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View Full Version : What to use for socks if you are allergic to wool?


Lieke
06-28-2006, 11:30 AM
I've got a question. I'm knitting for a while now and I want to try to make some socks. The only problem is that all the yarn I can find for socks has wool in it and I'm allergic to wool. If I use thas my hands will get itchy and swollen, which makes me unable to knit.

My question is, what can I use for socks, so they are comfortable to wear?

Julie
06-28-2006, 11:41 AM
There are some great cotton-blend sock yarns!

Elann Esprit (http://secure.elann.com/productdisp.asp?NAME=elann%2Ecom+Collection+Esprit&Season=&Company=&Cat=&ProductType=5&OrderBy=&Count=1)

Cascade Fixation (http://www.simplysockyarn.com/Categories.bok?category=SOCK+YARN%3ACascade+Fixati on,+Effects)

Fortissima Cotton Colori (http://www.yarndex.com/yarn.cfm?yarn_id=815) (soooo soft!)

Also, I can't think of the working title off the top of my head...but Amy Singer (editor of Knitty) is working on a book right now about NOT knitting with wool (she's very allergic -- there are a lot of yarns she said she can't even touch :( ). She talked about it on the latest Knitcast (http://www.knitcast.com). :D

rebecca
06-28-2006, 11:43 AM
Knitpicks Dancing (http://www.knitpicks.com/yarns/itemid_5420119/yarn_display.aspx) doesn't contain wool, then there's Plymouth sockotta sock yarn (http://www.plymouthyarn.com/index.php?nav=cYarn.yarnSearch) and various other cotton blend sock yarns. You will find several if you google cotton and/or cotton blend sock and/or fingering wt. yarn ;)

Julie
06-28-2006, 11:48 AM
Becka, have you had your coffee yet?? :rofling:

(Dancing is 39% wool.)

Lieke
06-28-2006, 11:56 AM
Thanks voor the suggestions. I also discoverd dancing contained wool. I'm really allergic, even 5% is to much for me, so the yarn has to be totally free of wool.

I really liked the Fortissima Cotton Colori, hope I can find it :notworthy:


The suggested yarns don't sound familiar to me, I don't know if I can find them in the Netherlands. If I can't find them, can I also use yarn which is usually used for sweaters? 100% cotton for example, or a cotton blend?

Julie
06-28-2006, 02:07 PM
100% cotton isn't ideal for socks, because it has no "memory." It stretches out of shape. Any cotton yarn used for socks should have some other fiber to help it in that regard...elastc, nylon, etc. It doesn't have to be a sock yarn per se -- I personally think DK or worsted weight yarn is great to learn how sock construction works -- but keep in mind that the heavier the yarn, the thicker the sock. :D

sop 1
06-28-2006, 04:44 PM
Julie,
Thank you so much for your suggestions. I too am horribly allergic to wool :?? and am always looking for an alternative or substitute. I can wear a wool skirt fully lined and will have a "hive belt" on in no time! (also hive knee bands !)My husband wants a wool vest and I may try it if my hands hold out. I am going to the Knitty site right now to read the article.
Sop 1 in NC
:XX: (but not with wool!)

Lieke
06-29-2006, 02:52 AM
thanks Julie, I guess I will be able to find some sockyarn which I am not allergic to. I've been thinking, and all the yarn I've used has been european, so I'm afraid I won't be able to find those special sockyarns. But, your suggestions are really helpfull.

samm
07-01-2006, 07:43 PM
I just began a pair of socks while in the car today and realized that the yarn is acrylic. Then I thought of this post!!!! The yarn is Moda Dea Sassy Stripes. They have a site www.modadea.com if you want to see if you can find it. It is knitting up nicely and feels great too. An internet friend finished a pair and loves hers. Hope this helps!!! samm in Canada

Doublereeder2
07-02-2006, 12:13 PM
There are cotton/acrylic blends as well:

Katia Mississippi 3 (sold by Carodan Farms) is one and if you have a Hobby Lobby nearby, they sell a crochet cotton/acrylic blend by Coats and Clark called Senso.

These yarns are not very stretchy, but they seem to be fine. I use them with lacy patterns that have some give so they work for me. They probably would not be so good with a plain stockingette stitch leg.

Bernat makes an acrylic called Sox - not so comfortable but it works.

rebecca
07-02-2006, 01:04 PM
Becka, have you had your coffee yet?? :rofling:

(Dancing is 39% wool.)

