2 October 2015

New Pattern Release - Big Dotty



I'm so pleased with Big Dotty. She's BIG! and cosy and I just love her.

It took all winter to get our fire installed so I've been a bit chilly and for months I've been hankering after a larger shawl as warm as a sweater. I was dreaming of something to wrap around my shoulders for an extra layer of warmth but stylish enough to wear while I'm out and about too. 

Anyhow, somewhere along the line I had a brainwave - I wanted texture and I already had a pattern I loved (Darling Dotty) - how about I knit it up with a heavier yarn for a super wintery wrap?


I sat on the idea for a while, wondering which yarn I'd use. The image in my head was a natural stone colour, a rustic woolly layer. And of course, I wanted something that would work well with the texture. Not too slinky but not too furry either.


Then, during my recent trip to the KAN knitting retreat in Napier, I found the perfect yarn. The mill I visited has a shop at the door and in there was a glorious, stone coloured, unprocessed, merino yarn. It was perfect! and a great price - so, I quickly grabbed eight balls and away I went.

It wasn't until afterwards that I realised how truly perfect my choice was. The yarn is from a range called Silver Lining - it's a beautiful muted range of colours created from the fibre of heritage merino sheep around New Zealand. 

Skeinz say it perfectly themselves:

"All around NZ are isolated small flocks of Merino sheep who have been cut off from the larger Merino populations due to geography. These flocks over the last 150 years have started developing their own unique characteristics & have become sub breeds in their own right. Hokonui, Arapawa, Stewart Island & Chatham Island Merino's are some of these Rare Breed Merino's.  Here at Skeinz we have been able to secure these very special fleeces from the fate of just vanishing among the greater Merino clip. They are all very fine micron of varying shades. We have lovingly blended these together to produce 4 natural shades & 5 heathered shades. We thought it was time that these Rare Breeds got out from under the general Merino cloud & got a chance to see their own Silver Lining."


The colour chose is called "Clifton Stone" - it's a soft grey/beige from the fibre of Stewart Island Merino. Stewart Island is at the very bottom of New Zealand although the particular sheep for this yarn are a small flock of Stewart Island sheep that are being looked after in the South Island of New Zealand. 

Apparently many rare merino breeds around New Zealand have been feral for many decades. These sheep are descendants of merino sheep placed to provide meat for shipwrecked sailors or originally farmed in remote areas. Some sheep were simply left behind when people moved on and others missed being rounded up by the farmers that cared for them.

Stewart Island Merino - photo by Ron & Kath Gallagher

Sheep farming in Stewart Island was never a hugely successful venture. They were first  farmed in a large numbers in 1874 and apparently a number escaped, forming a feral population that developed into the current Stewart Island Merino breed.

Stewart Island sheep are relatively small, mostly black and often have a patch of white on the nose and between the eyes, with a white tip on their tails. The Rams have particularly fine horns. It's said that they're alert and aware of what's going on around them. The ewes are very good mothers, protective of their lambs and often act as a "look out" for strangers. Don't they sound pretty neat? I think so.


So, my yarn is special and I'm really thrilled. 

Big Dotty is super warm, deliciously rustic, full of texture and made from the wool of heritage sheep. You'll need about 400g of DK yarn to make one too.

Happy knitting!!

30 September 2015

A Big Thank You! To SAL Sponsors - Part 3!

We are sooooo spoilt with this Stitch Along you guys! I am blown away by how many fantastic prizes we've been donated. 

Here's the final instalment of my thank you and LOOK! posts about all the prizes we've been given.

I've had a crush on Skein Queen yarn for years and years. I adore the gorgeous colours that  Debbie creates and her lush bases. I have knitted lots of projects with Skein Queen yarn and I'm thrilled to have a skein to give away to one of you!

Debbie has very kindly donated a skein of her beautiful Desire Merino in the Nutkin colour way. Bonus: it's a perfect substitute for the Skein Queen yarn I used for my Reminisce hat design :)

Hannah dyes gorgeous yarn right here in New Zealand - I had the pleasure of meeting her at the retreat I just attended and she's a honey :)

She has very generously donated a gorgeous skein of coveted Red Riding Hood fingering perfect for a drapey shawl in her favourite colour - doesn't that sound fab?!

