PDA

View Full Version : Soaker Help


brendajos
10-30-2006, 12:22 PM
I have a friend who has asked if I would knit her son a soaker. I haven't committed yet but I sorta feel like I should since I was the one who campaigned to get him into cloth diapers :teehee:

So I know some of you like to use Malabrigo for the soakers but what else do you like to use? I have seen mention of Galaway and Cascade 220 but both of those seem awefully scratchy for baby clothes.

Also, knowing that i prefer to knit in the round whenever given the option, i am an incredibly lazy knitter, and the most shaping i have ever done on something was on gloves that required almost no shaping at all (i have knit a few pairs of baby socks though :teehee:) does anybody have a good pattern that they like to use that is size adaptable?

Thanks! :hug:

cocoa
10-30-2006, 04:07 PM
Hi,

What's a soaker?

I'm from the UK.
Dee.

brendajos
10-30-2006, 04:28 PM
awww see i was all excited that someone had finally answered my questions and there ya are askin' more questions! :wall:

:teehee: It is a diaper cover for cloth diapers. My friend's mother in law from the UK is actually hooking her up with the cloth diapers so now she is looking for soakers. I am avoiding committing making them but if i can figure out a quick easy way to make them i might be convinced! ;)

(i had no idea what a soaker was either when i first started hearing people on here talking about them...seemed like a bad name for them in any event! :rofl: )

janelanespaintbrush
10-30-2006, 04:44 PM
Barbara Walker's Knitting from the Top has instructions on how to make pants in the round, including variations like leggings and bikini bottoms. (I borrowed the old edition from the library but I'm assuming the new one is the same.) Might be something to check out if no one else chimes in.

Julie
10-30-2006, 04:56 PM
Brenda, I adapted two patterns so I could knit them in the round...are you looking for the diaper-ish looking ones, or the long ones?

Quiara
10-30-2006, 05:01 PM
There's a good pattern for a small soaker here (http://community.livejournal.com/yarny_bits/14523.html). There's also a good longies pattern you can find if you google "doodlepants." Hope that helps.

brendajos
10-30-2006, 05:08 PM
Brenda, I adapted two patterns so I could knit them in the round...are you looking for the diaper-ish looking ones, or the long ones?

Well she lives in Louisiana and while it is getting closer to the cool season down there (okay not really....when i moved down there on Oct 28th a few years ago i went from 45 degree weather to 95 degree weather in a few hours....yikes!) I am thinking she is probably wanting the shorter ones. I never considered the long ones for her...hrmm....

Quiara thanks I will take a look!

cocoa
10-30-2006, 05:29 PM
My twins were in those things, cheap throw aways got my thumb up!.

In the Uk you can buy plastic liners similiar to shower curtain material with elastic cuffs. Washable, dry real quick even quicker if you paper towel them. Fairly cheap to buy. I think Mothercare or Boots you sshould be able to get them from.


Reasons not to use them:)
They're smelly and come winter they're a nightmare to dry, extra moisture in the air isn't good for anyone.

Excess luggage etc
Dee.

brendajos
10-30-2006, 05:41 PM
yup i have verified that she does what short ones but of course now that it is in her head she wants the longies too...lol. She is going to have to learn to knit if she wants all that! ;)


Dee, the wool ones are actually supposed to be better because they don't smell unless it has been a while since they have been cleaned. plus they pull the moisture away from the baby and the outside clothing.

cocoa
10-30-2006, 05:44 PM
http://www.tinybirdsorganics.com/soakers/pattern/index_printable.html

http://www.birdcrossstitch.com/organicwool/woolpants.html

Dee.

