Dimensionally Transcendental Shawl
March 30, 2013
May 23, 2013

Dimensionally Transcendental Shawl

Project info
Bigger on the inside by Kate Atherley
Neck / TorsoShawl / Wrap
Bigger on the inside
Needles & yarn
US 3 - 3.25 mm
Fibres by Vampy Karma Sock
574 yards in stash
1.58 skeins = 638.3 yards (583.7 meters), 167 grams

Actor Matt Smith on what kind of story Doctor Who is: “Ultimately, it’s about a man who time travels and who has to save the universe using a toaster and a ball of string. Matt shrugs “And he kind of makes it work.”

I’ll be doing two extra increases (9 instead of 7) which then requires two extra decreases and two to four extra blue boxes.

March 30:
Cast on during the Doctor Who season 7.5 premiere, which introduces us to Clara Oswald, the Doctor’s new Companion. I’m rather enjoying Clara, especially after she mockingly called the Doctor’s impressive TARDIS, a dimensionally transcendental spaceship that travels through time, his “snog box.”

I got through three repeats over three shows (Doctor Who, Orphan Black and The Nerdist)! I confess I also stuck in an episode each of Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report.

At first I slowed down my own knitting a lot because somehow I keep dropping yarnovers. It’s a weird thing because I’ve never had a big issue with dropped yarnovers in previous projects, so I suspect the way the pattern is designed is leading me to do that. So I spent a lot of time noticing that my increase number was off by one and having to frog back a row to dig up that dropped stitch.

But otherwise, my shawl is going swimmingly! I’m impressed by how fast it’s moving along after only one night of Doctor Who watching.

March 31:
I watched the Doctor Who Confidential 50th anniversary episode about the third doctor tonight, and since we all know how those are epically long (3 hours in one go!) I got quite a bit more knit. I’m almost done with my 6th repeat on the lace, and since I’m going to do 9 repeats, probably in a week or so I’ll be ready to do the decrease sections. It’s basically turning into 3 repeats per night of TV watching.

April 3:
Tonight in honor of National Fish Sticks and Custard Day I had beer battered cod sticks and “custard” (tartar sauce) for dinner tonight! And now I’m watching the first episode, Bells of St. John, again because I really want to knit my TARDIS shawl tonight and my rule is only knitting on the same nights I’ve watched the Doctor!

My knitting of the Vortex lace pattern has really sped up now that I have the hang of it. Whereas at the beginning it took a whole episode to knit a twenty-four row pattern increasing to 16 stitches, now in that same episode I can knit twenty-four rows that increase to say, 60 stitches. So decreasing is going to be a breeze.

I finished increasing tonight. I did nine increases, which is two more than what the pattern calls for. I like shawls that cover or wrap around my arms and are actually useful for keeping me warm, as opposed to just that triangle on my back that gets cold.

April 6:
I went to a family reunion/birthday party earlier today and got a massive headache. I got home, took a Motrin, and crashed. When I woke up at midnight I was wide awake and ready for Doctor Who and knitting my shawl. Or so I thought. It took me three hours to get through two repeats of the center section. ARGH. I just kept making stupid mistakes and even though I reached I a point where I realized my concentration wasn’t good enough for knitting and watching tv, I didn’t want to stop in the middle of a repeat so I kept going. Two repeats down, two left before I hit the decreases. Woot!

April 13:
I went to a wedding tonight and it was so much fun that I was still drunk when I got home. Oy. I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to knit or watch Doctor Who, so I took some aspirin and a big glass of water and curled up in my blanket to watch Orphan Black. By the end of that I had perked up and happily worked my way through the rest of the lace center while watching the Doctor and Clara run around a very wet submarine in 1983. Now I’m into the decrease section. Success!

April 20/21:
It took me two days to get through all of my Supernatural Saturday watching, simply because I was out a lot, celebrating my Nana’s 92nd birthday and running charity events and such. Also, my knitting went slowly in part to the fact that Doctor Who was sooo freaking creepy this week (they were in a very haunted house) that I would stop midway down a row in horror and then forget where I was and have to waste time figuring myself out. I got through the second decrease repeat, however, which is pretty darn good, considering that right now I’m knitting the most rows. It’ll get faster the more I decrease. I’ve also discovered that the Time vortex pattern does a very funny thing - it’s natural inclination is to twist in upon itself, making it - you guessed it - look like a Vortex! Clever pattern.