I really enjoyed meeting Tash at the KAN retreat and I'm tapping my fingers waiting for her to decide to open a branch of her gorgeous shop near me in Auckland .... tap tap tap ...

Tash has generously donated a tote bag and some gorgeous Knitsch sock yarn from her glorious handdyed yarn range for one of our lovely winners. Lovely!

The kind folks at Loveknitting have offered a voucher to use at their fantastic shop. It'll be enough to buy you a skein of fingering and maybe some other little bits as well! 

Loveknitting is a great resource for buying yarn online. They have a fantastic range of yarn   & patterns (mine are there!) and offer free shipping anywhere in the world with a minimum order. I know they're popular even with knitters down here in New Zealand.

Cooperative Press publish lots of fantastic books for independent designers. They believe in giving small designers and crazy ideas a chance and produce really great books.

Very generously - Cooperative Press have donated a subscription to their Knit Edge mag! Pretty cool huh?!


Aren't we just the luckiest?! Thank you so much so all of our wonderful, generous sponsors! 
I'd love it if you'd show them some support too :)

Just a few days left for the Stitch Along - get the photos of your finished projects up in the thread so you're in the draw to win something!

28 September 2015

A Big Thank You! To SAL Sponsors - Part 2


This is the second post in my wee Thank you! Sponsors series. Yes, it's turned into a series - there's one more coming! So many generous sponsors! So many amazing prizes ;)

With that in mind, I've extended the deadline for the Spoil Yourself Stitch Along so you all get a chance to win something! There's still time! I'll wrap up the stitch along at the end of the week - Sunday 4 October 2015. So, are you thinking of joining in? DO! Grab your needles (knitting, crochet, sewing or whatever) and spoil yourself!

I can't wait to see what else you get done.

And, without further ado - meet the next fabulous sponsors of the Truly Myrtle Spoil Yourself SAL ....



Rosewood Wool has stolen my heart. They're filling a gap in the New Zealand yarn scene with their unprocessed, quality yarn in the most serenely gorgeous colour palette and I love it.  

I had the pleasure of meeting the lovely ladies behind Rosewood Wool over the weekend and they gave me a beautiful wee pile of their 3ply Romney yarn balls. There's 100g altogether and they coordinate wonderfully well.

You can find more Rosewood Wool in their Felt shop - and I'm told there'll be a post-market sale any day soon :)



Kathy is also local to me. She breeds Alpacas and has recently been spinning up their super soft fibre into super soft yarn :) The natural colours of her alpaca is stunning. This package is a mixture of caramel and cream DK yarn - 200g all together!

I'm working on a new shawl pattern in Kathy's lovely yarn and it's delicious to knit and is knitting up beautifully :) You can find Kathy's yarn for sale here.



Do you live in Auckland, New Zealand? This prize is just for you! The Auckland branch of Creative Fibre have kindly donated a years membership which comes with a great monthly magazine full of interesting articles and tutorials.

Creative Fibre host a variety of fantastic workshops throughout the year and excitingly their next annual festival is being held on my doorstep in April 2016 - in Pukekohe just out of Auckland. I'm getting involved and have joined the "fashion team"! You can sign up to workshops and talks on their website from 5 October. Get in quick though - I've had a peek at the classes and they look amazing!



Julia makes the most gorgeous pouches from recycled tweed jackets and lines them with Scottish linen. This one in the photo is mine but she's kindly offered one to you too!

You can find Julia's pouches in her shop - they are very sought after and get snaffled up quickly so if you like one of these - get it!


The Crochet Project launched their first gorgeous shawl book this time last year and it's been extremely popular amongst new & experienced crocheters. It's a collection of six one skein shawl patterns and also includes a bunch of information showing you how to design various shawl shapes yourselves. 

Joanne and Kat have very kindly donated an ebook copy of Book One to one lucky SAL winner! I think it'll have to go to a crocheter - don't  you?

Excitingly, Book two was just launched this weekend at the Yarndale Festival in the UK. It's a collection of 5 two skein shawls and will be available to buy very soon - in the meantime you can sign up to their brand new mailing list to be the first to hear when and how to buy print copies and the ebook.

Abbey is a New Zealand designer creating beautiful shawl and sock patterns. She has kindly donated a copy of her Wings of a Moth shawl pattern to one lucky winner! Isn't it gorgeous!


