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DianaM 09-05-2006 10:36 AM

Warmth and wool alternatives
This question has been nagging me for a while.

I'm allergic to wool and other animal fibers :pout:
I keep hearing that it is precisely wool and animal fibers that make the warmest items, from socks to sweaters, etc......but I'll never really be able to wear these. terms of warmth and the overall "cozyness".....are there fibers out there that can provide, if not the same warmth of animal fibers, something similar?

I want to get into sock knitting eventually, and am looking for a good alternative. And I'm also determined to knit Starsky someday, hehehehehe.

Any help will be appreciated :notworthy: :notworthy:

Liliyarn 09-05-2006 11:30 AM

All my handknit socks are warm if I do the basic sock. I don't know about "cozy" but cotton mixed with bamboo or silk is nice.

Best of luck!

DianaM 09-05-2006 11:52 AM

My main concern with the sock yarn, was that my bf and I like hiking and camping and we're bound to hit cold weather at some point.

Cotton's considered a "summer yarn" from what I understand, and I don't know if socks knit with it would keep my feet warm in these occassions as well as wool would (he swears by wool socks).

amy 09-05-2006 03:27 PM

Yeah, wool is hard to beat for warmth, especially for hiking because wool stays warm when wet; great if your feet get wet.

Can you do angora rabbit hair by any chance? That's even warmer than wool, so much so that some say it's too hot to wear in most conditions. Works well in a blend though. You could try a cotton blend, like Serenade, or a Debbie Bliss cotton/angora which I think is now discontinued, but apparently some can still be found. There's also this synthetic blend, and this 100% angora which is on close-out.

Sorry if you can't do angora. I don't know, among non-animal fibers which, if any, might be warm enough for your purpose. .... I hope you can find something that works for you! Let us know if you have success!

Ingrid 09-05-2006 04:12 PM

I'm not sure if it's true, but alpaca is supposed to be hypo-allergenic, and it's one of the warmest fibers there is.

Mrs.H 09-05-2006 05:25 PM

I am also highly sensitive to wool, in direct contact with my skin, but I'm going to buy 1 skein of the alpaca yarn to see if the stories of it being hypo-allergenic. I'll knit up a swatch and pin it to something so it against my skin for a while. I'll report back with my results. Worst case scenario is having to breakout a tube to "Cort-aide" to stop the itching. Heaven knows I have plenty here at the house. :teehee:

hellokitty165 09-05-2006 05:37 PM

Ingrid is right... my mother-in-law is very allergic to wool... dogs..and cats and a few years back i bought a baby alpaca scarf from peru for her ...she wear it during the winter all the time and she never had any problem with it ...u shld definitely give it a try ,,,baby alpaca is really soft...

DianaM 09-06-2006 11:12 AM

Well, I ordered a ball of baby alpaca. I'll knit up a swatch with it and tie it around my neck to see what happens..........I should also stock up on Benadryl :roflhard:

amy 09-06-2006 01:47 PM

Oooh, I hadn't heard about Alpaca being an alternative! Let us know if it works for you Diana!

Bastelmutti 09-06-2006 01:53 PM

Stranded knitting
Try making hats, etc. in stranded knitting (the technique used in Latvian mittens, and I think Scandinavian sweaters) - the strands in the back create tiny pockets of air to keep you warmer.

Maybe this is a no-brainer, but I was blown away when I learned that this is the main reason Latvian mittens are so colorful and intricate.

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