Itchy Yarn and New Projects

August 8, 2007 at 5:10 pm (Uncategorized)

This will be a long post. To keep you interested, here is a picture of my cat modeling a scarf. See how he is Not Amused. He thinks the scarf would make a nice blanket for his bed. (this is where stray scarves always end up – cat blankets)

I’m nearing the toe on the second Magic Camo sock. I didn’t stay faithful to the socks like I had intended. I knit the first one without breaking for a new project but the second one was interrupted by my youngest nephew’s birthday present. It was short notice, and he’s a monkey fanatic so I thought to knit him a large plush monkey. The yarn was already picked out from my stash – 2 balls of Bernat Ping Pong in Mocha Madness. I had purchased the yarn last year on a whim, along with 2 balls of Ping Pong in Purple Passion. I had no projects in mind, but I really liked how the yarn looked even though I consider it novelty yarn. I started working on the monkey without any real pattern, just a general idea of how large to make it based off my sock monkey.

Originally I was going to sew him a sock monkey but the socks were nowhere to be found in the middle of summer here and I didn’t have time to wait for an online order to be delivered. Cost was also a bit of a factor for me. He’s two, and at the age where toys can be destroyed for fun, so spending a lot of money on a gift just isn’t practical. I also didn’t know I would get to see him for his birthday, hence the short notice on the gift since I thought I would have a lot more time. I might try making the sock monkey for Christmas but we’ll see. But let’s get back to the yarn…

I’ve read plenty of comments about this particular yarn, about how it’s not ideal for clothes because it can be itchy due to the tinsel in it but it seemed ok enough to use for a toy. The texture felt a little funny to me and made my hands itch a little since I was knitting it quickly (very easy garter stitch since the yarn texture erases any ‘fancy’ stitches) but I shrugged it off. By the second day my face was itching as well and on the third day I felt itchy all over and was hitting the Benadryl a little too often. I put the knitting away (and I was about 80% done with the toy at this point, I had started seaming it together) and decided to see if it was the yarn making me itch or the weather. After a day or two without the yarn (and a carefully cleaned knitting area to remove extra tinsel) I felt a whole lot better. Went back to the yarn and the itching came back. I’m not allergic to the yarn, but the texture definitely was not friendly to sensitive skin. The downside to this meant I wasn’t going to finish the toy because if it makes me itch so much, I really wouldn’t want to subject a toddler to that. His skin isn’t as finicky as mine is, but I don’t want to risk it.

So the monkey body is sitting unstuffed and not quite finished away from other yarn. I will be finding a new home for the 2 balls of purple and the nearly-finished monkey yarn (pseudo-pattern used about a ball and a half). I wouldn’t mind trading it for something much softer and nicer (cotton!), but we’ll see what happens with that. I might just offer it to my SiL and see if she wants it.

I also started planning a blanket for myself to help use up some of my leftover yarn. I’m going to make a 2-3″ border in black then use lots of smaller knit squares for the body of it. I have a decent sized yarn cake of my favorite colorway (striped with tan, brown and dark strawberry) that will be used for the body. I’m not sure if I’m going to buy another skein or two of it to finish the entire thing in this color, or grab the cake of brown/blue/tan and mix the squares up. I haven’t picked any particular pattern for the squares either, a patchwork of different styles might be nice since it would give me the chance to learn them without the commitment of a massive project.

In thanks for reading the whole thing, here’s some yarn pr0n. I have six balls of the now discontinued Simple Stripes from Knit Picks (2 each of 3 colorways) in my stash. They’re all destined for socks, but that is still awhile off. For now they’re sitting in a colorful row in the drawer. I’m anxious to get some of the new Knit Picks striped yarn Felici but I’m not buying new yarn for awhile.

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