Soaker Knitting Extravaganza and a New Opportunity

Have you ever knit the same pattern twice? How about three times? Four times?

Have you ever knit the same pattern twenty eight times? And still have some in the queue?

Until recently, my answer to all of the above was a resounding “heck, no!” I am an adventure knitter. Never knit the same thing twice. EVER. If the need arose to knit more than one, I always changed something to make the second one different than the first. Knitting for me is creativity expressed. Never follow a pattern to the letter. Always see what the yarn wants to do and go with it. And NEVER knit the same pattern twice.

But no more. I have found sweet comfort in repetition. Let me tell you why.

It all started with a commission knit. One large Curly Purly soaker in each of six different colors, plus one stripey soaker with the scraps. Knit with O-Wool Classic Worsted in Saffron, Coral, Barn, Ash, Peacock, and Coast.

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These were knit for Heather at One Love Diaper Co. When she ordered them, I had no idea that I was auditioning for a greater role. Before she even received the first batch in the mail she ordered more. Lots more.

An enormous bag of yarn arrived at my door and I set myself to knitting.

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And knitting.

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And knitting. Still to come are some different stripey options. Heather now carries my knitting in her gorgeous cloth diaper store!

This is the biggest knitting job I have ever done and I was afraid, at first, of the monotony. But there is something truly nice about knitting a pattern so many times that your hands don’t ask your brain “what now?” There is something soothing about knitting around and around and around. There is something very satisfying about a tall stack of exactly matching and perfect little knits.

That said, I am so glad that stripes are next. It breaks up the monotony somewhat and gives me something to look forward to.

So check out my exclusive handknit soakers at One Love Diaper Co.

And maybe try knitting the same thing more than once. You may, like me, find a surprising pleasure in following a pattern precisely and repeatedly.

Or not. 😉

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Keeping My Needles Clicking and Clacking

Mass producing Curly Purly Soakers has been keeping my knitting needles a clicking.

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I am using O’Wool Classic Worsted in six different colors with plans to make a stripey one with the leftovers.

These are for a commission knit that I am working on, for, sadly, my cloth diapering days appear to be over. (We have transitioned The Blessing to disposable diapers.) I wish I had tried this pattern sooner, though, because it is really quite clever. And free. The shaping is done mostly by changing needle size, and I used a wide range of needles for the above soakers – from size 2 to cast on and work the ribbing, to size 6 for the main body, and size 4 for the legs and the transition from waistband to main body. I think that these will stay up quite nice despite not having a drawstring, which is how I always have kept my baby’s britches up.

Distracting me from the above knitting is this.

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Sweater of my own design using madelinetosh Tosh Chunky in the colors Oxblood, Norway Spruce, and Glazed Pecan

It started as a few skeins of endless possibility and a winter spent wishing for a big, squishy, cozy sweater. Add to that a fun sweater knit along with some of my favorite people on Ravelry and I am hooked. Funny thing is, the KAL runs from Memorial day weekend to Labor Day weekend, and I am going to be done quite soon indeed.

I am working it as a simple, top down raglan with ever increasing fronts and a shawl collar. The stripes are inspired by Reflected Lines, a pattern available through Ravelry.

So, what is keeping your needles moving?

Must. Knit. Something.

Funny story.

She came over that evening and she actually brought her knitting. She always forgets her knitting, but on this night she remembered. Then she actually knit on her project as we visited! She hardly ever does that. Usually I’m the one knitting and she knits a few stitches and then talks and then knits a few stitches and drinks her tea and then holds the baby and then… This time she was really flying across her rows, knit. knit. knit.

So there she is knitting in my living room and I had nothing in my hands at all. I had two projects on the go, and both of them were colorwork and I don’t like to knit colorwork while I’m talking (remember the socks? Yeah. That lesson was still fresh in my mind).

So I was sitting idle.

Watching her knit.

Weird, right?

Right. Totally weird.

Desperately, I grabbed the nearest ball of yarn and cast on some longies. Then as I talked and without any planning or thought, I started switching colorways from my scrap bag.

And I was knitting, too.

All was right with the world.

And The Blessing was getting another pair of longies. One can never have too many longies.

