jan_andrea: (geek)
Jan Heirtzler ([personal profile] jan_andrea) wrote2009-01-09 08:12 pm
Entry tags:

Dr Who Scarf

Okay, the universe wants me to make David a Dr. Who scarf.

I was reading my Google Reader feeds and clicked on a pattern for a neat looking scarf. While I was checking it out, David glanced over and said, "Oh! Could you make me a Dr. Who scarf?"

So I googled it and found www.doctorwhoscarf.com (who knew?) and spent about 10 minutes checking it out before going back to Google Reader. Read a few more articles, scrolled down... and there was this.

So, clearly, I am meant to make this scarf.

However, I'm not sure quite how. I mean, I have the directions (he wants the season 15 version), but I'm not sure about the yarn. Wool makes me itch, and him, too, so I'm stuck with non-woollen yarns. The directions call for a sport or DK weight yarn, and I would prefer to use something that feels nicer than the cheapo "pound of yarn" crap (I hate that stuff). OTOH, it's a *crapload* of yarn, and I don't want to pay more than, oh, say, $50 for the yarn. I can't tell exactly from the pattern, but it looks like I need between 200 and 400 yards each of 7 colors.  Of course, the pattern calls for it to be between 10-12" wide, and David wants something about half that width (and maybe shorter, once he sees how very long it is), so I guess I don't need quite as much.

Knitters, do you have recommendations for nice-feeling but not bank-breaking yarns? I like working with soft but not too stretchy yarns; have had success with a lovely chenille I got at my LYS, but it was years ago and I don't remember what it was called.
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[identity profile] apis-mellifera.livejournal.com 2009-01-10 01:29 am (UTC)(link)
Are you *sure* it's wool in general that makes you itch and not just coarse wool? There is a ton of variety out there in terms of wool and there are definite differences between them--I would have said that wool made me itch before I started knitting and learned more about the fiber and the different breeds of sheep.

That said, Knitpicks.com has a decent line of cotton blend yarns that may be suitable--I'm thinking specifically of Shine Sport which is $2.50 for 110 yards so, if they have the colors you want, you could get enough for around your target price. If they do not, they do have a cream yarn that you could over-dye with fiber reactive dyes to be the right colors--heck, you might even want to check Etsy for folks who do custom dye jobs and see what they charge if you don't want to faff about with that yourself.

[identity profile] jan-andrea.livejournal.com 2009-01-10 01:39 am (UTC)(link)
Unfortunately, it's all wools -- I even handled some alpaca and it made me itch :( Seems to be the proteins or something, I don't know. It's heartbreaking, though; even cashmere is out of the question :P

Thanks for the link! I'll check them out :D

[identity profile] webhill.livejournal.com 2009-01-10 02:01 am (UTC)(link)
Jan, alpaca do not have wool. Only sheep have wool. I can absolutely understand that you might find all animal fibers bothersome, and hey for all I know you have multiple fiber allergies -- but I am just commenting on your use of the term "wool" to describe alpaca fiber. it's not actually correct. Cashmere is also not a type of wool.

Now, if you are at all inclined to double check and see if you are truly wool-intolerant vs "just" scratchy-wool intolerant, you might consider snuggling some Malabrigo wool just to see. If not, don't bother :)

All of that said...my husband hates wool, but LOVES the llama-silk blend I just made him a hat from. And that said, that stuff was mucho dinero, so it won't help you.

Hmmm. how about a nice cotton??

[identity profile] jan-andrea.livejournal.com 2009-01-10 02:09 am (UTC)(link)
Thanks for the clarification :) Animal fibers it is. I spent a good 30 minutes at my LYS fingering various animal-based yarns and they all made my fingers tingle, not in a good way. Alas!

Llama/silk sounds lovely, though...
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[identity profile] apis-mellifera.livejournal.com 2009-01-10 03:14 am (UTC)(link)
Thanks for clarifying that animal fibers != wool -- I clicked through on the link in my email to point that out myself. As an anal retentive fiber person, that's one of my big pet peeves. ;)

Hm. Lion Brand Cotton-Ease might be another option, too. Not sure what colors are available, though.

[identity profile] artemis-rich.livejournal.com 2009-01-10 07:18 am (UTC)(link)
Only sheep have wool

Actually, this is not true. Technically wool refers to the fibers of certain animals, of which sheep is the main, but can also refer to the hair of goats, llamas (of which the alpaca is a cousin) and rabbits.

This is a common misconception, especially in the US.

EDITED TO ADD: Cashmere is considered a type of wool.
Edited 2009-01-10 07:20 (UTC)

[identity profile] webhill.livejournal.com 2009-01-10 11:55 am (UTC)(link)
I suppose there must be differing opinions. I was taught by my small ruminant medicine instructors at vet school to never call the fiber of anything except a sheep "wool," and until today that has worked out well for me.
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[identity profile] apis-mellifera.livejournal.com 2009-01-10 03:19 am (UTC)(link)
Boo for actual allergy issues (as opposed to "I got a scratchy wool sweater once so I'm gonna assume that all wool is scratchy" issues ;) ). Lion Brand Cotton-Ease might be okay, and Caron Simply Soft isn't too terrible (for an acrylic). You might also want to check out elann.com for other discount yarns--they focus mainly on animal fiber yarns, but you might get lucky.

