(Cross-posted from my blog.)
So, there I was last night, knitting madly away at my olympic sweater, cheering on the Canadian speed skaters, and coming to the conclusion that the aerial skiers (and many of the other athletes) are certifiably crazy. My tongue was still irritated, and my eyes were acting up too. However, I wasn't thinking about that. I was thinking about my wonderful Canada sweater, and how I'd finish the front and back that night. I was also admiring the yarn, which I had read a review on the day before that said the Araucania yarns were dyed using natural dyes. What could possibly achieve such a wonderful red colour? Was it a plant dye? Mineral? Insect? I had flipped through a natural dye book recently, and that stuff is fascinating. Did they use a metal...
...metal? Um, I'm allergic to lots of metals...
My swollen tongue and itchy eyes prodded me. My tongue had started swelling shortly after I began my olympic knitting project, where I worked exclusively with this yarn.
Some of the dye had come off on the stitch markers I used while doing the intarsia.
Could I possibly be allergic to the dye, or some other substance used to treat the yarn? Nooooooooo!
So here's the plan: I'm nearly done this sweater. The front and back are done, the sleeves are getting close, and then all that's left is the seaming and collar. I am going to finish this sweater, and then wash and rinse it until all bleeding of dye stops. Then I'm going to pack away all the leftovers, vacuum the couch, wash the sweaters I've been wearing while working on this yarn, and avoid contact with the yarn for several days. If the swelling finally goes away, I think I have my answer.
To test my conclusion, I'll then wear my sweater. If my tongue doesn't swell, either the washing worked, or the yarn wasn't the problem. The next step will be to use the leftover wool, to see if my tongue swells up again.
If I get results indicating the yarn is the problem, I'm going to use the "contact" form to see if the yarn company is willing to tell me what they used to dye and treat this particular colour.
Either way, I'm ahead. I've either solved my tongue swelling, or I'm still allowed to use this yarn. ;) (And if the yarn is the tongue-swelling culprit, then I can have orange flavoured craisins again!)