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My soaker pattern

Wool Diaper Cover (Soaker) to knit [and crochet! (see edit of 5/31/07 below)] in the round

Size Hip over diaper
Newborn aprox 12"
Small (0-6 months) aprox 14"
Medium (6-12 months) aprox 16"
Large (12-24 months) aprox 18"
Toddler aprox 20"

Yarn needed: worsted weight, at least 75% wool
Gauge: 5 sts to the inch
Needles: 16" circulars (or a set of double points) in size to give you the above gauge

Instructions given for newborn [small, medium, larger, toddler]

- Cast on 56 [72, 80, 88, 96] sts. Join for knitting in the round.
- Work in k2, p2 ribbing for 4 [5, 5, 6, 6] rows.
- Eyelet row for all sizes: (k2, yarn over, p2tog) repeat around.
- Continue in k2, p2 ribbing for another 4 [5, 5, 6, 6] rows.
- Work in stocking or garter st for 3.5" [4", 4", 4", 4"].
- Place 12 [16, 17, 19, 21] sts on a stitch holder.
- You will now be working back and forth on the remaining 44 [56, 63, 69, 75] sts.
- Dec 1 st at the beginning and end of every other row until 12 [16, 17, 19, 21] sts remain.
- Weave these sts together with the ones you placed on the holder.

Finishing touches:
- Knit an icord tie and thread through the eyelets.
- Add cuffs if you desire by picking up one st for every row along the leg opening. Stocking st cuff works great (it rolls nicely), or a ribbed cuff works too.

Use your ascii imagination...
This is what the soaker looks like before you weave the sts together.

|                |
|                |
|   _____   |
| /            \ |
|/              \|
 \              /
  \ _____ /

Here's what it roughly looks like after weaving the sts together.

|                |
|                |
|                |
| /            \ |


Please note that I have not tested all of the sizes, but according to my calculations, they should be pretty accurate. Please let me know if you have any problems with or suggestions for my pattern.

(Edited 5/31/2007: Soaker pattern update - CROCHET CONVERSION)
chalynm has kindly converted all of the knitting instructions for my pattern into crocheted versions. I have not personally tested these patterns, but I have every confidence that chalynm's attention to detail is superb!

General info about the crochet conversions.
Crochet Conversion - Size Newborn
Crochet Conversion - Size Small
Crochet Conversion - Size Medium
Crochet Conversion - Size Large
Crochet Conversion - Size Toddler

(Edited 4/25/2006: Soaker pattern update - argyle knitting charts)
I've created a couple of argyle knitting charts for the pattern. Now, everyone can have a preppy diaper cover! Well, as long as the small or large size soaker will work for you. The 12-st repeat argyle pattern will also work for the toddler size, but I didn't get a chance to chart it out.

The chart for the size small.

The chart changes for the size large.

(Edited 8/16/2004: Soaker pattern update - decreasing tips)


You can try placing your decreases one or two stitches away from the edge. It makes the decreases visible, but it can make for a smoother edge to pick up stitches from. I like to do my decreases this way. Another thing that might be helpful is to make your decreases symmetrical. If you ssk (slip, slip, knit) for the first decrease and k2tog (knit 2 together) for the second, your decreases will slant in the opposite directions. A little fussy, maybe; but it looks great.

Maybe I should explain in more detail...let's say you are knitting the newborn soaker and have 44 stitches on your needle at the point you are ready to start the decreases. On the first decrease row you would do the following:

k1, ssk, k38, k2tog, k1

You basically have a "cushion" of one knitted stitch on either side of your decrease. If you wanted a "cushion" of two stitches instead, your row would look like this:

k2, ssk, k36, k2tog, k2



Gorgeous Kool-Aid dyed soaker by wetlandsusie

Another cute soaker by wetlandsusie

A lovely soaker by hotchips

A great soaker proudly knitted by Iaso with a thick thin yarn.

Detail of the neat texture in above soaker by Iaso.

A super cute soaker made by Lynn with Kool-Aid dyed wool.

A lovely Kool-Aid dyed soaker by Wendy

Wendy's soaker in action...

More Kool-Aid dyed cuteness by Wendy (the flower embellishment is from Knitty.com)

This little beauty was made by Marcy Bell with a thick/thin yarn she spun and dyed herself!

Tabitha's wonderful soaker she made by knitting with 2 strands of yarn at once.

Wendy R. made this delightful soaker out of Crystal Palace Iceland wool.

felixmum knitted this adorable striped soaker as a gift.

