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Crochet Wool soakers

KraftyK | Posted in Knitting and Crochet on

Hello ladies,

 I need your help. I can crochet wool longie soakers but would like to put footies on them. Does anyone have step by step direction how to add footies for babies? I am going to start crocheting some new wool longies do I start the toe area or just crochet like I do for longies then add footis?I never crochet socks before. Can you please help me?


  1. starzoe | | #1

    For babies you really do not need actual feet shapes, have you thought of making the legs longer to allow for feet?

    1. KraftyK | | #2

      Well I live in area that has snow and would like to keep the baby warm with wool feeties because the darn socks keeps falling off.

      1. starzoe | | #3

        I guess I didn't make myself very clear - what I meant that as you are crocheting the "longies" (which I suppose are soakers with legs, why not continue down the legs until the work is long enough to cover the feet and then finish them off so that there is a seam to enclose the feet?

        1. KraftyK | | #4

          Ok Now I understand. You right since she isn't crawling or walking. That might work. Thanks for the tip.

  2. Teaf5 | | #5

    What is a "soaker"?

    1. KraftyK | | #6

      Wool soaker is replacement of rubber pants for prefolded diapers (cloth diapers) They are great and breathable so no diaper rashes.

      1. Teaf5 | | #12

        Ah, so that's how mothers coped before plastic and rubber!  I can't imagine using wool on my child out here in sunny California, though, even in winter....

        1. KraftyK | | #13

          I used to live in California and I won't use wool longies either but since I live in Missouri that has snow on the ground. They will be warmy and toasty on my baby.  You also need to remember wool breaths so much better than PUL diaper covers and wool in the warm month keeps the baby cool as well.

        2. sewchris703 | | #14

          We live in San Diego and my granddaughter wears wool soakers (both hand knit and woven) even during Santa Anas.  The felted longies made from a thrift store sweater is perfect during the night when it is cold and dry.  Wool can actually keep you cool in hot weather because it wicks sweat away from the body.


          1. Teaf5 | | #15

            In San Diego, that makes sense. Up in the Central Valley, where the summer average temperature is well above 100 degrees daily, we put away our wools in March and don't take them out again till November. We do, however, keep one wool sweater on hand in our air-conditioned offices, which are freezing!

          2. KraftyK | | #16

            I understand why you won't wear wool in the 100 degree weather but do you understand what wool soaker are. If you do you would put your child in them then the rubber pants that make them sweat and hot. So wool would be best for this situation.


          3. Teaf5 | | #18

            I never heard of wool soakers, but fortunately my children are two decades past needing them...

          4. sewchris703 | | #17

            We get our 100+ temperatures in the fall.  Wool soakers are perfect for Santa Ana weather.  No hot house effect that plastic pants give.  The wool breathes and allows for cooling. 


          5. Teaf5 | | #19

            Wool soakers don't leak?

          6. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #20

            The cotton diaper absorbs most of the wet, and the soaker prevents the diaper's wetness from soaking outward too quickly, and acts as an extra layer of absorbency that wicks the moisture away from the cotton.  Yes, they can leak, just as the rubber can when the diaper is really wet.  But because you notice any dampness sooner, you tend to change baby's bottom sooner, which is healthier.   Cathy

            Edited 11/7/2008 9:28 pm ET by ThreadKoe

          7. sewchris703 | | #21

            As ThreadKoe said, wool soakers don't leak if the baby is changed on time.  Babies (and toddlers) in diapers should be changed about every 2-3 hours.  Because disposibles have a gel in them that keeps the layer next to the baby dry longer, parents tend not to change them until the diaper are ready to explode.  If the gel gets onto the baby, the diaper has been worn way too long.  Any diaper should be changed every time the baby pees in it.


          8. Teaf5 | | #27

            I never used disposables, only cotton from a diaper service, but our ten-pounder went through doubled cotton ones every hour or so, so I couldn't imagine making or laundering enough soakers to keep up with him, especially with our water rationing.  But it's an interesting option.

