"I Still Aten't Dead"
August 19, 2008 4:45 AM   Subscribe

After Terry Pratchett's Alzheimer's diagnosis made the news, a group of knitters banded together to make him a gift. The result was The Pratchgan, which -- after several months of organization and knitting -- made it into Pratchett's hands this past weekend. There's a Flickr pool of individual squares and the construction of the afghan. [Via Cleolinda] posted by pxe2000 (22 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
Well, that made me feel good in the first fifteen minutes of my day.
posted by josher71 at 4:50 AM on August 19, 2008

Me too! :)
posted by yoga at 5:09 AM on August 19, 2008

Brilliant. Thanks. :)
posted by chihiro at 5:28 AM on August 19, 2008

posted by Happy Dave at 5:47 AM on August 19, 2008

Man, I love knitters. They're crazy AND awesome.
posted by pised at 6:24 AM on August 19, 2008 [1 favorite]

got some yarn lint in my eye.
posted by Lou Stuells at 6:56 AM on August 19, 2008 [1 favorite]

got some yarn lint in my eye.

Me too.

Is there anywhere with an image of each square and an explanation? (I realise some need no explantation, having read the books, but others are a bit more obscure - I thought Blinky's hoofprint was actually a "U" for the Unseen University).
posted by jb at 8:05 AM on August 19, 2008

Yup, even for a Pratchett fanatic like me a few were not only difficult to understand but impossible to understand without an explanation. The Dorfl patch, for example, I kept trying to read as OMMATR not [no sign] MASTER.

Still, cool all the way around.
posted by sotonohito at 8:10 AM on August 19, 2008

Oh buggrit, if I'd known about this I would have loved to contribute. Definitely need a guide to each square.
posted by harriet vane at 8:36 AM on August 19, 2008

I second pised. Man, I wish I'd been in on that.
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:47 AM on August 19, 2008

Aw, I wish I could knit. Knitters do the coolest things.
posted by katillathehun at 11:54 AM on August 19, 2008

Wait, what? Humans don't suck? I'll... have to find another cause. Snifff...
posted by seanmpuckett at 12:29 PM on August 19, 2008

What a lovely feelgood story and gesture of love. It's so nice when people are kind to each other.

Didn't know about Pratchett. Can anyone explain the "I Still Aten't Dead" thing? I know it's still aren't dead, but where's it from in his writing?

From his Wikipedia entry:

In March 2008, Pratchett announced he was donating one million US dollars (about £494,000) to the Alzheimer's Research Trust, claiming he had spoken to at least 3 brain tumour (cancer) survivors whilst he had spoken to no survivors of Alzheimer's disease, and that he was shocked "to find out that funding for Alzheimer's research is just 3% of that to find cancer cures."[25][28] [29] Of his donation Mr. Pratchett said: "I am, along with many others, scrabbling to stay ahead long enough to be there when the Cure comes along.”[30] Pratchett's donation inspired an internet campaign where fans hope to 'Match it for Pratchett', by raising another $1 million.

posted by nickyskye at 1:50 PM on August 19, 2008

Nickyskye: "I aten't dead" is what Granny Weatherwax wrote on a sign she uses when she goes Borrowing. See here, end of third paragraph. I know the sign's been mentioned in several of the books featuring the witches. (I'm afraid I don't know if "aten't" is a specific reference to some dialect, or if it's just because Granny doesn't let grammar boss her around.)

Pratchett's an amazing fellow, and it's fantastic to see what he inspires his readers to do. What a great story!
posted by Janta at 2:36 PM on August 19, 2008

Janta Its because Granny isn't so much on writing, good with numbers but always felt that too much reading and writing was dangerous; or if not dangerous at least too much like wizarding for a proper witch.
posted by sotonohito at 2:42 PM on August 19, 2008

Aww, that was remarkably sweet. I too wish I had the marshal skills necessary to have been involved, but alas, I am useless when it comes to knitting.

Someone asked Terry who his fave character is & he says it's Vimes

Of course it's Vimes. He is the character who has taken the widest character arc of anyone in the series, starting off as a drunken night watchmen and ending up... well, considerably better off than that. He is also crotchety, irritable, and unsubtly clever.

Which is why he's my favorite character as well.
posted by quin at 3:22 PM on August 19, 2008

I'm so glad what has gone around is coming around. Congrats to the people contributing!
posted by ersatz at 6:52 PM on August 19, 2008

Thank you dear Janta and sotonohito.
posted by nickyskye at 8:20 PM on August 19, 2008

(Sotonohito: Thanks -- I knew there was an explanation in the books, but couldn't recall it or track it down. Which is, of course, what they all say.)
posted by Janta at 8:24 PM on August 19, 2008

Makes me proud to be a knitter, and feel like I should do a whole lot more good with my craft than I do.

Also makes me want to read Mr. Pratchett's books. Next on the list!
posted by amarie at 10:09 PM on August 19, 2008

Where is Alnedra?
posted by Wolof at 12:15 AM on August 20, 2008


Gosh, I wonder if Pterry will bring it to the Discworld Con this weekend?
posted by Alnedra at 2:23 AM on August 20, 2008

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