In February 2016, I blogged that I’d started a Doctor Who scarf. This was a major undertaking, and I hadn’t really realised what I was taking on when I started! I knitted the scarf as an anniversary present for John, started just after our fourth anniversary. I’m pleased I did it – will I ever do it again? Almost certainly not!
Doctor Who Scarf
The pattern for this is a free one from the imaginatively named Doctor Who Scarf.com. There are four variations, but not knowing as much about the show as John, I didn’t recognise any except the original. It was an easy choice, really. I went for Cascade 220 Superwash as my material, which was really quite hard to find in the required colours. I tend to try avoid superwash yarns, but the decision was quite a considered one, and I outlined my reasons in this post. I didn’t regret it!
One of the reasons I really wanted to knit this project was because I discovered a major love for garter stitch in 2015. You cast on 66 stitches and end up knitting a grand total of 68,904 stitches. I started off strong, but the project well and truly cured me of my desire to knit vast swathes of garter stitch!
It took nine months to knit, and for the last few months of working on it I trekked it around the country in an attempt to get it done before our fifth anniversary! I’m blogging about it 360 days after finishing, and got it done with five weeks to go till the next one.
The scarf introduced my colleagues to the fact that I was a majorly enthusiastic crafter, which lead to all sorts of fun and games at work. (I’ll tell you all about that at some point – to whet your appetite, the words “life-size felted swan” come into it.)
Tips for making a Doctor Who scarf
I think the scarf is quite hard to wear. If you decide to make one for anybody, I would definitely check with them first! I don’t think it would have worked if I had just made the scarf for John and given it to him. I would have wanted to put tassels on it (who doesn’t love a good tassel?!) but John definitely didn’t want any! He also only likes wearing it with certain clothes – I think you need a good coat?!
One of the most rewarding things about letting John know I was going to knit this for him was also the bragging. Seriously, he was unstoppable! Everywhere we went, I was lugging this massive project bag along with me, pulling it out in the cinema, at dinner, on a five minute bus ride…and every person we spoke to, John was telling them how many stitches I was knitting for him. It was really lovely – it’s not often people who make throwaway comments like “could you just make me…” realise how much work actually goes into this stuff. I would definitely tell the person you’re knitting it for how many stitches are in it…round it up to an even 70,000 if you want to!
Definitely, definitely wash the scarf when you’re done. It takes such a long time and experiences so much life with you that by the time you finish, it’s almost certainly filthy. However, if you don’t want it to expand too much, don’t block it, just lay it flat in a really, really long passage and let it dry.
Finally, sew in your ends as you go! You can not underestimate how long this takes, or how annoying it is to finish the scarf and still have hundreds of ends to dispatch. I think it took me a week of evenings in front of the telly to get rid of my ends.
I’d love to know who else has taken this on, and what your top tips would be. Did anybody experience the same things?
I probably won’t be knitting John a big project like this for a while! For our fifth anniversary, I took him to see an astronaut doing some public speaking…no knitting involved!