"Pity about the scarf-- Madame Nostradamus made it for me-- a witty little knitter. Never get another one like it--"
The Doctor, Ark in Space

Tools, Tips, Videos and Free Advice

In this section, I’ll be listing some of my favorite tools and tips to make scarf knitting easier.

Tools

Needles

I prefer knitting my scarves with a 24″ Addi Turbo circular needle.

I’ve totally given up on straight needles; they’re always getting bent or broke, people seem to think they’re a security risk, kids yank them out of knitting to poke other kids with– they’re just not worth the hassle anymore.

I really like Addi Turbos as I like the sleek feel of the metal needles against the yarn.

If metal needles are too slippery for you, Addi also makes a very nice bamboo needle.

A Good Knitting Bag

I knit all the time.  In lines, at the movies, on planes, trains and in automobiles.

To that end, I have to have a bag that will hold a scarf in progress and enough yarn for a day’s knitting, maybe more.

I use a messenger bag.  It’s large, it hangs from my shoulder well, and is set up so that I can have the bag support the end of the scarf I’m not knitting on and the skein I’m working from allowing me to knit standing up.

Keeping others appraised of your progress

I just adore the Scarf-O-Matic!  It’s a web site where you enter the amount of scarf you’ve knitted (either percentage or rows) and it spits out a handy-dandy bit of code that you can copy and paste on LiveJournal, Blogger, Twitter, FaceBook, Ravelry or your social networking site of choice to let all your friends know how far along your project is with a fabulous scarf graphic.

And I’m totally chuffed that Marcus Porter added my Scarves to it.

Scarf-O-Matic!

Techniques

Casting On

I prefer to use a type of casting on usually referred to as ‘chain’ or ‘cable’ or ‘knitting on’.

I believe it gives a good elastic edge and doesn’t make me bother with trying to figure out how long a tail I need.

This is a link to a YouTube video of me demonstrating this technique.

Changing colors

I weave in the ends of my yarn *as* I knit, so I don’t have to do a lot of weaving in with a darning needle after I’m done knitting.

YouTube video showing changing colors

How to do the two row, one ridge, multiple color changes in the Season 18 without breaking the yarn and losing your mind

You’ll of course, notice that several sections of the Season 18 have one ridge of purple, one ridge of red, one ridge of purple, one ridge of red and you’re thinking ‘aren’t there enough places I have to weave in ends that this horror has to be visited upon me?!?’

Fear no more, you can do these quick color changes without breaking the yarn more than you absolutely have to.

YouTube Video showing Season 18 color changing technique

Fringe/Tassels

The fringe is made of tassels made from 12” pieces of each of the seven colors.

Cut seven pieces of yarn, each a foot long.

(Some people wrap their yarn around a softcover book (lengthwise) and then cut across one end)

Bundle the pieces together and double this yarn over to make a loop.

Use a piece of wire (or another piece of yarn) to pull the loop through the last row of the scarf (pull the yarn from the right side of the work to the wrong side) then put the ends of the yarn through the loop and pull up until the loop is resting on the right side of the work.

This is called a ‘larks head knot’.

I usually use about fourteen of these tassels on each end of the scarf.  Sometimes a few more, sometimes a few less.  I try to leave a few stitches between each tassel, so they’re spread out nicely.

This is a YouTube Video of me demonstrating this technique

I usually fringe the start of my scarf after I’ve knitted about a foot’s worth.  It makes what you’re knitting much more recognizable as a Doctor Who Scarf, and when you’ve gotten enough knitted, you can wrap the extra around your neck or throw it over your shoulder while you knit on the other end.

I make it a point to set aside enough yarn for the tassels on the other end.

Selvage stitches

The official BBC patterns say to always slip the first stitch of each row.

If you look at pictures of any of the ‘brown’ Scarves, you’ll clearly see the purl bumps go right to the edge.

The Season Eighteen looks as if it has slipped selvage stitches, but it’s a deception.  All stitches are knitted, and a line of slipped crochet has been added (on the flat side, not the edge itself!) along each side to make it look more finished.

This is a YouTube video of me demonstrating this technique  PART ONE

This is a YouTube video of me demonstrating this technique PART TWO

DO NOT slip stitches on a Doctor Who Scarf.  Knit all rows.

 

 

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