A Myrtle for summer

I am so happy to be able to show you photos of my completed Myrtle tank:

We are in the midst of a drought and a heat wave here, so we’ve struggled to find a bit of cool to take these photos. Notice how the cool greys of the stones above bring out the cooler tones, and the green background below brings out the warmer tones.

Myrtle is a great design by Kate Davies. Her pattern calls for mohair yarn and long sleeves and looks deliciously cozy and stylish for a walk in the crisp air, see below photo. I have wanted to make one since the pattern first came out, in her book, The West Highland Way, in 2017. (This is the second project I’ve knitted from this book: the first is my Highland Rogue Cowl, which I blogged about here.)

© Kate Davies Designs

I took a detour from the Highland Way and made my Myrtle as a summer-y tank top. I think it really works!

The colours are not in my normal palette. In fact, this yarn was originally purchased as a kit to make a shawl, and one day I suddenly had the inspiration to use the yarn to knit a summer-y version of Myrtle (you can read about it in this earlier post). Here is the yarn:

Madelinetosh Merino Light in Sugar Coat, Pink Clay, Librarian’s Dreams, Joshua Tree, and Rocinante

The unintended result was that the process became a bit of a puzzle with some yarn chicken thrown in: the shawl kit contained two full skeins and three partial skeins and I had to make decisions in order to get the look I wanted while being limited by the amounts.

I ran out of the darker green first (you can see that there are five repeats of each of the other colours, but only four of the dark green). The colour that I liked the least at the beginning, the lighter green, ended up surprising me: in fact I chose to make the arm and neck ribbing from this shade instead of the white as I originally planned. I quite like it.

I choose to knit two rows of rib with the white before switching colours in the arm and neck rib, in order to imitate the two rows of white stockinette between each lace panel in the pattern. It makes a very neat touch.

This project has been a long time coming. I started this last summer, and at the time I was planning on making a tee. I finished the front and back, but was running out of both the dark green and the dark rose shades, and was struggling with matching up the concept in my head with the yarn at hand. I put it aside while I tried to talk myself into short sleeves using only the three lighter shades, or some subset thereof.

It then got usurped completely when I decided to take on a big project for my daughter Emma, which had to be finished for Christmas. I finally decided to skip the short sleeves and turn it into a tank, and picked it back up again. When I had only about 5-6 hours of work left to complete it, I got Covid. It has taken me over 8 weeks to put in the few hours to complete it and to find the energy to photograph it. (I have been tempted to wait another few months to take photos, since not only have I been sick for 8 weeks, but I look like I’ve been sick for 8 weeks. Doug says you won’t care.)

I really enjoyed every aspect of knitting this. I especially liked the surprise involved in taking one of Kate’s beautiful patterns and changing it up, and having it turn out even better in real life than it did in my head. This is the second time in two years I have done this with one of Kate’s pattern: the first was the Ursula waistcoat I knitted for Doug last year.

It’s lovely, isn’t it? I like the fact that I can dress it up or down, wear it with jeans or under a jacket. And I am pleased to go outside of my colour comfort zone.

I’m happy to be slowly recovering and picking up my knitting again. Take care, everyone!