Wool soakers/longies

Hi there, Just wondering if anyone is knitting wool soakers or longies (for cloth diapering) and would like to knit along? I am knitting my first pair of longies (have done a couple of soakers) and would really like the support of a knit along. I am currently struggling in adapting my well developed (albeit, unusual) style of knitting to knitting in the round. My usual pace has slowed to what feels like a slow crawl. I am just hoping I finish the darn things before my daughter toilet trains!


Hi, Leann! What size longies are you knitting?

I have a ten month old cloth diapered boy. I wasn’t planning on knitting him any new covers, longie or otherwise, since I’ve kinda burnt myself out on it. (I’ve been knitting hats lately instead.)

Anyway, I’ve knitted tons of soakers over the years and a few longies (this is my third cloth diapered boy, lol…) and I’d be happy to offer any suggestions or encouragement that I can. What pattern are you using?

You might just inspire me to start up a pair myself!

Oh, thank you Cindy! I was beginning to think I was the only one knitting soakers here… This is my second baby (both my girls were adopted from China) and I didn’t know about wool soakers for my first - I used diaper wraps. The wool is so much better - no leaks and this baby has had no diaper rashes. I think it is because the wool breathes. Anyways, I am not a fan of knitting in the round as I tuck my right needle under my arm and can’t do that with circulars so progress has been slow. I am knitting a pattern called sheepy pants (purchased online and highly recommended by the wool soaker yahoo group) and I am using a purple heather (peruvian highland) with soft sage green and ballet pink stripes here and there. I chose these colours because I liked the idea of a dark colour for the longies and the green and pink will help them match most of her sweaters and tops. The next pair (already have the wool) will be the ballet pink with a ruffle at the bottom. I am in a rush to finish at least one pair because it is really cold here already (we’re in Ontario). Thank you for your support, I am sure to need some help along the way (if I ever get out of the ribbing, lol).

single mum to Ella and Avalea both from China

on my needles - wool soakers, longies and hats!

I could be interested! I really need to knit a pair of nighttime longies for my day pl’d just-turned-3-years-old-yesterday dd. Can you say 20" rise, 13" inseam and dreading every second of it?

I’d much rather knit soakers and longies for the new baby due in April! Plus, I’m knitting a Bump Sweater for me.

Leann, the colors you’ve chosen for the longies sound beautiful! If you can, post some pictures. I’d love to see how it’s coming.

There are patterns available for knit flat longies if that would be easier for you. If you’re interested, I’ll dig up some info on them.

Lol, honeybunmom, I wouldn’t want to knit longies that size either! My size 10 son wants a sweater (and I promised…) but I am so dreading to knit it.

Leann, have you seen the Tiny Birds Organics pattern? It’s knit flat and seemed, too. I’ve never tried it but, it looks cute to me!

I’ve been reading a fictional series of the 1880’2 and it mentioned soakers. How do they keep a baby dry? Wouldn’t they adventually feel wet from the outside, especailly after sleeping through the night?

Hi, Lighting, good question!

Wool has amazing properties to it. It can actually absorb 10 times its weight in liquid without feeling wet at all. This is what makes it work as a soaker (aka diaper cover). Though the inside of the wool soaker is in contact with the wet diaper, the outside of the soaker doesn’t feel wet. Of course, if you never change the diaper, the soaker will eventually be wet…it can’t absorb forever.

In my experience, the wool soaker still feels dry after being worn all night. In fact, I have heard some moms say that wool is the ONLY way to get their baby through the night without a leak.

The key is the lanolin, which is an oil-like substance secreted by a sheep’s skin. Wool labeled “superwash” has had the lanolin stripped from it in order to make the wool machine-washable. That type of wool will NOT absorb liquid and can’t be used as a diaper cover.

Wool is also good for diaper covers because it is naturally antifungal and antimicrobial, which means that it won’t start to smell bad from its contact with urine. You can actually turn the cover inside out, let it air dry, and use it again at the next diaper change.

That’s probably way more info than you wanted! :wink:

By the way, what book are you reading that mentioned soakers? I’d like to try to find it and read it too.

Ok…I’m intrigued. Love to see some pictures. I’ve never knitted with wool…does it shrink when it’s washed? I only remember putting what we used to call “rubber pants” over diapers, but this sounds more comfortable. I don’t have babes…but, a few grandnephews/nieces in diapers right now. Only one is using cloth diapers. I’m a new knitter, but might try making one to see if my niece liked them if I could figure out the pattern.

Can you use superwash wool if you are going to lanalize it? I didn’t get it for my first pair since I wasn’t sure if it would work.

I have been knitting my longies for a week now and I have about 3 inches left on the last leg… Not bad for not knitting since high school! A rl friend of mine taught me both continental and magic loop, and it has changed knitting for me forever! I highly recommend giving it a go.

This is interesting. I have often wondered how women from those early eras dealt with keeping babies and themselves clean without rubber pants to cover the diapers.
Our library has a free trade area where you leave magazines, books, etc. pertaining to crafts of all sorts. I found a vintage booklet of baby knitting patterns a few days ago, printed in the 30’s and there is a pattern in it for the longies and soakers.
I have been reading the “Dakato Territory” series by L. Snelling, a christian fiction series from the mid 1880’s.

Me, too:think:

I have been reading the “Dakato Territory” series by L. Snelling, a christian fiction series from the mid 1880’s.

I remember those…it was a good read