Interesting discovery - but is it moral?

scottly's picture

My partner has always claimed that he can't wear wool - like so many people I know. So making him stuff is always a bit problematic as that I don't like petroleum based yarn. Anyway, I was folding his laundry the other day and I run across three pairs of rag wool socks and I say "Honey, I thougt you didn't wear wool." (we've been together almost 24 years mind you) and he says "Oh, those are cotton" Hmmmm. He doesn't know wool from cotton? So I'm thinking this whole "I can't wear wool" thing is just mental baggage from his childhood when wool was kind of scratchy and uncomfortable. This is the immoral part - I'm going to make him a really soft merino scarf and tell him it's really cotton or silk or anything but wool and see what happens. What do you think? I wonder if this will work with other people who claim a wool "allergy".

Scott

Tallguy's picture

I don't think I've ever seen

I don't think I've ever seen any proof at all that anyone is allergic to wool itself. There may be some that are allergic to lanolin, since it contains a variety of substances and it can be absorbed easily.

Wool gets treated by an awful lot of horrible substances while still on the animal and during the processing into yarn. Don't forget about all the dyes that are used as well. it's THESE things that can really do a number on you, if you have any sensitivity to these chemicals.

There are some breeds of wool that are fairly sharp at the cut ends, and they can prick the skin. People that are sensitive feel these pricks and claim that it itches (probably does) and of course, with the scratching, there is redness. If they were to wear something under the wool, so it's not touching the skin, they may not notice.

If you can get all natural wool (without commercial processing, or dyes), you may find that it won't bother him. The best thing is a blend with something else, and sort of forget to mention that there is any wool in it! Now, if you used the word Merino, or Rambouillet, or Corriedale.. (those are particular soft breeds of wool), would he know the difference? Is cashmere, or alpaca, or bison still considered to be a wool by him? Or start with a blend of silk/cotton/alpaca with 20% wool and see how that feels for him. He may have to acquire an immunity to wool! hahaha

YugiDean's picture

I love this post. This is

I love this post. This is just hilarious and fun. I want to put up hidden cameras and the broadcast his reaction when he finds out (after like, three months of LOVING the scarf) that it's been wool the whole time! I have a friend that is "allergic" to everything. She's allergic to coconut, metal, aspirin, and the list goes on.

The other day she took me to a Malaysian restaurant and ordered a dish. When I looked at it on the menu, I saw that it had coconut in it. Ha! I asked her about this and she feigned ignorance then declared, "I guess I'm not allergic to it anymore."

I think you should definitely do it. Keep us posted, too! I must know!

Asbjörn's picture

Believe me, I'm a cook so I

Believe me, I'm a cook so I know all about this. There are people who order no onions on their salad because they are "deathly allergic" to them. When informed that there is onion in the salad dressing they chose, the sauce on their pasta, or the beef/chicken stock used in their entrée they seem to not care. What's up with that?
_____________________________
http://fiberofmybeing.blogspot.com/

BuduR's picture

Alot of people when I as a

Alot of people when I as a kid thought they had allergies to wool, because the wool would itch, and scratch you and you'd scratch it, and end up all red and the skin all irritated, just turns out, we had crappy wool. He may believe that is and just not know that he's not, he's obviously been avoiding wool or you would have noticed before now.

I wouldn't call it immoral, I'd call it a study in human behavior.

MWK's Token Estrogen-American

Andy's picture

Have you come across the

Have you come across the book, "No sheep for you"? It's about knitting with non-wool yarns and the differences you have to take into account. I was a bit disappointed to find acrylic featuring in it, bit the author uses silk, hemp etc, too. There aren't too many patterns for men, but it's worth checking out.
With the allergy bit, interesting... I have known people with "allergies" that are based purely on stuff they were force-fed as kids, like fish, strawberries (poor things!), mutton. Maybe I'm allergic to school dinners which is why I used to gag whenever I tried that awful mashed potato they would extrude onto your plate.

