My brother is a Doctor Who nerd. Now before you tell me about other people you know who won’t stop talking about the new Doctor this season, let me assure you, he is a nerd of a higher level. Before he was 40 he was on a panel at some sci-fi convention speaking as an expert on early Doctor Who. He’s been watching since William Hartnell (the first Doctor) and Tom Baker (the fourth Doctor) were PBS regulars at our house along with Sesame Street and 3-2-1 Contact. He has obtained his 10,000 Doctor Who hours several times over.
So when Jimmy Beans Wool and Lorna’s Laces released their limited edition Police Box yarn in March I started planning. I looked for patterns that looked like the Tardis–the magical police box in which Doctor Who travels the galaxy–and settled on the Blocks and Squares Scarf by Tetiana Otruta: a modified basket weave pattern with a nice border to keep the scarf from curling. To me, the pattern looked like the rectangles on the side of the Tardis.
My plan ready, I started knitting with the anticipation that the scarf would be done for my brother’s birthday in November. However, scarf knitting always takes me longer than I expect. The monotony gets to me. I missed his birthday so had to get my knitting mojo going for a Christmas delivery date. By December 22nd, I had the final garment finished and ready to block.
When knitting, I often miss the forest for the trees, so I was shocked when the blocked scarf revealed an unexpected cosmic sinusoidal wave. This miraculous pattern is enhanced by the fact that I joined two skeins of yarn mid-scarf, and as far as I can tell I accidentally did it perfectly. It’s not the multicolored scarf that was Tom Baker’s trademark, but the scarf feels very Doctor Who and “wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey”ish.
The scarf was further improved by the addition of a tiny Tardis charm, a stitch marker, also purchased from Jimmy Beans Wool, which was released the same time as the yarn. It’s subtle, yet ensures that the careful observer knows this is a scarf for a time traveler aficionado.
Now, I have never knit a present for my brother, so this whole enterprise had me a bit worried. I assumed he would love the gift, but his knit-worthiness had yet to be tested. So after taking a few artistic shots of his present on our fence that needs painting, I carefully wrapped the gift.
To ensure he understood the full meaning of his present, I wrapped the two yarn sleeves around the scarf, proudly displaying the “Police Box” name along with the tiny silver police box charm.
Christmas day I anxiously watched him open the gift. He studied it for a bit before I started blabbering: telling him about the yarn and the charm and the pattern I picked. He unwrapped the scarf and put it around his neck. “It looks so nice,” he said, “I thought it was commercially made. Do you mind if I show it to some of my Doctor Who friends online? They are going to be jealous.”
Such magical words to a knitters ear. Of course he could share it. Then he asked me how to wash it and didn’t flinch when I said it should really be hand washed. All early indications lead me to believe that this won’t be my brother’s last hand knit present. Which is good, because I may have picked up a few skeins of Bigger on the Inside this spring too. Time to start planning for next year’s knitting gifts.
Here’s hoping all your holiday knitting was loved and cherished.
Pattern: Blocks and Squares Scarf by Tetiana Otruta
Yarn: Lorna’s Laces Police Box from Jimmy Beans Wool
Ravelry Link: https://www.ravelry.com/projects/afthead/blocks–squares-scarf