OOPS :blush:

Lieke
07-06-2006, 11:41 AM
well, I went to the LYS (which is very small) today, but all they had was cotton or blends with wool in it. (yes, we do have a blend with silk, you can use that, but he forgot that there was 55% wool in it as well :doh: )

so, I come to my next question...

should the yarn be elastic? he did have some cotton/acrylic blends, but that isn't elastic at all. or should I just try to make some socks with the acrylic I'm using for my scarf (I've probably bought to much)

questions keep coming and I really want to make some socks, but they have to be comfortable to wear.

Jeremy
07-06-2006, 11:51 AM
Cascade Fixation has worked out pretty well for me and its cotton and elastic so you don't have to worry about the "memory" problem

Lieke
07-06-2006, 11:59 AM
well, the problem is, I can't find any blend with cotton and elastic or nylon, only with acrylic. I can go to a larger yarn shop, but it isn't in the neighbourhood, and since I'm not able to walk for a while due to a sports injury, that'll be a problem. (I can go to the LYS by bike, but have to take the train for the large one, and walk from the station to the shop)

sandrasingh
07-06-2006, 12:42 PM
Cherry Tree Hill's North Country Cotton is 100% cotton and one skein makes a beautiful pair of socks.

https://id306.securedata.net/sandrasingh.com/merchantmanager/product_info.php?cPath=1_9&products_id=15

sop 1
07-06-2006, 12:49 PM
well, the problem is, I can't find any blend with cotton and elastic or nylon, only with acrylic. I can go to a larger yarn shop, but it isn't in the neighbourhood, and since I'm not able to walk for a while due to a sports injury, that'll be a problem. (I can go to the LYS by bike, but have to take the train for the large one, and walk from the station to the shop)

Cascade Yarn has a website with information about all of their yarns. There may well be a European distributor you could order from. Worth a try. :thumbsup: I have made hats with Fixation and it's great to work with for that. I will try socks next. Just thinking about wool breaks me out in hives!
Sop 1 in NC
:XX: (but not with wool!)

Lieke
07-06-2006, 05:09 PM
they don't ship to europe :(

the elann esprit can be shipped to europe, but I want to be sure I like knitting socks before I'll do that, because it is a bit expensive, and it'll take at least 2 weeks.

fortissima cotton colori is german (with a greater chance to find here) but I just visited the website and they don't make that anymore.

sop 1
07-06-2006, 05:23 PM
they don't ship to europe :(

the elann esprit can be shipped to europe, but I want to be sure I like knitting socks before I'll do that, because it is a bit expensive, and it'll take at least 2 weeks.

fortissima cotton colori is german (with a greater chance to find here) but I just visited the website and they don't make that anymore.

I will continue to investigate too for you! I have friends in Amsterdam and will email them. :D The "wool challenged" of the world need to unite!
Sop 1 in NC
:XX: (but not with wool)

Lieke
07-06-2006, 05:35 PM
well, thanks a lot :D

I guess I'll just have to wait untill i'm able to walk, so I can go to the yarn shop in Utrecht. (a larger one than my LYS) Or just look really nice to my boyfriend.

sop 1
07-06-2006, 05:41 PM
well, thanks a lot :D

I guess I'll just have to wait untill i'm able to walk, so I can go to the yarn shop in Utrecht. (a larger one than my LYS) Or just look really nice to my boyfriend.

You are welcomed. I just remembered that there is a German(I think) knitting magazine called "Rebecca" which has a website and might be a source of information.
Susan in NC
:XX:

Mrs.H
07-07-2006, 01:44 AM
I am also very allergic to wool, and if you all don't mind my asking, has anyone else with wool allergies had any luck with the alpaca wools? I have to be very careful about trying new fibers as I'm subject to skin breakdowns due to a spinal cord injury. I'd hate to invest in a projects worth of pure alpaca, only to find out I can't use it.
Linda

Lieke
07-07-2006, 02:26 AM
well, thanks a lot :D

I guess I'll just have to wait untill i'm able to walk, so I can go to the yarn shop in Utrecht. (a larger one than my LYS) Or just look really nice to my boyfriend.

You are welcomed. I just remembered that there is a German(I think) knitting magazine called "Rebecca" which has a website and might be a source of information.
Susan in NC
:XX:

I've heard of that magazine, so I guess I'll be able to find it here. problem with most magazines it that they use a lot of wool, especially in winter. (I always have to use different yarn) usually there is no information about a good substitute for the used yarn.

