The Pratchghan

In December, a few of us (if you can call about a hundred knitters and crocheters from Ravelry’s Ankh-Morpork Knitting Guild a few) decided that after hearing that our favorite author, Terry Pratchett, was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimers we should all do something to show our support. Different ideas were bandied about, and then it was decided we would all contribute a square to an afghan… which soonly was named the Pratchghan.

The rules were simple, a 6 inch x 6 inch square with anything you wanted on it. It could be plain, or discworldy, it just had to be made in washing machine safe fibers.

All of the squares were sent to one very determined lady, cherryred (as she’s known on Ravelry… or just Shirley to everyone else) in Scotland who collected all the squares, sewed them together, and backed the whole Pratchghan. She added more rows when more people wanted to join in, and kept careful count of how many squares she had- that alone is pretty impressive.

At the Beginning of August, the Pratchghan was finally finished…

Then, on August 16th, something really really awesome happened… Shirley was able to hand over the Pratchghan to the Pratchman… in person… (at the Edinburgh Book Festival)…

And then a great giggle was shared by all as Shirley tried to fold it up…

Then the letters we had all sent with each square and the Pratchghan were all put away with Terry…

And after he signed Shirley’s copy of Thud!, he left to go get miked up for a reading, but not before saying “I still aten’t dead” (which seems kind of morbid if you haven’t read his books… but I assure you its very very funny).

Now that we know the Pratchghan resides happily with the Pratchman, we happily dream of him slumbering beneath it. We giggle when we wonder when he’ll discover that the Luggage square MamaGrouch made actually opens and has clothes inside. We’re curious if he’ll show it off to his friends, or if he’ll tell people about it. But most of all, we all now feel as though we have massively group hugged a man who is important to us all, a man who has made us laugh, a man who has made us dream, a man we hope the world never has to do without.

* Pictures used with permission from Shirley/cherryred. If you are a non Ravelry user and would like to see a closeup of some of the squares, go to the Pratchghan 2008 flickr site.



  1. Silverilix said,

    August 18, 2008 at 4:26 pm

    Wow, that is a fantastic Pratchghan!! You guys did an amazing job. I bet he think’s it’s the most interesting thing he’s ever been given! LOL

  2. knitknigel said,

    April 13, 2009 at 11:56 pm

    I’ve linked to Terry’s eloquent description of his Alzheimers diagnosis on my blog. I will be walking the Camino de Santiago to raise funds for Alzheimers care and research in Canada. You can see the blog at
    Great to see the photos of Terry with the Pratchghan. Thanks for the photos.

    Nigel Pottle (knitknigel on ravelry)

  3. Jetblac said,

    October 15, 2010 at 1:42 am

    I know this is a bit late, but…
    …well, that is just Awesomeness in fabric!

  4. March 12, 2015 at 3:40 pm

    […] just for him, quirky and unique as his books with its heel turned twice. He talked to me about the Pratchghan fans had knit him after his diagnosis. He didn’t even stop talking for our picture. I loved […]

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