2 Preface: Who are the Twisted Sisters?
4 Chapter One: Color and Dyeing
6 Working in an Intuitive Manner
A Personal Approach to Color
8 Preparing Dye Stock Solutions
9 Mixing Colors
11 Dyeing a Color Wheel
12 Developing a Thematic Color Scheme
14 General Guidelines on Dyeing
18 Hot Pour Dyeing
20 Cold Pour Dyeing
25 Spot Dyeing
26 Dyeing with Kool-AidR
2 8 Chapter Two: From Fiber to Yarn
28 What Happens to Color When You Spin?
30 Fiber Preparation
35 The Spindle and the Sock
Addict’s Survival Kit
37 Designing Two-Ply Yarns
40 Working with Singles
46 Making Navajo Three-Ply Yarns
4 8 Chapter Three: Knitting Socks
50 Basic Sock Pattern
54 How to Fit Your Feet
56 Sampling, Yarn, and Gauge
58 The Sock as a Tube
61 Some Other Ways to Knit a Sock
65 Methods of Casting On
69 Methods of Binding Off
73 Ribbing and Cuffs
74 Heels, the Turning Point
76 Afterthought Heels
80 Basic Sock Toes
80 Fancy Toes
89 Washing Handknit Socks
91 Suggested Reading
It is truly impossible to bring a work together without the help of many people. The spirit of goodwill has prevailed and each and every person involved deserves the highest blessings of joy that come from such cooperation. To all of you the very finest and most heartfelt thanks.
First and foremost, I’d like to thank my editor, Rita Buchanan, for initiating me into “bookdom” in righteous fashion. I couldn’t have done it without her encouragement, knowledge, enthusiasm, teaching, wisdom, patience, humor, and friendship. I can’t write THANKS big enough!
Thanks to all at Interweave Press, especially to Marilyn and Amy for getting jazzed about the book in the first place, to Betsy and Bren for the fantastic cover idea, to Gayle for her great illustrations and to Jean Lampe for her microscopically accurate tech editing. You are all so wonderful to work with. To Kathryn Alexander, many thanks for the permission to include your work on energized singles. Your love of your work is contagious.
Big thanks to my photographer, Jim Ann Howard, for the gorgeous shots. Your sense of humor is boundless. Thanks to all whose feet showed in socks: Kami Bruner, Claire Reishman, Ann Griffin, Pam VanDyke, Emily Wright-Ternpko; and the cover girls, Julie and Flora Jones, Annie, Meg, Sarah, and Janet Armour-Jones, and Lizzie Clark Duncan (Jones). Big thanks to Boo Rather for lending us her highpowered camera and for her help with the cover shot. Thanks also to Annie Armour and Danielle Stevens for selflessly lending me their digital cameras for lengthy periods of time. And special thanks to Peggy Walsh for capturing my likeness for the back cover.
Thanks to all the technically oriented people who have brought me up to speed in computerland: Walter Castle and Anne Giles for major support and instruction; Andrew Moser and Leigh Burger for a crash course in Photoshop; Dean at Interweave for his patient instruction; Latham Davis for teaching me how to use a slide scanner; and Pradip Malde for letting me sit in on a couple of digital art classes.
Thanks to Mary Kaiser for reading the manuscript with knowledge, wit, and genuine interest. Also thanks to my neighbors, Mary and Dianne, for trying my sock pattern and giving me their feedback. And to my niece, Holly Jean, who invented her own style of casting on within a week of learning how to knit. Of course, I can’t forget my massage therapist, Colette. Biggest thanks are in order for all the Twisted Sisters for getting jazzed and staying jazzed and for sending me their hard work for who knows how long. The spirit of the book really lives in all of you! Kudos to Sandy who dyed a living room full of fiber for the Sisters to dive into. May there always be color in your hands.
Thanks also to Rosemary
Wilkinson for traveling halfway round the world and donating her wonderful wool and yarn for the dyeing chapter. I would never have made it without James who graciously and with unfailing humor endured me through the birthing of the book by making me go for woods walks with Monk and Bailey, by cooking more than usual, and by refusing to let me get too serious.
And I’d also like to thank myself for not self-destructing.
The Twisted Sisters probably took shape in the mind of “Twisted Mother” Sandy Sitzman well before the group was ever formed. Now the “Millennium Queen Enabler of Prospective and Realized Fiber Addicts,” Sandy has been sharing her love of dyeing, spinning, color, and all things fiber for years. She has developed a naturally intuitive, nonthreatening teaching style that encourages minimum sweat and maximum enjoyment.
Those of us who respond better to simple, learn-by-doing methods delight in this method of teaching. We respond by leaps and bounds where before we had stubbornly resisted. Our interest grows and we branch out into other skills, learning them with ease and excitement. Eventually some of us even move on to more scientific and technique-oriented methods once we wish to refine or reproduce our results. But even from the earliest stages, we learn skills that delight us for the sheer enjoyment of doing them. Sandy’s ability to teach this way opened the door to many women who wished to enhance their knitting experience with the color, texture, and life of handspun yarns. Her generous nature and noncompetitive spirit taught us cooperation. Her calm, methodical approach helped to tame creative dragons and provided a focused setting for expressing wild dreams of color. Soon a group took shape, meeting each year at the Black Sheep Gathering in Eugene, Oregon, where Sandy had sold her hand-dyed fibers since 1990. Once a day trip for some, it became a weekend-long event. Sandy booked a group of rooms and we would come with our wheels and spin late into the night. Ministering angel, Jeanne Roll, would make sure everyone received an annual foot rub while we caught up with friends we sometimes only saw once a year. Events expanded to a bi-yearly beach retreat and a holiday party. Our connections deepened and our friendships grew. We learned more skills and enjoyed the ones we knew by heart. Now we are the Twisted Sisters. We Sisters are busy women and several of us have very demanding jobs, but we still find time to do what we want. It may take a while, but we accomplish wonderful things, and you can, too.
I want to thank all the Sisters for their undying enthusiasm and support. Thanks for going out of your way to dye, spin, and knit the wonderful socks in this book. It wouldn’t be the Twisted Sisters sock book without you. Special thanks to Sandy for being beside me every step of the way.