An action shot of another great soaker by felixmum. Isn't the embroidery on the back just the cutest?!

This stunning blue soaker was knitted by Christina.

Mandy's adorable soaker.

Feel free to send more my way, and I'll happily host and post them.



( 219 comments — Leave a comment )
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Jan. 14th, 2004 06:11 pm (UTC)
thank you so much for posting that! i love those diaper covers!
Aug. 17th, 2004 09:35 am (UTC)
amount of yarn
Hi..I'm making my first soaker (size small) and am about to run out of yarn UGH!! lol!! How much yarn do you think it takes, approximately?

Re: amount of yarn - cyntergomes - Aug. 17th, 2004 09:41 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: amount of yarn - (Anonymous) - Aug. 17th, 2004 11:48 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - judithogany - Jul. 16th, 2008 03:39 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kimberlypolev - Jul. 16th, 2008 03:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 3rd, 2004 01:16 pm (UTC)
Your "My Soaker Pattern"
Hi there,

Just wanted to thank you for sharing your pattern and let you know that I found it very easy to work. So far I have only knit it once using the NB size; and it fit my daughter up to 10 lbs. I am now working on a small. Good Job!!!

Angeline :-)
Jul. 10th, 2004 01:24 pm (UTC)
Re: Your "My Soaker Pattern"
I'm so glad that the pattern worked out for you. It's great to hear "real life" stories.
Re: Your "My Soaker Pattern" - (Anonymous) - Jul. 13th, 2004 09:56 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Your "My Soaker Pattern" - cyntergomes - Jul. 13th, 2004 11:01 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Your "My Soaker Pattern" - angelovernh - Sep. 11th, 2006 06:39 am (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 14th, 2004 02:42 pm (UTC)
new grandma here merrily knitting soakers for handsome baby grandboy.....how many rows do you make cuffs? oceanlaughter
Jul. 14th, 2004 02:51 pm (UTC)
Re: cuffs
I just made the cuffs long enough to start to roll. I don't remember off hand how many rows that was. My guess is about 6-8 rows.
Re: cuffs - (Anonymous) - Jul. 14th, 2004 03:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 15th, 2004 01:17 pm (UTC)
icord tie
okay..one more silly question...what is knit an icord tie???? grandma's almost done...rowan will soon have his first pair of soakers
Jul. 15th, 2004 01:38 pm (UTC)
Re: icord tie
Icord is a way to make a cord or tie in knitting. It's like spool knitting, but without a spool; you knit it on two double pointed needles. Here's a great little animation that shows you how to do it. Here's another site that describes icord.
Sep. 3rd, 2004 02:51 pm (UTC)
oh thanks so much tata!

Oct. 29th, 2004 09:06 am (UTC)
soaker pants or longie pattern
I just love your soaker pattern that is knitted in the round. Do you have a pattern or know where to get one (preferably free) to knit the long soaker pants (longies or leggings) in the round as well. Your directions are great. Thanks:)
Nov. 1st, 2004 06:21 am (UTC)
Re: soaker pants or longie pattern
My favorite in-the-round longies knitting pattern is by my knitting hero, Elizabeth Zimmermann, and is from her book titled "Knitter's Almanac." Below is a picture of a pair that I made. The waistline might look a little small, but it is VERY stretchy with lots of growing room...and the roomy butt has lots of diaper-bottom room. It's not free, but maybe you could find the book at your local library. Unfortunately, I don't know of any free patterns that I like as well as this one.

Re: soaker pants or longie pattern - (Anonymous) - Nov. 2nd, 2004 05:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
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Re: soaker pants or longie pattern - cyntergomes - Dec. 21st, 2004 01:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
Re: soaker pants or longie pattern - cyntergomes - Dec. 24th, 2004 04:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
Re: soaker pants or longie pattern - cyntergomes - May. 9th, 2005 07:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
Re: soaker pants or longie pattern - cyntergomes - May. 9th, 2005 08:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: soaker pants or longie pattern - morlando27 - Aug. 15th, 2005 07:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: soaker pants or longie pattern - cyntergomes - Aug. 15th, 2005 07:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: soaker pants or longie pattern - morlando27 - Aug. 16th, 2005 11:24 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: soaker pants or longie pattern - jedierika - Jan. 5th, 2006 05:04 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: soaker pants or longie pattern - cyntergomes - Jan. 5th, 2006 05:11 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: soaker pants or longie pattern - jedierika - Jan. 5th, 2006 02:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: soaker pants or longie pattern - cyntergomes - Jan. 5th, 2006 02:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: soaker pants or longie pattern - jedierika - Jan. 5th, 2006 04:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 16th, 2005 01:24 pm (UTC)
Re: Soaker Pattern Room in the Rear?
The photos above by wetlandsusie show the cover over a cloth diaper, and she didn't add short rows. Stocking stitch is pretty stretchy, and the placement of the leg holes in the front allows for lots of backside room. But if you feel like experimenting, sure, add some short rows...it couldn't hurt!
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 25th, 2005 12:51 am (UTC)
Re: beautiful
My email address is cyntergomes(at)livejournal(dot)com

