Nightshades: What Shade Are You?
by Ann Weaver
In October, 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 a collection of seven patterns, including four sweaters. The collection will be at String Theory from January 31 to February 6, and you really need to see these pieces in person. (Black yarn is really hard to photograph.)
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 is hosting; you can use the hashtag #sablepulloverkal on Instagram.
And . . . stay tuned for more about what Harrisville and I are working on.
Imagine this in bold beautiful colors!