Fannish Knitting

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See also: Fanart, Fancraft, Fannish Dolls, Fannish Clothing, Fannish Crochet, Ugly Holiday Sweater (trope)
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from Menagerie #2

Fannish knitting is sometimes considered a type of fanart; at other times it stands on its own as a separate fanac. Fans often knit their own merchandise, such as Harry Potter scarfs or Jayne Cobb's hat, and share patterns and tips online. Fans not only knit clothing but also dolls, for example these Merlin Mice by o_deanna.

Fannish knitting, like other forms of fanac, has been considered copyright infringement by TPTB. For example, in 2008, a fan received a cease and desist letter from the BBC for publishing knitting patterns of Doctor Who creatures.[1]


Ravelry, a popular knitting site, is a source of fannish knitting patterns. In addition, it includes Ravelry Groups, many of which are centered around fan interests and include forums for discussing them. Most groups include forums for discussing new developments in the source material (if it is still airing), and the material itself, as well as the actors. Often at least one forum will be dedicated to fandom-themed projects. Some currently-active groups include:

  • 221B: A BBC Sherlock fan-group with a forum for writers and a large population of Johnlock shippers
  • Big Damn Knitters: A group for fans of Firefly; "Show off your Jayne hat" is a seven-year-old thread and also the most recently updated
  • Ankh-Morpork Knitter's Guild: A group for fans of Terry Pratchett's Discworld
  • sailor moon: A Sailor Moon-themed group

There are also groups dedicated to fannish events held on Ravelry, such as Nerd Wars, a contest that is held multiple times a year, in which contestants form teams based on geeky interest and compete against each other. However, the competition is mostly for bragging rights and the main goal is finishing projects. Some of the currently-active teams (as of June 2015) include Team Impala (Supernatural), Team Pineapple (Psych), and Team Hellmouth (Buffy the Vampire Slayer).

Another group worth noting is the Harry Potter Knitting/Crocheting House Cup. You receive class assignments that can be knitting, crochet, spinning, dyeing or weaving as your "homework" for a variety of Harry Potter themed classes. You also get Order Missions, OWLs, NEWTs, Quidditch and Detention projects, all with hard deadlines of various lengths, and different requirements. It's less casual than Nerd Wars and requires a large time commitment.

Ravelry is full of fannish patterns and of non-fan patterns which have been altered for fan purposes and posted in finished form as "projects." Picking one pattern for John Watson's sweater, Jayne Cobb's hat or Hogwarts house scarves to highlight would be difficult, when there are so many different ones available. However, of particular interest among Ravelry's fannish patterns is Beth Kluckholn's Calcifer the Toaster pattern, which is a plush version of a character from the Toasterverse, a series of The Avengers (Marvel) fanfiction written by scifigirl47.

Some knitting directions



  1. ^ Doctor Who: Partners in Copyright Crime by Andres Guadamuz (technollama), accessed 2009.10.25)
  2. ^ mabiana. Temeraire sweater (finished), 30 August 2009. (Accessed 23 January 2010)
  3. ^ RayDoll (Accessed 24 May 2010)
  4. ^ The blanket was knitted by the artist/author for their frostiron deathfic Loki's Blanket (archive link). A detailed description of the project can be found here: archive link (no images)