Scarf Saga 3 – “The Visitation” plus Math is Fun!


I really enjoyed The Visitation. I was trying to put my finger on why I liked it so much, because the plot was nothing special. I think I liked it because it had a very familiar feel to it, with many standard Doctor Who scenarios such as:

  • Trying to get a companion home on time but ending up in a totally different time period
  • The TARDIS has a mind of its own and lands the Doctor in a place where something dangerous/exciting is happening
  • Earth but in the past!
  • Something Weird™ is happening which turns out to be aliens
  • Aliens controlling people’s minds
  • The Doctor offers to find a new home for the aliens

I also liked the interactions between the companions and the Doctor, and I always wish New Who had more multi-companion episodes. Poor Tegan is still trying to process the events of Kinda and just wants to get home. Nyssa hasn’t had much to do in the last couple of stories, and I’m curious about her backstory. I should have started at the beginning! I still don’t understand why everyone hates Adric. He’s an annoying teenager, but isn’t that the point? He seems like a very realistic character to me. The Doctor is clearly a father figure for Adric – teaching, guiding, and reprimanding.

My favorite part of the episode was the Terileptan android (aka Death when it’s around the villagers). This would be such a fun cosplay to put together!


I meant to include Black Orchid today but I haven’t managed to watch it yet. Stay tuned.

Time for some math! Okay, maybe you don’t think math is fun. That’s alright because I’ve done all of it for you! Here are some calculations for the Season 18 scarf.

Rows and Stitches
The scarf has a total of 1,272 rows. I just counted up the rows in the pattern listed on the website.
The pattern specifies 42 stitches per row. If you are getting a different gauge, you might modify this number to get the correct width. I didn’t worry too much about that so I went with the original number. This means the total number of stitches is 42 x 1,272 = 53,424. Wow!
(This does not include the crocheted border.)

Yarn amount in miles
I was inspired to do this calculation while watching Castrovalva, since the Doctor unravels the entire scarf to mark his path through the TARDIS. According to the pattern, the purple color uses 585 yards of yarn, the red color uses 610 yards, and the orange color uses 585 yards. The total is 1780 yards or 5,340 feet. There’s 5,280 feet to a mile so this is over a mile of yarn! I may end up using less than that because I’m using a smaller needle size – more about that in a later post.

There’s 55 color changes, making some assumptions about when you carry the yarn up the edge and when you join new colors. On this scarf I’m trying to carry the yarn as much as possible for fewer ends to weave in.

Season 12 scarf
For comparison, the original Season 12 scarf has 1,044 rows and a total of 68,904 stitches at 66 stitches per row.
The estimated yarn usage is 1,222 yards total.
There are 53 blocks of different colors which means 106 ends to weave in.

I was hesitant to start the Season 18 scarf because I thought it would take so much more time than the original, but it turns out that the Season 12 scarf has over 15,000 more stitches! There’s also a lot more ends to weave in, which is a step that I hate doing. The difference in length of the two scarves is because Season 18 uses a heavier (thicker) yarn.
Of course, for other seasons there are sections added on to the original Season 12 scarf so they would have even more stitches 🙂

I think that’s enough math for now. More in the next post, plus more Classic Who!


Rows: 70/1,272

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