April 27:
With only a few episodes left of the season, I’ve come to realize that I cannot knit fast enough to finish the show if I only knit while watching BBC’s Supernatural Saturday. So now I’ve decided to knit this while watching
every sci-fi based show in my queue. I’m looking at you, Defiance and Merlin. I finished the third decrease and half of the fourth last Monday night during the finale of Lost Girl, and I’m hoping to get through the decreases soon so I can start the second half of the shawl by next week!

I finished the decrease section! I ended up watching DW twice to get it done, but now I’m ready to move onto the Police Box charts. The original pattern says to pick up 311 stitches, but that’s for a 7-repeat Vortex lace pattern. I did my repeats 9 times, so I have to calculate for additional stitches. MATH TIME! The original pattern has 386 rows of the Vortex lace, including the center chart and start and end bits, which required you pick up 311 stitches. My project has 490 rows (I did four repeats of the center chart), meaning that to accurately replicate the pattern I need to pick up 395 stitches.

Ok, that’s as much math as I can handle tonight, so I’ll figure out how many times I need to repeat the Police Box chart next time.

May 1:
Ok, so the police box repeat is 20 stitches big, repeated 15 times creates 300 stitches. There are 11 non-repeating beginning and end stitches. Taking the original 300 stitches and subtracting that from the theorized 395 stitches I need to pick up leaves me with 95 stitches I need to find a use for. I’ll repeat the police box four extra times, which should leave me with 15 stitches. I think I’ll lose 4 stitches so I can keep to the 11 stitches called for by the pattern, which means in the end I’ll need to pick up 391 stitches and repeat the Tardis pattern 19 times.

Picking up stitches is a bitch. The first I did it I only managed to collect 133. Bloody hell. Ok, I’ve done some research (I looked up Knitty’s instructions for picking up a curved edge) and I’m attempting again. Wish me luck!

May 6:
I just finished the 4th row of the pattern, which is the spot where you create bobbles or add beads to make the light on top of the police box. I am using these cool black bicone (diamond shaped) beads that have a blue iridescent polished look to them, which means they will blend in with the shawl until they flash in the light. Subtle but effective.

Unfortunately, I’ve discovered an issue. Somehow I only have 14 repeats of the pattern. The reason? It was late when I counted, so I made a mistake and only picked up 291 stitches, not 391. headdesk

Two steps forward, one step back.

May 7:
So after my mega ridiculous mistake I frogged back to the beginning of the Tardis stitch pattern and added another hundred more stitches. I ended up actually picking up another 120 stitches, just because of the way the extra holes were positioned. So in total for the Tardis pattern I have 20 repeats for a total of 411 stitches.

Then I discovered that it was very lucky that I’d frogged back, because I’d been reading the chart wrong, and was starting at the wrong end of each row. Yes, you heard me right - I was knitting the pattern backwards! Ahhh!

However, after this drama and TOTAL WASTE OF TIME I think I am finally back on track. Oh, and just in case you wonder about the bead situation - I cast on an extra bead at the beginning just in case one broke or something disastrous happened - and now it’s coming in very handy because I’ll have 20 Tardises at the end.

May 9:
I’ve decided to watch the entire last season of Merlin while knitting this, which I consider a nice correlation with Doctor Who because I believe his real name is Merlin. ;) I’ve already watched most of the season but this past weekend they had a marathon on BBCA that my DVR caught. Since I normally watch every episode twice (or three times for good effect) this was a perfect opportunity to prepare for the series finale and squeeze in more sci-fi appropriate knitting!

I’ve hit the first cables that make up the roofline of the Tardis and the instructions are so freaking unclear. Mainly this is because the designer doesn’t knit these like regular cables, where you slide one stitch off, either to the back or front, and then come back to that stitch later. I can do that no problem. But her instructions call for keeping the stitches all on the same needle, and when I attempt that it comes out totally verkakte. This would all be made clear with a simple video somewhere, but does anyone on the internet have one? No. The best I can find use four stitches instead of two, or call it C2F instead of C2L, but a stitch dictionary I found online made it clear that these aren’t really interchangeable stitch terms, they are slightly different. Also, shouldn’t it be C4F if you are working four stitches, not 2? There is absolutely no standard for this term and so many “teachers” and “designers” online are using the terminology incorrectly I want to scream. Shoot me now. Also, I have a miserable cold so my patience is really low right now.

