Hmm... this is the third time in recent weeks that I've had irritated eyes. On each occasion, I was knitting and/or handling yarn (but then there is rarely at time I'm not), but each time it was different yarn.
I've had a few helpful suggestions on how to test for an allergy - and some optimistic ideas about what it might be other than a fibre allergy. Could be dust, or the dye, or something that's used in the yarn preparation process. Fingers are crossed.
I did the basic test - tuck a bit of the fibre I think is bothering me into my clothes, in a sensitive area. Let's just say that my underarms have no issue with Berroco Ultra Alpaca.
On a different but related note, I've been working with Bijou Basin's yak yarn of late... it's seriously delicious stuff. Very nice soft hand, light with a bit of drape, and the colour is wonderful - a sort of tweedy hot chocolate shade.
I'm working a design for a men's vest. Plain and simple, no fussy detail, nothing fancy. I don't know about the men you know, but the men I know don't like anything fussy. When talking to men about knitwear, the word "fussy" comes up a lot, in combination with the word "not".
The vest is a lot of stocking stitch worked in the round, and therefore is straightforward, not-very-interesting knitting. To add a bit of fun for the knitter, however, I've included a cheeky detail - a tiny little cable at the side seams.
I think this qualifies as "not fussy".