I just found out they use the word "polyamide" here for nylon (always tought it would be the same, because we also know nylon here) I hope that will make my search easier.

I am also very allergic to wool, and if you all don't mind my asking, has anyone else with wool allergies had any luck with the alpaca wools? I have to be very careful about trying new fibers as I'm subject to skin breakdowns due to a spinal cord injury. I'd hate to invest in a projects worth of pure alpaca, only to find out I can't use it.
Linda

I haven't used it yet, didn't even know it excisted. I'll look if I can find it, my allergy is that bad I only have to touch the yarn for a few seconds to have a reaction (not a really bad one, only a little bit of itching).

Mrs.H
07-07-2006, 11:32 AM
I know that feeling all to well, I had a permanent rash on my arms during basic training from the wool blankets on our beds. The only way I keep it off my face was to wrap the top sheet over the blanket a few inches at night. I still get itchy just thinking about it. I hope your knee heals quickly, and you have better luck finding a workable yarn for your socks.
Linda

samm
07-07-2006, 04:35 PM
Ii have made socks with acrylic yarn, and I have a pattern for socks made with chunky yarn, which I wear in my boots. The acrylic doesn't breathe too much for socks, though, but I wear mine all the time. They are thick socks, which is fine in Canadian winter. Do you have a pattern for acrylic socks? There are some on the internet I think. If you can't find one, let me know! Good luck! :XX: samm

Lieke
07-07-2006, 05:10 PM
do you need a special pattern for acrylic yarn?

I do have a dutch pattern, but that one is for wool. what's the difference between a pattern for acrylic yarn and yarn with wool in it?

I've also got a table for the number of stitches you have to cast on for yarn that'll need a 3-4mm needle (don't know the US size, we don't use that size here in the Netherlands), which'll match my acrylic.

If I can use acrylic, I'll just take some of my yarn which I bought for my scarf. I have 500 gram for 1 scarf, so that'll be to much anyway.

And I do need some thick socks for winter, so my toes won't freeze of (I'm always really cold)

nicolethegeek
07-07-2006, 05:20 PM
You can find a pattern for worsted weight socks in acrylic here (http://www.bernat.com/pattern.php?PID=1536).

Lieke
07-07-2006, 05:36 PM
Thanks a lot. I've read the pattern, and I don't see much difference with my dutch pattern. The only difference I see is less stitches, so I'll look at my gauge to see which pattern is best for me.

nicolethegeek
07-07-2006, 05:41 PM
Glad to help! I love the Bernat site... I can nearly always find something to knit or crochet there.

Lieke
07-08-2006, 07:08 AM
well, I started on my socks today. I used my dutch pattern, because the gauge was more similar. I've only knitted about 1 cm, but it doesn't feel elastic to me. Is that just a matter of waiting till they are longer, or will it stay that way, because right now, I don't think they'll fit.

If I really like knitting socks I might order the elann yarn.

figaro
07-08-2006, 12:33 PM
I just googled "yarn stores in europe" and one of the first ones was this one - http://www.angelyarns.com/, it is out of England but they ship everywhere. Not sure if they will have the exact yarn you need but they do have a large variety of it so maybe?:thinking:

I hope this might help you out some...


edited to add that I am sure that if you emailed them and asked them about sock yarn that would work for you (no wool and strechy enough to have memory), they would try to help you out. More then likely someone else has asked them this before. veel succes

Lieke
07-09-2006, 04:26 AM
well, thanks a lot for the information. I just looked at this site, but don't have much time to look at every type of yarn, so haven't found something jet. First, I will finish my acrylic socks. If they don't fit, well, that's to bad. At least I do know if I like to knit socks when I'm finished.

