So, in the 50th Anniversary Episode of Dr Who (“Day of the Doctor”) the assistant to the Chief Science Officer of U.N.I.T is wearing a reboot of the original Tom Baker scarf. I believe, from careful examination of the episode (see screenshots) that this is knitted in a continuous stockinette tube on a machine not unlike the Prym Knitting Mill.
The material has a similar gauge, width and drape as long scarves I have knitted on the Prym Knitting Mill Maxi. The only other contender for the construction of this scarf is 1×1 rib, and in no scene does the scarf show any sign of a purl. Moreover, the gaps between the colour changes do not have the characteristic second stripe that a purled colour change has at any stage – suggesting a lack of purls.
Finally, the original Dr Who scarf was a glorious mistake on behalf of the knitter who created it – they sent sample colours and the knitter misunderstood, thinking they wanted a stripy bohemian super-scarf. And it was beautiful, and iconic. For the reboot it only makes sense that the more commercially available and ‘modern’ looking stockinette would be used as it is the easiest to produce. It could even be produced by an enthusiastic member of the production team who had found a knitting mill on Amazon or at Toys R Us and decided that they could make this scarf (and its stunt doubles) quicker and cheaper than having someone hand-knit it in garter stitch (certainly quicker and easier than 1×1 rib…).
This could just be a personal bias, but I honestly think that the evidence is there for a Prym Knitting Mill Maxi Dr Who scarf, I’ll be casting on one ASAP and I implore all Whovians with mills to join me!