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!!

Rilsdale Shawl! Exciting New Pattern Release!



I've been so looking forward to showing you this design! It's been a secret project I've been working on with Briony at Gradient - she naturally dyed the glorious silk/merino yarn into a subtle gradient and I designed Rilsdale shawl to show it off. I'm so pleased to be able to release it today!

The yarn comes in a few different colour ways and will be available at the boutique knitting festival that Briony and I are heading to this weekend. My sample is knitting in the "Stringy Bark" colour way, a gentle mushroom to cream colour way.


Rilsdale has a bit of a story :) This shawl is all about family.

Have I ever told you I'm the eldest daughter of an eldest daughter, of an eldest daughter, of an eldest daughter? Well I am - I broke the tradition with an eldest son. 

So the first of these eldest daughters was my Great-Grandmother Zoe. By all accounts Zoe was a pretty formidable woman - she is reportedly the first woman to ride astride in the area of New Zealand that she grew up - the Wairarapa - in a long pair of culottes. The story goes that Zoe was a better rider than her brothers and everyone was shocked - except her father, who was mightily proud of his strong-minded daughter. I like that story.


Zoe got married in style and I found an article in the paper about her 1914 Spring wedding. I discovered she wore a gown of ivory crepe de chine veiled with lace and her train was trimmed with orange blossoms and pearls. It was a very splendid affair held at her parents homestead "Rilsdale" in Pahiatua near Napier (the very place I'm heading for the knitting retreat this weekend!). 

The article goes on to say what her bridesmaids wore and who came to the wedding. It all sounds very grand and wonderful and it made me laugh when I compared it to my own wedding - a relatively relaxed affair on my parents front lawn but I thought it very appropriate that my photos for Rilsdale were taken my my dear Mr Myrtle at my parents'  house where we got married! 


My Rilsdale shawl takes a leaf from Zoe's book. She's an impressive crescent shawl full of terrifically fun techniques and striking details. Like Zoe, Rilsdale is equally happy at a high society wedding or cosily wrapped around your neck while you explore the countryside.

I've designed Risldale specifically to showcase beautiful hand-dyed and gradient yarn. The short rows will break a gradient into gorgeous wedges of colour and the combination of lace and garter is a lovely combination for a gentle tonal yarn too.

Rilsdale is the perfect pattern for knitters wanting to try their hand at short rows and lace. I've made a couple of step by step photo tutorials to show you how to knit the short rows - they're easy peasy but ever so effective!

The lace is a combination of knits, purls and k2tog stitches. Nothing tricky, my testers have enjoyed this knit :)


Rilsdale is available to buy now in my Ravelry shop and I'm pleased to be offering it with an introductory price - grab yourself a 15% discount with the code ELDESTDAUGHTER (Offer valid until Midnight Sunday 30 August 2015 - NZ time).


New Pattern! Industry Shawl



I'm really excited to let you know that my Industry shawl pattern has been published!

It's a fabulous modern textured shawl making the most of one skein of fingering yarn, that's fun to knit and easy to wear.


I love both sides of the Industry shawl and although they're different, it's perfectly reversible. The block pattern on the "right" side reminds me of old brick factories working into the night and the "wrong" side whispers of polished steel beam reaching into the sky.


Industry is knit from side to side - you'll start in one corner with just a few stitches and you'll watch your shawl take shape and grow as you knit. The end result is a slightly asymmetrical shawl that can be blocked into a crescent shape or a sharply pointed triangle. The choice is yours! 

I've included written and charted instructions and it's super easy to make your shawl larger if you like.

My shawl was knitted with a luxurious merino/cashmere/nylon fingering from Midnight Yarns and it's deliciously soft and cosy. I can't wait to see how it looks knitted in another yarn blend - a silk/merino will be fabulously chic and an undyed wool will enhance the cosy, textural aspect of the design.


Treat yourself to an introductory discount of 15% off with the code INDUSTRY15 - the discount will be valid until Midnight Sunday 30 August 2015 (NZ time). Buy it here!

Happy knitting!

NEW PATTERN! Southern Shawl

Southern Shawl designed by Libby Jonson for Truly Myrtle. Pattern available on Ravelry.