Quiara
10-30-2006, 05:47 PM
Everything I've heard about the wool ones from cloth-diapering moms has been really positive. And the link I posted with the pattern to the soaker is also an LJ community where she (Mali) sells yarn that makes excellent soakers. It's supersoft light worsted merino in gorgeous handpainted colorways. She also has heavier Manos del Uraguay in worsted and chunky and also Mikado, which is a gorgeous nubbly yarn that I :heart: dearly. So soooooft. Anyway, enough with the drooling. Just wanted to add that.

brendajos
10-30-2006, 05:50 PM
OOOOOOOOOOH she uses Manos? I have some manos that i have never been able to to figure out what to use it for... that might be a great use of it since I have been stashing that stuff for over a year now! :thinking:


Thanks for the patterns there Dee....will have to check them out later!! :muah:

Quiara
10-30-2006, 05:54 PM
You can use any wool as long as you're close on gauge. And the one she posted is a cutie-patootie soaker pattern she made herself. It's really easy to work up at different sizes, too. Good luck with this; I know the mom will appreciate it tons.

Yarnlady
10-31-2006, 08:16 AM
I'd use superwash wool so that washing isn't a big issue. It'll still be as absorbant as "real" wool.
http://www.fernandfaerie.com/freesoakerpattern.html

I'm in the process of making these ones right now.
http://www.tinybirdsorganics.com/organicwool/woolpants.html

MilkyMama
10-31-2006, 09:03 AM
Oh, me, me! Ask me!!!!

I'm knitting my second soaker right now. I've used wool soakers, covers, and longies (pants) for 2 years and absolutely love them. I couldn't CD (cloth diaper) without them.

My first was the Octobre pattern which was free.
http://www.ottobredesign.com/en/print/pdf/wool_diaper_cover_en.pdf
It's an OK pattern, but I wasn't in love with it. It was the 2nd or 3rd thing I knitted and there was a mistake and directions were a little too loosey goosey for me. Plus the gauge they recommended made waaayy too loose/open of a fabric so the cover wicked (leaked). I used the Manos thick n'thin wool, which has beautiful colors and a great hand, but... to much size variation to make the fabric tight and thick.

So...now I'm designing my own. I'm using Malabrigo (funny that's what you mentioned in your OP!). I just happened to see it in my LYS and knew that I wanted to knit a soaker from it. It is so soft and thick, yum!!! And great colors. BTW, aviod white or light colors, like it or not, they will get some stains and they will be too hard to get out. :(

If you have ever knit from measurements, you could do this without a pattern. BUT, I would get the child's measurements. Ask her to measure a soaker that she already has that fits him well. Or send his measurements (have her measure him over a diaper that he would wear under the soaker).

You want the rise (crotch from top front of diaper - top back of diaper).
Waist (again, over the diaper).
Thighs (have her measure both and use the larger if one is bigger. She should measure just below the diaper on his leg).
Hip/Bum (have her measure the babies widest spot over the bum).

Regarding knitting in the round vs. straight, it was just too hard for me to figure out on my own how to do it in the round. Which was very hard for me to admit, LOL! B/c I looooove to knit in the round! That being said, there is a total of maybe 8" of seam sewing to do and that was a lot faster than making it 3 or 4 times in the round and ripping it, LOL!

So... I basically knit an hour glass shape, fold it top to bottom and sew the wide, top parts together. The narrow bottom part stays open for the legs.

Okay, now a soaker should go about 2" higher in the waist than the diaper is. Otherwise clothes will come in contact with the diaper underneath and it will wick on to the clothes and baby will be all wet and Mama will be sad, LOL! So take the rise measurement and add 4"+ to it.

Next, the hips/bum. In your hour glass shape, this will be the widest part, before you narrow down for the middle (which will be the crotch).

For the legs, well talk about that last.

opps, DH is kicking me off. Be back ASAP.

SandraEllen
10-31-2006, 09:15 AM
LittleTurtleKnits (http://www.littleturtleknits.com/pages/diaperingpatterns.php) has some really cute ones, but the patterns all cost more than I'm willing to spend. i probably would if i had a kid in diapers, but i don't...

