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).


Ensure you’re signed up to the Truly Myrtle Minimag to stay in touch and get discounts on new pattern releases.

We’d love to see you in the Truly Myrtle Hangout on Facebook!