It's been so hard to keep this design a secret. I've been feeling super excited about my Southern Shawl and it's taken all of my willpower not to tell you all about it and how thrilled I am with it!

When Helene from Happy Go Knitty asked me to design a shawl for her recent Shawl club I was very flattered but sooooo nervous! Her one requirement was that I use one skein of her silk/merino fingering yarn but all other design decisions were entirely mine. She even let me choose the colour of the yarn and I fell immediately in love with this soft, clear, grey.

Southern Shawl designed by Libby Jonson for Truly Myrtle. Pattern available on Ravelry.

I rather enjoyed working to a deadline. I spent a bit of time playing with the yarn and seeing how it behaved before I settled on the design. The yarn is simply glorious. It's silky smooth and soft to knit, holds together well, has a fantastic sheen and drapes beautifully. I'm very impressed.

Southern Shawl designed by Libby Jonson for Truly Myrtle. Pattern available on Ravelry.

Southern shawl has a very modern feel. It's an asymmetrical triangle and the body is alternating rows of stockinette and reverse stockinette so it looks almost identical on both sides.

I'm most excited by the border and adore the contrast of lace with the decreasing points. The border took a lot of fiddling to get just right and it makes me happy every time I look at it!

There's not tricky stitches in the pattern - lots of familiar knits and purls, yarn overs, decreases and increases. It's a good pattern for most levels - even adventurous beginners. As usual, I've included both written and charted instructions so you can knit exactly how you like :)

Southern Shawl designed by Libby Jonson for Truly Myrtle. Pattern available on Ravelry.

I wore my sample over the weekend and it worked both wrapped around my shoulders like I've worn it in the pattern photos and snuggled around my neck like a "scarf" as I like to wear my crescent shawls. In fact, it sits really nicely around my neck with the "seam" sitting neatly to one side and the lace border fanning out over my shoulder. It's the perfect length for the ends to fall to the front.

Happy knitting!

NEW PATTERN! Rattan Shawl


II'm really pleased to let you know that I've published my latest shawl design; Rattan Shawl.

Rattan was inspired by the yarn itself. I've been savouring my last two skeins of beautiful Tosh Merino Light in my stash for some time. The first was a muted blue that turned into a Settler Shawl late last year. This glorious wheat coloured yarn (appropriately named Winter Wheat) told me in no uncertain terms it wanted to be something distinctly modern, with lines, structure and texture.

Yarn often tells me what it wants to be. Does your stash talk to you too? I've learnt through trial and error that it's best to listen carefully to what my yarn is saying. It's much easier to work with that little voice than to try to mould my yarn into a design that's already in my head.


I mostly wear my shawls wrapped around my neck like a scarf, with the ends hanging forward. I find that they stay on better, look stylish and keep my neck warm in cooler weather. My favourite shawl shape to wear in this style is a crescent shawl. I love how a shallow crescent shape gains in length what it looses in depth. When I wrap them around my neck I get the benefit of squishy layers of knitting stopping any draft getting in but also get the benefit of those long drapey ends hanging beautifully at the front.

Rattan is a crescent shawl with lots of length and it's fabulous to wear. I've also included instructions to make it larger so if you want a bigger, even more fantastic shawl, you can do that really easily.


Rattan is a great shawl for knitters of all experience. It's full of familiar stitches; knits, purls and yarn overs and where I've used a new stitch, like KYOK - I've included a link to a tutorial to show you exactly how to knit it. 

The ribbed sections use twisted stitches. Twisted stitches create a really structured look which I love and isn't tricky to do. Instead of knitting or purling into the front leg of your stitch - you knit or purl into the back leg. 


I've been hearing lots of questions about blocking shawls lately and talked at length about how I block crescent shawls in my latest podcast. If you're confused, hopefully this'll shed some light on the whole mystery of blocking! I am planning a blog series about blocking soon too.


My Rattan Shawl pattern is available to buy now on Ravelry now.

I do hope you enjoy knitting and wearing your Rattan Shawl - I love seeing photos of your Truly Myrtle projects - so send me a picture, tag me on Instagram or post a picture of your shawl in the Truly Myrtle Ravelry group.

Happy knitting!