Julie
10-31-2006, 10:44 AM
Brenda, I think you know this, but in case you don't -- don't use superwash wool! It doesn't have the lanolin that natural wool does, so it doesn't have the same absorbent/repellent/antibacterial qualities. It's fine for knit baby pants, just not soakers. :D

MilkyMama
10-31-2006, 01:30 PM
Okay, I'm going to try to get a bit more in...

Again this will look like an hour glass shape, but one end will be a lot fatter than the other. The fat end will be the back/bum side.

I knit mine from the top front, next the crotch, last the back.
So the top is where I cast on (about 4-7" wide).

I knit in 1x1 rib for 2-4", then in st st for a few more, then I increased over a few rows so the piece was a couple inches wider overall.

When it's somewhere btwn 4-7" long (depending on how big you want it) and 6-8" wide, I began decreasing until it was about only 4" wide.

Continue in st st for about 4-6". This will be the crotch part.

Increase again over the next several rows (about 4" of length) until the piece is quite wide, prob 10-15" depending size you want it). This will create the extra wide/room needed for the bum.

Now decrease again over the next several rows (about 4-7" of length). This will bring the top in to make the narrowness of the waist.

When it's as narrow as it needs to be (4-7" wide) cont in st st for a couple of inches. Switch to 1x1 rib for the last 2-4" for the waist band. This should be same amount you did at the beginning.

Bind off loosely. This may go without saying, but you may want to do one of the special bind offs so it's really loose, like where you add a stitch the previous row http://www.socknitters.com/Tips/stretchy.htm .

Sew up the wide part/sides.

Now the cuff. Thought you were done, huh? Pick up stitches around the leg opening. I would try really hard to make sure this part is loose, loose, loose. This is one place where if it's tight, it will be unuseable. Knit a cuff in rib knit. Prob 1x1 will work. I haven't done this part yet on mine (and I ran out of yarn and am waiting for it to come in...). Continue for about 3 inches. Bind off reallllly loosely. Roll up cuff so the whole cuff part is twice as thick. And sew it down. There's prob a groovely way to do the bind off and sew it in one fell swoop, but I don't know how to do that yet. :)

Now take a picture of your masterpiece, send it off and tell your friend to join a knitting group, LOL!

Now for a bit more details:

To make sure you have room to sew up the edges add 1/2-3/4" inch to the width thru the waist and hips.

I have to use a smaller gauge needle for my rib or it is too loose and baggy.

Soakers need more power in the crotch and bottom. This is b/c its where the baby pees, of course, but also where they will be sitting so the thickness prevents wicking onto clothes and Mama, etc. You could do this by using one of these ways as soon as you begin decreases for the crotch: ribbing, sks, cable, use 2 strands, double knitting.

A GREAT soaker, prob the best out there is an Aristocrats. If you can get your hands on one, you prob get an idea of what to do from there
http://www.thanksmama.com/PhotoGallery.asp?ProductCode=ari%2D001
http://www.greenmountaindiapers.com/woolcompare.htm (at the bottom is a pict of another good brand, Disana).
http://www.aristocratsbabyproducts.com/diaper_cover.html (the manf website).

In general you need a tight fabric, so use a small needle for the yarn. I normally use a US7 with worsted weight for a hat, but I would use prob a US3-5 with worsted for a cover. If you can see thru the fabric it prob isn't tight enough. Or if you can easily pull apart the stitches and make holes, it's too loose.

I would NOT use a Superwash wool. Ever. I'm not sure why PP recommended that. Any superwash wool is going to have all the lanolin stripped away and the lanolin is critical to making it work. It prevents leaking and odor. It will need additional lanolin applied before using and every so often btwn wearing. http://www.thediaperhyena.com/woolscool.htm There's more info here than you prob care for, but you can just read what you like. :) It will need to be hand washed OR super gently machine washed and you can only use wool wash like Eucalin or another brand. Woolite will ruin it ( it actually removes oil taking the lanolin with it. Good for clothes, bad for diaper covers.) B/c it's a detergent, it can also cause unwanted felting.

