So You Want to Crochet a Fourth Doctor Scarf… (A snarky, tl;dr guide)
One day you get it into your head that you want to recreate Tom Baker’s Fourth Doctor scarf. Maybe you want it for yourself, maybe it’s a gift for a Whovian friend of yours, or maybe you just like making products that are easy but incredibly time-consuming.
Only problem is, a vast majority of the patterns for the scarf are knit. The last time you knitted was in the sixth grade, and your scarf ended up turning into a triangle. You are, however, pretty good at crochet—your stitches are uniform, you might have sold or given away a scarf to a friend or stranger who really loved it, people buy you yarn for Christmas, etc.
(An interjection: If you are just starting to learn how to crochet/knit, please do not make the Fourth Doctor’s scarf your first big project. It is an epic project that is fairly simple to make, but you don’t really pick up any skills while working on it other than patience. I’ve seen plenty of beloved but messy Fourth Doctor scarves on the internet, made by people who jumped a little ahead of themselves. You want your scarf to be something that you can look back on fondly and if it’s one of your very first projects, it is likely to haunt you forever. We all have to start somewhere, and the Fourth Doctor’s scarf is better left as an epic project you slowly work up to.)
I’m a firm believer in ingenuity and creativity taking precedence over “authenticity” and in the case of the Fourth Doctor’s scarf, there were so many versions of it that there really is no one, true pattern for the scarf. The story behind the scarf is that they kept sending the knitter balls of yarn and she just kept on knitting, not realizing they weren’t asking for a twelve foot long scarf. It was Tom Baker’s idea to go with it, and it’s lived on in infamy since, in its various
Consider this more of a guide than a pattern, as the most important thing while working on the scarf isn’t to aim for some galactic standard but to have fun with it, and hopefully capture some of the spirit of the show and the man who made it famous.
from Twenty-One Love Poems (Adrienne Rich)
Rain on the West Side Highway,
red light at Riverside:
the more I live the more I think
two people together is a miracle.
You’re telling the story of your life
for once, a tremor breaks the surface of your words.
The story of our lives becomes our lives.
Now you’re in fugue across what some I’m sure
Victorian poet called the salt estranging sea.
Those are the words that come to mind.
I feel estrangement, yes. As I’ve felt dawn
pushing toward daybreak. Something: a cleft of light?
Close between grief and anger, a space opens
where I am Adrienne alone. And growing colder.
Can it be growing colder when I begin
to touch myself again, adhesions pull away?
When slowly the naked face turns from staring backward
and looks into the present,
the eye of winter, city, anger, poverty, and death
and the lips part and say: I mean to go on living?
Am I speaking coldly when I tell you in a dream
or in this poem, There are no miracles?
(I told you from the first I wanted daily life,
this island of Manhattan was island enough for me.)
If I could let you know -
two women together is a work
nothing in civilization has made simple,
two people together is a work
heroic in its ordinariness,
the slow-picked, halting traverse of a pitch
where the fiercest attention becomes routine
- look at the faces of those who have chosen it.
First Taste Of Prosperity (Marc Kaminsky)
Instead of the usual rations
each of us was given seven cartons of
Wrigley’s Spearmint Gum
until the sugar was out of it
then spit it out
unfolding and working through
at the rate of fifty an hour
to outpace the growling
of our stomachs.
I watched refugees
walk along, dropping
rubbery pellets and silver
gum wrappers, ceaselessly
And though we worked our jaws
till they were numb
who could really silence
When would they give us rice?
No one asked.
But how hopefully we greeted
each convoy of jeeps!
The GIs beeped in their good-natured way
and waved their arms
there was a chorus of
How are you?”
and lines of frightened
they were barraged with
with a shower of
thousands of packs
of spearmint chewing
the American century was carpeting Japan
with peculiar abundance
the road to the A-bomb ward
was now paved
from Twenty-One Love Poems (Adrienne Rich)
Across a city from you, I’m with you,
just as an August night
moony, inlet-warm, seabathed, I watched you sleep,
the scrubbed, sheenless wood of the dressing-table
cluttered with our brushes, books, vials in the moonlight -
or a salt-mist orchard, lying at your side
watching red sunset through the screendoor of the cabin,
G minor Mozart on the tape-recorder,
falling asleep to the music of the sea.
This island of Manhattan is wide enough
for both of us, and narrow:
I can hear your breath tonight, I know how your face
lies upturned, the halflight tracing
your generous, delicate mouth
where grief and laughter sleep together.
No one’s fated or doomed to love anyone.
The accidents happen, we’re not heroines,
they happen in our lives like car crashes,
books that change us, neighborhoods
we move into and come to love.
Tristan and Isolde is scarcely the story,
women at least should know the difference
between love and death. No poison cup,
no penance. Merely a notion that the tape-recorder
should have caught some ghost of us: that tape-recorder
not merely played but should have listened to us,
and could instruct those after us:
this we were, this is how we tried to love,
and these are the forces they had ranged against us,
and these are the forces we had ranged within us,
within us and against us, against us and within us.
A Dream of Trees (Mary Oliver)
There is a thing in me that dreamed of trees,
A quiet house, some green and modest acres
A little way from every troubling town,
A little way from factories, schools, laments.
I would have time, I thought, and time to spare,
With only streams and birds for company,
To build out of my life a few wild stanzas.
