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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.



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.
Jul. 11th, 2005 03:22 pm (UTC)
Re: Leg cuffs
Yes, I think I'll redo it with the bigger needles. I didn't mean that I'd redo the 2nd one with bigger needles and leave the first one so they didn't match...lol.

I was going to redo the 2nd one to see how it worked and if it worked great, I'd redo the 1st one as well. If not, I was going to rip out the leg cuffs and forget about them (although I just LOVE the look of the leg cuffs and think they'll hold in the wetness better).

I'll let you know how it goes and will take a picture once I get my digital camera back from the repair shop. Thanks for your help!

Jul. 21st, 2005 05:01 am (UTC)
Re: Leg cuffs
I also just started this pattern, and it is only the second soaker I have made, the other one was a crocheted one. I love it, I'm just about to do the legs on mine. I think I *may* do the ribbed legs, though. I might be able to help with your leg bind off problem. I had the same problem with a pair of socks, and an experienced sock person (Sande Francis) told me to cast off like this:

***Bind off row- K 2, return both stitches to the left needle and K them together. *K the next stitch. Return both stitches from right needle to left needle and K them together.* Continue around.
Good luck!***

Oh, I also wanted to mention that I'm knitting this with handspun, hand dyed thick/thin yarn, so it has been extra fun to knit. It's turning out beautifully, and I will send pics when it is done, if you like. :-) Thanks so much for making this pattern available. I don't want to feel like I am taking advantage of you, but I really want to make a few of these up for a friend of mine who wants to buy them from me. Could I pay you a fee so that I can sell these and not feel bad? Thanks again!
Jul. 23rd, 2005 01:08 am (UTC)
Re: Leg cuffs
You are very welcome! I'm happy to share this pattern with others...at no charge. If you want to give something back to me, please send me pictures of your soakers. I love seeing what people create from this pattern.
Jun. 19th, 2008 12:43 am (UTC)
Re: Leg cuffs/ruffle
Has anyone ever done a ruffle on these soakers? Is so how did you do it? Carol
Jun. 19th, 2008 01:16 pm (UTC)
Re: Leg cuffs/ruffle
I haven't added a ruffle, but I'm sure it would be super cute! Maybe the ruffling edging from this Knitty pattern could be of ruffle-inspiration assistance.


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