29 May 2012

The trouble with scarves.

As a crafter, I am acquainted with that bittersweet moment that comes near the end of a project.  It is a moment that says, "I am almost finished with this, and I'm going to miss it when it's done."

I am not feeling that moment with this project.

Don't get me wrong; this yarn is awesome.  It's only slightly heavier than air, and is softer than a basket of kittens.  It's also hairier than a Yeti.

I wanted to make a luxury scarf.  Something that is practical on the surface, but stuffed to the gills with decadence.  I chose a pattern called "Wisp"; it's available free online for you adventurous types.  This pattern is extremely simple, relying on a lot of open space and beautiful yarn to make it special.  I chose the most special yarn I could find, which happened to be a blend of mohair and silk.

Gold silk, at that.  Oh, yeah.

I cast on the required forty-six stitches and set to work.  The scarf took shape quickly, being little more than knitting every row with some yarnovers thrown in.  For you non-knitters, a yarnover is the act of wrapping the yarn around the needle without working a stitch.  In other words, you make a hole in your knitting on purpose.

I soon noticed that my hands were doing double duty.  Not only were they working the yarn, they were rubbing my nose.  Then my eyes.  It didn't dawn on me until I saw the flushed patches on my arms: Oh, great!  I'm allergic to this yarn!

Now, I already knew I wasn't going to be wearing this scarf myself.  I had intended it all along as a gift.  I also know that I can't wear mohair.  It makes me itch.  But something in my crafter brain told me that surely just WORKING with the yarn wouldn't be a problem.  I've worked with mohair blends before with no problems.  My crafter brain was wrong, it seems.  Like poison ivy, mohair must have a tolerance threshold.  After enough exposure, some people come down with the itchies.  


Oh, well.  Only thirty or so rows left.  You think anybody would give me weird looks for knitting while wearing opera-length gloves?

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