Tag Archives: handknit

I Found Myself a TARDIS and Other Yarny Stories

Bigger on the Inside by Kate Atherley

This month a great indie pattern designer released the most amazing pattern on Knitty. Bigger On The Inside by Kate Atherley is a beautiful ode to Doctor Who and his fabulous blue box of a time machine, the TARDIS. I saw this shawl and knew immediately that I had to make my own. However, there is one important thing you must know about me.

I HATE BLUE. I like blue-green, like aquas, turquoise, and teal, and I enjoy blue-purple, like indigo, midnight and blurple. But plain old royal or cornflower blues? Gag me with a spoon. This could be a problem, of course, when you want to create an ode to a Blue Box. Yes, definitely an issue.

Don’t worry, however. I have already solved this highly traumatizing dilemma. You see, there have been many Doctors. And it is interesting to note that there have been almost as many different TARDIS machines disguised as vintage blue police telephone boxes from the 1960s as there have been actors playing the Doctor. Apparently the props department isn’t that good with continuity. Which works well for me!

You see, I fell in love with the Doctor during his more recent incarnation in the 2000s when I was in grad school, and that Doctor (or Doctors, since it was both 9 and 10) had a box that wasn’t so much as blue as it was a lovely dirty teal color. I believe it started getting this more authentic, dirty blue color in the 80s, and continued that way through the 2000s, when David Tennant had his grand run at playing Doctor Who. Currently the blue box has gone back to being a more shiny, clean bright blue color, but I choose to ignore that fact when watching the show.

My point to all of this backstory is that I have found the MOST PERFECT color of blue to make my own TARDIS shawl! It will be, naturally, an ode to the dirty teal-blue TARDIS I adore, and I think it will look very nice on me. If only I was more of a nerd and had a Comic Con or scifi event I could wear it at. Alas, I am not so once I make this shawl it will be a nice winter scarf to wear with my black pea coat, and only those “in the know” will get my tongue-in-cheek grown-up joke about the Doctor and the TARDIS.

Anyways, now that I’ve tracked down the two skeins I need for the shawl I can reveal the yarn to you, since it is no longer a state secret. I have purchased two skeins of Vampy Karma Sock in Midnight Cowboy, which matches my favorite Doctor’s box PERFECTLY. And I like that the name happens to coincide with 11’s penchant for hats.

Stash image courtesy danirobins on Ravelry

Fibres by Vampy is a lovely little indie dyer from the UK who was a fellow swapper on Ravelry. She no longer dyes, which makes this yarn even harder to come by, so you can only imagine how tickled I was to be able to locate two of the same skeins! I really love her yarns – I have a pair of socks knit out of one of her bases – and so I can’t wait to knit this latest yarn up into a proper TARDIS shawl.

I must confess that since Doctor Who finished up its season last winter,  is not on tv right now, and won’t be back until the fall, I’ve been going through a bit of withdrawal. The solution, is not, as you might think, to rewatch old episodes of Doctor Who that you have seen multiple times by now. Oh no, that is a very bad idea, in fact, because it only makes you miss the show more. Much like if you have an addiction to alcohol it is most likely a bad idea to go sit in a bar and watch other people drink it.

Time and Relative Dimensions in Space

So instead, I am feeding my little pining over the Doctor with some new creatively made projects, like the aforementioned shawl. My other project was some new Doctor Who stitch markers, which I really am quite in love with. meet Exchanging Fire‘s brand new Time and Relative Dimensions in Space set, a simple set of iridescent fire-polished glass beads that are reminiscent of the colors of the TARDIS as it must look spinning through the universe and streaking between comets and clouds. If you saw the episode of Doctor Who called “The Doctor’s Wife” you’ll understand the conversation below perfectly:

Idris: Time and Relative Dimension in Space. Yes that’s it. Names are funny. It’s me. I’m the TARDIS.
The Doctor: No you’re not! You’re a bitey mad lady. The TARDIS is up-and-downy stuff in a big blue box.
Idris: Yes, that’s me. A type 40 TARDIS. I was already a museum piece when you were young. And the first time you touched my console, you said—
The Doctor: I said…you were the most beautiful thing I’d ever known.
Idris: Then you stole me. And I stole you.
The Doctor: I borrowed you.

