Koigu Nightshift

Dragon's Kiss, book two of the DragonFate novels, a series of paranormal romances by Deborah CookeI haven’t posted about my knitting for a while. I like to show you finished knits, but right now, I’m in the middle of a lot of projects, and casting on more. This is typical of me when I’m beginning a new series – in this case, it’s the DragonFate Novels – and both doing more research and making series plans. I tend to end up with a lot of new projects on the needles when I’m in that phase of writing, and that’s certainly the case right now. So, rather than remaining silent for the next few months ๐Ÿ™‚ while I catch up with my knitting ambitions, I’ll show you a few projects that are in the works.

The first is my Koigu Nightshift. Nightshift is a shawl pattern by Andrea Mowry, designed to be knit with six colours of a gradient yarn. Two colourways are used at any time, resulting in bands of colour with dots and dashes in the contrasting colour. It’s a striking piece, and quite substantial since the yarn is worsted weight. I cast on with worsted weight yarn but felt that the result was too thick for me to actually wear. I dove into the stash and came up with an alternative – Koigu KPPPM.

Here are my colours:

Koigu KPPM for Deborah Cooke's Nightshift shawl

This photo was taken in bright sunlight. The colours are a little deeper than they appear here, and a little less pinky. The red is the leftover from my Koigu Lunenberg cardigan – there are almost four balls (just over 600 yards) of 329P left. This will use it up. (This is one colourway I bought the first year I went to the Koigu tent sale in 2016: the second was the grey mix I’m using in my Juicy Gloss cardigan. If I ever knit the sleeves on that, there probably won’t be much of that colour left.)

Charlotte's Web shawl, knit by Deborah Cooke in KoiguFor my contrast for the Nightshift shawl, I chose four purple colourways. In 2017 at the Koigu tent sale, I bought a pack of ten different shades of purple. I knit Charlotte’s Web with five of them – there it is, in progress on the right, but still have the other five. You can see all of the colours in this photo: two are already knit up in the shawl, with the three balls that I planned to use (and did) lined up on the right. The five skeins below are the ones I have left now. One of them – the far right one – doesn’t go as well with the others, to my thinking, especially when combined with the red. I chose the other four to use with the red for my Nightshift.

This (inevitably) reminds me of the Jenny Joseph poem:
โ€œWhen I am an old woman, I shall wear purple,
with a red hat which doesn’t go and doesn’t suit me.โ€

I’ve never understood why anyone had to wait to wear red and purple together.

This stash-dive gives me (4 x 160) 640 yards of purples and about 610 yards of red. I’ll knit until it’s gone. The pattern calls for 6 skeins that are 150 yards each, so I have more yardage. This yarn is thinner, though, so I’m hoping the shawl still comes out a good size.

Because Koigu KPPPM is fingering weight, not worsted, as specified in the pattern, I also cast on with smaller needles than specified in the pattern. I’m using 3.75mm. It’s a bit loose, which gives the yarn room to bloom, but I could have used 3.5mm.

Also, the red will appear in every band of colour in my shawl, although it will switch from being the main colour to being the contrast.

Here’s a close-up of my progress so far.

Deborah Cooke's Koigu Nightshift Shawl in progress

The first repeat had a red background and contrast in the lightest purple. The second repeat was inverted – lightest purple background with red contrast. The third repeat, which is almost half done in this picture, has the darkest purple as background and the red as the contrast colour. My project page on Ravelry for this shawl is right here.

How do you like the beginning of my red and purple Nightshift?