Wednesday, 23 August 2017

And Now For Something Completely Different

:: cue Monty Python theme music ::
ni julep by yours truly
Having, um, ‘invested' in rather a lot of self-striping yarn recently, I decided it was time for another pair of socks. Or three. I'm still rather a stickler when it comes to knitting other peoples' patterns. Or perhaps I'm overly fussy? I'm not quite sure what it is, but I'm always thinking if I'm going to knit something, why not design it myself?

Ah, you know what it really is? I must be living up to my Scottish heritage by never handing over any hard-earned cash for something I could do myself for free! Heh!

ni julep by yours truly size medium
knit picks
 felici sock in 'mint chip'
schachenmayr regia 4-fädig 4-ply solids in 'borke'
The blurb:
"We want... a shrubbery!!" 
Technically this pattern is a mix of my Traffic Island socks, and my Twist of Citrus socks; a little bit of feather and fan, and a little bit of chevron knitting, and was originally meant for self-striping yarn. I was going to call it something mint julep-y as the eyelet pattern looks rather Lamiaceae-y, but on working a non-stripey version I got to thinking that it looked like a shrubbery was working up the leg!! Shrubberies, in fact, with a little pathway running down the middle of them! 
And a socktail was born! Or poured and knocked over, maybe!*
Ni Julep is an easy toe-up, Fish Lips Kiss Heel sock that works with all yarn colouring from self-striping to solid!
ni julep by yours truly size large
ice yarns
 mohair magic glitz in 'green shades brown shades'
From mid-calf to short socks, too!
ni julep by yours truly size small
yarning yenta
 sock in 'red fraggle'
holiday yarns flock sock sock in 'bloody mary mix'
The sock starts at the toe, with my favourite cast-on, the Turkish Cast-On for Toe-Up Socks. You can, of course choose your own favourite cast-on should my favourite not be your favourite! 

yes, yes, there's a gap in the cast-on.
it is now a design element!
For my small and medium versions (the Red Fraggle, and Mint Chip colourways) I chose to have a contrasting toe, heel, and in the former, cuff as well, as I like how they look with blocks of colour breaking up the stripes. My large version (Green Shades Brown Shades... hmmm, Ice Yarns may need some help in creating enticing colourways names...) is knit straight from toe to cuff using the slow(ish) colour changing yarn. Of course, you can have contrasting heels and toes for plain socks, too. Because you can!

The pattern itself is nice and easy - a 9-row repeat that is very easy to memorise.

I used the marvellous Fish Lips Kiss pattern for the heel. I shall extol the utter delights of this heel until I reach well past my extolation date. No, it's not a free pattern. (Why should you pay a dollar for a heel pattern? Because it is seriously up there with the best fitting heels EVER!) No, I am not affiliated with the pattern or said pattern's designer. No, I'm not telling you you can only use this heel. There are many, MANY heels of which you can choose your own favourite to use in this sock pattern. I would, however, suggest most keenly (reminder to self: do not binge-read Jane Austen when working on writing blog texts) that, if you do prefer using a different heel, to choose one that keeps to the general form. So, peasant/afterthought, or a nice short-row heel will do just the trick.

The leg, as you would expect, continues upwards with the shrubbery pattern and once you get to the start of the cuff (roughly 2 inches before the total length you prefer) you have 2 options: the first is to continue with the cuff pattern as written (as in the medium version), or switch to a simple twisted rib (where you knit one stitch through the back loop to, yup, you've guessed it, twist it, then purl one stitch) to the length of cuff you prefer. If you're working the shrubbery cuff, I'd recommend doing 2 repeats. For the twisted rib, I'd work it for 2 inches.

And to finish up, I'm a great fan of Jeny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off, a lovely video tutorial of which I'll post below. It's simple, stylish, and does what it says on the tin!

So, there it is! Ni Julep socks! And how much am I going to be asking you for this little gem? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!! NOTHING AT ALL! 'TIS FREE!! WHEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!

Okay, okay. I'm calm. Of course, Ravelry (to where you will be whisked if you click the button below) don't have a FREE, WHEEEEE button, so you'll have to put up with the BUY NOW clicky effort. However, as I think you may have guessed by now, there will be no actual buying involved!

Or, of course, you can click THIS LINK which will take you straight to the pattern page on Ravelry, so you can have a jolly good gander before you inevitably add the pattern to your queues!! ;)


* If you don't know (AND WHY NOT????) The Knights Who Say Ni are fictional characters from the film 'Monty Python and the Holy Grail'. For King Arthur to pass by the Knights Who Say Ni ("ni") he is instructed to find them a shrubbery. A nice one, and not too expensive. They return with a shrubbery (the laurels of which are particularly appreciated) but instead of being let past, Arthur and his knights must find... ANOTHER SHRUBBERY, to place by the one they brought already, only slightly higher to get a two-layer effect with a little path running down the middle...


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Heh! I'm so funny!

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