Friday, April 20, 2012

Half A Sheep

"Pity about the scarf-- Madame Nostradamus made it for me-- a witty little knitter. Never get another one like it--" The Doctor, Ark in Space


By now, you may have figured out that I'm a bit of a Geek. If not, this will probably convince you. Who else would knit a fourteen foot scarf in sport weight wool, all in garter stitch?

Natalie went to visit her Uncle last Christmas. Her cousin was knitting a scarf. A Dr. Who scarf. Several days later, watching me sitting in the living room with yarn and needles in my lap, she mentioned how cool it was and wistfully wondered if it it was something I could make. I like to knit socks and hats because they are small and not boring, and they still take me forever. Had anyone else wished I could knit this thing for them, I would have laughed and possibly said something like "Die in a Fire." (Okay, I wouldn't have said it. But I would have thought it rather loudly.)


But this was Natalie. The person I love more than anyone else in this world. The person for whom I've made pretty things  for four years, that she appreciates and adores (so she says) but that she never uses or wears. I found a website devoted to Dr. Who scarves. (Yes, there's more than one. Scarf I mean, but there's more than one website too.)

I found another website with a pattern. I found a Dr. Who scarf discussion group on Ravelry. I found yarn. I found needles. I found time and patience and a place to block the thing once it was done.

I found a nifty little graphic that can be programmed to show one's progress:

 Scarf-o-matic




I took notes. And pictures.

I'm inordinately proud of finishing this thing. I have a bizarre desire to make another. Season 18 this time. Which is six feet longer, and made with chenille. Chenille is just fashion molecules holding hands, and I can't find the right colors. This is probably a good thing, as I can't afford it and don't know anyone willing to hunt and skin a herd of wild polyesters for me anyway.


01/09/11 Got my yarn today! I’m VERY impressed with Kaleidoscope Yarns I originally mistyped my address, they contacted me immediately, and we got it straightened out. Shipping for this entire lot was $4.50. I’m excited.

1/12/12 The notes for this thing will probably be almost as long as the scarf by the time I’m finished. It takes me about two minutes per row. And 20 minutes to ladder down and fix the inevitable mistakes I keep making that I don’t notice until 20 rows later.

I don’t like the grey yarn as much as the other colors. It’s a little thinner, not as evenly textured, and a little “fuzzier.”

1/19/12
Going to have to set the scarf aside for a while to finish a couple of other things. I’m also thinking more and more about knitting myself a pair of socks, I’m tired of having freezing cold feet.

2/17/12
Finished two hats and started a pair of socks, now back to the scarf. Over the 50% mark!

2/23/12
Had to redo the 16 rows of yellow, I accidentally cut one of the loops trimming of an end, and didn’t like the way it looked when I darned it. Then I came across a knot in the yarn, which kind of annoyed me; as I’ve been putting in extra effort to avoid knots. Ah well. On to the 56 rows of green.

2/24/12
The pattern calls for one skein of brown yarn. This is cutting it pretty fine in terms of yardage for me. I ordered a second skein, just in case.

2/27/12
I actually did have enough in the single skein of brown yarn, but I won’t complain about having more. I’m working on the last strip of purple, and then done knitting. The finished scarf is going to be about 11 feet long sans fringe, so I’m going to stretch it a bit when I block it.

2/28/12
The knitting is DONE! All the ends are woven in and trimmed. YAY! I still have to wash and block (where the bloody heck am I going to be able to lay this thing flat where the four foots won’t walk on it?) and add the fringe.

3/07/12
Blocked and drying. How do you block a knitted object that is 14 feet long? Very carefully. I folded it in half lengthwise, and laid it on towels in the spare bedroom. It’s sloppy, but it will do. I REALLY want some blocking wires, now. It took about two days to dry.

3/12/12
The second ball of brown came today; I would have had enough to make half the tassels without it. Tassels are done. Scarf is DONE! I’ll try to get some pics in the natural sunlight tomorrow.

Adding a couple of miscellaneous notes just for the halibut:

I made 13 tassels per side, spaced five stitches apart: one 12” strand of each color pulled through the second row up in a bunch with a crochet hook, the ends looped back through in a “larks head” knot. Tara Wheeler says she usually does 14, the BBC pattern calls for seven, YMMV.

I did my edges by slipping the first stitch of every row, purlwise, which gave me pretty “chained” selvages. This is supposedly not authentic. I also worked in my new yarn with Russian joins, and carried the tail of the old yarn about 10 stitches intarsia style and then cut it, so no weaving in of ends, and no knots. Also, supposedly not “authentic,” but I like the way it looks and I hate knots in my knitting. My finished scarf was about 11 feet prior to blocking, and blocked to 14 feet. So--just right.

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