April 2012

Machine Knitting to Dye For

Some time ago, I was fortunate enough to take a workshop with an extraordinary knitter, Nancy Roberts. I have always been in awe of her creativity and eye for color. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and I, along with a number of members of Marin Knitters' Guild, drove to her house to see her studio and attend a workshop with her.

For the most part, she is a hand-knitter. As I mentioned before, she has a good eye for color. Since she was not always happy with the colors she got in commercially available yarn, she started to dye her own yarn. This way she could get the exact colors that she wanted, in the fiber she wanted to use. She uses various tools to reach her goal and one of those tools is a knitting machine.

Basically, she knits a blank on her knitting machine. A blank is a piece of knitted fabric in white that can be dyed. She then dyes various areas of the blank in different colors and when the dye is dry, she rips out the blank and uses the yarn to knit a colorful outfit, scarf, hat or anything else that strikes her fancy.

Her pieces are in bright colors and absolutely gorgeous. She teaches her technique and has kits and supplies available on her site, www.machineknittingtodyefor.com.

She uses various color techniques for her pieces, including Fair Isle, Intarsia, slip stitches, etc. We have several classes teaching these techniques on our web site. Check out our class list and improve your knitting with color technique.

Nazanin S. Fard

Needlecraft University

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