Monday, January 27, 2014

The Great Doctor Who Scarf Project

If you are a Doctor Who fan (and who isn't these days?) and a knitter then you have almost certainly heard about the Doctor Who Scarf. This epic garter stitch scarf was worn by the Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker) and has become one of the best known symbols of classic Doctor Who. Whether you are going all the way and doing the full 12ft long scarf or knitting a project that is more scarf-inspired (like these awesome stockings) its crucial that you get the colors just right. There have been plenty of suggestions for yarn brands and colors that will work but it can be hard to find all the colors you need all in the same base so we had a customer come to us with a challenge- to dye up a set of Doctor Who Scarf colors on our Super Wool DK yarn.

-borrowed from

We used the extensively research site as a guide. They even have a list of pantone colors that are supposed to be a perfect match to the original scarf. Armed with my official Pantone color cards I was able to create dye recipes to perfectly match the colors. Unfortunately though the colors are a match, they still aren't quite "right". As the customer put it, they aren't as "dull and lifeless" as the originals. I think that this is, in part, because we only ever saw the scarf under studio lighting and through the filter of 1970s video recording equipment. And lets just say that back then TV wasn't exactly HD. According to the website the scarf itself was actually  a bit brighter and more saturated, but the scarf- as we saw it- was more dulled down. So the big question: replicate the scarf as it originally existed in-real-life or the way it looked on screen. 

Here you can see the way my original recipes turned out. I have two photos for each skein in order to try to show the color as accurately as possible but, as usual, different computer monitors will show the colors differently. Keep in mind the the background of the photos is a piece of heavy white computer paper. 

My next step is to try the same color recipes but less saturated to give it a more faded look. If that doesn't give us the perfect results I may try the recipes on our Green Sheep Fingering base and see how it looks on a non-superwash wool. 

If you find yourself in need of a 12 foot long, one foot wide behemoth of a wool scarf (and after this remarkably cold winter it doesn't sound like a bad idea), you can get your own kit here. Each color is also available individually for purchase on any of our base yarns. Keep in mind that on our other bases the color will turn out slightly different. If you are searching for extreme accuracy please contact us before ordering so we can discuss your yarn base options and, if necessary, tailor our recipes to your needs.