted (I use that word loosely here) of fake orangey wood with revolting orange trims. Therefore, I decided my blanket/throw/rug (not sure what it is) would feature slightly more restrained autumnal colours of red, gold, brown and green, to sort of go with the ghastly orange and beige combo. My plan is to lay my blanket on the back seat of the Pod, thus interrupting the beige-ness of it all, whilst adding a sort of country cottage ‘feel’ to my bog-standard plastic Pod. What I am doing to my Pod is what my Pod Facebook group call ‘Podifications.’
As this was my first time knitting a blanket, I bought a book from Amazon which gave me patterns for 200 different squares and, some months ago, chose 5 different squares and drew a rough blanket plan. Each square is 6″ square, so this blanket was going to be pretty BIG.
I then used my colouring in pencils so I could visualise my sort of autumnal colour scheme and ordered wool that was as close to my colours as I could get. The wool came from my pandemic go-to online shop – Wool Warehouse – and is Merino wool, supposedly a very good wool indeed. It cost £4.99 a ball. I’ve worked out this hand knitted blanket will end up costing nearly £100!! Not to mention the cost to my aged hands and arms. Why not just buy one from John Lewis at £22 a pop you may ask. Ah, but then it wouldn’t be my very own, custom made, laboured over, Covid anxiety obliterating creation.
Then I got knitting. The squares required that I use the blocking method to stop them curling up at all sides. I’d never done this before, as could never be bothered when making my knitted dolls. It involved pinning the squares to an ironing board, then holding a steam iron over them for a few seconds whilst the steam penetrated the wool; then leaving the squares an age to dry. I admit here to feeling quite the crafts person of a bygone age, as I laboriously knitted each square and then faffed around with the pinning and the steaming. I wouldn’t be amiss on The Repair Shop.
Here are some of my squares being blocked.
And below is a close up of the green square above. I’d like to draw your attention to the mangled mess that is the third lot of purled squares up from the bottom, where you will notice several jaw dropping mistakes, never to be rectified as I couldn’t be bothered to knit the square again. Square knitting fatigue had settled in. I can pinpoint exactly when this knitting disaster occurred, and may it serve as a warning to all those who like to knit whilst watching the telly.
I had settled down, with my green square, to watch The Invisible Man (2020), a re-working of H G Wells’ 1897 novel The Invisible Man (rather obviously.) Things were going well. What a good film this is, I was thinking. Was our unfortunate heroine deluded? Why was she escaping her sleeping husband and her palatial home in the middle of the night? Of course, all became clear as the film progressed, but not before what I call ‘that restaurant scene’ happened.
Our tormented heroine had asked her estranged sister to meet her in a restaurant, so she could prove to her that she wasn’t mad; that her ex-husband (who’d faked his suicide) was alive and had discovered a way to make himself invisible via the science of Optics – a method which seemed just about doable actually. Her husband was mega rich (Optical research) but was also an abuser, hence our heroine’s midnight escape. He had faked his own death after her flight, then gone on to induce madness in his wife via haunting her invisibly. But, of course, no-one believed her.
As our heroine (looking more and more mad, bad and dangerous to know) whispers the bombshell (to her sister across their dining table) that her ex-husband is now invisible, a large sharp knife which, unbeknownst to me, had been lying on their table all the while, leapt into the air at lightning speed and slit the sister’s throat.
I had been knitting the offending square during this film in a kind of meditative idyll. But, there and then, I was subjected to the look of gobsmacked horror on the sister’s face (mirrored exactly in my own) as a torrent of blood flowed from the slit in her throat. ‘Ahh!’ I exclaimed at the telly. Then ‘Uuugghh,’ as the sister’s head fell to the table and her blood pooled on the floor. Why had I not seen this coming? Why had I not covered my eyes? And the knife was then (in a flash) placed in our now deranged heroine’s right hand by invisible hands.
As she got carted off to the asylum for the criminally insane, I picked up my knitting again (which now lay on my lap) mid-row. At that point I should have known that things had gone awry. That my square had also suffered during ‘that restaurant scene.’ For one thing, I had no recollection of dropping my knitting, or that I’d dropped it mid-row. I began knitting again mid-row, continuing another three rows, before realising that the pattern had gone completely awry. I couldn’t see why, so counted my stitches, to find I was two stitches short – calamity! In the awfulness that is ‘that restaurant scene’ I had dropped two stitches. Admittedly, not as terrible as having your throat cut, but a pain nonetheless, for it meant I’d been knitting when I should have been purling and vice versa.
Here is my blanket/throw/rug in its current state. I have completed four rows of eight squares, with four more to go and then I’ll have to stitch a border – this could go on for years. You will note the one luridly pink square. This is my attempt at an ‘accent’ square and will appear in only one other row. I join the squares using back stitch and then sew on top of the resultant seam with blanket stitch just to make extra sure. Mattress stitch is apparently the neatest way to go when joining pieces of knitting, but it just didn’t feel secure enough to me for a blanket. I also have great difficulty producing a neat mattress stitch, despite watching YouTube videos.
I am also making curtains for the pod, by sewing panels of fabric onto its existing beige curtains. Anything to get a bit of colour in there. I don’t own a sewing machine, sewing never having been a hobby, so have had to hand sew hems around my fabric panels before stitching them to the Pod curtains.
One beige Pod curtain. One fabric adorned curtain.
There appears to be no end to my caravan-based madness.