The Bothered Owl

Alex and Sarah's crafty corner of cyberspace

Doctor Whoooooooo – HEY! March 12, 2011

I have a long standing obsession with the Doctor. My Dad used to tape all the old shows off the ABC when I was a kid and my sisters and brother and I devoured them, voraciously. We can debate the merits of John Pertwee, Tom Baker and Peter Davidson till the cows come home. We even watched as many of the original Hartnell episodes as we could get our hands on.

I used to dream that one day on my walk to the bus stop the Tardis would turn up and whisk me away for fabulous adventures.

The only Doctor I’ve never seen even a single episode of is Colin Baker because my Dad felt those episodes were too violent for us.

I still seethe in rage and bitterness over my Dad punishing me for something particularly naughty by taping over the final episode of a particular story arc, during the Sylvester McCoy years. I’ve never found out how it ends 😦

Anyway ages ago, when I was working on a certains Star Wars messenger bag for a certain Jon of Easy Knits, he asked if I would be able to get hold of any Doctor Who fabric and I had to very sadly answer in the negative. Search though I might, the Doctor always eluded my wily grasp.

And then Alex, with her incredible ability to find amazing fabric, went to a comics show and there, happened to chance upon a chap who had not one, but two Doctor Who duvet covers with matching pillowcases. She told him she’d take both of them as she was going to use them to make stuff like bags and I believe he went a slight shade of green. We’re philistines!

Anyway, we mentioned on Twitter that we had found these holy grails of fabric and straight away the very lovely Debbie replied saying that she would like us to make something with some of it, once it arrived.

The project kind of got put to one side, until Alex bumped into Debbie at Unravel and then she put in an order for a few bits. And then a few more bits and a few more bits.

Like me, Debbie is a proper, old school Whovian. We even have the same favourite episode! (Pyramids of Mars, for those who care.) So it was an absolute pleasure to devise the cunning objects which I shall now reveal.

Giant Yarn pouch

Mmm, tardi-licious

Sock needle envelope

Foldout needle envelope

So far, so standard for us, hey. But now onto something new and different.

Debbie spins as well as knits and has a couple of different types of spindles, including a gorgeous Russian supported spindle that her sister in law made for her. So she asked if I could fashion some spindle pouches for her.

We had a chat about what she would like, and decided on some extra pockets and some padded bits to protect the wood.

Here’s what I’ve come up with.

Spindle pouch number 1

This is the pouch for Debbie’s Russian supported spindle. This is a spindle with a bowl that you insert the end of the spindle into. The bowl has some kind of a notch in it that hold the spindle in place as you spin it ( I think?) hence it’s a supported spindle.

I’ve made the pouch extra long and added a padded pocket on the outside for the bowl to slip into.

On the inside:

Spindle pouch number 1: interior

A long padded pocket (lined with fusible fleece) provides a home for the long, relatively slender spindle, while the rest of the bag provides plenty of room for whichever fibre Debbie’s working with at the time.

I used fusible fleece in the base of the pouch too, just for a bit of extra stiffness and cushyness. It closes with a drawstring, like all our normal pouches.

Pouch number two is for a drop spindle (not sure if it’s top or bottom whorl – check out me and my technical language. I do actually own one of each. Can I spin? Can I, heck.)

It’s slightly shorter:

Spindle pouch number 2

(I realise it probably looks an awful lot like the precious two pouches, these photos are at least partly just for Debbie, as I know she’s been waiting a while to see her shiny things and they won’t arrive till next week.)

On the inside, a larger padded pocket provides room for the wider shape of the drop spindle. It also has a secret pocket in behind which could be used for things like scissors and so forth.

Squishy padded pocket

The base on this one is also padded with fusible fleece and again it has the same wide shape that our normal pouches have, leaving loads of room for squishy delightful fluff!

And I’ve still got a duvet and a half worth of fabric left to play with…

Anyway, it’s not quite the TARDIS turning up out of the blue to take me away from all this, but these were an awful lot of fun to make – the fleece really tested my patience at times but the result is really nice, very squishy – and I hope Debbie, as a fellow Who fan, will appreciate and love them!

When I’ve got a bit more time to sit down and think properly about it, I am going to figure out a more standardised design to accomodate general drop spindles and so on, as I think spinners are a sadly neglected bunch when it comes to pretty accessories. Watch this space, eh!

Sarah 🙂