Of all the Dr. Who props, the most memorable one is the scarf worn by Tom Baker as the fourth doctor (1974 to 1981). This scarf is huge and easily went from floor to neck, once around, and back down again to the ground on his 6'3" frame with about half a foot of scarf and the foot long tassels trailing on the ground on either side. On me (5'10"), it goes from middle of my calf up around my neck down to my waist, up to my neck again and down to the other calf - it is quite long.

By far, the Dr. Who scarf is a prized possession of any Dr. Who fan - especially those who live in colder climates and can actually wear the thing. To be authentic, the scarf should be made out of worsted wool and is quite warm (do not wear this in southern California or Texas).

This is the ideal project for a patient beginner to knitting because it uses only one type of stitch - the garter stitch. This stich is the simplest and most basic type of knitting - no knit one purl one, its just knit, knit, knit. Furthermore, there is no complex pattern to follow within the scarf - it is simply bands of color.

Yes, I (a guy) did make part of my own scarf - and I was knitting in high school none the less. It took me a significant amount of time to get through the first 52 rows of camel (60 total rows done) at which point I got bored. Upon handing it to my mother she was able to do the remaining 738 rows in the time it took me to do 60.

You will need:

  • Size 10 knitting needles (that be 6mm for metric types)
  • 8 skeins of wool in the following colors:
    • 1 Dark Rust (rust)
    • 1 Deep Tap Gold (gold / yellow)
    • 1 Dark Oxford (gray)
    • 1 Burgundy (purple)
    • 1 Cinnamon (bronze)
    • 1 Olive (green)
    • 2 Camel (tan)
While it make take some searching to find the proper colors, the alternate (and shorter) color names are listed in parentheses.

Cast on 60 stitches in purple (this about a foot across) and knit rows in the following order:

  • 8 purple
  • 52 tan
  • 16 bronze
  • 10 yellow
  • 22 rust
  • 8 purple
  • 20 green
  • 8 yellow
  • 28 tan
  • 14 rust
  • 8 bronze
  • 10 purple
  • 42 green
  • 8 yellow
  • 16 gray
  • 8 rust
  • 52 tan
  • 10 purple
  • 12 green
  • 8 yellow
  • 18 rust
  • 8 purple
  • 38 bronze
  • 10 tan
  • 8 gray
  • 40 rust
  • 14 yellow
  • 20 green
  • 8 purple
  • 42 tan
  • 12 bronze
  • 20 gray
  • 8 rust
  • 12 purple
  • 6 tan
  • 16 yellow
  • 54 green
  • 16 rust
  • 12 gray
  • 8 yellow
  • 20 bronze
  • 10 purple
  • 12 gray
  • 10 rust
  • 16 yellow

Eight tassels are at each end of the scarf and made of 1 foot lengths of yarn with all 7 colors of yarn in each tassel.

In the Doctor Who universe, each incarnation of the Time Lord known as "the Doctor" has a different appearance, personality and style. If you ask anyone familiar with the series to describe the Fourth Doctor, he or she will inevitably mention the scarf.

Throughout his run, Tom Baker's Doctor sported an obscenely long multicoloured scarf. The story goes that, after being inspired by a painting of (a scarf-clad) Aristide Bruant by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, the show's costume designer commissioned a scarf from a friend and provided her with a large amount of yarn. She then used all of it.

The original scarf consisted of stripes in brown, beige, red, yellow, green, grey and purple. As the series progressed, the scarf became worn out in parts and new sections — featuring pale blue stripes — had to be added. In his final series, the Fourth Doctor sported an altogether different scarf made of burgundy and orange yarn.

Knitting your own

The BBC once released an official pattern. In more recent times, numerous websites have been devoted to patterns for the scarves that appeared in various episodes.

The scarf is knit entirely in garter stitch, so all one needs in order to make one is knowledge of the knit stitch, yarn in the right colours (the knitting sites listed in the reference section have excellent colour suggestions) and patience. Some enterprising people make them to sell.


References:
doctorwhoscarf.com
wittylittleknitter.com (these two devoted entirely to the folklore and knitting of the scarf)
Fourth Doctor: Appearance on Wikipedia

BrevityQuest12
254 words, not including the Quest name and this disclaimer.

I also would have preferred to have noded this under Doctor Who scarf, but this already existed. Perhaps a lovely and helpful staff member can retitle this node for the sake of geekular accuracy. Many thanks to Aerobe for retitling the node according to accepted Whovian conventions!

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