Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Knitting The Doctor Who Scarf: planning

I have to admit I am a Classic Who fan. I mean I like the new series but I love the classic stuff. My favorite of the Doctors is the Fourth. I adore Tom Baker's style as the Doctor, that slightly crazy, slightly vague all around weird vibe he gives off. Of the Fourth Doctor's run, which is the longest to date, I love the early episodes the best the ones with Sarah Jane, because she is my favorite companion. One of the most iconic features of the Fourth Doctor is his scarf.

I've always wanted a scarf like the Fourth Doctor's but I never really thought about it seriously. Buying replicas of the scarf is extremely expensive and most of the time I struggle to pay my rent. Although I've known how to knit since I was eleven the scarf is about 12 feet long and that just seemed like too daunting a project.

This semester has been really tough for me though. I've taken a bunch of classes from demanding professors who are not in my field and as was to be expected I've struggled. Halfway through writing my finals I desided the time had come to knit the Fourth Doctor's scarf.

Over the course of the Tom Baker's long run as the Doctor the scarf took a lot of wear and changed. At one point a totally new scarf had to be made. So the scarf actually differed from season to season. Since my favorite season of the Fourth Doctor's were the first couple, seasons 12 and 13 technically, I decided to knit the incarnation of the scarf from the first season.

Having decided on the season 12's scarf I did a little research which brought my to the Doctor Who Scarf site. The site provided me with a pattern for knitting an exact (or pretty close) replica of the season 12 Doctor Who scarf.

Originally I assumed I would knit the scarf out of acrylic yarn. The original scarf was knit out of wool but I, being the poor grad student that I am, thought I'd only be able to afford acrylic yarn. Since then my sister has decided enough yarn to make a Doctor Who scarf would be the perfect Holiday gift so I will be knitting it out of wool (and pretending that I'm surprised when I open my present.)

The problem I'm grappling with right now is how to shorten the scarf for me.

The original scarf was 12 feet long. Tom Baker is 6 foot 3 inches and the scarf could loop around him down to the ground twice.  I am 4 foot 11 inches tall and I'm pretty sure I can't physically wear a 12 foot scarf. So I've been trying to figure out how to shorten it without ruining the integrity of the original scarf. If I just stopped knitting two feet before the pattern then it would be a different scarf probably closest to season 14 not the season 12 scarf I want to knit. All of the stripes are different sizes so I'm having trouble trying to figure out how to lessen the strip width evenly through-out the entire scarf. If I was just knitting a scarf to have a scarf that would be one things but this is a replica so it needs to be more exact.

Any ideas about how I could do this?


  1. I think you might be better off taking one row out of each stripe plus skipping two feet (or so) out of the middle. Like from the bottom grey stripe in the third panel up to the next grey stripe. You'll still have the same mix of colors, and the whole think will fit your proportions better. But it's just a thought.

    1. I've definitely considered shortening each row, but it's something I'm still pondering. Thanks for the input though :~)