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February 14, 2006

No Alpaca For You!

You knew it was too good to be true, right? Swatching success, colors looking good together, a pattern all mapped out and ready to go.

By Sunday morning I was able to do some decent knitting on the sweater. It was chilly all weekend so I had been wearing a fleece hoodie and some pajama bottoms (*perfect* knitting attire if you ask me).

When I woke up on Sunday though I felt really warm, so I switched to a short sleeved t-shirt. I sat in front of the TV and got started on some good quality knitting time.

Within a half hour the under part of my forearms started to get tingly (the skin, not the tendons or muscles) but I didn't think much of it. By the time an hour rolled around I was scratching and when I finally looked I had hives! I thought about what I had eaten recently (the same breakfast I eat at least 5 days a week). I thought about any other changes I might have made (same soap, same body lotion, same laundry supplies).

I was left with one thing...my sweet, soft, cuddly, halo-ey alpaca. I'm allergic to the alpaca!

The odd thing is I've made at least 2 things out of alpaca (including a scarf I made back in November). This alpaca seems a bit more hairy than the other alpacas. So, I'm allergic to Frog Tree Alpaca. Damnit.

Of course, since I was a good girl and swatched the colorwork, I've now used 8 balls of yarn. So I can only return about half of my order.

I've decided to switch to Dale Falk. It's the same gauge as the alpaca so I won't have to modify my pattern. My closest LYS carries it but they were closed on Sunday (due to snow) and regularly closed on Mondays. So come 11 o'clock I'll be calling them and hoping they have enough of the gray. I can always order the other colors online and get them here in a couple days.

I know it means I've little chance of actually finishing on time, but like the cross country skiers who see the race to its completion even when they're several lengths behind, I'm planning to stick this one out and give it my best shot.

February 14, 2006 in Olympics2006 | Permalink


Ouch, what a pain!

Posted by: Marina | Feb 14, 2006 10:03:23 AM

Ug, but I totally understand. I bought a whole lot of alpaca before I realized that I was allergic to it, that every time I was near it I wanted to remove my skin, so to speak. Better now than well into the sweater!

Posted by: grumperina | Feb 14, 2006 10:12:10 AM

Since alpaca hasn'tbothered you in the past you may want to try washing the yarn. It could be something in the yarn and not the yarn itself. I would wash the swatch and then wear it tucked into my bra strap for a while to see if it bothered me.

Posted by: Jayme | Feb 14, 2006 10:32:38 AM

It might be the dyes they used. or the quality of the fiber

Posted by: patty bolgiano | Feb 14, 2006 10:46:43 AM

I reccomend these guys:

they have the cheapest dale on the internet and are VERY nice to work with. Atleast a year ago when I ordered all my Daletta for my Chamonix, I remember they where extremly fast in getting it out and ansered all my questions with encouragment and exitment. Probably my favorite online yarn reseller.

Posted by: pixie | Feb 14, 2006 10:50:06 AM

oh no! hopefully jayme and patty are right about the dye triggering a reaction and not the alpaca

Posted by: kim | Feb 14, 2006 11:30:01 AM

Oh no! What a bummer. Hope the Dale works out better for you.

Posted by: Kelly | Feb 14, 2006 11:49:35 AM

Oh no! That is so sad. I hope it's just the Frog Tree. Allergic reactions are so weird.

Posted by: Lauren | Feb 14, 2006 11:55:30 AM

What a bummer! And so unexpected too! But like grumperina said, better now than into the sweater already.

Posted by: Agnes | Feb 14, 2006 12:09:06 PM

Just a temporary setback - I have faith in your ability to overcome this obstacle and get back on your ... skis? horse? ... needles. Good luck with the Falk.

Posted by: Cassie | Feb 14, 2006 12:16:24 PM

Jayme's suggestion about washing the swatch and 'wearing' it is a good one. Years ago, when I cross-stitched a lot, there were certain brands of linen that I had to wash before I used them. I was allergic to something used in the finishing process.

Posted by: janna | Feb 14, 2006 12:48:33 PM

Oh, that is really too bad to hear. I wish you luck with the new yarn. All the best, Jody!

Posted by: Lolly | Feb 14, 2006 1:22:29 PM

I would also suggest washing the swatch before you decide you can't wear it. There are many fabric treatments, dyes, and detergents that cause allergic reactions and any of those could be the reason for your rash, instead of the soft and beautiful alpaca. Use a detergent that's as gentle and allergen free as possible (avoid any kind of Tide like the plague - more people react to that brand than any other), rinse really well, and give it a try. Crossing my fingers for you!

Posted by: Kathy | Feb 14, 2006 1:24:52 PM

Oh no! I'm so sorry to hear about the alpaca allergy... Could it be the stuff used to process that particular brand of alpaca? Maybe wash it and see if it still affects you... good luck!!

Posted by: Felicia from sweetgeorgia | Feb 14, 2006 2:36:37 PM

OHMIGOSH, what a bummer!

Posted by: Christie | Feb 14, 2006 3:10:23 PM

That really stinks! Maybe it was something they washed it in. You might try to wash one of your partly used skeins and see if that helps. I know I have a lot of problems with detergents.

Either way, I can't wait to see the finished sweater. I really like the colorwork pattern you made.

Good luck!

Posted by: Jes | Feb 14, 2006 4:53:12 PM

I can relate to the alpaca sensitivity, I can't wear it either. Which of course, sucks. You will just have to knit with something even softer, like cashmere!

Posted by: Dani | Feb 14, 2006 6:53:04 PM

How sad!! :(

Posted by: Chris | Feb 14, 2006 8:48:32 PM

Oh no! What a bummer!

Posted by: Scout | Feb 14, 2006 9:01:36 PM

Wow, too bad!! I'm allergic to Alpaca too so I know that horrible feeling you get in your skin! But as was said before, better now than than later!

Posted by: Debi | Feb 15, 2006 7:43:53 AM

Sorry about the allergies. How is this alpaca different from other that didn't cause a reaction? There must be something else beside the hairiness.

Posted by: Pioggia | Feb 16, 2006 3:37:00 PM

What a drag. But you're right, this is all part and parcel of being an Olympian! =)

Posted by: Julia | Feb 17, 2006 7:39:44 PM

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