Friday, September 07, 2007

everything old is new again

When I was pregnant with Daughter, I never even gave diapering a thought beyond "what brand should I buy?" I certainly didn't consider using cloth diapers. I thought it was impractical and outdated and weird. So I started out with disposables and happily chucked out hundreds of pounds of dipes and waste month after month. Then, after I'd been blogging for awhile, I started to understand that cloth diapering was alive and well and had, in fact, become big business because you can't find cloth diapers anywhere but online. There aren't even diaper services where I live anymore.

So I digested that info, and even switched to cloth dipes for Daughter when she was just over 2 and refusing to go on the potty (I thought sitting in a wet cloth dipe would make her want to go on the toilet instead...didn't work). But then I was super surprised again when I found out people are also looking for old-school wool soakers and longies. I had never even heard of them, though I always wondered what was up with the patterns in my 1940s and 1950s knitting books that looked like wee shorts and leggings. Aha! They are all soakers and longies!

When my buddy Karen asked if I'd make a pair for her baby boy, I figured I'd give them a shot.

Since most of the old patterns I have are written for now non-existent wools in very fine weights (8 sts./inch) and I wanted worsted weight, I used the pattern for denim pants in Last Minute Knitted Gifts instead. They came out really well in Patons Classic Merino (color: new denim).

I was also interested in playing around with a soaker design, so first I tried the free pattern available on the Ottobre website. These are made from scraps of Patons Classic Merino and knitted on size 8 needles. They came out quite small, because the pattern actually calls for unspun wool, but they could certainly be used for a young infant. Bear with me, the colors are weird (leaf green/royal purple) and I don't think garter stitch is ever very pretty. I was just experimenting.



They're supposed to have a ribbon or twill tape woven through the waist ribbing as a tie, but as these are only being worn by Daughter's teddy bear right now, I skipped that part.

Kinda fun - I'm going to keep experimenting.


Karen said...

The longies are, again, FABULOUS! I like that cute little soaker, too! I'm sure the teddy bear is staying comfortably cool and dry.

Pam said...

So fill me in girls - besides being absolutely adorable, are the soakers and longies to help absorb on top of the cloth diaper? Are they like an extra layer?

I'm totally ignorant on this subject, sorry!

April said...

LOVE these! You and Karen are IN-SPIR-ING meeeeeeeeee!!!! ;) (Well, and the autumn weather and cozy feeling helps, too, I'm sure...) Your creations are always wonderful!