FO, Wip, Stash, Wearables, Knitting Plans, Knitting Talk – wool allergies, On the Run, Out and About
Purple shawl in some deep stash, Queensland Sugar Rush, for myself! Also, it’s the last sample made of a new pattern that I will be releasing over the holiday weekend – keep an eye on Instagram/Facebook/Ravelry group because it will be free for the first few days as a thank you to the knitting community. This year has been amazing and a lot of it is thanks to the amazing women and men in the fiber world. I started this podcast, went to Stitches United and SSK for the first time, went back to Rhinbeck and have interacted with so many of you and this is my small way of saying thanks.
Only other wip I worked on was my Mahalo sock by Dana Gervais. Full disclosure, she’s my tech editor, but she’s also an amazing sock designer and I am loving this pattern. I have scrawny ankles so I tweaked the narrowest size to be a little narrower and it was easy to adjust – you could also easily adjust it bigger, and the lace pattern is memorizable after a few times through so I’ve really enjoyed working on it. Knitting it in CoBaSi by Hikoo, a cotton, bamboo, silk and nylon blended sock yarn.
Coming Next Week
It’s been cold the last 6 weeks and I didn’t have time to put this segment in the last episode, so I’ll quikly summarize – I’ve been wearing Poema by Vera Sanon a lot. Also, I’ve been wearing my (until now) only two shawls a lot, Maris Stella by Anna Victoria and May Flowers, an old pattern of mine, over store bought sweaters to stay warm. Also I’ve been going back and forth between wearing my Hamilknit Hat by Emily Straw from Knitting Butterflies podcast and the Twist and Shout hat by Michele DuNaier which is a simple cabled hat.
I want to lengthen the sleeves of my Empire Tunic by Lily Go, knit in Frog Tree’s Picobo, a cotton/bamboo blend. I love this top but since I’m always cold I’ll get more wear out of this if it has long sleeves and not ¾ sleeves.
Also, I want to pull out my English Garden Wedding Kimono that I knit years and years ago and finally do the embroidery. This is from the Unofficial Downton Abbey Knits from Interweave and I picked this pattern because the embroidery makes this sweater just amazing. The Firefly I got at my LYS the last few weeks are destined for that.
I’ve had a couple of people ask about my wool allergy recently so I thought we’d devote this section to fiber and animal allergies. I am not a medical professional, so please take what I am saying with that in mind, but I will share what I know with you. First off, yes, wool allergies are real – you can be allergic to sheep just like you can be allergic to cats and dogs. Unfortunately, I’m allergic to all 3 to varying degrees, and also to horses and goats. I just happen to get the worst physical reaction to sheep whereas I have 2 cats and all I get is a stuffy nose sometimes when they shed.
You can also have a reaction to the lanolin in the wool – if that’s the case then you might be able to work with a superwash wool where all the lanolin is stripped out so they can smooth down the scales in the wool fibers. Well meaning knitters often try to tell me I’m just sensitive to lanolin. I usually just nod and smile.
Lastly, your skin could just be sensitive, in which you get itchy with certain wools. This isn’t an actual allergy but a form of contact dermatitis, which is just a fancy way of saying that your skin is sensitive and something is irritating your skin. Wearing a t-shirt underneath usually solves the problem.
So, how do I know I’m allergic to sheep? I found out when I was 4. My great-grandmother bought me a lovely little coat and hat set. Mom bundled me up and sent me off to pre-school and I came home covered in hives. Poor Gram felt awful, but she had no way of knowing, I just happen to have very severe allergies. A skin-prick allergy test the next year confirmed I am allergic to every animal they tested for, to varying degrees.
Last time I had a major reaction was 2002 in London, England. My now-husband and I had just gotten to Europe for a 45-day backpacking trip around the continent. We went to bed very jet-lagged and I never even thought to check the content of the blanket because in the US budget hotels do not have nice blankets. It was hot and we didn’t pull it up over us. Sometime in the night I must have tucked my feet under the blanket because when I woke up in the morning my ankles had literally doubled in size. I could get 2 pairs of socks to fit, but none of the 3 pairs of shoes I brought. I finally had to un-lace my sneakers and jam my feet into them so I could leave the hotel room. It took about a week for them to shrink back to normal size – if I hadn’t been power-walking around European capitals it probably would have gotten better a bit faster but I was NOT about to miss anything, swollen ankles be damned.
Out and About
January – Vogue Knitting Live in NYC, if you’re coming too let me know!
March – Stitches United in Hartford, CT. A quick note for any of you debating coming, Stitches United 2018 is in CT but in 2019 it will be in Georgia. Knitting Universe has announced that Stitches United will be alternating between the Northeast and the Southeast. So, if you were planning on going to CT in 2019, go this year instead.
On the Run
Keep on walking and strength training