When is the last time you wore an itchy sweater? And why did it itch?

My grandmother was Irish, and a knitter. So, I had this beautiful, off-white (clean wool color), cable-knit hat with a pom pom on top that I COULD NOT WEAR. Even as a less sensitive and picky adult, I can’t wear it. I just can’t handle that itch on my forehead. Of course, wool was an excellent solution in a subsistence economy.

These days most of our clothes are made of synthetic fibers or at least partially.

The reason synthetic fibers don’t itch and that most wool does is due to the length and diameter of the of the fibers. Aran wool is world famous for making beautiful cable knit sweaters that don’t itch and that is because the Aran fibers are shorter. Merino wool is also a soft wool because its fibers are finer and therefor more flexible causing them to bend when they touch our skin rather than poke.

This year at the Sheep to Shawl Fair take a closer look at those wool fibers you are dying, carding, washing, felting and more. We will have magnifying glasses on hand. Based on what you see, do you think the wool will be itchy?

More wool info coming your way this week as we prep for #SheeptoShawl2018

@gardenvarietycheese @yarnshopsantacruz @liveearthfarm , @farmfreshcoffee @shantyshackbrewing

@watsonvilleyoga @watsonvilleyogadancehealingart @musicalmemusictogether @bananslugband @thepennyicecreamery @foodwhatfarm

#santacruzcountybank @sambrailopackaging @merge4socks @modestomilling @newleafcmarket @innovativeorganicnursery.ion

#liveearthfarm #sheeptoshawl #familyfestival #farmlife #spring #santacruzcounty #weekendevents #farmdiscovery #fiber #farmtofiber #fiberarts