HELP! Need to order Bulky yarn with no itch :)

I’m making a sweater for my mother for Christmas. She can’t stand itchy wool but can definitely tolerate Alpaca, Cashmere, and some blends. The pattern calls for DROPS Eskimo which is 10st/4". I’m worried the Eskimo will be too itchy for her especially since the sweater has a high neck. I’ve been looking at some other bulky yarns at - City Tweed HW - merino/alpaca and Swish Bulky - superwash merino as well as DROPS ice - cotton/acrylic. I’ve never ordered yarn before and I’m so used to being able to feel it to make the decision. Does anyone have any experience with these yarns? My concerns are this…I worry the City Tweed and Swish will not hold up well to repeated wears and I worry the Ice won’t be luxurious enough. Also, if anyone has anything to say about the DROPS Eskimo I’d love to hear it! Thanks!

The itchy factor is hard to gauge. What some people find soft others (like me) find it horribly itchy. Can you go to an LYS and feel them for yourself?

I wish I could. I’m in the middle of nowhere. I was considering taking an hour drive tomorrow to the nearest LYS but even that yarn store is pretty small and while their yarns are amazing the selection of Bulky yarns is limited and since cost is a factor I have a feeling I may drive all that way and not find anything that fit my criteria and that I can afford. The sweater calls for 750g of DROPS Eskimo so I’m looking at anywhere from 7 to 14 skeins of yarn.

Oh that’s too bad. I won’t be any help because I find most wools even blends itchy. Others will probably chime in with ideas. Just remember though that what they find soft your mom may not.

I tried many yarns and I ended up going with a bulky acrylic for my sweater and I’m very happy with it.

Yeah, my mom’s pretty sensitive too. I’m leaning toward either the Drops Ice which is a 55% cotton 45% acrylic blend or the Comfy Bulky which is 75% cotton 25% acrylic. The thing is that whenever I have knit with cottons I find them very hard on my hands, I think because of the lack of give in the yarn. I have read that this is not the case with the Comfy and I’m wondering about the feel of Drops Ice if anyone has an opinion on either…

I find cotton hard to use for a large project, too. I am knitting a sweater with Plymouth Jeannee and it’s 51% acrylic/49% cotton I think and it’s hard on my hands. Not sure how Comfy is, but I’ve wanted to try it, too.

The yarn I used for my finished sweater is fuzzy, but it’s very soft. It’s James C. Brett Marble Chunky. Unfortunately it doesn’t come in solids.

Usually a cotton acrylic blend will be easier to knit than all cotton because of the acrylic content.

I used Lionbrand Wool Ease Thick and Quick (9 sts/ 4 in) to make a neck warmer… It is 80% acrylic and 20% wool. It is very easy to work with and very soft. Just a thought!

When you take the time to knit a sweater (even in bulky yarn), you don’t want to go to all that trouble and then find out that she can’t wear it. Taking a swatch and rubbing it against your neck or the inside of your arm for a minute is one way to tell. But the other thing you could do, is to give her a to-be-made card-- maybe a picture of the sweater or something like that, and then let her help pick out the yarn. Also, Simply Soft, entirely acrylic, is just what it says, simply soft. It’s the correct gauge and comes in a variety of solid colors:

If you could get your hands on some Sirdar…

Denim Chunky is nice…as is Crofter Chunky…

If you look at Webs’s , you can often match prices with Knitpicks on their closeouts or with their discounts. You can search by yarn weight and fiber on their site. The Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Chunky is very soft, as is the Malabrigo (more expensive), the Plymouth Oh My (an acryllic, mostly in baby colors, but super soft), and the Misti Alpacas are also super soft (but a little pricey). I also like the Takhi Yarns Taos.

There were also some discontinued colors of Cascade Baby Alpaca chunky for a very good price - if one of those colors would suit your mom, that might be an option.

If she’s super sensitive then I don’t think Malabrigo, Misti Alpaca or even Cashmerino are going to be soft enough. I’ve tried several and it’s a no go. Any fuzzy wool has those guard hairs that stick out and itch like mad. :doh: Also rubbing them on my neck for a few minutes doesn’t work. They have to be knit into something so a swatch would work.

Now the jury is out on a few new ones I bought to try. Crossed Fingers

Well, I made the hour treck to Kitschy Stitch in Rehoboth. I felt the yarn and a straight wool is definitely going to be way too itchy. Alpaca would definitely work, but is probably too drapey for the sweater/jacket which is kind of structured. They had a gorgeous Merino, Alpaca, Silk blend…and I mean gorgeous that would work just great but it was totally out of my price range (needed 20 skeins!). They also had this amazing 100% organic cotton that hangs really beautifully - but they didn’t have enough in stock for the whole sweater. I’m going to check Webs, Knitpicks, and NordicMart now to see if they have anything similar. Or I may go back and order that organic cotton.

I too just made a cowl/neckwarmer in the Lion Brand wool ease thick and quick and found it very soft. I am super sensitive to most wool, especially against my neck. Best thing is, it’s super reasonable and seems like it’s going to be very resiliant to washing. Hopefully you live in a very cold area, cause a full sweater out of chunky yarn is gonna be WARM! Too bad cost is an issue (*as is with me) cause I would just choose to make a sweater out of Misti Alpaca super chunky and never take it off.

Maybe you can find some of the organic cotton online in the same dye lot.

One test on the ‘itch’ factor of wool or other fibers, is to knit a small piece and put it in your bra. If you’re going to be sensitive to it, you’ll definitely feel it there…

Lion Brand is making an organic cotton now too that seems reasonably priced. problem is you can only order it online, but I can say, it feels so nice. Almost has a silky cotton feeling to it, no stray hairs or fuzz to cause itching. Patons is making a nice cotton yarn now too which is available in the craft store. I think the Malabrigo suggestion is a good one too. I find that stuff so super soft.

Hi Jessie,
There was enough cold last winter that I found myself pulling out a cowichan sweater/coat made by my mother-in-law many years ago. With an office next to a large cold north window, despite being a guy I decided to make a vest myself using the same 6-ply cowichan/buffalo yarn. The yarn used for cowichans back then used to come under a couple of different names – White Buffalo and Siwash. Now the wool around here comes from a mill an hour northeast of Calgary called Custom Woolen Mills at I buy it locally from The Knitting Room at Dalhousie Station (403) 288-1959. Its recommended gauge is 10 sts/4" to 11 sts/4" using somewhat rare 7.5 mm needles and comes in 8 oz balls for $11 in natural (dk brn-blk/3greys/wh) or dyed. It feels ultra-soft but that is a subjective thing. When put together it is durable and comfortable armor against cold. My mother is ‘waiting’ for the next vest. Cowichan patterns first became popularized by Cowichan First Nations of Vancouver Island.