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Doctor Who? Why Does He Need So Much Scarf?

24 May 2007 29,285 views 5 Comments

I adore my father-in-law but… well… he’s a geek, in every sense of the word. He knows he is a geek; he embraces it.

One of his geeky indulgences is Dr. Who, a British sci-fi show that has been going on, in several incarnations, for about as long as I have been alive. One of the good doctor’s trademarks is his obscenely long, wide, 1970s-inspired scarves. So when I first took up knitting, my husband immediately found a Dr. Who scarf pattern for me to make. He was worried that it might be too much for me to take on as one of my first projects, but it was just a basic garter stitch, and I was damned cocky. How hard could it be?

Pretty close, I’d say. What do you think?

We bought the recommended amount of yarn ($100 worth) and I set to work in October. The plan was that it would be a gift for father-in-law’s November birthday. I knew I wouldn’t be anywhere near finished with it by then, but at least I could announce it and show him my progress.

I was about three or four feet in by the time his birthday rolled around. He was elated, and honored. We printed out a photo of Dr. Who and put it in his birthday card, so he knew what to expect. I later found out that he taped that computer print out to his desk.

It took me until the beginning of April to finish the scarf. I only ran into one major problem. I had switched yarn colors on the wrong side, making the stripe pattern uneven. So I ripped it out, re-did that section… only to discover I had “dropped” several stitches – meaning that the yarn had fallen off the needle in several places, so the scarf would eventually unravel. So I had to rip that section out AGAIN, pulling out more rows and undoing more work. After two weeks of struggling, I had enough and put it aside for almost a month.

The scarf ended up at over 12 feet long, not including tassels (which added another 3-4 inches at either end). If you look closely, you can tell which end I started on, and which end was the finish line. The beginning is full of tiny holes and twisted threads (they aren’t visible unless you really look for them… but I can tell). As the scarf goes on, the mistakes are few and far between. Also, the pattern was off: I had enough yarn left over to make two more scarves! My husband was excited, because now he gets one. I figure if I start now, I can probably finish it in time for him to wear it during the 5 weeks that Los Angeles is cold.

Should there be any geeks reading this, this is the season 16 scarf. Apparently every season, his scarf changes a little bit. Season 16 (aka – the Tom Baker years) is the favorite of both my husband and father-in-law.

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  • marc said:

    which actual colours and pattern did you use for the scarf? I’d love to get one done. PS Fantastic effort on yours it’s very close to the original

  • Alyse (author) said:

    Thanks Marc! I got the pattern here:

    Good luck making one!

  • Ben said:

    Excellent work. It’s cool that you spent so many hours exploring this aspect of the Doctor Who mythos.

  • Momo the Monster said:

    Haha your husband sounds like such a nerd.
    Excellent work on the scarf.
    Yes, I’m jealous.

  • Jacqueline R. Telfer said:

    I have an exact match that was given to me when I was three years old.
    I still have it,…can you say Dr. Jacqueline R. Telfer. I can.