I’ve always loved Doctor Who. I realize this statement, these days, does not make me unique or offbeat in any way, and I’m okay with that – thrilled, even. There’s plenty of Doctor Who to go around.
I first discovered The Doctor when I was in middle school, on one of New York’s local t.v. channels, and I was hooked: I loved the guy with the long scarf and the jelly babies, and wanted to be the prehistoric chick who traveled through time with him. For those of you who have only lived in the modern Whovian era, her name was Leela. In seventh grade, I went on a trip to London, and all I could think about before I went was the possibility that I might be able to offer someone a jelly baby myself.
I was, in short, a Tom Baker girl, and I think it goes without saying, a total nerd.
I grew up, and Doctor Who went away, but then he came back (as The Doctor will do), and suddenly, everyone’s a Doctor Who fan. I have friends who dress as Daleks for Halloween. Someone I know painted a door in her house to look like the Tardis. Somebody in my state already has a TARDIS vanity plate.
I’m a little mad* that I didn’t think of it first, but mostly, I’m thrilled to live in an era in which such wanton nerdiness is socially acceptable.
But you never forget your first Doctor, and you surely never forget his scarf. Although I was thrilled to discover that someone has dedicated an entire website to the Fifth Doctor’s scarf, complete with knitting patterns, I wanted something a bit more feminine.
I ran across this scarf by artist Julia Crossland, on Pinterest, and I lusted for it. I know how to crochet – quite well as it happens – so that wasn’t a problem. The problem was this: it uses nine different colors of yarn that is, well, expensive.
I fondled the yarn once at a shop in Seattle, then looked at the price, and gave up on the idea of making the scarf the way she did. It would cost me nearly $150 in yarn to make it using the Debbie Bliss Andes yarn she used.
The first and most obvious solution to the problem was, of course, use a different, less expensive yarn. I considered that, but in the end, purchasing all those colors in some other yarn adds up quickly – and I wouldn’t have the same exquisitely soft, shimmery scarf at the end. I debated other solutions, too, but in the end, discarded them all and simply worked on other projects.
And then, just before Christmas, a sale email from an online yarn store arrived, and guess what was on sale?
I ordered one skein of every color. Merry Christmas to me.
The pattern was easy enough to do; it uses the Sultan Stitch which is found in Betty Barnden’s Crochet Stitch Bible. The book is available on Google books.
I love the soft colors and texture of the scarf, the feminine loops and scallops, and the romantic sheen and halo of the yarn. Crossland describes working with Andes as “like working with warm air,” and I think that’s about right. It just floats, like fine satin through your fingers.
I finished the crocheting several months ago, but for some reason couldn’t decide how I wanted to do the fringe until last week. But then, it seems fitting to unveil my girly version of Doctor Who’s amazing stripey scarf today – the 50th anniversary of the show.
And here it is:
Happy Time Traveling, one and all.
*okay, a lot mad. Bitter, even.