            Edited 11/11/2008 1:16 pm by Teaf5

          9. sewchris703 | | #28

            Since the lanolin neutralizes the ammonia from the urine, soakers don't have to be changed as often as the diaper does.  They can go for up to a month before having to be "washed" and re-lanolized.  It all depends on how long the lanolin lasts.  And felted soakers last longer between lanolizing than the knited ones.   Lindsay has 9--7 soakers and 2 longies.  We are starting on newborn ones for Joy's 3rd due the end of January.


          10. KraftyK | | #22

            LIke everyone said it can leak as so does rubber pants but you have to lanolize the wool soaker with Lansinoh Lanolin or Wool Cure etc... that helps to water proof the wool soakers. Lanolin is a oil from a lamb/sheep. It is all natural.

          11. KharminJ | | #23

            Ooh - yes! Lanolin. Good stuff! It's what makes raw roving feel "icky", and is usually stripped off in processing the wool. Replacing it for water-resistance makes perfect sense.

            I have a very old bottle of Lanolin-Plus, that my mom used as conditioner for her hair - thirty or forty years ago.

            So, where does one acquire said "Lansinoh Lanolin or Wool Cure"? Is it a dime-store/drug-store or yarn-shop type item, or does one *have* to go online?Here we go - off learning and sharing all kinds of new stuff! Wahoo! What a great ride!

            Love and Hugs to you all! Kharmin

          12. KraftyK | | #24

            You can buy Lansinoh Lanolin  at Walmart,Target in the baby department that is used for breastfeeding moms. Woolcure you will have to buy online as well wool wash. I used Eucalan that you don't have to rinse. I am liking that. I am also trying out Kookoburra woolwash and not sure yet. I bought the kookoburra and woolcure used because one mom child was allergic to wool and sold me a couple wool wraps and the stuff. I wanted to try it out. Lansinoh Lanolin I like but it sometime hard to get to liquify like oil instead of little clumps.

          13. KharminJ | | #25

            Thanks for the quick answer! Target it is! Kharmin

          14. KraftyK | | #26

            Oh here what it looks like scroll to Lansinoh lanonlin and also click on the video (wash botton) how to lanolize the soaker as well.  Some moms put a squirt of the lanolin in a cup of cold water and heat in the microwave or stove. Another tip.


            Edited 11/10/2008 7:59 am ET by KraftyK

          15. thehat | | #29

            in a place where animal feed and fencing  or vets resides

          16. Josefly | | #31

            If lanolin makes the wool water-resistant, or water-proof, doesn't that make it non-absorbent? Seems like the urine in the diaper would simply run through the wool. No? How does this work.

          17. sewchris703 | | #33

            The lanolin reacts with the urine and converts it into water which just evaporates .  If the baby is in the diaper too long or wets a lot at one time, then the soaker will wick the urine to the outside when pressure it put on the soaker; i.e., when the baby is sitting down.   Another advantage of wool is that it keeps the body an even temperature, warm when it's cold and cool when it's hot.

            Edited to add:  My granddd wore her felted wool longies all night last night (8pm to 7am) without wicking through.  After changing, she still has it on until the temperature warms up.  Then she will go into soakers for the day.  We are in the middle of a Santa Ana--hot and dry.


            Edited 11/17/2008 10:53 am ET by sewchris703

          18. Josefly | | #35

            Wow, that is amazing. Disposable diapers were just becoming available when my children were in diapers, and they were expensive. I used cotton diapers and rubber (plastic I guess) pants, and didn't know anything about the wool soakers. There were inserts for the diapers that were supposed to wick the wetness away from the baby's skin, and those worked well, but I don't think they were wool - some kind of synthetic. Thanks for catching me up.

