Nightshades: What Shade Are You?
by Ann Weaver
In October 2018, Harrisville, a family mill in a historic New Hampshire town, released a revolutionary new yarn: Nightshades. It was years in the making. They wanted to find a fiber that was soft and springy, but would also take the dye well enough to produce the deep black they were after. They found it in Montana-grown Cormo.
When I visited Harrisville last August, I got a sneak peek of the dreamy, subtle colors. Here’s my photo:
Then I went home and waited (impatiently) for the release.
The ten Nightshades colors are created by blending a small percentage of brightly colored wool with black wool during the spinning process. The result is ten shades of black, dusted with purple, medium blue, light blue, green, olive, yellow, orange, red, brown, or white. The names are just as evocative as the colors (I might have purchased olive blended with black because the color is called Insomnia).
There’s a reason Harrisville sold out of Nightshades on the first day of the New York Sheep and Wool festival—Rhinebeck—in October.
To showcase the yarn, Harrisville collaborated with designer Whitney Hayward to produce two collections including several sweaters. Click here to see the 2018 collection. Click here to see the 2019 collection.
I’ve nearly finished the body of my Sable Pullover, which is all garter stitch. (So no struggle knitting with black yarn!). If you are looking for more inspiration or motivation, check out the Sable Pullover Knitalong that Whitney hosted. You can find it using the hashtag #sablepulloverkal on Instagram.
If you are looking for a crochet option. How about the Elara Pullover, pictured at the top of the post.