I make no secret of my love of all things nerdy and fandom-related, so a few years back I decided I needed to make a Fourth Doctor Scarf. Diligently I researched and found the perfect yarn, and found a website entitled Witty Little Knitter by Tara Wheeler (I can no longer find the site, but her Ravelry is still operational.) If you don’t know, Tom Baker wore several versions of the scarf over his term as the Doctor, but for my scarf I settled on Season Twelve.
My friends largely thought I was mad, embarking on such a quest to knit this scarf when I could simply buy one from the BBC either short or long, and yes, theirs is nice, but its not as accurate as I wanted (in fact I have one from the BBC, but its not garter stitch and its too short). Its double knit, leading to a smooth, stockinette stitch like texture, while the one from the show is clearly done in garter stitch.
I cast on, knit a few rows, and had an epiphany: I am a short person (at least in comparison to Tom Baker (he’s 6’3)). At the time I was about 5’3, an entire foot shorter than the actor. In despair I ripped it out, balled the yarn, and sulked. I wanted that scarf, but I didn’t want to trip over it and while I could have simply made a shorter scarf, I had over 1,500 yards of yarn, and didn’t want it to go to waste. So in a moment of boredom I grabbed a pair of size 8 circular needles, cast on 125 stitches, and started knitting. I was going to make a blanket. I love blankets.
I started knitting with absolutely no plan as to how I was going to continue, after all, as my detail oriented brain was quick to point out, the size of the stripes would be different on a blanket than on a scarf. If I just followed the scarf pattern I wouldn’t have very many stripes, because I had estimated that the scarf would be about a fourth the length of the scarf. Looking at the pattern I knew I didn’t want that few number of stripes. So I simply divided the number of rows per stripe in half.
This worked great, until I came to the end of the scarf, where I quickly realized I was running out of some colors faster than others. So once again I improvised. So I just started randomly adding in rows of whatever color I had enough of, knowing that people would either get the scarf or not, even if the rows weren’t exactly to the correct proportions.
I really like how it turned out though.