Fiber Geeks are everywhere in mainstream geekdom; you’ll see knitters and hookers (crocheters) at cons working a few rows at panels, interrogating cosplayers where they got or how they made their own knit or crocheted pieces, and if the stars are right you may even see a group of fiber geeks break out the spindles and wheels in a really, really long line. Certain fandoms within geekdom do have some of the most visible and devoted knitters and crafters, and one of the most noticeable groups are the knitters of Doctor Who.
The most famous examples of geeky knitwear in the history of geeky knitting is of course, the Fourth Doctor’s scarf. A legendary test of endurance, the scarf is made up in the simplest stitch in knitting repeated over and over again for a dozen feet or more. Many are started but few are completed, but it can be completed by a patient novice. It can even be done marathoning your way through classic episodes or through the modern series, after you are familiar with the knit stitch. The Doctor Who Scarf , a website devoted only to the fourth Doctor’s scarf, breaks down all the variations, striping patterns and possible yarns that could be used in scrupulously geeky detail.
Doctor Who themed patterns for crafters abound on Ravelry, the knitter’s social site. (An account is required to browse most pages, but it is a free, friendly and fun website) There you can find amigurumi Weeping Angels, Sonic Screwdrivers and Adipose, tams and doilies of Rassilon, the Fifth Doctor’s cricket jumper and Ood ski masks. The much beloved TARDIS and the terrifying Daleks are represented on any item you can imagine: sweaters, hats, stuffed toys, washcloths, mittens, and socks
One of my favorite patterns is a subtle and intricate tribute the Doctor’s TARDIS in the Bigger On The Inside shawl, by noted knitting writer and teacher Kate Atherley. A lace project done in light yarn and on small needles, it’s not a project for a beginner, and the results are stunning. It’s even more striking modeled on the Doctor’s own Karen Gillan, who was given it as a gift from fan Lisa Panedo.
Probably the biggest sign of how entrenched knitters are in Doctor Who fandom are the new special yarns created by Lorna’s Laces, a popular yarn company known for their whimsical, clever, and often geeky colorways. They’ve created a special TARDIS shade of blue for the sock-weight yarn Solemate and named it after the pattern for the the Bigger on the Inside shawl. Even more exciting is the new yarns dyed to the match the colors of the Fourth Doctors’ scarf in both sock and bulky scarf weight. Bundled kits with patterns are being put together with these yarns to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary special. Even if you’re just an observer of knitting geekdom, you’ll quickly see that if a knitter loves something, they have to knit a sock in a tribute to it. Stay tuned for more journeys into the world of geeky fiber crafting, and feel free to contact me below or in the forums if you have questions about starting to knit or crochet yourself.