Could I Be Allergic to Yarn!?By Caissa "Cami" McClinton – 17 Comments
Before you start writing me supportive notes of encouragement during my time of struggle, I feel I should mention that I am not actually allergic to yarn. However, allergies or sensitivities to certain types of fiber do happen. In fact, I have a good friend who is an avid crocheter and she is so allergic to wool, she can’t even work with wool yarn unless it’s no more than a 20% wool blend! She can crochet with it if her finished product is for someone else, that is, because she is so allergic to wool, that she can not wear the final product!
Can you imagine? It wasn’t always this way for my friend. She actually developed the allergy over time. Now, when I say allergy, I am not talking about an itchy sweater scenario. My friend actually breaks out. Apparently the genuine allergy is pretty rare: approximately 1.7%, according to one study. Even so, I suspect a lot more people are sensitive to wool than have that allergy. What brought this up?
Well, I very recently had the chance to do an awesomely intense, impromptu yarn crawl across New England. (Yarn heaven!) While I was in a gorgeous Connecticut yarn store, I spied so many captivating, hand-painted, and kettle dyed beauties that my head was spinning. I was in there with a friend who doesn’t yarn craft and she told me she doesn’t do well with wool and that it irritates her skin. Booo! Well half of the gifts I had just mentally created for her just fell through. That got me thinking about wool allergies and led to this blog post.
I wanted to take a moment to list (and link to) some fabulous wool alternatives for those who are allergic, sensitive, vegan, or those who just want something different! I’m going to skip the obvious acrylic and cottons and go for the really different stuff, and just for fun – handspun! Warning: the price tags may be a bit of a shock, but just look for fun unless you want to splurge!
So what about you? Do you know anyone who has a wool sensitivity or allergy? If you have this allergy, how do you deal with it and how does it affect your crocheting habits? What do you think of these vegan yarns? What is your favorite wool alternative? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!