Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Delightful Detour: Knitting and Doctor Who

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Doctor Who and Knitting? Absolutely!
I've loved knitting for about ten years.  I’ve loved Dr. Who since college, which would mean...ahem...about thirty years.  I never really thought about any connection between the two until I was asked to combine these two favorite things for today’s post.
Then I did a little research...and found out I am far from alone.

The Scarf
The first connection--and for many the strongest--is obvious: the quintessential SCARF.  Known universally (and in this case we really mean that word) as “the Dr. Who Scarf,” the uber-long strip of stripes was worn by the fourth Doctor in a host of seasons and manifestations.  Knitters have been replicating it for decades, and it is as much an icon as the TARDIS blue box.  It has a pretty decent pedigree, as the doctor claims it was knit by Madame Nostradamus, a “witty little knitter” who’d probably have her own blog were The Doctor to whisk her off to present times. And perhaps she has, for a lovely lady named Tara Wheeler has taken up the cause with admirable abandon.

The Actor Who’s Actually an Expert
On the more obscure side, the blog natknit reminded me that Lalla Ward who played Romana, a companion to the Fourth Doctor (played by Tom Baker, who rocked aforementioned scarf) actually has a line of knitting books out there.  There are many famous actors who knit...surely our Whovian performers should be among them.

The Current Controversy
If your tastes run more to current events, we’ve got that covered, too.  The Doctor has always stirred up controversy wherever he goes, so it should come as no surprise that he’s stirred it up in the knitting world as well.  Knitter Whovians made the news recently when BBC got supremely cranky about someone posting knitting patterns to create characters from the series.  When is knitting a TARDIS “fan crafting,” and when is it copyright infringement (or is that copyright intarsia)?  Us crafty types, we always fuse our passions.  Etsy is filled with Who goodies.  I can’t say I wouldn’t adore a plush little Adipose if I had the time and inclination to make one.  And yes, I did try and get a “TARDIS” vanity plate for my blue Honda pilot--it is a big blue box that travels, after all.  Is that worthy of lawyers descending on me like a herd of Daleks?

The On-Screen Nod to Knitting
Most recently, we learned The Doctor takes an interest in yarn and needles.  How many of us KnitWhovians gasped in joy during “The Wedding of River Song” to see Matt Smith with his Doctoral nose in a copy of “Knitting for Girls”?  And why not?  Real men knit.  Creative, adventuresome, clever men knit.  Men who know “bowties are cool” would know knitting has been cool for centuries.  Maybe the Doctor knows knitting has been cool for millennia.  

The Dare
Hey BBC, I publicly dare you to show our beloved Doctor knitting in a future episode.  Knock yourself out--make it alien yarn with time-altering capabilities.  We’ll accept anything crafty and clever from our beloved Doctor.  But I’m warning you, he better not be wiggling needles with the ends pointed up in that fake knitting I detest (DestiKNITters, you know what I’m talking about). Should BBC need an on-set consultant, I just happen to be available.

The Prize
Had I a time machine, I’d ratchet it back to give me enough time to knit you the yards of stripes a decent Dr. Who scarf requires.  But I don’t--I don’t even have a Honda Pilot with a “TARDIS” plate.  But I do have a copy of my most clever book with knitting in it, “My So-Called Love Life.”  Leave a comment with your email address (duly spelled out with [at] and [dot] for your protection) and I’ll draw a winner at 5pm CT Saturday.

But don’t stop there!

The Grand Prize: Season 6 on DVD!
To enter the grand prize giveaway, please leave a comment with your name and email address. You may enter once at every stop on the blog tour for a total of thirteen chances. The Grand Prize giveaway is limited to the US and Canada, due to regional restrictions on the DVD. Individual contest will close at the discretion of the author, but the Grand Prize contest will accept entries on any site until midnight CST on December 24th. We will post the winner on December 25th, and notify the winner via email.

The Next Stop
And don’t stop here...hop in your cyber-TARDIS and travel tomorrow to the 13 Days of Dr. Who’s next stop: Sarah Enni: The Doctor and How He Changes His Companions' Lives at


felizthompson said...

The little knitted adipose is adorable! I might have to try that one :D

Francesca Thompson


Nina Benneton said...

LOL!!!! A knitted Adipose! My god, love the irreverence humor.

My family is crazy about Dr. Who.

My son only wants Dr. Who stuff for Xmas.

Nina Benneton said...

LOL!!!! A knitted Adipose! My god, love the irreverence humor.

My family is crazy about Dr. Who.

My son only wants Dr. Who stuff for Xmas.

Celeste said...

Hahaha, I am going to have to add the adipose to my list of knitted Who things to make myself. xD It already includes the scarf and TARDIS, maybe I should try a sonic as well?


Jenn Dixon said...

Excellent post!


Allie Pleiter said...

