At least once a week, I get an e-mail message from my favorite commercial yarn source. (Notice, I HAD to make the distinction there, regarding commercial yarn. My favorite source of yarn otherwise would be my flock of sheep. Just a stickler for detail, I guess. For those who know me: Joking. Just joking.)
This morning's message announces a new yarn, made of wool and nettles. Nettles?!? Mmmm ... sounds lovely. Not.
I know a guy who once went to the emergency room after working in his yard a little while. He thought he had a violent allergic reaction to something after pulling weeds. He had a "terrible stinging sensation all over his arms and legs ..." Bwah-hah-ha-ha ... He had recently moved from the city to the country and had his first run-in with nettles. (Side note: this guy always seems to find more excuses not to work than most folks, so he might have thought he'd found his best excuse ever with this one, only to discover it's nothing out of the ordinary and would not even afford him one single sick day. It still makes me chuckle.)
Now, I'm pretty sure the manufacturer of the new yarn MUST have done something to render the nettles harmless before incorporating it with wool to make a new yarn, but still ... there's just something about the very idea of it that makes me itchy. And it's NOT the wool!
Something I read about nettles: it used to be used as a counter-irritant to rheumatism. The sufferer would be whipped with the nettles, and the pain of nettle stings would make the afflicted person forget about the pain of the rheumatism. Nice!
Supposedly, nettles can be eaten after you boil the sting out of them. Yeah, right. I once paddled out into the middle of a pond with a neighbor to pick cattails because we'd read that they tasted "just like asparagus" when cooked. Blykk! Tasted like pond bottom to me! I suspect cooked nettles would be similarly palatable. Thanks, but no thanks. And you can keep them out of my wool, too.