My favourite kind of knitting is 90% “chill” with a splash of “twist”. And, by twist, I mean an assortment of possible adventures, from clever construction and sublime details to effortless stitches producing incredible results.
Some days I relish deciphering complicated charts and instructions that have me squinting my eyes and seeing if I can understand better with a fresh cup of tea in my hand. But mostly, when I pick up my needles, I crave straight-forward, manageable stitches with just a dollop of exuberance that’s simple to master.
So, it makes sense that I tend to stick to this recipe when I’m dreaming up my designs.
After settling on a new concept and swatching, next comes the maths part, and then putting the design into “knitter-speak” and onto paper. I enjoy that step, and it’s quite a collaborative one with my fabulous editors and awesome testers all having input on whether something reads as I intend, makes sense or even works at all! Therein lies a juggle of many considerations, and it can be challenging to explain manoeuvres, so they’re short and sweet, simple to follow, but also leaves little room for questions.
The knitting patterns you use result from this long (and sometimes particularly challenging) process, and there are 5 great features we focus on to make Truly Myrtle patterns enjoyable knits:
1. CLEAR, EASY TO FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS
At the top of the list is clarity, and it’s the thing we hear most often about Truly Myrtle patterns: they’re so easy to follow! A lot of thought goes into how to phrase things, especially the most complicated techniques, so they’re simple to understand and quick to master. Often that takes a lot of experimenting with needles and talking aloud to get things right! It ticks all my boxes about relaxing knitting – if the instructions are clear, it makes your knitting experience easygoing.
2. DESCRIPTIVE ABBREVIATIONS & PHOTO/VIDEO SUPPORT
In my dreams, I’d manage to write all my abbreviations so that you understood what was happening without going somewhere to watch a tutorial. We include abbreviations for all stitches referred to in the pattern, but it isn’t always possible to explain them in as much detail as I’d like since trickier steps can get quite wordy. So, where needed, Truly Myrtle patterns also include links to video and photo tutorials that show you step-by-step how to work a new technique or special stitch. On your PDF downloads, those links are clickable – and they’ll whisk you to a tutorial with just one click of your pattern.
3. WRITTEN & CHARTED INSTRUCTIONS
Who doesn’t love charts? Well, maybe not all of you. But I do, and I know lots of you do too. So, charts are included alongside written instructions whenever possible and appropriate.
4. SPACIOUS LAYOUT & THOUGHTFUL PLACEMENT OF INSTRUCTIONS
It can be challenging to think, let alone find your place in a cluttered space, so providing lots of room for the instructions to breathe is vital in Truly Myrtle patterns. You’ve got room to make copious notes in the columns and see directions organised in two columns so that you don’t have to read for miles before moving to the following line. We avoid breaking instructions between columns and try to group them or otherwise separate them logically across pages. Headings indicate where you’re up to, charts are created as large as possible and on dedicated pages, and photos can be left out when printing because they are also alone on a page.
PRIVATE GROUP FOR QUESTIONS & SUPPORT
Sometimes, no matter how hard I try to write the instructions clearly, knitting is confusing, and you’ll need a hand. I wrote a blog post about asking questions that you might find helpful.
If all your counting and double-checking isn’t fruitful, visit our Hangout! It’s warm, friendly and supportive. Someone else in the group has likely knitted the pattern you’re working on and can let you know what to do next.
If you find it frustrating that your sweaters and cardigans don’t fit properly, the Hangout is also a great place to ask for advice. Our group is huge, and it’s likely that someone else has a shape similar to you or has struggled with the same fit issues. They might be able to offer some advice about which size to knit and what tips they have for making adjustments.
If you’re not already a member, you can join here!
Shop for Truly Myrtle patterns here.