Woolly bum

Hurrah I’ve finally finished knitting a wool nappy soaker for Lily! I’m rather impressed, this is only my third knitted project and yet again I’ve learnt about 5 new techniques!

The knitting pattern is Vanilla available through Ravelry for $5, but it includes several different sizes and different wool thickness so you only need the one pattern. I also really like that there is absolutely no stitching together of pieces or seams. It does use a sewn bind off, but this was really neat and easy to do. In fact I wish I had known how to do it when I was knitting the booties as its quite a stretchy bind off and would have been perfect!

I used Zitron Nimbus Organic Merino Wool (off of ebay). The main body is ‘harlequin’ (shade 12) and the cuffs are in ‘olive’. It is an Aran weight wool, although I accidentally bought the 8ply needles, so when I make the newborn soaker from the remnants it may come out looking a little bit different!

My mum currently has a big batch of Treliske 8ply Organic Merino Wool in ‘Merle’, and is making the second “medium” sized soaker for Lily. I’m also planning to get another newborn soaker plus two longies (newborn and medium) out of that batch of wool.

I also bought Imze Vimze wool wash and lanolin wool cure. Once I have the second nappy soaker from my mum I am going to waterproof them and actually get going using them. There isn’t masses of room in this size though, so I may also need to make the next size up! The way I understand it, you just alternate the covers each change, and leave the used cover inside out just to air and get rid of any condensation. As long as they are clean (i.e no poop) then the covers only need washing every couple of weeks and you need to use the lanolin wool cure about once a month to keep up the waterproofing.

There is some info on wool nappy covers here, which talks about the added¬†absorbency¬†of wool, as well as its natural antibacterial properties. I would have gone for the polyester fleece, but you can get compression wicking with that material, which sort of defeats the point! I’m definitely keen to use these from birth with the new baby, as they are particularly suited to overnight use. I like that they are breathable as well, which will be a big plus as the waterproof wraps we currently use can get a little bit wiffy!

4 thoughts on “Woolly bum

  1. Heather
    November 22, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    So cute! I’m impressed that this is only your third project! I am planning to make a few of these for my little girl as well, so I am curious how it has worked out for you over the last several months. How has the Nimbus held up for you? Have the ribbed areas stretched out, or have they kept their shape pretty well? Any info you could share would be much appreciated!

    1. November 24, 2011 at 12:44 pm

      Hi Heather, I have definitely had a few problems with these. I think one of my main issues is that the combination of my genetics with my husband’s produces heavy wetters!! I started out using the covers with my eldest and they were ok, but she could do large wees after just an hour to the point that in places the nappy was rather wet. I felt like I was constantly having to check her bottom else if she sat down the wet would transfer from the cover to her clothes. Also I ended up changing the covers quite frequently and so they wouldn’t usually have time to try out properly before I was needing to change back again! With my youngest I made up 2 newborn sizes and for the first few days I used a muslin and one of those covers and it worked great. Then when he started having milk as opposed to colostrum feeds our genetics kicked in and he produced such heavy wees that he would wet through easily during a nap or overnight. I also ran out of free time to make enough covers.

      General pointers: Thicker wool is better at keeping the moisture in but takes longer to dry out when washed or in between wears, obviously the thinner wool will dry out more easily but won’t protect against a wet nappy so well. The ribbing easily loses it’s shape. I tried both knitting in knitters elastic as I went and just adding a few rows of slightly thicker cord elastic. The latter was more unsightly but helped retain shape much better. Having said that if you include the tie waist you wouldn’t have that problem! Also I found that as they were growing out of the cover, it stretches it more and makes it easier for wet to seep through!

      It might be that the longies are a better option and if I ever get a chance I would probably make a few pairs for my youngest and have him in them during the day as it will be easier for them to “breathe” and allow moisture to evaporate. Having said that it probably won’t make a difference as he wets so much that he will probably just leave damp spots where he is lying or sitting :)

      I didn’t get a chance to try but felting or making covers out of old wool jumpers (felted or not) might make for a tighter weave and improve water resistance.

      Hope that helps!

      1. Heather
        November 24, 2011 at 1:23 pm

        Great info. Thanks so much for taking the time to give such a thorough reply!


        1. November 24, 2011 at 1:24 pm

          No problem! Have fun knitting!

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