Ok, upon rereading the stitch dictionary I found online I discovered that the different between C2F and C2L appears to be that one version slips stitches and the other works them on the same needle, as this pattern calls for. Strangely enough, though, the term that calls for the stitches to be worked on one needle is C2F, while this pattern uses that definition for C2L. Do you see what I mean about not freaking standards? Makes me want to tear my hair out.

Thankfully, I did find an online tutorial that was a.) using two stitches for C2F, and was b.) knitting them the way that the designer for this pattern asks that they be knit, even if she’s using the wrong term according to others out there on the web. I’m sharing this video with all of you so that others don’t go through my personal torture. Now I’m going to go take another antihistamine.

May 11:
Ok, so I tried to start the purl side of C2R and C2L and totally got confused. It was clearly way too late at night and I was too sick because I missed the directions entirely. Though the words didn’t really help at all. However, I found a strange video about knitting 2-stitch Bavarian twists on the wrong side. At the end of the video, the teacher explains that these twists can be turned into crosses (aka C2L or C2R) by turning one knit stitch into a purl stitch. Perfect! Exactly what I was looking for. I personally followed Method A and after doing it about three times along with the video I could remember it enough to do the two mock cables by myself. Just ignore her when she says to knit the first stitch - it’s always a purl stitch.

May 11:
Oy! These WS and RS rows are a bitch to keep track of. I think that is probably the worst thing about knitting this pattern - trying to remember to knit on the wrong side, purl on the right side, and then which side you should knit or purl through the back of the loop on is exhausting. I’ve started using a Post-It note to mark my place as I move down the panels on the front of the Tardises. I really just want to be done with this section and moving on to the ruffles at the end, though. And I’m running low on sci-fi to watch! EEP! (Time to turn to Netflix)

May 12-13:
I knit more panels on the Tardises. It was boring. Shoot me now, they will never end.

May 15-16:
I was plugging away at the final set of panels on the Tardis doors when I discovered the worst of the worst - a dropped stitch! Ahhh! It was way back in the first panel of the doors. Apparently I had accidentally lost a stitch and when I went to pick it up I instead created a new stitch out of a stitch I had already knit on. And of course this stitch is an important one that makes up on of the walls of the Tardis. There was nothing to be done for it but to drop the knit stitch beside the wall, carry it down to the dropped stitch, and then knit them together to close off the extra stitch without losing the twisted stitch wall I had created. Now I have an ugly k2tog in the wall, but I’m hoping a nice blocking will smooth that out. Have I mentioned how much I want to be done with this section yet?

May 18:
Yesssss. I have finally finished the 41 rows of the Tardis chart section! Thank you fucking God. I am going to be knitting the ribbing during the finale of Doctor Who. As it should be. does a little dance

Ok, so I messed up the very first row of the ribbing and didn’t discover it until the second row. I had to add on a stitch and then k2tog at another point to fix the error. headdesk. Ah well, as one of my favorite buttons says, “Don’t Tink. Don’t tink or you’ll die. (It’s a design feature.)”

May 19-21:
I’m still on the ribbing. I get about 2-3 rows done every hour long show. Which is not surprising, considering that I’m knitting almost 400 stitches every row. When I reach the last couple of rows I’ll turn on the final episode of season 7 and rewatch it (as I typically do with every DW episode). So I’ll end the season as I end my shawl.

May 22:
Today the BBC ran one of my favorite Eleven episodes, the Vampires of Venice, and I watched that and then with my last two rows I watched the season finale again. Fabulous! I’m going to block this sucker Thursday - it should dry quickly because it’s so warm out. Then on Saturday when I attend the Wooster Fiber Festival I can show it off to everyone!

The cast-off took forever, so I ended up watching the entire Snow White and the Huntsman movie for the very end.

The BBC-approved color for Tardis blue is Pantone 2955C. Which conveniently is the color in the yarn this shawl is made from! Paint swatch pictured to your left.

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March 30, 2013
May 23, 2013
About this pattern
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About this yarn
by Fibres by Vampy
75% Merino, 25% Nylon
382 yards / 100 grams

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  • Project created: March 29, 2013
  • Finished: May 23, 2013
  • Updated: February 20, 2017
  • Progress updates: 9 updates