          19. sewchris703 | | #36

            I'm guessing then that you are close to my age.  Our girls were born in 78, 80, and 84.  We got married in 73.  I used prefold diapers and plastic pants for them.  I didn't make fitted diapers until our son was born in 98.  And I still used plastic pants for him.  I didn't mean to imply that I made the crochet soakers back then.  They were designed to go over plastic pants and were made out of acrylic yarn.  I hadn't heard of soakers back then.  It wasn't until my oldest dd, Joy, requested cloth diapers for her kids.  She found out about wool soakers.  I've since made some out of a felted wool sweater and wool fabric.  She is the knitter.  So far we haven't found a good wool yarn subsitute for the acrylic called for in the old patterns.   And we need to experiment with making them bigger and felting them down to fit.

            Edited to add:  disposibles are older than that.  I remember my mom not being impressed with them back when my brother was in diapers.  And he was  born in 1960.  I read an online history of disposibles and they were invented by a woman back in the 30s or 40s (if I remember right).


            Edited 11/18/2008 10:23 am ET by sewchris703

          20. Josefly | | #37

            Hi. I guess I just wasn't aware of the disposables, then. My son was born in '71, my daughter in '75. By the time my daughter came along, the disposables were in widespread use, but I preferred the cotton ones, except for times when we were traveling. I wish I'd known about the wool soakers. What a terrific thing - so much better for babies' skin.Thanks for filling me in!

          21. starzoe | | #38

            Oh how I wish that disposables were available in 1963. We were returning from Britain by ship and I spent a goodly part of the trip, in January, in high seas, dutifully washing terry cloth diapers in the bowels of the ship, throwing up through the whole thing as the ship rocked and rolled.

          22. sewchris703 | | #39

            Here's an online history of the disposable diaper.  Not the original one I read but similar.  http://www.disposablediaper.net/content.asp?


          23. Josefly | | #40

            A very interesting history. Thank you for the reference. Since I primarily used cloth diapers, and my exposure to disposables ended by 1978, I've been mostly unaware of the various technological improvements. I don't think my grandson ever saw a cloth diaper, but I didn't pay too much attention to the improvements in absorbency, fit, convenience, etc. on the occasions when I cared for him. If my memory serves, when I first used them in 1971, diaper pins were still required. This article, while written with an industrial bias, does generate thought about the economic and environmental consequences of almost total reliance on them - still not much in use in heavily populated countries like China and India.What a relief to realize there is a movement toward re-usable products.

          24. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #41

            Thank you for the link sewchris.  Most interesting!  Altho I was a cloth diaper mom in the late eighties, I did use some disposables towards the end with two little ones in diapers at the same time.  The ones that the the new moms use now are so different!  ( I still prefer the cloth myself, even if it is more work, tee hee)  Cathy

          25. sewchris703 | | #42

            Joy says that she doesn't wear paper underwear and sees no reason why her kids should.  I used disposibles for when Dylan was at daycare.  The provider would have accepted cloth but I didn't want the hassle of carting the wet/dirty diapers home at the end of the day.  At home and when we went out, he wore cloth.  When the girls were in diapers, the disposible ones were so heavily perfumed, it was awful.  If left outside, the perfume smell would attract bees.  And Erica had such sentitive skin, that I couldn't use anything that had additives to it on her. 


          26. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #43

            The perfumes they added to them was one reason I did not use them much.  The girls all had sensitive skin, and I am sensitive to the smell!  As if the diaper pail was not bad enough, tee hee.  I also disliked the thought of all that untreated human waste going to the dump.  I know that it is supposed to be rinsed in the toilet before disposal, but do you know anyone who really does it?  I don't.  Cathy

          27. Lilith1951 | | #44

            I agree with those of you using/have used cloth for diapering.  Back when I diapered my babies, cloth was a given if you were an at-home mom.  Mom's who worked and used day care were using disposables. (1972, 78 and 80)  I couldn't bare to use that crunchy paper on the babes unless we were traveling.  They were just not as soft..  And now....it makes my heart sick to think of all that non-biodegradeable stuff, not to mention....as said before....the human waste (ick) in the landfills. 