Aren't we so lucky! Thank you so much to each of our wonderful sponsors!

To be in to win these great prizes, post a picture of your finished object in the Ravelry thread. Remember, the only rule is that it BE FOR YOU! Go on, spoil yourself!

I'll be back soon with the last of our sponsors :)

23 September 2015

A Big Thank You! To SAL Sponsors - Part 1


Are you joining in the Truly Myrtle "Spoil Yourself" Stitch Along? There's still time! We don't finish until the end of September.

Lots of lovely people are knitting, stitching and making themselves something this month and chatting about their plans & progress and posting gorgeous finished objects in the Ravelry thread. Head over if you want to join in, or if you're simply after some inspiration!

I wanted to tell you about some of our generous sponsors today. We've been given a bunch of wonderful prizes and I thought you'd like to see what they are and hear a little about the very kind people who have given us these goodies. In fact, we've had so many donations that I needed two posts! Thank you sooo much lovely sponsors! I'm absolutely thrilled!

This is part 1 :)


I met Jenna at the knitting retreat I recently attended in Napier and she's an absolute delight. Remember I interviewed her earlier this year?

Jenna gave me a skein of her fabulous gradient fingering yarn on a White Gum Wool base. It's one of her favourites - isn't it gorgeous?!


Karen owns a yarn shop just north of Auckland in a small town called Warkworth. It's about an hour and a half drive from me and I've not yet visited but I've had the pleasure of meeting Karen and squishing her stunning range of yarn at several knitting events over the past 18 months and have spent a long time perusing her fantastic online shop.

Karen's taste in yarn is exquisite, she knows just how to pick the perfect neutral and stocks some of the most glorious yarn from both New Zealand and overseas. She has very kindly donated a skein of beautiful Wisp luxury lace weight yarn from Dream in Color, a magnet and some pretty wee buttons. I can't wait to see what our winner makes with this!


Rachel dyes from her home in Canterbury New Zealand, the other end of the country from me. I am falling deeply in love with Rachel's colour ways. She has a real knack for the muted colours of nature that I really love but she also does a magnificent bright.

Rachel has kindly donated this fabulous skein of beautiful rich green semi-solid merino fingering and some matching stitch markers. She also gave me a set of her stitch markers and they've quickly become my new favourites. I love that they're compact and the wee bead on them holds yarn overs in place just perfectly.


Rachel is the dyer behind the cute brand Squeeful Yarns and she's also based in Christchurch at the bottom of New Zealand. 

Rachel has very kindly donated some delicious chunky merino yarn dyed in rich tones of green called "Hunter". She's also popped in a couple of super cute soaps for our lucky winner in their own sweet wee bag.


White gum wool grown by Nan Bray in Australia is the real deal. It's produced in conditions absolutely ideal for her merino sheep and it's the softest yarn I've ever felt. Nan spends each day with her flock moving them from one perfect grazing area to another so they can feed on weeds and plants that keep them healthy and happy. I thoroughly recommend listening to Nan's interview on the Woolful podcast - it's quite fascinating and very reassuring that fabulous, ethical yarn is readily available to us.

Nan has donated a fantastic 100g ball of superfine merino fingering in her favourite colourway.


I accidentally ordered two copies of this neat pattern! It's the "hot right now" tunic/frock pattern designed by Dottie Angel for Simplicity. I can't wait to make mine and I hope someone loves their copy too!

I'm planing to draw this prize for one of the SAL sewers - so get sewing!

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Isn't that a fantastic line up of prizes? Thank you so very much to all our Sponsors. I hop you go and visit them and show them some love too.

But wait! There's more! I'll be back next week to show you the remaining SAL prizes and tell you a little bit about more of our generous Sponsors.

In the meantime, happy stitching!

20 September 2015

Truly Myrtle Podcast - Episode 9!


I've got a longer podcast today with lots of chatter about the yarn retreat I recently went on. I've got lots to show you and a bunch of stuff to tell you about the classes I attended and the woollen mill I visited.

It was a fantastic time - can't wait for next year!

Grab a cuppa and your knitting and ENJOY!

Things I mention:

Knit August Nights
Rhiannon from Stitchseekers &Men In Knitwear
Nunnaba Yarn
White Gum Wool

Georgie Hallam from Tikki Knits