I am allergic to wool. I have learned not to say this in two communities: knitting, and cloth diapers. Knitting because wool is.. well, wool is what knitting is about. It’s the perfect material to work it. Cloth diapers.. wool covers are very useful and cute besides.
The problem is, when you say you’re allergic to wool, the common reaction is something along the lines of “It’s very rare to actually be allergic to wool, you just need to use GOOD wool!” And partly that’s true. But it’s also bloody irritating. I’ve been tested. I know my reactions. Don’t you THINK I might KNOW if I have a friggin’ allergy?
Anyway. There are some wools I can tolerate — the less processed the better, and the animal fiber makes a difference. The fluffier (and more likely to go up my nose) it is, the worse my reaction. Mohair is a no. Merino? Sometimes a yes. So far alpaca has been good.
My point is there is a new book coming out called No Sheep For You all about knitting with fibers OTHER than wool! YAY! There’s even an entire section about how to swap out yarns for patterns that call for wool (because there’s more than gauge at risk, elasticity being a primary concern, for example). I am SO very excited! This is excellent timing as well, considering the harem of cabled woolen sweaters I am currently lusting over.