How to Knit a Nerd Magnet

I’ve just knitted a shawl that seems to delight every nerd I meet. It’s the Dr. Who-inspired Bigger on the Inside shawl, by Kate Atherley.

This shawl puts up a demure front, concealing its fearsome nerd-netic powers.

I began knitting this shawl a month ago in honor of my trip to GenCon. A wonderful project for a car ride and for winding down in the hotel room after long days at the convention.

The Roommates: My roommates showed interest in the project–more than they would normally show for one of my knitting projects, but then they are all avid Dr. Who fans. The BF seemed to enjoy watching the tiny Tardises take shape row by row, like the they were materializing very, very slowly.

Fellow GenCon Fiber Geeks: The ladies and gents in my craft classes showed much more enthusiasm. At the end of my drop spindle class, the group got to talking, and as fiber lovers are wont to do, we each reached into our purses and backpacks and pulled out our convention projects to share. I was not alone in having chosen a special project to knit while at the convention. But mine was by far and away the nerdiest. They all loved it and wanted to know where I had found the pattern.

Whoo whoo whoo, whoo, whoo whoo.

Finding Dr. Who Fans in My Knitting Community Back Home: I didn’t quite mange to finish the shawl while at GenCon, so I continued work on it when I returned home. At my Wednesday night knitting group, I pulled it out and within the hour discovered that three other women at the table were also Dr. Who fans. They lovingly fingered the emerging row of Tardises and laughed over it. The next day, I noticed that one of them had added the shawl to her Ravelry queue.

Later that week I brought the shawl to Pints & Purls. One of the ladies had brought her teenage daughter who, while not a knitter, seems to have a keen appreciation for knit wear. She saw my nearly finished shawl and immediately asked her mother if she could make one for her.

I bound off the shawl while at Pints & Purls. Our group has a standing agreement with our regular server whereby he will model any project finished while at the bar. He gamely agreed to model mine.

I managed to catch him in a brief moment of fear-eyes. I’m a scary, scary knitter. It’s the pointy sticks, you know.

The 6 Degrees of Dr. Who Fiber Geekdom: Or rather, in this case, only two degrees.

The next Monday, while talking to some friends via Skype, one of them asked how my shawl was getting on. She had told another of her knitter friends about it (one who has been known to knit those monstrously long, varicolored Dr. Who scarves). In her words, her friend “went ape-shit” and demanded to know where she could find the pattern. I gleefully passed on the information.

The original Dr. Who scarf from season 12, and a schematic for a pattern that is similar (as seen on the Knitpicks Community Page). Just LOOK at the length of that thing.

I really feel as though this shawl is introducing me to other Dr. Who fans, and not the other way around. I wonder who I’ll meet next.


    • I did take the nerd test but actually didn’t score very high. I was surprised.

      And hey, I’m really glad to be able to inspire you, at least a little.

    • I thought about getting the specially dyed yarn, but then decided to knit it so suddenly that I had no time. So I just picked up a couple hanks of Cascade sock yarn. Color was close enough for me.

  1. haha, love your model, the server’s fear look is so good!!! poor man all these armed knitters …
    cute little shawl

    • I just love that its nerdiness is kind of subtle. If you didn’t know those were Tardises, it might just strike you as an interesting design and nothing more,

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