If you have any questions about the wool's softness, most will get softer after repeated lanolizing. I like the merino the best so far.

Since you won't use superwash, consider that this will eventually shrink/felt a bit, if only from the baby constantly wetting it and the friction of the baby crawling and walking around in it. So I would make it an inch or two bigger all around than you think you'll need. Also, it will give the baby room to grow.

Mine is for my 3 1/2 yo, about 39" tall and prob 35+#, fairly big for her age. My finished soaker (laid flat before being sewn) will be 7" at the top/front, increase to 8.5", decrease to 5" (for the crotch), increased to 15.5" at the widest in back and decreased to ~12" at the top of the back. The whole thing will be ~18" long. Most kids will wear a much smaller soaker. :)

HTH! And be assured I will post a pict when it's done!!! :cheering:

brendajos
10-31-2006, 01:47 PM
wow! Thank you so much for all of the info. I think between you all I can get something put together for her! ;) now i just need to get her on giving me the measurements before I get distracted by some other project! :teehee:

knittingdoula
10-31-2006, 03:01 PM
Hi all. As a cloth diapering mother myself and a knitter, I've made many pairs of longies. If you're new to soaker and longie knitting, please save yourself a tremendous amount of trouble and purchase a well-written pattern. I personally recommend anything by Theresa at Little Turtle Knits, as her directions are clear and well thought out. Even the short row sections aren't bad at all. All the numbers are already worked out, and you don't have to sew up any seams. You do have to kitchener stitch about 4 stitches, so it's a very non-threatening introduction to kitchener stitch. (Amy has an excellent video on this website, too.)

As for the yarn, I have used and would recommend Malabrigo (prepare for pilling galore!), Little Turtle Knits hand dyed yarn and Blackberry Ridge worsted weight yarn. I've also heard nice things about Peace Fleece yarn. I tried Cascade 220 and wasn't please at ALL with the results. Theresa's pattern specified a gauge for longies of about 4.5 st/inch, which is not tighter than what you normally see worsted weight going for. Using this guage, I had great wetness protection for my little girl. Her soaker pattern is about 5.5 st/in, I believe. So you'll need something more in the DK family, I guess. Additionally, I have used her longies even over disposable diapers and they're warm and soft. Great for nighttime sleeping for babes who tend toward the cold side.

Good luck. If you have any questions, feel free to PM me.

Alison

Wendy B.
10-31-2006, 03:28 PM
I'm sorry if this is slightly OT, but why use cloth diapers in the first place? They're yucky hard to clean. I guess maybe environmental concerns -- but if you seriously believe our landfills are filling up and we're about to run out of space OH MY GOSH then you should go check out Penn & Teller's Bullsh*t episode on the topic. ;)

Warmly,
Wendy

MilkyMama
10-31-2006, 04:18 PM
I'm sorry if this is slightly OT, but why use cloth diapers in the first place? They're yucky hard to clean. I guess maybe environmental concerns -- but if you seriously believe our landfills are filling up and we're about to run out of space OH MY GOSH then you should go check out Penn & Teller's Bullsh*t episode on the topic. ;)

Warmly,
Wendy

Oh, this could soooo hyjack this thread! There are lots of reasons. Here's my favorite place to explain...http://www.thediaperhyena.com/diaper_drama.htm - there's a few pages there, so check them all out.

And BTW, why is a poopy cloth diaper more yucky than a poopy disposible diaper? You are wiping poop off your DC just the same...