Win, win.

I am giddy with happiness at how lovely these scrappy longies turned out. They took days to dry after lanolizing, but this morning they were ready for the photo shoot.

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The Blessing, however didn’t want to do a photo shoot.

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No, she’d much rather crawl around and put leaves in her mouth.

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Or grab for the camera.

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When I finally got her to stand, it was only for a second and then she was down again.

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But she did like climbing on her chair that Uncle T made.

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I realize that this post started out as a knitting post and has quickly turned it’s focus to a cute baby. Can you blame me?

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I didn’t think so.

Okay, so knitting details. Well, for starters, the Ravelry project page is here.

Just for kicks I decided to try Russian joins. It’s clever and I like eliminating the ends to weave in later, but it isn’t very smooth as far as the knitting goes. It leaves big bumps. It’s only longies, so it’s cool, but I doubt I’ll use it again.

The yarn is all Mosaic Moon Targhee Aran. Some of it I picked up in a scrappy swap and some I had on hand. I did use one bit of Mosaic Moon Licorice Twist Aran (the pink zebra at the knees and just before the cuffs) as the legs were looking too blue for my girlie-girl.

These ended up being just a tad too big, you can see that I rolled the cuffs. And I should have used a smaller needle as the gauge is looser than I usually like for longies. But she will grow and they are just too cute.

I am extremely happy with the results.

Stuck in a Rut?

That’s what the man said when I whipped up these overalls for The Blessing.

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Overalls of my own design in Mosaic Moon Arbor on Gaia Worsted

And maybe he has a point. These practically flew off of the needles just a week before:

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Overalls of my own design in my handspun

And, of course, my pregnant knitting was somewhat similar…

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Overalls of my own design in Family Pendragon Avonlea’s Rainbow on Merlin Superwash Sock with Vertebrea Sweater

Then there are the short overalls that I adore and wish (oh, how I wish I had made them pants!)

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Ballonbukser in Madelinetosh Sock, Glasshouse

Okay, it may be a rut, but it is a cute rut… and I am not out of it yet. I’ve got some Mal Chunky turning into overalls as we speak! The Blessing is excited about those –

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Evidence of My Insanity

If you have been reading this blog for any length of time then you know that I am a little crazy.

Okay, a lot crazy.

Case in point:

I recently yammered on and on about how I hate knitting diaper covers. I was so excited to be free from that chore when I bought pocket diapers. I believe my exact words were, “I may be the Benedict Arnold of the Knitting World, but I think I can live with that. Meanwhile I am going to hand this stinky baby to The Man for him to change and I am going to knit a not-a-soaker knitting project.”

Wanna see my most recent finished project? (Ravelry page here)

See? I told you I am crazy!

In my defense, this is no ordinary pair of longies. Firstly, this yarn is not only DK (rather than worsted), but it is the lovely Sanguine Gryphon Traveler. Two hundred and eighty yards of pure heaven. The colors! The texture! The smell! I love this yarn!

Secondly, the baby needed some pants. One small fact that I forgot to put into the equation when I traded up diaper systems was that when one doesn’t knit cute soakers, one must buy pants, skirts, shorts and bloomers. I had forgotten that all those hand knit soakers were actually parts of the wardrobe as well. I am keenly feeling their absence. So, knitting pants for the baby was the most logical choice. (crazy, remember?)

Thirdly, this yarn wanted to be pants for V. Honestly! I cast on a sweater with it as soon as it came in the mail. I took it on vacation. I worked and worked. I also ripped and ripped. I frogged it back from almost complete four times before I got the hint. It did not want to be a sweater. Who am I to argue with such a lovely yarn? Give it what it wants! And it wanted to be pants.

I can say honestly that I enjoyed every stitch of this project, even the ones that got frogged repeatedly. The way the colors play across the strand of this magnificent yarn is dazzling. V will probably get more knit pants in the future…. when I can order a few more skeins of Traveler in some different colorways.

Just Call Me Benedict

I feel so guilty. Like a traitor to the knitting world. I have gone against my wooly good sense. I have thrown away years of lanolized conviction.

