Wednesday, April 19, 2006

for Podgy (some baby knitting suggestions)

Podgy wrote:

I know about a bazillion pregnant women, and it's getting too warm for the coming babies to wear the bazillion baby hats I've knitted. D'oh! Any chance you'd be willing to share the soaker pant pattern?
First of all, don't discount hats! I've knitted tons of them out of nice cotton (I love Blue Sky yarns) and those will be useful all summer. Babies tend toward scalp sunburns without hats! I use the pattern from Last Minute Knitted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson. There is also a really cute pattern at Knitty that I haven't tried, but I think Jess might have.

As for soakers, I haven't found a great pattern yet. I adapted this one (scroll down) to size it for a newborn - about two-thirds sized, stitch-wise. I will let you know if I did so correctly in approximately five weeks. I am trying a much looser adaptation, knit in the round, as well, because sewing up the seams was a pain in the butt. I may try this or parts of it later or as a guide when I get down to the crotch/legs of my current experiment.

As long as you use 100% wool (not superwash!) any little pants recipe will work. Soakers do not have to be fitted and can have long legs or no legs or anything in between. Obviously for summer long wool pants may not be so very appealing, but I wouldn't poo-poo (pun!) them altogether.

I haven't found any consistent information on whether the soakers need to be lanolized. I think probably not, as the whole idea is that there is some natural lanolin in wool yarn, but many people swear by it. Some patterns call for partially felting the pants. This also seems unnecessary but I am planning to experiment with both at some point.

Lots of other knitters read this - does anyone have soaker patterns or advice to share?