Tag Archives: matt smith

February Phat Fiber Sampler – Doctor Who Series

Since my designs were sent off this morning to the Phat Fiber headquarters I thought I’d share with you everything I’m sending in this month for the Phat Fiber sampler box. The box is a great way to try out indie designers and dyers. This month’s theme is “geekery,” which really speaks to me, and that meant that I had far too many ideas! So since I couldn’t decide, instead of one design, I’ve included what seems like a billionty designs.  But they are all framed around one specific geek love of mine – Doctor Who. The first four designs pictured are part of my companion series and the next four are part of my regular Doctor Who series. And yes, everything’s up in the Exchanging Fire shop!

Rose Tyler

Donna Noble

River Song

Amy Pond

Bigger on the Inside (perfect for knitting the shawl of the same name)

The Last Centurion

The Doctor’s Wife

The Only Water in the Forest is the River

Don’t forget, if you purchase anything in my store from February 15 – March 15 you are eligible for the Phat Fiber Superbox Giveaway! To win this month’s Phat Incentive, which includes the contents of the February Video (aka The Superbox) AND A $150 Gift Certificate to one of the participating shops, you need to join the Phat Fiber group on Ravelry and the post what you’ve purchased in the incentive thread.

Here I am in featured right at the beginning of the Phat Fiber video for this month:

Want  to know how you can get one of these boxes? For a Phat Fiber community edited guide to snagging a box, visit this thread in the Ravelry group. The cost of the box is $36 including shipping. Good luck!

Enjoy the new designs, which are up in the Exchanging Fire shop!

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Doctor Who Extravaganza!

I’m so excited to reveal to of you the new stitch marker designs I’ve been working on at Exchanging Fire since season seven of Doctor Who ended this summer. I’ve been preparing for the 50th anniversary and Christmas specials, of course. And what better way to enjoy them then knitting along with your very own DW-themed stitch markers? Most of the modern companions are included, as well as some of my favorite quotes and concepts from the show. I hope you enjoy!

Two by two, hands of blue, cables make me want to scream

So, I am working on a Bigger on the inside shawl, to coincide with my watching of Doctor Who. It’s actually been going swimmingly, considering my propensity to get bored with what I’m knitting and walk away from a project for years on end.  A lace shawl finished in less than two months?! Inconceivable!

However, I’ve hit the first cables that make up the roofline of the Tardis and the instructions are so freaking unclear. Mainly this is because the designer doesn’t want you to knit these like regular cables, where you slide one stitch off, either to the back or front, and then come back to that stitch later. I can do that no problem. But her instructions call for keeping the stitches all on the same needle, and when I attempt that it comes out totally verkakte. This would all be made clear with a simple video somewhere, but does anyone on the internet have one? No. The best I can find use four stitches instead of two, or call it C2F instead of C2L, but a stitch dictionary I found online made it clear that these aren’t really interchangeable stitch terms, they are slightly different. Also, shouldn’t it be C4F if you are working four stitches, not 2? There is absolutely no standard for this term and so many “teachers” and “designers” online are using the terminology incorrectly I want to scream. Shoot me now. Also, I have a miserable cold so my patience is really low right now.

Ok, upon rereading the stitch dictionary I found online I discovered that the different between C2F and C2L appears to be that one version slips stitches and the other works them on the same needle, as this pattern calls for. Strangely enough, though, the term that calls for the stitches to be worked on one needle is C2F, while this pattern uses that definition for C2L. Do you see what I mean about no freaking standards? Makes me want to tear my hair out.

Thankfully, I did find an online tutorial that was a.) using two stitches for C2F, and was b.) knitting them the way that the designer for this pattern asks that they be knit, even if she’s using the wrong term according to others out there on the web. I’m sharing this video with all of you so that others don’t go through my personal torture. Now I’m going to go take another antihistamine.

UPDATE: Ok, so I tried to start the purl side of C2R and C2L and totally got confused. It was clearly way too late at night and I was too sick because I missed the directions entirely. Though the words didn’t really help at all. However, I found an obscure video about knitting 2-stitch Bavarian twists on the wrong side. At the end of the video, the teacher explains that these “twists can be turned into crosses” (aka C2L or C2R) by turning one knit stitch into a purl stitch. Perfect! Exactly what I was looking for. Though I did stop for a minute and think, “Wait, so does ‘C’ stands for ‘cross’ or ‘cable’? I’m so confused!” I personally followed Method A from the video and after doing it about three times along with the video I could remember it enough to do the two mock cables by myself. Just ignore her when she says to knit the first stitch – it’s always a purl stitch.

So the moral of this story? Sometimes in patterns, less is not more, more is more. After seeing those videos I could do the cables or twists all on one needle, no problem, but not being able to understand what I was doing was very difficult at first. Since these are pretty obscure techniques, in my opinion, more explanations upfront would have made this less of a hair-tearing experience.

Love notes to Doctor Who

Sometimes a love note isn’t written in words. Sometimes there are no words needed. When I design a set of stitch markers inspired by a favorite poem or song or even a TV show, I feel like these small, practical bits of jewelry for your needles are my love letters to the things I enjoy.

When I saw these rectangular blue beads with their very geometric mod style I immediately thought of the Tardis – “brand new and ancient and the bluest blue ever.” I knew they had to be turned into Doctor Who stitch markers. In some ways, Doctor Who is one long love story of the art of science fiction. These stitch markers are my love notes back.

Mad Man with a Box

“A daft old man who stole a magic box and ran away.  Did I ever tell you that I stole it? Well, I borrowed it.  I always meant to take it back.  Oh, that box, Amy, you’ll dream about that box.  It’ll never leave you.  Big and little at the same time. Brand-new and ancient and the bluest blue ever.”

These markers join the rest of my Doctor Who series, which currently contain:

Oswin Oswald

“Rescue me chinboy and show me the stars.”

Time and Relative Dimensions in Space

“Yes, that’s it. Names are funny. I’m the Tardis.”

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.

Catch the Sale!

That’s right, there’s a sale going on in my Etsy shop right now, and you’re invited to check it out! A bunch of stitch markers sets have been marked down, including all of my Doctor Who-themed stitch markers. If you are a Doctor Who fan, this is the place to be. The sets are selling out fast, so come catch the sale!

Doctor Who Stitch Markers