Also, if you get to a bookstore or yarn shop, look for Amy Singer's No Sheep For You--she has a wool allergy and therefore the entire book is devoted to non-wool fibers. I think it's mainly non-animal fibers, too, so most of the yarns used in the projects should be fine.

[identity profile] jan-andrea.livejournal.com 2009-01-10 03:25 am (UTC)(link)
LOL at the title :D

I got the "Shine" stuff from knitpicks in the end. I hope it's nice :)
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[identity profile] apis-mellifera.livejournal.com 2009-01-10 03:27 am (UTC)(link)
I've heard very good things about it. It's one of the yarns I'm looking at for the afghans I want to make for my nieces.

Too Lazy To HTML Code

[identity profile] artemis-rich.livejournal.com 2009-01-10 01:29 am (UTC)(link)
Caron Simply Soft is cheap and actually quite lovely considering it's a generic acrylic yarn. I've knitted some costume shawls from this that need to be hard wearing and machine washable and I find this yarn fits the bill perfectly. Not to mention the fact that the yarn is quite soft. (This is coming from a yarn snob, BTW). http://www.caron.com/color_cards/cc_simplysoft.html

It's a worsted weight yarn, but that shouldn't be too much trouble to convert. Just go up a needle size or two and change the number of stitches per row accordingly. I can help you figure this out, if you like.

The biggest challenge for you will be finding the right colors.

Another good resource is Webs (http://www.yarn.com/). There is a lovely DK weight cotton/microfiber blend called Longmeadow by Valley Yarns (http://www.yarn.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/product.detail/categoryID/E2AB2957-FA64-4734-9962-53AA2A644DBD/productID/43B108F7-7006-40C8-8E49-5004F4435543/) that has a good color selection.

You can also try Knitpicks. http://www.knitpicks.com/KnittingA.aspx

Also Yarndex can help you search by weight and fiber and may give you some good ideas. http://www.yarndex.com/
Edited 2009-01-10 01:30 (UTC)

Re: Too Lazy To HTML Code

[identity profile] jan-andrea.livejournal.com 2009-01-10 01:41 am (UTC)(link)
Thank you for all the links! I will definitely check them out. I figure, for the size, I'll just cast on and knit a couple of rows and rip out if it's not right; I'm so not a gauge knitter :lol:

Thanks again!

Re: Too Lazy To HTML Code

[identity profile] artemis-rich.livejournal.com 2009-01-10 01:45 am (UTC)(link)
It's not like you have to worry about gauge with a scarf, anyway!

And my dirty little secret is that I hate to swatch. So I don't. But because I've been knitting since I was about six, I know how my stitches are compared to most folks. I can look at a pattern and just by seeing the yarn recommended, needle size and cast on amount I can tell from there whether I'll be on their gauge or need to go up or down a needle size.

I'm a renegade!

I never tell this to newbies by the way.

Re: Too Lazy To HTML Code

[identity profile] ankoku-jin.livejournal.com 2009-01-10 02:47 am (UTC)(link)
I second the recommendation for Simply Soft - it comes in quite a large array of colors (though you may have to order some of them online), it's soft as anything and it can be machine washed/dried. However, it's more delicate than wool or that red heart stuff, so I still tend to go with hand washing and line drying to prevent excessive pilling. It will also want to split when you knit it (in my experience) but it feels lovely on the hands. :)

You may also check out Little Knits (http://littleknits.com/) or Smileys Yarns (http://www.pagelinx.com/cgi-shopper/loadpage.cgi/smileysyarns/ezshopper?user_id=id&file=iriot.htm) for good deals on quality yarns.

Re: Too Lazy To HTML Code

[identity profile] jan-andrea.livejournal.com 2009-01-10 03:26 am (UTC)(link)
Thanks for the recommendations :) I ended up going with "Shine" (cotton/modal blend) from knitpicks -- I hope it's nice :)

Re: Too Lazy To HTML Code

[identity profile] ankoku-jin.livejournal.com 2009-01-10 03:52 am (UTC)(link)
Oooh, Shine is really nice! I'm sure you'll like it. :)

[identity profile] bafleyanne.livejournal.com 2009-01-10 01:30 am (UTC)(link)
I like the Naturally Caron "Country" yarn. It is very soft. It's 75% microfiber acrylic and 25% wool, I am sensitive to wool and it doesn't make me itch at all. On the down side though, the color choices are somewhat limited for it. naturallycaron.com if you want to check it out.

[identity profile] jan-andrea.livejournal.com 2009-01-10 01:42 am (UTC)(link)
Thanks! Unfortunately, any wool at all makes me itch (I do the occasional wool-blend Didymos wrap conversion and I always hate those -- have to scrub my hands afterwards) but I appreciate the suggestion :D

[identity profile] rudbekia.livejournal.com 2009-01-10 01:33 am (UTC)(link)
Stay away from chenille, it will only break your heart. Soft, yes, but not hand-knitting friendly. Others have already suggested what I would have, as far as yarns types to seek out.

http://community.livejournal.com/crafty_tardis/tag/the+scarf is just the place for this question.

[identity profile] jan-andrea.livejournal.com 2009-01-10 01:48 am (UTC)(link)
OMG! That's a riot! I will certainly ask them shortly :D

How did you find them, out of curiosity?

[identity profile] rudbekia.livejournal.com 2009-01-10 01:54 am (UTC)(link)
That community comes up from time to time in the knitting community, when the topic of Dr. Who scarves come up. And I know allllll about Dr. Who scarves, as my mother knit one for my brother back in the '80s.