"Midnight shakes the memory as a madman shakes a dead geranium."

YugiDean's picture

"extrude" I like that

"extrude" I like that visualization in reference to mashed potatoes at school.

grandcarriage's picture

Henry's attic makes a

Henry's attic makes a beautiful merino silk, and cashmere silk blend...You want more sugar from your honey, knit him something out of those... fr the cost of that fabulous fiber, it's not immoral.

scottly's picture

Oooo, I like this idea, then

Oooo, I like this idea, then if it turns out he really doesn't like wool then I get it. ;)

crmartin's picture

Make it and tell him it is

Make it and tell him it is made of the same type "cotton" as his socks. ;-)

Randy

grandcarriage's picture

Brilliant....LOL

Brilliant....LOL

Asbjörn's picture

Perhaps it is a bit of

Perhaps it is a bit of "avoiding itchy wool" but as far as allergies go, I sometimes wonder if it doesn't have something to do with a higher lanolin content. I'm skeptical about many allergy diagnoses but I do know people who get red and itchy if they inadvertently use a lotion that contains lanolin. I would suppose that certain wools which contain higher lanolin contents would affect someone more than a wool that has been more aggressively treated and/or washed. Perhaps the wool socks that didn't affect him had a low content of lanolin to begin with, thus no noticeable reaction. It does seem sneaky but I would give it a go anyway, it's not like you're sifting arsenic over his pastries. Just choose something lovely, soft and not too "oily". I think MMario makes a very good point of choosing a blend.
_____________________________
http://fiberofmybeing.blogspot.com/

MMario's picture

Why not get a blend, even a

Why not get a blend, even a couple percent of something other then wool...then you can just not mention the wool part...a little less deceptive. *grin*

yeah - I wonder sometimes about the people "I am allergic to all animal fibers" I've heard people claim - "even silk"....yet their own hair doesn't make them break out in hives - as they claim all animal fibers will do....hmmmmmm...

MMario - ambiguity is cultivated, it doesn't happen in a vacuum!

scenter's picture

It's the same with

It's the same with fragrances - "I'm allergic to all fragrances", If so then how come you cook can with herbs? eat fruit? and grow trees without a problem. Fragrances are made from the same things.

It is allied to the "all natural is better" - yeah, I can make you a natural poison ivy and beeswax body rub. It'll give you a nice red blotchy itchy complection without 'bad chemicals'. How about strychnine KoolAid - it's the all natural strychnine that'll get ya. Cinnamon Bark contains carcinogens, so I can't use it in fragrances, but you can eat it.

YugiDean's picture

Wait...cinnamon contains

Wait...cinnamon contains carcinogens? I knew it helped you metabolize sugar, but cause cancer? That sounds intimidating.

scenter's picture

Yup...Cinnamon contains the

Yup...Cinnamon contains the carcinogen Safrole (which is also found in Sassafras, Nutmeg, Basil etc). Here is a scary holiday dinner menu showing the potential carcinogens you ingest in everyday foods.

http://phys4.harvard.edu/~wilson/HolidayMenu.html

Now, before you go on a starvation diet, and die of anorexia, remember that these foods have been eaten for generations, and that the list was put together to emphasize carcinogens, and not the other components of the foods listed.

Also a good anti-fungal

Also a good anti-fungal

BuduR's picture

Can you take orders or is

Can you take orders or is this on a first come first serve basis?

MWK's Token Estrogen-American

scenter's picture

LOL....Orders????? Now just

LOL....Orders?????
Now just whom would you inflict Poison Ivy Lotion upon???

Also I must have a signature in blood on the release forms for the Strychnine flavored Kool aid, holding everyone but yourself balmeless for any and all reprecussions of its use

(It was a joke to make a point!!!)

BuduR's picture

the same kid I want to knit

the same kid I want to knit the meat sweater for!

MWK's Token Estrogen-American

TomH's picture

I think that's a great idea.

I think that's a great idea.