Sunday, April 8, 2012

Doctor Who scarf

If you are not a Doctor Who fan this post will be extremely boring to you. If you are an avid fan of the Doctor Who scarf in particular, I hope you will enjoy it and find something of use.

Some days the Internet is just wonderful. My friends are always wonderful.

The other day Hubby went to Home Depot to pick up some Behr paint color chips for me. I wanted to use them to match yarn for a new Doctor Who scarf. As you may know, I've made three previously.

I've wanted to do this for a while, but we are planning a future trip to Tennessee during which I may have opportunity to visit an actual yarn shop, so I really wanted to have these before then so I could color match. I'd like to do a scarf (or two) with sport yarn, possibly wool though I don't work much with wool. Louisiana is just not built for it. :-)

Sadly, hubby was unable to find the colors needed at our local Home Depot. (I wrote to Behr and they suggested I buy a $40 book. They did not specify if the colors I wanted - which I sent them - would be in the book. I chose not to go that route.)

Wednesday, I mentioned this on Facebook and I'd hardly finished typing before four people replied. Two of them found all the colors that same day and have already mailed them off to me. I got one in the mail on Saturday. *dancing with glee*

Let me expand on what I am doing. You know I love to talk about the Doctor and particularly about this scarf, about which I have a fascination.

There are two definitive web sites with details on the Doctor Who scarf. These are my go-to sites and I'm often over there going from one to the other, examining differences.

Keep in mind that computers will show color differently and if you try to print them, even more difference. This is particularly important if you are trying to match shades which have subtle differences and that is the purpose of these references.

Also, yarn and paper reflect color in different ways.

I often get curious about things and go to great lengths in my investigative technique. LOL While I waited for the chips to come in, I thought I'd do some color matching and investigating by computer.

My husband told me he read online that men and women actually physically see color differently so I had to look that up too. One article I read said that men and women MIGHT see differently or men might just not care as much about the differences in color. Another said that some women have four photopigments and can see more of a range of colors. Yet another said women see the color RED better. Whichever it is, you might not see the same colors I'm seeing or the same that Tara or Gene or Chris or anyone else sees. So please yourself!

Regards to colors, really does any of it matter? In my opinion, no. Nobody is going to look at your scarf and say hey, this is not EXACTLY the same shade as the original Tom Baker scarf from 1974 to 1981. In the first place even the original scarf is not the original colors now! So, again, please yourself! I made one of my scarves half the width of the original because it is more comfortable to wear that way. (Of course if you happen across someone else wearing a scarf, you might have a comparison ...)

My scarves are also crocheted rather than knitted. Do I care? No. If I knitted, I would certainly do a knitted one, but I like my crocheted ones just fine.

I have two favorite Who scarf sites. They make different suggestions as to colors and chips. That is perfectly fine. They come at it from different perspectives and experiences and provide information they glean to other fans. I appreciate all those who have offered up info for us to use.

The first site is The Witty Little Knitter run by Tara Wheeler. For the three scarves I have made in the past I used Tara's Vanna's Choice colors (because they are less expensive and readily available) and I've been really pleased with the resulting look. (Be sure to check out her "odd uses" page!)

The second is The Doctor Who Scarf site, which used to be Chris Brimelow's site but is now run by Gene Fender (of the Scarf Factory). The turnover occurred only recently so the site is still being updated, but looks like it will be a good resource. One of the things I have already noticed is a version where inches are given instead of rows. I think that will be really handy if one is crocheting and not knitting scarves, as I am. I used Chris' row counts for two of my scarves and the size came out pretty close to what it is "supposed" to be. (I don't add fringe to my scarves because well, I don't care for fringe and it's my scarf. This means it is not precisely a replica of the Who scarf, but that is okay with me.)

Both sites give Pantone and Behr color chip numbers for reference to color match your yarn purchases. The Witty Little Knitter had one Glidden also. Hubby was able to get the Glidden one, which was large so I cut it into two for both sets I wanted. I don't know where to get Pantone chips (other than buying a very expensive book), so I went with Behr.

