…And Then My Hands Swelled Up

It turns out I am allergic to Navajo-Churro wool.  Or maybe the lanolin and oils in it?  Or maybe just this specific sheep that gave this wool?  I don’t know exactly, but I know I can’t work with it.

The first few times I worked with the Navajo-Churro (NC) my hands felt a little tingly and itchy.  I just thought it was because of the texture of the wool, it was very scratchy, so I thought that having it run through my hands was causing the weird sensation.  It wasn’t happening when I worked with the Corriedale, which was smoother.  The NC we have is definitely not as carefully washed as the other fibers, and it is clear when you feel it that it still has a lot of lanolin (or oils) left in it.  So that was a difference between the two as well.  After I finished the long skein of Corriedale, I decided to do a long skein of NC to be made into a rug.  The more I worked with it the more I noticed my hands feeling weird.  Then I sat and worked on it for about an hour straight and by the end my hands were very pink and kind of burning.  I realized that I must be allergic to the fiber.  I washed them thoroughly but over the next hour they swelled up and it hurt to bend my fingers.  Not.  Fun.  I rubbed my homemade herbal salve into them and went to bed.  Thankfully, the next morning they were much better.

The NC I made still needed to be plyed and washed and hung so I put on rubber gloves and did all the work with the gloves on.  That was not easy, by the way.  Apparently, I do my spinning a lot by feel (I’m guessing everyone does) and not being able to feel it made it a bit tricky, but at least it was just the plying.  I just wanted to get it done and off the bobbins so I wouldn’t have to deal with it any more.

I am going to completely avoid NC from now on, and I will also avoid any fibers that aren’t really clean.  Hopefully, this doesn’t happen again.

My box of new fibers arrived yesterday!  I put what I had decided to order into the cart on the computer and then gave it to my husband to do the check-out.  Little did I know that he threw a couple of surprises into the cart for me!  Early Christmas presents!  Yay!

So here is what I got:


These are part of the Luxury Sampler


More of the Luxury Sampler

These luxury fibers are SO soft.  I must say that my favorite just by feel is the Angora.



 This Lincoln feels NOTHING like the fleece we have from our Lincoln.  Not sure why.  Because our Lincoln is younger and it was a first shearing?  Because she was shorn when it was shorter?  Because each sheep is unique?  Because our Lincoln is a different type/strain/line of Lincolns?  I don’t know, but I do know that spinning this fiber will not prepare me to spin her fiber, which is why I got it.  Oh well, I will find some use for it anyway.


Hand-Dyed Superfine Merino

And here is what my husband added for me:


Merino/Angora Mix

This one is SO soft.  We could potentially make something similar to this with the wool from our sheep, Fiona, mixed with the Angora I have from our bunny years ago (and/or from a bunny we might get in the future).


Hand-Dyed Blue-Faced Leicester

What an amazing box of goodies!  This ought to keep me busy for a few months at least.  Especially since I SHOULD be working on the Christmas knitting, not spending all my time spinning.  😉

AND….I finished knitting up my first ever project made with homespun.  An ear-warmer headband for my daughter.


The inconsistencies in my yarn were very apparent as I knit, as was the chunkiness.  I picked a simple pattern because of both of those things, so it doesn’t have much pizzazz.  BUT, I must say that the satisfaction of knitting with something that I had spun myself made up for the imperfections in my yarn.  Plus, my daughter loved the headband, and it is nice and cozy.  So a wonderful first-time success!

5 thoughts on “…And Then My Hands Swelled Up

  1. I love your ear warmer! I love inconsistencies in yarn and think they add more character to the piece. Love all the goodies you got especially the lovely roving! Beautiful colors and I can’t wait to see your yarn from all that spinning that’s going to keep you busy!


  2. That’s so weird about your allergic reaction! Do you have any other animal allergies, or was this a first? I hope it doesn’t happen again for you, either!

    I’m so glad you like the Woolgathering’s fiber. They are quickly becoming my favorite vendor! And those colored braids are simply gorgeous!!! I’m going to have to get my hands on some of that. I can’t wait to see the yarn you make with it! And how sweet of your husband to surprise you with the angora/merino mix! You definitely have a Prince Charming of your own. 😉 And your daughter’s headband looks so great! It feels good to have a finished creation from your handspun yarn, doesn’t it? My daughter is so proud of the cowl I made her… she wears it every day. 😉

    Looks like you have quite a stash to keep you and your daughters busy for a while. Happy spinning!!! 🙂


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