Dr Who cowl


My bestie, and Blogless Anna photographer Sharon, dubbed this the Dr Who cowl while I was knitting it.  It’s not hard to see why!  Actor Tom Baker (Dr Who number 4) wore an uneven striped, colourful, hand knitted scarf, on the very popular BBC TV series.  I remember watching this era of the show when I was growing up, it used to scare me to no end, but I still watched it!


I was gifted a skein of Shibui Pebble in my goodie bag from the 2016 Craft Sessions retreat.  It’s such a luxurious yarn – 48% recycled silk, 36% fine merino and 16% cashmere – so I purchased six more skeins with a view to knitting myself a striped cowl that I could loop over my head twice.


I decided that swatching to ascertain needle size and the number of stitches required, and then making it up as I went along, was the way to proceed with this project.  This is not my usual way of approaching a project… but I have to say it worked out perfectly.  The vision in my head, was the reality of what I created.  I’m beyond thrilled with this make.


I started off trying to keep some of the stripes uniform, but I soon worked out it looked best when I just winged it!  I was careful not to put the green and mustard together (it reminded me of my high school jumper) or the red and green (too much like Christmas) but all other combinations seem to work well.  My favourite section is the fine orange and cream stripes!

During this project, I definitely learnt, with help from YouTube, a few new things:


This cowl was a long, slow knit (17 months from start to finish) but I loved every minute of it.  Knitting is my back-up hobby – sewing is my first love – and my projects are more often than not knitted on holidays, when I’m unwell, while waiting for children at their extra-ciricular activities or on the couch watching TV.  The later isn’t something I do very often at all!

Instagram tells some of the story:

15 March 2017 – Couch knitting at home
4 April 2017 – Holiday knitting in Sydney
5 Arpil 2017 – Aeroplane knitting heading home
28 May 2017 – Park knitting while my youngest rode her bike
21 September 2017 – Fast train knitting between Cologne and Paris
5 December 2017 – Car knitting
11 April 2018 – Couch knitting
9 July 2018 – Grafting my cowl together… Hello kitchener stitch!
26 July 2018 – First wear


I have a bit of the yarn left over, and I was really sad when I finished knitting this project, so I might have another of these cowls in me yet!  Do you juggle multiple hobbies?  Is knitting one of them?


Pattern:  My own [approximately 300 stitches]
Yarn:  Seven skeins of Shibui Pebble from Sunspun Fine Yarns [not all yarn was used]
Needles:  3.25 mm : circular needles : length 40cm
  Eastern Suburbs, Melbourne


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  • You have such a great eye! I have been doing much more knitting than sewing these days because our home just doesn’t have the space for me to spread out and I can’t be confined! ☺️ Knitting is much more compact and suits my current stage of life. All that’s to say, I guess I’m an all-or-nothing kinda of gal and applaud you for seeing a secondary hobby project through to the end! The finished product is stylish and oh-so-wearable. Your “winging it” definitely worked!

    • Hello Sarah. I’m so pleased to hear that you are still finding some time for crafting. Knitting is indeed more compact and portable. Thanks for the lovely feedback on my cowl. I’m thrilled with the result.

  • I see where the name comes from! Me and the boyfriend once cosplayed as the fourth doctor and Sarah Jane Smith, and I knit him a scarf… Gave the huge thing to my brother later.

    This looks really beautiful and well thought out for a project without a plan!

    • Knitting a Dr Who scarf for a costume, that’s impressive. I hope your brother wears the scarf. Thanks for the lovely feedback.

  • I’m curious how you planned your stripes. Did you have an idea before you started or you just knit as you felt like it? If I didn’t plan it, I would be forever pulling stitched out to try a different colour and would never get it finished.

    • The only planning was to ensure the fine orange & cream section was roughly opposite where I graphed the ends together. I just changed colour when I felt like it. Sometimes I asked my girls to choose the next colour. Yes… it’s a random piece of stripe art!

  • So spiffy! I love the orange and white striped section too. So is it a long tube knit in the round then you’ve kitchenered the ends together? Love it xx

  • Great colours! Similar to the scarf worn by Petronella Osgood in Dr Who series 9 actually! I knit sporadically on the train, watching tv. Spent about 3 hours last weekend untangling a ball of wool which fell apart mid project – time that would have been better soent knitting, but the middle of the ball fell out and it was a mess! Knitting is my ” portable” project, because sewing requires so much more time and space for sewing machine, cutting out etc. But I still manage to have several UFO’s of both the knitting and sewing variety!

    • I can see your Dr Who knowledge far out weighs mine! I’m going to look that up. Knitting is the perfect portable project. I usually only have one sewing project on the go… but it’s not unusual for me to have three knitting projects! 😂