I went to the Behr web site and chose the colors indicated at the two Who sites. One color was exactly the same on both sites - Delicious Berry (purple). The other colors are different though in the same color vein.

Why the difference in shades, you might ask? Well, first off the colors on the Behr web site may not be exactly the same as the color cards. Think dye lot in yarn. Secondly, the color matches may be chosen in different light settings, looking at different original scarves and such. They may also have access to different color books. Neither is wrong or right. They are just as close as they can figure based on the information they had at the time. Choose the one you prefer for your own scarf or go in a completely different direction. (Tara even shows a blue scarf on her site.)

In looking at both the Pantone and the Behr for each site, The Witty Little Knitter's Pantone and Behr matched most closely to one another. In other words, the Pantone shade of mustard, for example, was close to the one she chose in Behr. With that in mind, I feet safe in using the Behr color chips.

I did make different picture matches for myself, matching up the colors in different ways, but no need to bore you with my compulsive behavior heh. This gives you an idea of what I'm talking about without being too boring, I hope.

Does it matter that there's a slight difference in shades between the two sites or between the Pantone and Behr? Not a whit. You will never get a perfect yarn match anyway unless you have a time machine and can go back to 1974 and see the original yarns. Even if you could do that and you could purchase the exact same yarns used then, it won't look the same because no two knitters or crocheters work exactly alike. Of course, if you DID have a time machine, maybe the original knitter would let you sit by her side and work on yours. :-)

There are many things that would make your scarf uniquely yours - and that is a GOOD thing!

I also want to mention two other sites that I ran across. The first has a picture of the author wearing a scarf knitted for him by his aunt in 1997 using the original Whovian Times pattern instructions. You can find his site here .

The second site, owned by Laura Gjovaag, also uses the pattern from the Whovian Times as well as the one from the Doctor Who pattern book by Joy Gammon. I owned the pattern book at one time, but passed it on to another fan as I don't sew or knit. You can find Laura's site here.

According to Wikipedia, Whovian Times was published by a Doctor Who fan club and there were 20 issues. To my knowledge, both of those books are out of print though with some diligent searching, I'm sure you could find them in used book places, likely at a nicely elevated price. LOL

I will not list the line counts themselves here because I have not gotten permission to reprint them.

The colors listed in the Doctor Who Pattern book are
dark brown

The colors listed in the Whovian pattern are
greenish brown

On the two sites that list all the line rows by color from the Whovian Times newsletter, there is one difference. Towards the end, 9th row from bottom, one has 16 rust and the other has 18 rust. I can't say which is right as I don't have the newsletter itself.

Through the seasons the scarf changed, particularly in length. Season 15 scarf also uses different colors than the original scarf, though they are similar.

Season 18 scarf is very different - Terra Cotta, Deep Purple, and Claret. Lion Brand Suede was a suggested yarn, but it has been discontinued so one must look for a substitute. I haven't made one yet so I can't show it to you. The S18 scarf was also the longest at 26 feet.

Now what to do with these colors? Why make a scarf, of course! So you need yarn. Tara and Gene have given their suggestions for yarn and they are good ones. I hope to find my own matches soon.

The thing about yarn is that manufacturers have no consideration. They discontinue yarns without asking us! Also, some stores will carry some brands and some stores others, and even if they carry the brand, they may not carry all the colors. I was recently looking for a particular color in a very commonly found brand, but could not find that one color in all our local stores.

When I made my Season 14 Who scarves I had to adapt from knit to crochet. I ended up using a ch 36 for the wide scarves and ch 21 for my 6" scarf which I wear. I used an I hook, Vanna's Choice yarn, and worked in single crochet. For one I used Witty Little Knitter's row counts. For the other two I used Chris' row counts.

Row counts somewhat would depend on personal tension while working and on the materials used - worsted weight and sport weight yarns would work up differently. Using a G hook or a J hook would also give a different finished size.

That is why I think I will like trying Gene's pattern notes about inches.

Anyway, that is the Doctor Who scarf as I know it. :-)

You can see my Doctor Who crocheted items with details at Crochet Cabana.

Happy crocheting!