It’s a sad thing, isn’t it, that someone so in love with yarn, who lives in Wales, should be allergic to wool?
But there it is. I have friends who are spinners, weavers, and felters and I covet the beautiful yarns and fabrics they make and work with. But if I handle sheep’s wool I come out in a red itchy rash, and if I’m even around it for very long my sinuses get blocked solid and I itch all over.
So I mainly work with cotton or acrylic, or blends of these and other man-made fibres. I do long for something with a bit more texture sometimes though, and it’s nice to experiment with different weights and finishes. Last year I discovered recycled cotton yarn, which is chunky and heavy and worked with a large hook makes great table mats!I’ve also tried recycled sari silk, which comes in lovely vibrant shades and feels wonderfully smooth and soft, but is spun in quite an uneven strand that was hard to work into a nice regular shape:Also banana silk, which is rather thick and slubby for crochet, though its soft chunky texture would be great for knitting into a sloppy jumperI read recently though that it’s often the lanolin in sheep’s wool that triggers allergies, and that sufferers can find other animal fibres such as alpaca and cashmere don’t cause a reaction. I mentioned this to my lovely spinning & weaving friend Jas on a recent visit, and she gave me some alpaca yarn to play with. I sat there all evening running it through my fingers, not a red blotch in sight! I was sent home with a cone of alpaca and a little ball of cashmere, and am happy to report that I worked up a whole circle of the alpaca with NO ITCHING!So I’m VERY excited to have found a natural, wool-like yarn that I can work with and I already have my next project planned! In fact I couldn’t resist ordering the yarn already, but more of this to come on another day….