Category Archives: knitting

Osgood’s Scarf

This year for Halloween I decided to dress up as one of my favorite minor Doctor Who characters: Petronella Osgood, the geeky UNIT scientist with a Zygon double. One of Osgood’s outfits includes a scarf similar to Tom Baker’s iconic neckwear but differs in color and knitting style. Being a knitter and a Doctor Who fan, I was excited to make this scarf!

It took a bit of research to find the exact pattern to use for this project. There is an excellent Ravelry project that details many of the differences in Osgood’s scarf. The pattern mostly follows the Doctor Who Season 13 scarf pattern with a few minor adjustments, such as a varying stripe color, single color tassels, and lighter colors.

For my scarf, I used Rowan Wool Pure DK yarn in Damson, Enamel, Tan, Gold, Parsley, Kiss, and Anthracite (note that as of the time of this post, many of these colors are now discontinued). I cast on 66 stitches on a size US 5 needle and knit the entire scarf in a 1×1 rib stitch with a slipped stitch edge. For the tassels, I used 6 strands of a single color for each tassel.

After many months of knitting, I finished the scarf just in time for Halloween. At completion, my scarf was twelve feet eight inches long (excluding the tassels). I’m very pleased with the finished item and I’m looking forward to wearing it more as the weather turns colder!

Knitting

photo 2I recently taught myself how to knit. I was interested in the mechanics of knitting, especially how it’s possible to weave string into cloth with just a few simple tools and techniques. It was also appealing because it’s something that can be done in small sessions rather than requiring long spans of continuous attention. Furthermore, knitting is a skill that allows you to make really cool things.

Knitting during a flight delay
Knitting during a flight delay

To get started, I picked up an awesome introductory knitting book, Stitch N’ Bitch. The friendly folks at Knitty City also helped me pick up some needles (size 10) and yarn that were suitable for a beginner.

ScarfMy first project was this simple ribbed scarf. Admittedly, it took me a long time to figure out the purl stitch, but I finally had some success with the English method of knitting. At the beginning, I made some mistakes and had trouble getting the yarn tension right which resulted in some oddities in the knitted fabric. By the end of the scarf, however, the stitches were even and consistent, resulting in a cool stretchable ribbed pattern.

Ribbed fabricFor my second project, I wanted to try something a little harder. I made the Official Kittyville hat. I used a cheap wool yarn so it wouldn’t be an expensive mess if I screwed the whole thing up. This required needles that were smaller (size 7) than the ones I used for my first project. The hat also involved some new techniques, such as knitting in the round, decreasing size, using double-ended needles, and picking up stitches in the middle of the fabric. Overall, the stitches were still slightly too tight, but the end result came out well. It’s definitely something I will wear when it gets a little colder.

Kitty hat

I’ve added lots of knitting project ideas to my ever-growing project list. I want to try combining conductive yarn and Fair Isle knitting to make functional and attractive knit circuits. Of course, there are lots of great non-technical projects in there too, like these Dalek mitts.

Knitting on a train
Knitting on a train

And, by the way, did you know that knitting is good for your health? Sources say that it is an excellent stress reliever and could possibly have the same effect as meditation.  I’ve definitely found myself getting lost in the motions of moving the needles.