My Doctor Whooves Scarf, The Origin Story, Guest Post

Tackbox Tales


The talented knitter who created my Doctor Who scarf has made noises about a blog takedown. Therefore, I am reblogging, with permission, the scarf origin story from Blithe Traveler, The Doctor’s Scarf, so that I will have it in my archives.

Scarf posts
The scarf arrives and is modeled by Rodney [Foto Friday: Doctor Whooves].
I notice an anomaly in the post [Taste Vs. Authenticity].
The scarf makes several appearances [Life On A LEGO Tile, 10 Questions for a Bloganista, Macho Dresses Up As Dr. Whooves].
Less scarf activity lately. I don’t get out much, except to barns & horse shows (yay!). Don’t want to drag scarf through dust &/or mud.

Welcome Blithe Traveler.
The Doctor’s Scarf
Are you a Doctor Who fan?  I wouldn’t go so far as to say I am about to sew myself a Tardis Dress, but as a knitter, the Doctor’s Season 12 scarf does have appeal. The original was 13 and a half feet long, which translate the more modern 411 centimeters. 4 meters of scarf? Seriously, who needs that

In the series, the Doctor mentions that Madam Nostradamus knit the scarf for him, refering to her as a witty, little knitter. The scarf has a following, and a modern day witty little knitter has emerged with an entire website (and, perhaps life) dedicated to The Scarf: Witty Little Knitter

Sound odd? Yes, indeed. One of my favorite knitting bloggers, The Yarn Harlot, knitted a scarf recently, which is what initially piqued my interest. There are lists of the yarn for one to buy, and I idly poked around. It didn’t take long to realize this was an expensive proposition. To knit the scarf from cheaper yarn would cost around $40US and from nice yarn, more than $60US.

Now, I knit a lot. The photo below is my Closet of Shame. These are all finished knitted things that sit on the shelf for a good bit of their knitted lives. And, it’s not my entire knitted scarf/sweater/hat/mitten/sweater collection. No indeed. This is a partial Closet of Shame. So, while I like to knit, and I certainly give myself permission to indulge my hobby, at some point, one has to realistically assess what one is spending versus the final product. It made me sad. 

In typically twenty-first century fashion, I posted my sadness on Facebook. Something along these lines: “I am suddenly obsessed with knitting the Season 12 Dr. Who scarf. It’s the 50th anniversary year, you know. So, why not?”

Why not, because, hello! Another scarf? For sixty bucks? Hard to justify. 

Whereupon a friend emailed and said, “Dude, you knit me one, I’ll pay for two.” 

And a deal was struck. Instantly. 

Looky! She bought the good stuff!!

Now, if you are a knitter, you might be rolling your eyes, waving your fist at the monitor shouting, “Way to go! Way to undervalue your mad knitting skillz!” Because, we are talking about a lot of knitting. For ultimately, what amounts to very small return at a per hour knitting rate. 

But, people, I am a process knitter. Which means the following: 

“The process knitter is one who knits for the love of the act of knitting. They love the hunt for the perfect marriage of the right yarn and pattern. Cables, lace, cables and lace. Big ass projects with thin yarn on teeny tiny needles. Bring. It. On. A project that takes months doesn’t daunt the true process knitter. Were a knitter stranded on an island with one ball of yarn and one set of knitting needles they’d knit up all the yarn, rip it all apart and start again because it’s the act of knitting that they love best. The product knitter is nearly the opposite. On that deserted island they’d knit up that yarn and wear whatever they made.” Top Floor Corner (link dead VBB)

I don’t knit because I give a rat’s furry behind about the final outcome. I think my Closet of Shame is pretty clear evidence. I knit because I find the act of knitting soothing for all of those hours I spending waiting for my children at school and at those endless kid-birthday parties, traveling, and for those rare occasions when I find time to watch a movie. I virtually never sit and knit for the sake of knitting. It’s always during “something else.” 

So, why not have someone else pay for my OCD habit? 

It’s a thing of beauty is it not? Photo on top of a Grand Piano that is not in my house. 

Here I have photographed it with the pattern. It’s a simple thing, the pattern. The numbers printed on the colors are what are referred to as “garter ridges.” Which translates to each number representing two rows of knitting. If the chart says “8,” you knit 16 rows. If the chart says “32,” you knit 64 rows. Got it? 

Why doesn’t it just say “64” if you have to knit 64 rows instead of saying “32?” No idea. 

At last, the knitting was finished. 

Does this mean the scarf was ready to drop in the mail? Of course not! Look, it’s only 296 centimeters long! Nowhere near long enough! 

Time for a bath. Washing and blocking, as every knitter knows, are critical to the success of any knitting project. In this case, I washed in VERY cold water; this wool felts like nobody’s business. And the last thing I wanted was to end up with three meters of felted ex-scarf. 

Stretch a bit for the block, and … 

432 centimeters. That’ll do. 

I have already begun knitting the second one. The endless repetition is good for my process knitter’s soul. 

4 thoughts on “My Doctor Whooves Scarf, The Origin Story, Guest Post

  1. Thank you. I understand. I am a process knitter.
    I once started a set of curtains. That was 58 years ago. I finally ripped it out and used the string (the intention was “sheers”) for another, non-knitting project.
    Afghans, shawls, two-at-a-time socks… the last half of any project is spent thinking about the next one.
    Love the scarf. The length. The breadth. The knitting.

  2. I have three closets of shame: One that holds the stunning sweaters I seldom wear (too nice for the barn, too simple of a lifestyle to get worn any place fancy), one that holds my “work in progress” (Read as: 10 projects in process simultaneously. Just like how I read books), and that last closet that holds a stash that I won’t be able to use up even if I lived three lifetimes. Yes, I can relate to the obsession. Always good to know I have company.

  3. I have a Doctor Who scarf. I think I do. It must be around here somewhere. It’s not something I’d part with.
    Altho I haven’t done anything in a while, I’m a process quilter. Bits and pieces of ‘works in progress’ are all over the place.
    I stopped doing all my crafts – and there are many I enjoy- while my mother was dying. Two years later, I’m just starting to get back to things.

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