Don't knock it 'til you try it! :happydance:

MilkyMama
10-31-2006, 04:26 PM
As for the yarn, I have used and would recommend Malabrigo (prepare for pilling galore!),
Alison

Thanks for the warning! I'm always so sad when things pill badly. At least I'll be prepared!

brendajos
10-31-2006, 04:43 PM
I'm sorry if this is slightly OT, but why use cloth diapers in the first place? They're yucky hard to clean. I guess maybe environmental concerns -- but if you seriously believe our landfills are filling up and we're about to run out of space OH MY GOSH then you should go check out Penn & Teller's Bullsh*t episode on the topic. ;)

Warmly,
Wendy

Oh my...If the people on this site were different people this could turn into a highly heated debate...lol (i know i have been part of it on another site lol!) There are lots of reasons to do it including that it is often times more cost effective. the chemicals in disposables certainly can't be good for babies. Sure "we" (i say that knowing that many of us, including me, were cloth diaper generation children too) survived it but who knows if there was harm done that hasn't been pinpointed yet...why add to it for "convenience" if you are able to cloth diaper? The landfills MAY not be filling up but adding more....ahem...crap to the environment is not good and I would like to do what I can to minimize the effects of that...crap. I agree that poopy cloth isn't that much different than poopy plastic and actually i think it is better because you don't end up with the inevitable garbage can full of stinkiness waiting for Dad to come home and take care of it (yes i know terribly sexist but it amused me to say it so there! :teehee:)

None of that is a judgement of people who do chose to disposable diaper. i wasn't a convert for a long time. a friend of mine had to have a supply of disposables for when i babysat for her because there was no way i was dealing with it....buuuuuuuut i am converted so....there it is...lol

and since i have converted the new mommy friend i feel the need to support her! :D :heart:

amy
10-31-2006, 06:45 PM
Yay for cloth diapers! They're so easy to use now, no more big, scary pins to deal with. I think they're great (when I babysit, no kids here yet). The diapers last forever, too, can be used for multiple kids! And they clean up easily, so they're not gross or anything.

I was just thinking, wouldn't it be cool to make a soaker that looks like those cute ruffle-pants that little girls wear to dress up? With all the ruffles on the butt? Or am I just being totally inpractical somehow? They'd be so cute!! :teehee:

Jan in CA
10-31-2006, 06:59 PM
Those would be adorable, Amy!

I used cloth with rubber pants for my girls. This was a long time ago and disposables were in their infancy and were awful IMO. I wasn't really into environmental stuff at the time of my life so had they been good I might have used them. Now I would used cloth, but keep disposables for certain times.

BTW..I'd never heard of soakers till I started knitting. Pretty cool!

Quiara
10-31-2006, 07:12 PM
My mum used cloth diapers, but then again, she's a tree huggin' hippie. . . ^_^

I'd probably use them, too, honestly, if for no other reason than that I'd get to make a bunch of cutie-patootie soakers to go with them! ^_^

MilkyMama
10-31-2006, 09:16 PM
I was just thinking, wouldn't it be cool to make a soaker that looks like those cute ruffle-pants that little girls wear to dress up? With all the ruffles on the butt? Or am I just being totally inpractical somehow? They'd be so cute!! :teehee:

Yep, they make those. And they're just as cute as you think!

brendajos
10-31-2006, 09:27 PM
Yay for cloth diapers! They're so easy to use now, no more big, scary pins to deal with. I think they're great (when I babysit, no kids here yet). The diapers last forever, too, can be used for multiple kids! And they clean up easily, so they're not gross or anything.

I was just thinking, wouldn't it be cool to make a soaker that looks like those cute ruffle-pants that little girls wear to dress up? With all the ruffles on the butt? Or am I just being totally inpractical somehow? They'd be so cute!! :teehee:

My friend actually started selling her diapers on Ebay as her third child started outgrowing them. She actually made pretty good money on them too. Even the ones that had juice stains on them brought decent money (i was horrified when she just said "the stained ones" until she clarified :teehee:)

I would think all you have to do to get the ruffle butt ones would be to pick up stitches and then do the front,back,front increase in each stitch and then bind off.

cute but feels like it would be tedious to me! :shock: