About Nancy

I never had any intention of using a knitting machine to make finished pieces.  I was strictly a hand knitter and I bought my first machine—an LK-150–solely as a tool for dyeing.  I was inspired by a vague memory I had of an article by Rebekah Younger I had read in Threads magazine (No. 59, June/July 1995, pg. 68).  Ms. Younger had machine knitted un-dyed yarn and then painted it with dye in stripes of graduated colors.  She then unraveled the yarn and re-knitted it to create an hombre effect on her knitted garments.  I was intrigued, but did not own a knitting machine at that time.  Nearly 10 years later in 2004, I set out to try the concept on my own..  It was a great gateway into machine knitting because a dropped stitch was inconsequential as I’d be unraveling my knitted fabric in the end.  I knit small swatches, painted them in stripes, unraveled the yarn, and re-knit two colorways in Fair Isle patterns. The more I played with the technique, the more obsessed I became.  At one point, I became so impatient to see the fruits of my play that I got out my hairdryer to dry the freshly dyed swatches faster.  I convinced myself that if a blow dryer was good enough for my hair, it was good enough for sheep’s hair.

I showed my finished machine knitted and dyed work at spinning, weaving and hand knitting retreats and conferences I attended.  Folks wanted to learn more about what I was doing and I was asked to teach the method I had developed. If, however,  I was going to teach, I needed machines.  That’s how I became a Silver Reed dealer and my business, Machine Knitting to Dye For, was born.

It didn’t take long before I could see the infinite possibilities machine knitting offered apart from my initial use as a mere tool for dyeing.   I was a convert and I became a missionary for machine knitting. Along my journey, I found machine knitting guilds.  Teaching for those groups was a breeze: they already knew how to machine knit the “blanks” for dyeing and I didn’t need to bring or ship machines to teach a class.  As a side benefit of working with experienced machine knitters, I got to learn more about our shared craft.

I continue to teach group classes and offer private lessons in my studio in the San Francisco Bay Area.  I also make time to explore new techniques and uses for the machine knitting.