I switched to pocket diapers.

For years I used contour diapers with Snappi and wool soaker. For years I have sewn my own cloth diapers and dutifully knit covers. I have an extensive library of patterns for soakers, longies, and skirties. I have most of them memorized.

But, Ladies, I must confess that I am tired of knitting soakers. I am, dare I say it?, *sick* of knitting soakers. And it casts a pallor on everything that I knit. “This lace sure is fun, but I ought to be knitting another soaker…”

And then, a friend (and fellow knitter) gave me five pocket diapers. Just enough for a trip to town, or a few hours with a babysitter. And I was hooked. I mean, seriously hooked. All of the sudden I wasn’t the only one in the house who would change a diaper. It was liberating, I tell you.

I was so giddy with my new found freedom that I ordered a few more of the wonderful little things (a few or twenty five. Whatever).

The point is that now I can knit whatever I want! All that worsted weight yarn? It is totally freed up to be used on *whatever I want!*

I may be the Benedict Arnold of the Knitting World, but I think I can live with that. Meanwhile I am going to hand this stinky baby to The Man for him to change and I am going to knit a not-a-soaker knitting project.

Life is good.

Ruffle Bum

I have been promising my cousin that I would knit her a soaker for for her girlie since Februaury.
Well, I finally got it done.

That is the front.

The best part is in the back.

Cute, huh? I don’t have it on a baby because my baby is way to small for this puppy. I had so much fun with this soaker.

Three things about this knit:

1. The pattern is from the Sheepy Skirt Collection, but the ruffles are my own creativity at work. I had to figure out where to start and end the ruffle rows, and next time I will make them shorter. But, I did get them centered perfectly, so I am happy.

2. This is made with the same Madelintosh Tosh Merino that I made V’s most recent soakers with. While her soakers have faded in color, they have also felted just enough to make them totally awesome diaper covers while still retaining their softness and beauty, making this yarn my favorite soaker yarn to date. Too bad it is so costly… and I am a little bummed about the fading, but light pink is just as pretty as dark pink, so it’s all good.

3. I hope it fits. After knitting teeny, tiny, newborn sized soakers, this larger size (for an almost one year old) looks enormous! I am glad I finally got this done because if I waited much longer I would have been knitting toddler size longies instead!

Rookie Mistake

It was a bag of dirty diapers from our last outing. It was stinky and wet.

I dumped it unceremoniously into the washer, added what diapers were in the diaper pail, threw in my soap nuts (lovin’ those, by the way), and started the machine.

It wasn’t until the second rinse cycle ended and I started moving the clean diapers into the dryer that I knew of my error.

That was when I saw it. It used to look like this:

Now, after a trip through the wash, it looks like this:

Yup. That was my favorite shortie that I made out of my favorite yarn. (The brown one is to show how big said shortie used to be.)

Darn it. It now graces the body of The Dancing Queen’s doll.

So, as a consolation, I knit this new and better diaper cover.

Another Sheepy Skirt in (the rest of the) Madelinetosh Tosh Merino.

But I am still bummed about that shortie.

What a rookie mistake.

Fun Knitting Again

Last week, I realized that my reluctance to cast on more diaper covers was purely out of boredom.

So, I bought a new pattern.

This is from the Sheepy Skirt Collection in Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Twig and Posy.

I know that sounds nice and expensive, but it is exquisitely soft, I have enough yarn leftover to make another, and I am knitting from my stash and therefore have fewer and fewer options.

I am sure she loves it, she just needed a nap when I decided to stage a photo shoot.

Three things about this knit:

1. This pattern is fabulous and worth the money. While I am sure that I could have figured it out myself, I like all the options (24 pages of options, to be exact) and I will definitely be knitting many of these cute little skirties in the future.

2. This yarn is gorgeous. But it is a pig to crochet. I hate crochet anyways, but the crochet picot edge is so cute so I pressed through and conquered.

3. I may have to pull the leg cuffs out and make them bigger very soon. They are pretty snug right now.

Oh, and a fourth – I put little flowers on the ends of the i-cord drawstring. I am unreasonably proud of this.

It is almost as cute as the baby wearing it! Almost.