Sunday, July 06, 2008

Peace, Dude!

So, having wanted to do cloth diapers since Huey was born, I finally asked on Freecycle last fall. My friend had some she gave me, and I finally sewed some early this year. If I had known I could sew them, I would have done so sooner; like just before Meg was born and I tried sewing slings and realized that indeed, I COULD sew, LOL. In many old knitting books are patterns for 'soakers' or panties to go over cloth diapers. Everything old is new again, and wool soakers are a hot ticket item in the cloth diaper world. Lucky for me, I can knit. Even luckier, I have knitting machines, and a local source for one of the most popular soaker wools, "Peace Fleece". I went out there the last week of school on the day Lucy had a full day field trip and picked up 3 skeins for the longies (wool pants worn over a cloth diaper) and a bunch of skeins to use with the Noro. And a few other skeins of stuff....

Just to try this out, I found some very similar yarn in my stash. Wound into skeins, decidedly itchy (but the burn test indicated some artificial content), it had no labels and sat unloved. I used every last inch, and had to seam with some matching Patons Classic Wool. Being that Meg is ummm....large and 'old' (in the cloth diaper world anyway), there aren't many patterns to chose from so I had to do some math, and dissect some other patterns. I used the LK150 and it went decently quick (for a trial pair, in the round by hand would have meant they could be tried on, and that would have saved time ripping out and re-knitting, but the knitting is SO fast by machine, LOL). The picture doesn't show it well, but the blue is a mottled, heathery blue. I tried them on her, and they pretty much fit, but the front waist is too baggy, so I will sew ribbon on as ties. Doing eyelets for a drawstring in the midst of the ribbed band is very time consuming on the machine. The legs are slightly flared, by increasing the tension number (to knit looser) every 5 rows, ending with a rolled cuff.

I actually did a test swatch of the Peace Fleece to get the correct gauge. Glad I did, although the row gauge ended up being off. Way off. I started at the top, the seam runs from center back to center front waist. So both pieces have bum shaping, and each piece is an entire leg. The difference between the swatch and the finished row gauge was about 1 row too few per inch. So, once I had knit both pieces (including converting all that ribbing), and seamed them together, THEN I got to find out they were much too short in the rise (the legs ended up being good!).
So, I unsewed down the seams a bit and I CUT the last row of ribbing (next to the stockinette section) and picked it out. I put it back on the machine, and worked upwards. Due to the increases that I had done originally after the ribbing, you can see little 'blips' but I don't mind. I think next time, I might start with an open cast on, and not do the ribbing. Then, once off the machine, do the ribbing upwards by hand, in the round. Or, I might do a hem with elastic, or a drawstring.
When I started the striping, I wasn't sure what I was going to do, but I wanted it to look like the grey was getting less, and the pink more. But after I did the first 2 rows of pink, then 4 rows of grey, I realized that I would be out of grey rows really quickly. So I did two rows of grey, and each pink section was one more row. Two more rows would have made it more noticeable, but from a distance you can see the effect.

So, I lanolized them yesterday and they had a beautiful two days to dry in the shady back deck. I got her ready for bed, but it was a little early, and I was pretty sure she was ready to poop. So, I just put a 'regular' cloth diaper on her (flannel fitted pocket), and went to get the camera. I came back up, and she was leaning on Lucy's bed (in the picture), with a very concentrated look on her face, a stench in the air, and she shouted "No, Go!". LOL. She looked just like she was having a contraction, LOL. I came back later and changed her, and put on a double stuffed velour pocket. Oh, so soft, LOL. Anything soft or knitted, she makes her blankie sign.

The ribbing is a little tight at the front to stay up at her waist, but they're much better than her regular pajama pants. I added 15 rows to the body, and 3 more rows to the ribbing, and they could still be higher (they will pull up to her belly button, but not stay there). I used 202grams after seaming and trimming the ends, so I could still make them a little bigger and use just two skeins (although I used 1 1/2 of the grey and 1/2 of the pink, so I have 117g left). It sells for $7.50 Cdn locally (plus tax), so for $15 (plus tax), I can get a nice pair of wool longies. Rob is a little not convinced, LOL, but hey.....I've been getting up and changing her disposable diaper EVERY night, and she's still usually got wet pajamas in the morning, so this can't be any worse. And in fact, last night, I forgot to put a diaper on her, and somehow, in the 45 minutes of pre-sleep activities, she never mentioned it!

3 comments: said...

They look great! I've knit a lot of pants and soakers on the knitting machine and I still knit extra for the rise and pull out as needed lol
Maybe you could try the elastic waistband on my website if you need a snugger waist.

smariek said...

Very interesting. I had no idea you had to lanolize them. Too funny about the, "No go!" cuz I remember something similar.

CatBookMom said...

Cute kidlet, and the stripes on the soakers turned out beautifully. I'll have to remember that the next time I do a hat - love the effect!