My Swappy, Scrappy, Oversized Scarf

So once upon a time I saw this fantabulous scarf that a friend had knit in the linen stitch pattern. It was thin and long and highly variegated and looked like it had been woven and she had knit it out of a ton of fingering weight scraps. I was enchanted. So enthralled, in fact, that when she offered the scarf up in a swap I claimed it in a snap. But though I loved it, I wanted more. The thin scarf wasn’t enough to whet my appetite, and as winter approached, I decided I needed to make one of my own.

So come January, after a few weeks of collecting yarn scraps, I started knitting my shawlscarf. Linen stitch and knitting lengthwise was a completely new territory for me, and I vastly underrated (or overrated, depending how you look at it) how much yarn and stitches I would need to complete this scarf. So in my enthusiasm, I cast on 600 stitches. I know. I am insane.

There was a definite learning curve, and I certainly had to frog early on, but I kept plugging away. Part of the reason this scarf just never stopped is because I am meticulous, and wanted my colors to blend properly. And so I found myself with A LOT of yarn. I worked off and on for 12 months to make this scarf. There reached a point where I knew I should stop but I wanted to fit in all of the awesome yarns I had accumulated, so I didn’t stop!

But finally, after almost a year, I came down to the end. I cut myself off, I chose an end yarn, and I finished it. It. Is. Finished. Stick a fork in it. My Swappy, Scrappy Oversized Scarf used over 2,000 yards of fingering weight yarns (not all are listed, as some were unknown) and is absolutely perfect. Wide enough to cover my ears, nose and throat but with a thin enough fabric to scrunch when I need it to. As I was knitting it, I wasn’t sure if I was crazy or inspired, so to have the finished product be exactly what I wanted makes me inordinately pleased. I started this Jan. 29, 2010 and my goal was to finish it up before it’s one year anniversary. I did it, finishing while visiting a friend on Jan. 15, 2011. Yey!

I must say that this is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever knit. I’m not one for wildly variegated colors and crazy, off-the-wall fabrics, or anything like that. But I just couldn’t stop knitting this. I love it. :) Oh! The crazy teacup pin was a Christmas gift and comes from this off-the-wall Etsy shop called TillyBloom.

Mush on my feet

I just wore a big honking hole my Malabrigo Socks. It’s only the third time I’ve worn them and they haven’t even been washed yet! Can you feel the anger and frustration radiating from my body? Here are the socks. They were knit for me by a Ravelry friend out of Malabrigo Sock in Boticelli Red. They are gorgeous.

Aphrodite Socks by Jeannie Cartmel

I’ve wore them three nights in a row, being careful to wear my slippers most of the time and definitely not walking on the carpets in them. While I was sitting at the computer tonight I took my slippers off, because hello, wool is very warm and my feet were getting hot. And then right when I was about to go to bed, boom. I look at the bottom of my foot and there’s a huge freaking hole right where my toe is.

Hole in Malabrigo Socks

What. the hell. is that. I’ve worn other handknit socks just like this made from 100 percent merino, but never have I had a sock completely disintegrate like this on me, and so fast! I am mightily displeased. I’m also a little wary of using more of my 100 percents for socks. I certainly don’t want my handknit socks to fall apart this quickly!

So yeah. Know what that means? All of the other Malabrigo currently earmarked in my stash for socks is being de-earmarked. I have now decided that Mal Sock cannot stay in my home because this yarn, as socks, turns into mush far too fast for my taste. I guess this is m y first opportunity to use my grandmother’s darning egg, at least. grumblegrumble