I hadn’t expected to be as moved as I was by the casting of Jodie Whittaker as the 13th Doctor. I thought it would be just another announcement when it happened. We’d all debate it furiously for a few days, speculate wildly, and then move on to the next thing.
But all around me I saw legions of women profoundly affected by a simple casting choice. Finally we would get to be the heroes of our own stories, rather than just the Companion along for the ride. We could save the world, be brave and courageous, kind and clever too. In a year where our childhood princesses had become Generals, all those playground games where we’d centred ourselves, all that female-led fan-fiction, was finally validated.
Over the summer there was a glorious flurry of cosplay, from the TARDIS full of bras to people urgently trying to find grey hoodies to replicate that first, precious sight of the 13th Doctor. But the moment that hit me was in early November when the first image of Whittaker’s Doctor in her new costume were released to the press.
I saw that and my knitterly heart skipped a beat. Cosplay and craft has always been one of my favourite ways of engaging with story, and all of a sudden I wanted that sweater and to be wearing it in a way I haven’t felt for a long time. I needed to be putting my own mark on the 13th Doctor, and this was my way of doing it.
I immediately started searching on Ravelry for top down sweater patterns I could adapt. And I found myself near a branch of John Lewis with time to kill the following day. I thought to myself, wouldn’t it be cool to have a sweater finished in time to wear for the Christmas special? I’ve done NaKniSweMo before, so this should be possible, especially as most of it is plain.
Cue 6 and a half weeks of furious knitting. I finally finished this afternoon, just in time for the Christmas special.
The pattern is Take It Easy by Annamaria Otvos, which is a simple seamless top-down sweater with set-in sleeves. I used Rowan Felted Tweed DK. It’s lovely to work with, has a good range of colours and the stripes mostly came out of leftovers from other projects. You can find the details fo the colours I used and in what order on my project page on Ravelry. Suffice to say, it took a degree of angsting over that single, very over-processed picture, and quite a bit of swatching to get colours and a sequence I was happy with.
If it turns out the sleeves are striped as well I’ll scream.