When it comes to sweaters, the struggle is real. Life with a wool allergy – okay, let’s be serious, an allergy to pretty much all animal fibres – is, simply put, annoying. I remember the first, and only, time my mom sent me to school wearing wool. Although I had a full cotton turtleneck on under the pink sweater vest she dressed me in, by the time I arrived at school, I was unbearably itchy. For the next two decades, I avoided wool entirely. It seemed the only sensible choice.
But it’s not easy to avoid wool. Especially in the fall and winter. The fabric has a way of sneaking into garments in small amounts – ten percent in a scarf here, twenty percent in a cozy sweater there. I live in a cold climate and even if I didn’t, I would love knitwear. I can’t help it. In a store, piles of sweaters draw me in. Every. Single. Time. And that means that fall and winter shopping is, inevitably, a series of disappointments, because it very often seems that everything cute contains wool… or mohair… or alpaca… or, well, I could go on, but you get the idea.
Wool coats present less of a challenge. With a good lining and a thick scarf, I can wear them easily. But sweaters are another matter. Sometimes, I try to convince myself that a small amount of wool will be manageable, but how can I really know what percentage of wool in a sweater is too much? It’s impossible. Other times, I tell myself that if I take an antihistamine, I can wear my beautiful wool sweaters for a few hours without risking hives. But as life choices go, taking medication to wear special garments is, I realise, a bit extreme. Like I said; the struggle is real.
It’s been a while since I’ve convinced myself that buying a wool sweater was a good decision, but I won’t deny I have a few in my closet. I have a particular weakness for chunky knits, which are hardest of all to find in 100% acrylic… which is why I was pretty much over the moon to discover this sweater from Tobi. It has all the heavy gauge stitching I want with none of the animal fibres. And yes, I will be wearing it on repeat for the rest of the season. That’s partly because of my excitement – I finally have the chunky knit of my dreams! But it’s also partly because I’m not likely to find any other chunky acrylic sweaters anytime soon… For once, though, I’m okay with that.