It is a clever little plush, isn't it? Nina, make sure you include your email so we can put you in the drawing!

celticoma said...

I am going to knit an adipose and let BBC try to take it away! Ha !!

Erika said...

I really hadn't ever made this connection before!! But woah!! My sister knit me a tardis hat I love and a stuffed tardis plushy!!

I want an adipose!! I think I am going to ask for one for my birthday!! So cute!!

Great post!!

Leah said...

Thanks for the lovely Doctor Who post -- I'll be following the blog hop!

Anonymous said...

Allie! This post. It makes me ridiculously happy.

1. The "Knitting for Girls" image is my Goodreads avi.

2. While I've been watching episode after episode to fuel up for my own post, I've been knitting a blanket, a soft and squishy thing for a very important baby on the way, and I was just thinking how much I love to knit and watch Doctor Who. And it is not too much magical thinking to hope that the baby grows up to be a Whovian. (It isn't, is it?)

3. The Adipose. OMG. I never did save that pattern when it was available online, and I've kicked myself for it EVER since. I'm not a good enough knitter to freestyle one, but someday that pattern's going to go public again and I won't make the mistake of letting it go. OHHHHH. The adorableness!

Lhuv-Kerapht said...

Given the phenomenal Whovian population on Ravelry, this has me definitely charmed.

hrholsclaw (at) gmail (dot) com

Colin Smith said...

Yes, there is nothing un-manly about knitting. I knitted a Doctor Who scarf during my final year at university, over 20 years ago. And I still have it. I didn't work from a pattern--I went largely from memory. It's by no means exact, but the colors I chose were at least the kind of colors on the scarf. Of course, I'm talking about the original scarf, not the season 18 burgundy-red-orange-yellow version. :)

Interesting post. I don't recall ever seeing the Doctor knit, but it certainly wouldn't be out of character. He's an alien, after all. Earth cultural stereotypes are irrelevant to him.

Bonnie said...

Lovely! Thanks so much. Bonnie Craig - bonniecraig [at] juno [dot] com.

anatomyofaskirt said...

oh gosh, love the post! erin(at)anatomyofaskirt(dot)com

Rebecca Vogler said...

Thanks so much for the wonderful post marrying two of my favorite things, Doctor Who and knitting. I asked for money for yarn this year so I can start on my very own Tom Baker scarf. I hope it works!


s said...

Whovians for the win! :) We're looking forward to the Christmas special.

I love when 11 mentions a knitting lesson. "Well, knitting or biplanes, I don't remember." :P

Karenna said...

I adore my Season 12 scarf! Now for tardis socks, daleks and other toys. The Doctor definitely should know how to knit by now.

Karenna said...

I adore my Season 12 scarf! Now for some Tardis socks, a Tilting Tardis cowl, Daleks and other plushies.

Yay, Whovians! Let's see Eleven knitting. Heaven knows he has had long enough to learn it. He does not sleep!

quarkwright said...

Loving the doctor.

Sarah Enni said...

I LOVE THIS! And seriously, getting angry about knitting little Doctor Who creatures/things? How is that anything but an amazing compliment??

That picture of Eleven reading the knitting magazine is priceless---he looks so pleased :)

maggie p said...

A friend of mine has a Tom Baker scarf and I am so incredibly jealous! I've been knitting for about a year and I'm still terribly slow, so making one will take me ages. I am determined to someday do it, though!

Danielle Ellison said...

I don't know anything about knitting but I love how DW can bring all the things people love together!! :) And that adipose is so cute. I've almost bought one on Etsy like 100 times now.


Rebecca T. said...

I just started learning how to knit. What fun! I love that little adipose :D

Thanks so much for joining the blog hop. This is fantastic!

sonshinemusic at gmail dot com

Suzanne said...

That adipose is adorable! Thanks for the giveaway!

Allie Pleiter said...

Look at all these knitting (or knitting appreciative) Whovians! I'm having such fun with this. I might have to hunt down some more knitted goodies and showcase them at a later date. Don't forget to spell out your email in your comment so you can be entered in the drawing.

SM said...

I'm actually not that big on knitting (clumsy fingers), but my mom is very talented, so your book would come in handy for Christmas! Thanks!

smcdanielc [at] gmail [dot] com

fourdognight said...

Just got a used, very blue MPV van--while not as boxy as a Pilot, I think we'll have to call it The Tardis!

*daisy said...

ha ha ha! My first boyfriend I met while he was dressed as Tom Baker Dr Who, whom I recognized from the scarf (as I wasn't a Who-watcher at that point, but def knew the scarf !)

daisylind at gmail!

Anonymous said...

Somehow I missed this on the bloghop! I love that picture of Eleven reading "Knitting for Girls". :P He looks so happy! I can totally see the Doctor knitting, and insisting it's cool much like his defense of bowties. ;)