I can't wait to see the picture! I'll add it to this post, if you like. Let me know if that's fine with you.
Mar. 31st, 2005 10:52 am (UTC)
I found your pattern and really love it! My question is this if I knit them up may I sell them using your pattern? I made a few small changes here and there mostly because I can't leave anything alone! I know realistically I will only knit up 2-3 a month ( I have 3 under 6), but I didn't want to use your pattern without permission. Thanks,
Kathy Taylor
Mar. 31st, 2005 03:53 pm (UTC)
Re: pattern
Hi Kathy. No, I don't mind if you make and sell a few covers using this pattern. Thank you so much for asking. Good luck in your knitting endeavor! (And if you get a chance, send along pictures...I'd love to see your versions of the soaker.)
Re: pattern - zjandosmom - Mar. 31st, 2005 05:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: pattern - dadateacher - Apr. 23rd, 2005 11:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: pattern - cyntergomes - Apr. 24th, 2005 09:44 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: pattern - tigrrgrr - Aug. 3rd, 2005 09:00 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: pattern - cyntergomes - Aug. 3rd, 2005 12:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: pattern - bouncingsolo - Oct. 8th, 2006 07:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: pattern - cyntergomes - Oct. 9th, 2006 04:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: pattern - bouncingsolo - Oct. 10th, 2006 12:33 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: pattern - lunawatcher - Jan. 3rd, 2006 07:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: pattern - cyntergomes - Jan. 3rd, 2006 07:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: pattern - sugarpoisonappl - Mar. 3rd, 2006 08:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: pattern - cyntergomes - Mar. 3rd, 2006 09:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: pattern - sugarpoisonappl - Mar. 3rd, 2006 11:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: pattern - justsurvive - Apr. 24th, 2007 08:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: pattern - cyntergomes - Apr. 24th, 2007 08:58 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: pattern - justsurvive - Apr. 24th, 2007 09:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: pattern - cyntergomes - Apr. 24th, 2007 09:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: pattern - cocosmommy - Jun. 6th, 2007 12:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: pattern - cyntergomes - Jun. 6th, 2007 01:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: pattern - flynd - Aug. 24th, 2007 05:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: pattern - emkayess - Jul. 23rd, 2008 06:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: pattern - cyntergomes - Jul. 23rd, 2008 06:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 1st, 2005 03:55 am (UTC)
Great Pattern
What a fun pattern! I used the toddler sizing for my soaker and it fits my 17 month old really well. Have you ever considered adding a gusset?
Jun. 2nd, 2005 01:15 am (UTC)
Re: Great Pattern
I'm so glad that you like the pattern. I have thought about gussets...I've made a prototype even, but I haven't gotten around to drafting the pattern in multiple sizes. I hope to one day, but the gusset and button version was much more complicated than the pattern above...and will take more time than I have at the moment. I will definitely post the pattern when I finally get around to it, though. I promise!
Jun. 17th, 2005 07:35 pm (UTC)
knitting in the round
I've just finished (all but leg cuffs and cord) this soaker as my first real knitting project. Thanks for the great directions. However, I was wondering how you get a nice stocking stitch in the round. I alternated rows of knit and perl, which my knitting book shows as making a stocking stitch when going back and forth on two needles. In the round, this ended up doing a garter-looking stitch. I'm happy with how it turned out but wanted to try another stitch-look for my next attempt. Also, this being my first knit wool soaker, do they work better over cloth prefolds or fitteds? Thanks!
Jun. 17th, 2005 08:43 pm (UTC)
Re: knitting in the round
For your first question:
To achieve stocking stitch when you are knitting in the round, you should knit every row. No purling required! That's why I love knitting in the round.

