It started with a mail via flickr, one of those “you don’t know me, but… ” that usually mean something interesting is about to happen. It was headlined “Soon to be Doctor Krista“:
I’m Krista’s Dad and I need a favor from you – I need to find a Doctor Who scarf. Of course it needs to come from the Mother Country, not some colonial fake. Where can I buy one or could you make her one? I tried to find her a Tardis and did not have any luck so I thought of the scarf. For one of my birthdays she and her mother gave me a commemorative Dr. Who stamp so now with her becoming a true doctor, I must repay in kind.
How many levels of awesome is that? For a start there’s Krista’s geektasticness for even knowing, let alone loving, Dr Who, a British sci-fi tv series born several decades before she was as well as the other side of the atlantic. But even more awesome as far as I’m concerned is the fabulousness of her parents who knew of and appreciated her interest and came up with possibly the best PhD present idea in the world. (I think they must have known I knitted because of this.)
And it only got better. Because there is (but of course) an entire website devoted to this singular (and yet, as we shall see, multiple) item of clothing – The Doctor Who Scarf. Which is not one scarf but a multitude of different scarves which mutated over time (but not always linearly to the the viewer) and even regenerated into something, visually at least, very different.
A piece of swift and unscientific research revealed that, to us Brits, the original is also the best, so that’s the scarf that was made since we couldn’t find one for sale. Armed with a printout of the “pattern” I went with artist F, who has, unsurprisingly, superb colour sense, to the nearest large haberdashery department to get the wool. This looked as though it might be a considerable challenge since all the brands featured on the website are American and not widely available here (if at all). But we were fantastically lucky. The Rowan yarn Wool Cotton has a very close approximation to each of the seven shades required and is, miraculously, also the right weight.
Knitting started in the summer on Holy Island, and continued hither and yon through the autumn. This thing is BIG. There was a hideous number of ends to darn in and tassels to be added. Finally it was finished, ceremonially photographed
At last, months after Krista was Doctored and even more months after it was started, it has found its home. Hurrah!
(It’s on ravelry here.)