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Scheherazade in Blue Jeans
freelance alchemist
Oi, knitters! 
26th-Oct-2010 08:31 am
I need recommendations for a worsted-weight yarn that has no wool, for my dear allergic husband. Ideas?

(Why do I not have a knitting icon?)

EDIT: I forgot to say: No acrylic! It squeaks horribly in my fingers and I cannot abide it. *shudder*
26th-Oct-2010 12:49 pm (UTC)
Knitpicks Comfy - Cotton/Acrylic Blend (the stuff in my stash will be an incredibly complicated belated wedding afghan when it grows up)

Knitpicks Simply Cotton - Organic pure cotton (in 4 different naturally occurring colors and a rainbow of pretties). Currently in service as placemat yarn.

Knitpicks Shine - Cotton/Modal Blend. While pretty, with a nice sheen, sheds like a mofo. A friend has knit this into a cardigan, but I abandoned all hope after the fuzz.
26th-Oct-2010 12:57 pm (UTC)
I have no suggestions, but I do have a nifty keen knitting icon :)
26th-Oct-2010 01:25 pm (UTC)
26th-Oct-2010 01:29 pm (UTC)
I was just reading about yarn made from milk protein. It sounds like it would be really soft and nice. There are some in this store: http://www.etsy.com/shop/froggyfibers
26th-Oct-2010 01:31 pm (UTC)
Normally I share your acrylic sentiments, but have you ever tried any that didn't come from a Michael's? Red Heart Must Die, but the Comfy really is soft. No squeakage.
26th-Oct-2010 01:51 pm (UTC)
If I can feel up someone's Comfy before buying it, maybe. I'm not opposed in principle. It just - augh. That squidgy feeling.
26th-Oct-2010 01:48 pm (UTC)
Just no wool, or no animal fibers of any kind?
26th-Oct-2010 01:50 pm (UTC)
Just no wool. I've heard that people who react to wool often don't react to superwash wool, but I'd hate to do up a whole scarf and find that he does.
26th-Oct-2010 01:52 pm (UTC)
I think this was the yarn a friend just used to make fingerless gloves for a friend. It's DK weight -- between worsted & sport: http://www.yarn.com/webs-knitting-crochet-yarns-fiber-alpaca/webs-knitting-yarns-blue-sky-alpaca-silk/

<3 Alpaca & silk

Alternately, I've had my hands on this: http://www.yarn.com/webs-knitting-crochet-yarns-fiber-alpaca/webs-knitting-crochet-yarns-cascade-pure-alpaca/

It's wonderful.
26th-Oct-2010 01:54 pm (UTC)
As somebody also allergic to wool, I suggest finding a good cotton fiber yarn. No, I don't know which yarn would be the right weight.
26th-Oct-2010 01:56 pm (UTC)
Also, as a fan of smoked meats of all kinds, I'd be fine with a wursted-weight yarn, too.
26th-Oct-2010 10:35 pm (UTC)
26th-Oct-2010 02:19 pm (UTC)
I can't believe I forgot about Alpaca! I have 2 wool allergic friends, one who can tolerate other animal fibers and one who can't. Right now my brain is set to "no animal fibers at all, nosiree," and totally forgot about the wonderfulness that is alpaca.

Frog Tree Alpaca does a DK weight that if you double approximates a worsted (I have done many hats out of it).
26th-Oct-2010 03:05 pm (UTC)
I don't know if anyone is making yarn from it, but I've been spinning some faux-cashmere (all synthetics, no idea what kind of synthetic though other than that the label says all-vegan) that is soft and squishy and doesn't feel like icky plastic at all.

Actually, when I'm done with the skein I'd be happy to sell or barter it to ya if you like it.
26th-Oct-2010 03:43 pm (UTC)
Since it's for a scarf, I can't recommend cotton. The finished product stretches like crazy, while the fiber itself has no memory and doesn't keep you warm at all if it gets wet. Does Adam have a genuine wool allergy or a fiber sensitivity? Any animal fiber with a short staple, like angora or even cashmere, gives me a bad case of the red itchies, but I'm fine with a long-staple wool like merino or blue-faced leicester. If wool really is out, alpaca might work, but you should do a sensitivity test to be on the safe side.
26th-Oct-2010 03:57 pm (UTC)
I also don't recommend cotton.

Although, you have the staple length backwards.
Cashmere, angora, and merino have short staple lengths. BFL has a medium staple length. Alpaca has a long staple length, but has very little follicles or scales.

Usually people are allergic to the size of the diameter of the wool, or the size of the scales, which usually happens on thicker wool.
26th-Oct-2010 03:53 pm (UTC)
Some people who are "allergic" to certain types of scratchy wools are actually reacting to the length of the scales/follicles in the wool, which are bigger & longer -- which keeps you warm, but also itches.

You might want to have him try a merino wool to see he reacts to it. People don't often have a reaction to merino.

Barring that, you can also try alpaca or alpaca/merino blends or an alpaca/silk blend. There are also linen blends, bamboo, milk protein, and other non-wool yarns.

Take him to your LYS and see what he can stand against his skin.

Edited at 2010-10-26 03:53 pm (UTC)
26th-Oct-2010 03:58 pm (UTC)
Oh, one other thing. You might want to try organic wool that hasn't been chemically processed. Some people turn out to be allergic to the commercial chemical processes that they put wool through to make yarn.

Organic wool might not have the same effect.
26th-Oct-2010 04:24 pm (UTC)
BERROCO COMFORT. It is nylon and acrylic microfiber, but it does not squeak horribly. It's baby soft. It has crazy awesome yardage. It comes in a billion colors. I HAAAAATE acrylic but I love this yarn. I adore it. It is my go-to-yarn whenever I have to knit baby stuff or hats for allergic people. TRY IT.

I've also used SWTC Vickie Howell Love (cotton/silk, expensive), Knit Picks Comfy (super soft but pills like crazy), and Araucania Patagonia Nature Cotton (colorfully rustic and soft).

Ooh, I nearly forgot: I made a sweater out of Valley Yarns Goshen: cotton, Modal, and silk. It's available at Yarn.com. It's super, super soft and warm and cuddly. That'd make a nice comfy scarf.

Edited at 2010-10-26 04:31 pm (UTC)
27th-Oct-2010 05:11 pm (UTC)
I could mail you some samples of the above if you like.
26th-Oct-2010 04:58 pm (UTC) - I know you said no acrylic, but...
I <3 Caron Super Soft; it doesn't squeak for me, and I use wood (KnitPicks Harmony) and aluminum (Hiya Hiya) needles and aluminum crochet hooks. Other acrylic yarn feels icky to me now.
26th-Oct-2010 06:55 pm (UTC)
There was something I used for Hat Attack, now what was it....they said it had jade in it. No, really. *googles* Therapi - and SouthWest Trading Company makes it - http://www.soysilk.com/ (uh oh) and they Tweet. Sounds like you have someone to ask - I wasn't crazy about the Therapi, but. I'm also one of those folks who does badly with scratchy wool, but lambswool and cashmere are my best friends.
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