I've only been knitting for over a week now and have developed rashes on both my right and left forearms, mostly inner aspect, but some rashes on the outer aspect of my forearms too. I've been using Sugar & Cream brand cotton yarn and never had any problems with it before, at least when I used it for crochet.
Has anyone else ever had any problems like this with certain yarns? It could be also due to the fact that the weather is warm, my arms tend to be a bit more moist from the humidity while I'm knitting, and the fibers in the yarn are scraping against my forearms, and possibly sticking to my skin, causing irritation. I've tried Hydrocortisone cream, but to no avail. I try to wear something long-sleeved while I knit, but I only sweat, and my rashy arms become more irritated. Yarn fibers also tend to collect on the shirts I'm wearing while knitting, and my arms rub up against my shirt, and again, irritation! Any miraculous suggestions or tips?
That doesn't sound like fun @ all !!! One possible reason could be the dye in that particular color or even just that batch. Dye can even make a difference in the gauge when you knit. I have LOTS of allergies so am very aware of stuff like this. Since it's a cotton yarn that you've used before...I'm wondering if you've used this color before + if so...maybe the company has changed their dye make-up?
Another thought I just had: You said you've only been knitting about a week...usually crochet....right? 2 - ???'s...are you knitting something small like a dishcloth...or something larger? Next ???....are you using long straight needles or a circular needle? In case you didn't know...you can knit back + forth on one circ instead of a pr of "straights". With crochet the work tends to hang straight down in front of you....not touching your arms as much as when you knit on straight N's. A circular N will allow the work to hang down more like when crocheting.
One of my allergies is polyester. Not too much of that in our house anymore!!! Last Xmas I wanted to use up a bit of #10 crochet thread I had (metalic = polyester) in an Xmas ornament. I had to be careful not to touch my hands to my face + I tucked a large tea towel into my collar to cover my shirt while I worked. Whenever I stopped...I washed my hands + removed the towel. When I forgot...I "remembered" quite quickly!!! If it had been "fuzzy stuff" I wouldn't even have it in the house. Another trick is to have an open plastic grocery bag on my lap to work inside/ on top of. Mind you....I don't use this often!!!
If this is an allergic reaction...you are probably better off not using it @ all till all healed up. Then maybe try cautiously w/ my suggestions above to see if that solves your problems??? The weather probably is aggravating the problem too as you suggested.
Good Luck...... Andrea