Published on Thursday October 5th, 2006

I finally bound off this:


Behold, a knitted amoeba. But bless me, it really does turn into a sweater!


Now to dash off a couple of insignificant seams (along the sleeve tops only – brilliant!) and sew on five cute buttons, purchased Tuesday at Josephine’s Dry Goods. I may crochet a single chain along the border just to polish it up a bit, and then it’s off to the recipient, possibly even before he arrives in the big bright world. (He’s due on the 11th. If there’s any truth to Stephanie’s theory that babies show up as soon as you’re done knitting for them, his mother will be ecstatic that I worked fast. I promise not to dawdle with those buttons, Misa.)

And, because I am a bad blogger, I’ve been withholding pictures of my Socktoberfest project. I give you the Drunken Bear Stocking:


I’ve long meant to work up a pair of socks based on the Bear Track pattern in the second Barbara Walker treasury. I thought I’d go ahead and work in some new skills, too: Toe up, baby! Via Turkish cast on! With afterthought heel! The Turkish cast on turns out to be a breeze, exotic as it might sound, and I can see many splendid applications for it — glove fingers, top-down hats, booties, all kinds of things. I haven’t actually knit the afterthought heel yet, so we’ll have to reserve judgment on that. But let me speak to you of the Bear Track pattern. First I had to adapt it for working in the round. Easy as winking on the foot, where there’s only one pattern repetition. But when I got to the ankle and wished to replicate the pattern all the way around the leg, a pint of Laurelwood Sticke Altbier helped me discover the following: if you complete the last round as I’d written, the bear tracks begin to stagger. At first I thought I’d correct my instructions, but then the idea of a drunken bear track sock delighted me. (Total coincidence: Google “drunk bear video” if you haven’t already seen it.) I thought I’d work a few repetitions and see how it went. The color isn’t behaving with such fawning obedience as it did on the foot, but I think I like it all the same. Maybe when I do Sock #2 I’ll make a designated driver bear with straight tracks, as originally intended. The yarn is, of course, Socks That Rock, colorway Red Rock Canyon. These are intended to be knee highs, and I intend to wear them while riding my bicycle. Thus I will fulfill two proud traditions at once: that of outrageously colorful long knitted cycling socks, de rigeur in the ’20s when cycling became popular, and that of Keeping Portland Weird. (Seriously. We have bumper stickers.)

Next time: a project I’ve been knitting in secret the last few days. Can you guess what it might be?

14 Comments to “Surprise!”

  1. loribird Comment Says:

    We have “Keep Homer [Alaska] Weird!” bumper stickers here – I should knit myself some biking knee-socks too! And we have bears here too, and they are known to indulge in beer stashes at vacant hunting cabins; I wonder how much beer it would take to make a bear staggeringly drunk?

    The baby surprise came out beautifully – I love the colors!

  2. Sophia Comment Says:

    Wow! That baby sweater is gorgeous! I’ve always wanted to make one of those, and your pic is very inspiring. Would it be possible for you to sign me up for Zimmermania? I’d really love to join!
    Thanks 🙂

  3. minnie Comment Says:

    there’s a quilt pattern called drunkard’s path,and it has curves like that, too. looks very cool

  4. Mebeth Comment Says:

    The idea of drunken bear knee-high biking socks is absolutely charming and delightful! There’s nothing better than a brightly colored knee sock in cold weather.

  5. Jessica Comment Says:

    Oh man, I want some knee-high cycling socks too! Only I have no bike. But you make it sound so appealing….

  6. Libby Comment Says:

    That baby sweater is completely adorable. What pattern did you use?

  7. Skylar Comment Says:

    I swear I am so in love with that sweater concept. I wish I had more time. Ho hum…

    I love your sock, as well. I must admit that I wish I were in Oregon today!

  8. Lynn Comment Says:

    No, no, no. It’s “Keep Austin Weird”. Y’all just got the misprints and you *think* it says “Keep Portland Weird”.

    I turned the heel on my first Socktoberfest sock at lunch this morning. No pics as yet, but will be taking care of that little omission sometime this weekend.

    I’m trying something new with each pair of socks. Now that I’ve learned EZ’s sewn cast-off, knitting cuff-down no longer terrifies me. I like that drunken bear.

    And now you’ve got me curious about that turkish cast-on.

  9. gleek Comment Says:

    i love the baby sweater! it looks fun and simple.. and also like it would look really cute on the baby.

    drunken bear socks 🙂 how funny!

  10. Nonnahs Comment Says:

    Congrats on the sweater- it looks adorable! Thanks for your impression about the turkish cast on- Im about to start my first toe-up knee highs myself, for Socktoberfest, so I appreciate it.

  11. carrie m Comment Says:

    your socks remind me of some human interest story i saw on the news about a poor bear that got drunk on a fermented apple tree. poor thing! but cute socks.

  12. lisa Comment Says:

    I love the idea of drunken bear track socks–and the idea of a designated driver bear mate to the first! The baby surprise jacket sure turned out cute and the intended baby will be snuggly warm in the upcoming winter in that little gift. Nice job!

  13. Kristen Comment Says:

    Good heavens, that sweater is awesome! I had been wanting to see what a Baby Surprise looked like while it was still in bizarro form, and it’s just as rewarding as I had hoped. Those colors are still making me swoon.

    The sock is joyously full of autumn. Even the shape of the bear track lace looks like leaves. It’s truly beautiful, and I applaud your afterthought heel. All of the afterthought designs sound so daring and scary to me, even though they make sense, and even though I’ve seen pretty results.

    One last thought – the beauty of your pictures always makes me want a good camera and the same sense of style you have. Your knits are beautiful, and the way you photograph them is beautiful too. Keep up the good work!

  14. Blue Garter » Blog Archive » Take it all OFFF Pingback Says:

    […] The lovely Sporfarms merino/silk was a souvenir for Katrin, who couldn’t come with me to OFFF because she had to work. And the Socks That Rock? Lord knows there’s plenty of that in the stash, thoroughly marinated and aged to perfection, but I liked these two skeins together so much that I couldn’t resist them. The Rare Gems are mistakes or experiments that aren’t replicated, and mostly I don’t find them too attractive. But this one looks like sunset over the desert, and I thought it was particularly harmonious against the blues of Blue Brick Wall. I was thinking of Kate Gilbert’s Syncopated Caps when I picked them up, but then I started to think of interesting designs for syncopated kneesocks. I hereby vow to knit a second Drunken Bear kneesock — and a second Pomatomus — before I cast on a new pair, but I’m looking forward to them. […]