March 14, 2013

Holy Tardis Batman!

Below is the first in a series from a person many will call crazy. I do. When Awilda first messaged me, I thought 'Awilda, YOU CRAZY!'. But i'm all for crazy and ridiculous plans, so how could I turn her down? As our discussions progressed, we agreed that this absurd project needed to be shared with the world. 

Here you are: the first in a series on Awilda's epic project.

 It all started with an act of kindness—a group of friends and I were putting together an auction to raise money for a friend who was having a hard time around Christmas. I have always enjoyed making things for other people, so I decided the best thing I could offer for the auction was myself as a knitter for hire: the winner could chose any pattern they’d like, and I would make it for them. The winner chose the Doctor Who TARDIS Afghan, a colourwork blanket of epic proportions. It was a bit intimidating, but I do love a challenge, so I enthusiastically agreed to take it on. Not make it—take it on.

I had a pattern, a recipient, and unlimited time… all I needed was the yarn. The pattern calls for worsted weight yarn to make a bed-sized afghan. My recipient didn’t want something that big and heavy, and if I was going to spend half my life knitting something, I wanted to do it in a yarn I love. Something that would stand up to months of being carried around in my bag and life as a well-loved and well-used blanket, and still remain as bright and gorgeous as it was in the skein. 

For me there was only one choice—I would make it out of Knitsch. The sockweight size would allow for a more manageable lap blanket size, and allow me to make it out of a yarn I love. After some excited Ravelry messaging with Tash, we decided on a colour palette and how much yarn would be needed to take on the TARDIS blanket: Five colours (Tennant, Silver Lining, Pencarrow, Dark Side, and two skeins of undyed base for white), 40 skeins, 6680 meters. 

The afghan is 569 rows of pattern; I’m currently on row 45, and that’s not even to the base of the TARDIS yet. That doesn’t start until row 87. The only change to the pattern I’ve made is adding a 10-stitch seed stitch border to the edge, to give it a bit of texture and keep it from rolling. So far, the only real difficulty has been keeping the balls from tangling, which I have been successfully managing by separation: I leave one ball in the project bag and putting the other in a yarn bowl. We’ll see how well that continues to work when I’ve got five going at once! 

It’s only just the beginning for us, the TARDIS afghan and I. I have only used one entire skein of Dark Side—those two balls in that picture are #2 and #3, and the other 37 are still safely in their box. I’ll check in from time to time and let you know how it’s going. This is going to be good.

Read more →