Jeremy
07-09-2006, 06:20 PM
Cascade Fixation has worked out pretty well for me and its cotton and elastic so you don't have to worry about the "memory" problem

I would be glad to ship the Cascade to you if you pm your address. Just let me know how much of what you want. :D

Lieke
07-10-2006, 04:34 AM
well, thanks a lot for offering. I'll keep that in mind. When I can't find anything in the large yarn shop I'll pm you.

gardenmommy
07-10-2006, 03:38 PM
http://www.sldknitting.com/fu.html

This place has a soy-based sock yarn, the Okara Socks. I've never felt or tried it myself though. I think she is having a sale as well.

www.iowachicksknitting.com

javede
07-11-2006, 03:05 AM
If you don't mind ordering yarn online this (http://www.mariannes-opalwolle.de/oscommerce-2.2ms2-051113/catalog/index.php?cPath=52_57_77) german yarn shop has cotton sock yarn without wool. I hope linking to that yarn directly works, but if not, it's the "Flotte Socke Baumwolle".
This (http://wollmaus.shop.t-online.de) shop has two cotton sock yarns in solid colors on sale! It's under sockengarn and called "GGH Sprint".
I searched several german online shops, but sadly these are the only ones I found something.
I guess shipping within europe will be less than if you order from the US.

Lieke
07-11-2006, 05:13 AM
well, thanks for the suggestions. I don't mind ordering in online-shops, but I prefer to go to a real yarn shop, so as soon as I'm able to, I'll first do that. But, when I can't find anything, I'll probably use one of the online-shops to order some yarn. I really like knitting socks, (although acrylic isn't ideal) so I guess it's worth it.

nicolethegeek
07-11-2006, 09:46 AM
:cheering: :cheering: :cheering: YAY!!!! Another sock addict!!! :cheering: :cheering: :cheering:

Lieke
07-11-2006, 11:46 AM
well, I'm afraid that's what's happening :oops:

on the elann-site I saw a great book with 70 sock patterns (socks socks socks) and guess what, I can also order it here in the Netherlands. Lucky me, my birthday is in less than 2 months :rofling:

sop 1
07-11-2006, 11:59 AM
I too am succumbing to the sock addition! :shock: I stayed up until almost 3AM working on my first sock last night! :roflhard: I am using Cascade Fixation (cotton/nylon) cause wool socks would have my feet looking like red itching canned hams in no time flat! :(
Susan the Sop 1 in NC
:XX: (but not with wool)

janelanespaintbrush
07-23-2006, 08:36 PM
I know this is an old thread, but I happened to run into some info that I thought might be useful to all the non-wooly sock knitters out there. Here's the link:

http://www.grumperina.com/knitblog/nonwoolysockyarn.htm

She has a fairly long list of different non-wooly sock yarns and offers comments on each of them.

Julie
07-23-2006, 09:09 PM
I saw a great book with 70 sock patterns (socks socks socks)

That's a GREAT book! :thumbsup:

Mrs.H
07-24-2006, 12:58 AM
I'm still hoping another wool allergic knitter will chime in a tell me they had good luck with the alpaca fiber. I want to try it, but I'm afraid to invest any money into it yet since I don't know if it will give me hives.
Linda

Lieke
07-24-2006, 03:39 AM
I know this is an old thread, but I happened to run into some info that I thought might be useful to all the non-wooly sock knitters out there. Here's the link:

http://www.grumperina.com/knitblog/nonwoolysockyarn.htm

She has a fairly long list of different non-wooly sock yarns and offers comments on each of them.

That's great. I even saw yarn I know is for sale in the Netherlands. My mom knitted a vest for me with lana grossa, so I guess I'll be able to find lana grossa elastic :cheering:

This article is really great :thumbsup:

janelanespaintbrush
07-24-2006, 10:38 AM
Glad the article was helpful. Good luck with your sock-knitting! (I'm still a sock virgin :oops:, but I know I'll get around to it one of these days...)

Lieke
12-24-2007, 05:16 AM
I'm still hoping another wool allergic knitter will chime in a tell me they had good luck with the alpaca fiber. I want to try it, but I'm afraid to invest any money into it yet since I don't know if it will give me hives.
Linda
I'm about to try an allergy "test" with alpaca. I've got a handfull of alpacaroving and I'm about to try it on my skin. I'll use something to strap it directly to my skin. I'll report back here as soon as I've got the results.

The reason why I came back to this topic: I found a self-striping, woolfree sockyarn.

It's called Sockina Cotton Summer Dream and I've bought it in Germany, but I've also seen it available in the US. It didn't arrive yet (due to the christmas mess in the postoffice) but I'll tell you all about it when I've got it.

Lieke
01-02-2008, 02:49 PM
Well, I've tried the alpaca, and no problem :woohoo:.

I've also bought a sweater with 5% cashmere, and same story as the alpaca, no problem. No itchy swollen skin.

I'm a really happy girl right now!