For your second question:
cloth prefolds or fitteds? Well, unfortunately, I'm not going to be of much help on that one other than to remark that wool soakers have been around for much longer than fitted cloth diapers...so it seems to me that they'd work equally as well with both.
Cute pattern! - jodskiinca - Jul. 7th, 2005 08:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Cute pattern! - cyntergomes - Jul. 8th, 2005 09:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: knitting in the round - hotchips - Jul. 7th, 2005 12:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 9th, 2005 03:37 am (UTC)
I'm stuck!
I'm somewhat of a novice, so please excuse me if this is a dumb question. lol. I've knitted your soaker pattern so far, but have added short rows in the back for my son's fitted diapers. I got to the front and I've knitted 19 stitches onto a dpn (my stitch holder).

Now, how do I knit back and forth with the circulars when one end of the circs is on one side of my dpn with the 19 stitches and the other end of the circ is on the other end of the dpn? Did I do this wrong?

The way I'm looking at it, if I bring the circulars together and knit, I won't have a flat, back flap to fold up and weave together with the 19 stitches on my dpn. I'll have a big tube!


Jul. 9th, 2005 03:44 am (UTC)
Re: I'm stuck!
You will bring the circular needle together to knit, but instead of knitting in-the-round like the first portion of the soaker, you will knit back and forth like you would with the longer rigid needles. (You won't get a tube unless you join the stitches and continue in-the-round.) I don't know if that answers your question or not...let me know if you are still confused.
Jul. 11th, 2005 01:58 pm (UTC)
Leg cuffs

Thank you for your answer to my previous question. Before starting the back and forth knitting, I didn't see how it could work. I should have just followed your directions before asking the question!

Anyways, I finished and have added a leg cuff to one of the legs so far. The only problem is that it is too tight on my son's leg now. Before the cuff, it was perfect. Now, I'm wondering if it's because I used a smaller dpn to do the cuff. I used a size 6 circular for the body and a size 5dpn for the cuff. For some reason, my cast off edge is really tight and doesn't stretch. Do you have any idea if I can loosen that? I hate to have to rip the whole thing out to reknit another cuff. :( Maybe I'll do the 2nd cuff with a bigger needle (I don't have a 6 dpn, but I have a size 7).

Thanks for any help.

Jul. 11th, 2005 03:15 pm (UTC)
Re: Leg cuffs
Is it just the cast-off edge that is too tight on your cuff? If it is, maybe you should try to cast-off more loosely (either doing the last row with the larger needles or just being mindful that you keep your yarn very loose that last row), but, unfortunately, you'll have to rip it out to fix it. If just the cast-off edge is too tight then you should be able to just redue the cast-off edge, but is the entire cuff is too tight I would suggest redoing the entire cuff. It won't take that long to redue, and you'll be much happier with the result...and your cuffs will match.
Re: Leg cuffs - jodskiinca - Jul. 11th, 2005 03:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Leg cuffs - belllaci - Jul. 21st, 2005 05:01 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Leg cuffs - cyntergomes - Jul. 23rd, 2005 01:08 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Leg cuffs/ruffle - carol_covt - Jun. 19th, 2008 12:43 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Leg cuffs/ruffle - cyntergomes - Jun. 19th, 2008 01:16 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jul. 18th, 2005 06:34 am (UTC)
cuff question
Thanks for posting this great pattern. This is the fourth one I've tried and I like this one the best. I'm all finished except for the cuffs and I'm not sure how those are done. Do I knit them separately and then sew them onto the soaker, or do I somehow knit them directly on the soaker? I'm sorry for asking such a lame question, but I'm new at this and I'm stumped. Thanks!
Jul. 18th, 2005 11:59 am (UTC)
Re: cuff question
It's not a lame question at all. You would knit them in-the-round directly on the soaker. You do this by picking up stitches along the leg openings. Here's a great little guide on Knitty that explains "picking up stitches". Just remember to pick up one stitch for every row along the leg opening...otherwise the cuff might be too tight. Happy knitting!
Sep. 2nd, 2005 03:18 pm (UTC)
for this it says to use 16" circular needle but my mum doesent understand what size that is in the uk she says our needles dont go up to size 16 what do i use
Sep. 2nd, 2005 03:32 pm (UTC)
Re: help
The term 16" circular needle means a 16 inches long circular needle. That would be the same as a 40cm long circular needle. I haven't specified the exact needle size (only length) since everyone knits at a different gauge/tension. My guess is that you'd probably use something between a 3.50mm and 4.00mm 40cm long circular needle. But everyone knits slightly differently and you should use whatever needle will give you a gauge of 5 sts to the inch (which in metric terms equals 20 sts over 10cm).

Does that answer your question?
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