And then it came to me, that so was death,
A little way away from everywhere.
There is a thing in me still dreams of trees.
But let it go. Homesick for moderation,
Half the world’s artists shrink or fall away.
If any find solution, let him tell it.
Meanwhile I bend my heart toward lamentation
Where, as the times implore our true involvement,
The blades of every crisis point the way.
I would it were not so, but so it is.
Who ever made music of a mild day?
Antilamentation (Dorianne Laux)
Regret nothing. Not the cruel novels you read
to the end just to find out who killed the cook.
Not the insipid movies that made you cry in the dark,
in spite of your intelligence, your sophistication.
Not the lover you left quivering in a hotel parking lot,
the one you beat to the punchline, the door, or the one
who left you in your red dress and shoes, the ones
that crimped your toes, don’t regret those.
Not the nights you called god names and cursed
your mother, sunk like a dog in the livingroom couch,
chewing your nails and crushed by loneliness.
You were meant to inhale those smoky nights
over a bottle of flat beer, to sweep stuck onion rings
across the dirty restaurant floor, to wear the frayed
coat with its loose buttons, its pockets full of struck matches.
You’ve walked those streets a thousand times and still
you end up here. Regret none of it, not one
of the wasted days you wanted to know nothing,
when the lights from the carnival rides
were the only stars you believed in, loving them
for their uselessness, not wanting to be saved.
You’ve traveled this far on the back of every mistake,
ridden in dark-eyed and morose but calm as a house
after the TV set has been pitched out the upstairs
window. Harmless as a broken ax. Emptied
of expectation. Relax. Don’t bother remembering
any of it. Let’s stop here, under the lit sign
on the corner, and watch all the people walk by.
What the Living Do (Marie Howe)
Johnny, the kitchen sink has been clogged for days, some utensil probably fell down there.
And the Drano won’t work but smells dangerous, and the crusty dishes have piled up
waiting for the plumber I still haven’t called. This is the everyday we spoke of.
It’s winter again: the sky’s a deep, headstrong blue, and the sunlight pours through
the open living-room windows because the heat’s on too high in here and I can’t turn it off.
For weeks now, driving, or dropping a bag of groceries in the street, the bag breaking,
I’ve been thinking: This is what the living do. And yesterday, hurrying along those
wobbly bricks in the Cambridge sidewalk, spilling my coffee down my wrist and sleeve,
I thought it again, and again later, when buying a hairbrush: This is it.
Parking. Slamming the car door shut in the cold. What you called that yearning.
What you finally gave up. We want the spring to come and the winter to pass. We want
whoever to call or not call, a letter, a kiss—we want more and more and then more of it.
But there are moments, walking, when I catch a glimpse of myself in the window glass,
say, the window of the corner video store, and I’m gripped by a cherishing so deep
for my own blowing hair, chapped face, and unbuttoned coat that I’m speechless:
I am living. I remember you.
(Source: The Atlantic)
Walking Home in the Rain (Ally Malinenko)
It’s not the best walk I’ve had,
not by a long shot,
down 86th street
from 3rd Avenue
to 18th Avenue
but it’s mine
and I’ve gotten used to it,
the spots where there is no shade
in the blazing summer sun
or the way the forest by the park
smells just like the one back home.
But in the rain,
it takes on a certain feeling,
cause no one is else is walking
2 and a half miles in wet flip flops
with Greetings From Asbury Park
in their ears
and if they are,
well they aren’t doing it down 86th street
cause it’s empty nearly the whole way
and the rain has been coming down for weeks now
washing away the snails and the leaves that cling to the stone wall
by the big houses near 13th Avenue.
When I pass our window,
you are already inside,
dry, though you must have been caught in it too.
Your feet up on the coffee table,
the orange light glowing,
the cat in the window,
a book in your hand,
waiting for me, because I am late,
and because there are drinks to be made
and stories to tell,
where it’s dry.
Sheltered Garden (H.D.)
I have had enough.
I gasp for breath.
Every way ends, every road,
every foot-path leads at last
to the hill-crest—
then you retrace your steps,
or find the same slope on the other side,
I have had enough—
border-pinks, clove-pinks, wax-lilies,
O for some sharp swish of a branch—
there is no scent of resin
in this place,
no taste of bark, of coarse weeds,
only border on border of scented pinks.
Have you seen fruit under cover
that wanted light—
pears wadded in cloth,
protected from the frost,
melons, almost ripe,
smothered in straw?
Why not let the pears cling
to the empty branch?
All your coaxing will only make
a bitter fruit—
let them cling, ripen of themselves,
test their own worth,
nipped, shrivelled by the frost,
to fall at last but fair
With a russet coat.
Or the melon—
let it bleach yellow
in the winter light,
even tart to the taste—
it is better to taste of frost—
the exquisite frost—
than of wadding and of dead grass.
For this beauty,
beauty without strength,
chokes out life.
I want wind to break,
scatter these pink-stalks,
snap off their spiced heads,
fling them about with dead leaves—
spread the paths with twigs,
limbs broken off,
trail great pine branches,
hurled from some far wood
right across the melon-patch,
break pear and quince—
leave half-trees, torn, twisted
but showing the fight was valiant.
O to blot out this garden
to forget, to find a new beauty
in some terrible