When researching cloth diapering I was quickly impressed by the benefits of wool. Warm in winter, cool in summer, it provides a breathable, absorbent yet waterproof layer over prefold and fitted diapers. I quickly went to purchase one, but was blown away by the price. It was more than four times the price of a PUL cover!
I took another look at the soaker. It was wool.
I knit. There was wool in my closet.
How hard could it be?
As it turns out, not very hard at all! Ravelry.com, a social network for knitters, has dozens of free and inexpensive patterns for wool soakers, longies, and diaper wraps. I picked one, and two days later had a pretty purple soaker! Using only intermediate knitting skills, I was able to nearly reproduce the expensive soakers I’d seen in online diaper shops.
After knitting the soaker I made a discovery. Cloth diapering is very popular among knitters. Both of my local cloth diapering friends were also members of my knitting club, and Ravelry’s cloth diapering parents forum has over 1100 active members. This isn’t surprising once you think about it. Both practices recognize that the easy way of doing things is not always the best way. Also, in recent years both have found a modern spin, and a lot of enjoyment, on the thing that our grandmothers did as chores. We both even call our collections of raw materials a ‘stash’!
Encouraged by my success, I tried my hand at even more diaper related crafts. Felted wool diaper wraps were slightly more challenging because they involved dragging out the sewing machine, but boy were they cute! As long as that sewing machine was out, why not make some quilted changing pads? Wool dryer balls were a snap, no crafting skills were needed at all.
As fun as all the crafting was, I was still nervous to try out the soaker on my daughter. What if it leaked? However, our previously foolproof method of a cover over her kissaluvs cotton/hemp fitted diaper had recently started leaking anyway. What did I have to lose? I lanolized the soaker, and put it on over her overnight fitted diaper. It worked! Not only was she dry in the morning, but the slight rash we had been battling for days was completely gone! It won’t be long until another soaker makes its way onto my knitting needles.
Melissa Lindsey is a cloth diapering mama to 5 month old Evelyn and a life-long knitter. Full notes on all over her projects can be found under her Ravelry profile, workerbeeknitting.