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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Enjoying Every Inch

When I started spinning my own yarn, I discovered a whole new way to enjoy my hobby. This latest project is an excellent case in point.

I took this fiber –

spun it into this yarn –

wound it into this ball –

and then knit it into this pair of capris for The Fraggle –

Every single stitch was incredibly thrilling. I am so in love with this yarn! So, here are some more pictures!

Three things about this knit –

1. The yarn – I already gushed quite a bit, I know. So here are the details. The fiber came from Dear Husband and is a superfine merino dyed in the Norway Girl colorway. It has more brown that was intended, so I got a great deal on it. I spun it on my new wheel (my first yarn on the Elizabeth I). I learned how to chain ply on this yarn and am so thrilled with the results.

2. The pattern – I totally wing baby pants and soakers, now. If you are interested in the details, I used my Ravelry project page to remind myself what I was doing, so it is all here.

3. The plan – I made this a bit larger than I needed. My hope is that they will still fit come winter, and then I will add legs to it with snaps. (More on that in the months to come, I am sure).

I literally enjoyed every inch of this project twice – first in the spinning and then in the knitting. It was an incredibly satisfying spin/knit.

And I have three feet of yarn left over!

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.

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.

More Befitting Knitting…

… for a woman of my gestational status.

Newborn soakers loosely based on the Picky Pants pattern
from the top: mystery brown yarn (must have some alpaca in it); KnitPicks Merino Style Hawk; KnitPicks Merino Style Hollyberry; Miss Priss Mary Walker Phillips

See that last one? Recognize the lovely yarn?

I love it even more now that it did that beautiful stripey thing on this pair of soakers! 🙂 (I don’t know why the drawstring is off center except to say that I finished these very late last night…)

It really is a mystery why I put off knitting newborn soakers. They are easy, super-fast, instant gratification projects.

Now, I should be set as far as newborn goes, especially if this baby is a girl. Look what I saved from the Munchkin’s newborn days:

Now I guess I will start knitting smalls. Or finish another WIP. (Hey! I am down to five!) We shall see what mood hits me the next time I sit down to knit.

Diapering Dilemma

I have never had two kids in diapers at the same time. Well, that is mostly true. The Boy was potty trained two months before the Dancing Queen was born, but regressed for a month (a new baby and moving to the other side of the world within two months – what did I expect?). Even though my kids have been spaced fairly closely, two to three years apart, I am thankful that I have always been able to potty train the “old” baby before the “new” baby came along.

So, when I found out that baby number six was on it’s way, I took a long look at the Munchkin. Then I sighed deeply. I don’t feel like potty training. I don’t want to potty train. I don’t like to potty train.  That is when my old friend, Procrastination, showed up. I started saying things like, “Next month, we will start” and “Soon I will order that little potty” and “Gotta get you potty trained soon, Girlie”.

But, I haven’t lifted a finger. Granted, I have been busy, what with puking my guts out, Christmas time, out of town guests, and birthdays… but those are all really just excuses that good ole’ Procratination keeps providing for me.

You know, I think I could be okay with all of this if she wasn’t growing. You see, she grew out of all of her wool soakers while I was sick. The Man put her in disposables (yuck!) to make it easier on the big girls who were doing all the diaper changing. Then, when I started feeling better, none of her soakers fit – besides the fact that they were all shorties and it is now winter.

Have you ever knit toddler size longies? They are eternal. ETERNAL. Which is weird, because they are still small compared with the other things that I have been knitting. But, they are also boring, and necessary, and must be done quickly. Sigh.

So, last week, I sucked it up and started knitting them. Who am I kidding? I am not going to start potty training anytime soon. I hate (and cannot afford) disposables, and I will be so glad to have new longies to put on my little Girlie.

Boring to knit, perhaps, but way cute! These are heavily modified Picky Pants. (Ravelry Project page)

And then there are these:

Picky Pants agian, but not as modified. (Ravelry Project Page) These are big – three whole balls of Wool of the Andes, or 330 yards (having have always potty trained at this age, this is the first time I have knit toddler size longies, so I am flabbergasted at how much wool it took)!

Diapering dilemma solved – sort of.

For the first time, I will have two babies in diapers at the same time. I think that I am okay with that.

But, you might check back later to watch the total melt down… should be entertaining. 🙂

Diapering Chloe

When I got pregnant with Chloe, I thought to myself, “Self, you really should make new diapers for this new baby. Emma’s diapers are old and used.” And, I agreed with myself. I even bought fabric for the new diapers. And, if I remember right, I did make newborn sized diapers. But, I got busy and Emma’s diapers really weren’t all that bad, so I put it off. Until now. Well, until last week, when I was hanging out those old diapers and I realized that there were more holes than diapers!

So, yesterday, I began cutting, assembling and sewing a new set of diapers for Chloe. I was pleased to find that I had some already cut out, and further pleased to find that most of the fabric was girly.

I had lots of help. From the kids who “helped use up the scraps” making wash cloths for their dolls, to the lap warmer who watched intently as I sewed.

She was so cute, I couldn’t bear to put her down, even though she made it really hard to sew!

Some thoughts on this project –

There is a reason I have chosen knitting as my hobby. Sewing is loud, messy and tons of work. It is also a commitment. I turn into some crazy sewing fiend once I get it all set up. “I must sew everything that needs to be sewn right now while I have the machine out!” Where as, when knitting, I can set it down and live normally when ever it is required of me to do so.

I used to balk at the high prices of cloth diapers. When I was buying them I spent between $6 and $12 per diaper, depending on brand and style. That seemed to me to be a high price to pay for something that absorbs urine. However, once I started making my own, I totally changed my mind.

Tons of work aside, I still love making and using cloth diapers. I love the way they look on the changing table. I love hanging them on the line to dry. I love knitting the little covers with beautiful wool yarns.

And, I love putting them on my little girl. I feel like a good mom, like I am doing something right.