            When I see new moms not only diapering with this stuff, but then buying "diaper genies" that wrap yet another layer of plastic around the garbage (to contain the odor so your home doesn't stink) and spit it out like a long sausage, it makes me ill.  Then I'm told that a lot of day care facililties refuse to use cloth diapers "for hygenic reasons"...hah!  I hope to make or buy cloth diapers for my grandbabies when they arrive, but I sure their mom's aren't facing that kind of outlook if they are working moms.  Sheesh. 

            I never heard of "soakers" back in the 70's.  I would have had them for sure, since my one daughter had a lot of trouble with diaper rash/yeast infections due to the plastic pants worn over the cloth.  Of course, these days she's allergic to wool, so I don't know how she would have done with the wool either :(  My little tender girl.

          28. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #45

            I wish I had known about soakers then also!  I used to just double them up around the house, the thinner ones on the outside, and check and change often.  The light vinyl ones were a bit better than the rubber, but shred easily.  Man o man I did a lot of laundry.  Cathy

          29. Josefly | | #46

            Lilith, I had much the same experience as you. And, yes, as Cathy said, there was a lot of laundry to do. I'll bet I did at least a load a day, early on, with not just the diapers, but the water-proof pads on the bed, the sheets and other bedding. Thankfully, I didn't have to work while the kids were young. And I had forgotten, until you mentioned wool-allergy, that we were warned by pediatricians not to put wool on the babies for their first year; it was to prevent their developing allergies to wool. I wonder what the common wisdom is about that these days?

          30. sewchris703 | | #47

            Am I the only one who started out with enough diapers and baby clothes to last 5-7 days? Chris

          31. Josefly | | #48

            Actually, I had a wonderful diaper service (a gift) early on. And plenty of baby clothes, too, I thought, but with spit-ups and leak-throughs, etc., and bedding, it was easy to have a load of laundry every day or every other.

          32. sewchris703 | | #49

            It all depends on how big the appliances are and how many clothes are worn. And what kind of a spitter upper the baby is. I did 3 loads a week before kids (1 of coloreds, 1 of whites/sheets, and one of towels). When Joy was born, 2-3 more loads were added so you are right. But since I did laundry once a week in the laundry room at the apt, those 3 extra loads of laundry only took the same amount of time as I was doing before. Just more machines and quarters. And I did the diapers at my mil's so I could hang them out on her clothes line. While the diapers were drying, we ran errands, did grocery shopping, etc. So it never seemed like more laundry.Chris

          33. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #51

            Tee hee, I guess what I said left you with a bit of a misunderstanding.  Between the barn laundry, with the washrags that needed washing every day, the barn clothes that needed regular washing, plus diapers, plus regular laundry, I did laundry, at least 2 loads every day, one of which had to be hung out to dry.  I did have a dryer, but I only used it for the light and small stuff to save electricity.  In the winter, our old house was not well insulated at the time, and our washer water often froze, so I had to haul the water to fill the darn thing.  It took a lot of time to do laundry.  When I had 3 small ones, one training, and two in diapers, it was impossible to keep up without washing diapers daily just to keep up with the smell!  tee hee!  I would not have changed it for the world, it was an experience!  Cathy

          34. sewchris703 | | #52

            Ah, that does explain it. It sounds similar to what my mom went through with laundry in Iowa back when my sisters and I were in diapers. She had 3 in diapers (I was 10 months old when my twin sisters were born 2 months early) with the washing machine in the basement, no dryer. While they lived in town, my dad was in construction and came home filthy every evening. He headed straight down to the basement to change and shower. The clothes had to be hung in the basement during the winter.Chris

          35. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #53

            It sounds harder than it was when I read back over it, tee hee.  Life is and experience to be relished.  Cathy

          36. KraftyK | | #54

            I finally finished the footies wool soaker .Here's pictures and my model. I am so proud of myself.




            Edited 11/25/2008 1:27 pm ET by KraftyK

          37. sewchris703 | | #55

            Those are so cute. And I love the way the colors pooled.CHris

          38. KraftyK | | #56

            Thank You... It is a great color. I am happy with it.Just in time for the winter too.

          39. User avater
            rodezzy2 | | #57

            Wow, those are so wonderful.  You should check out crochetpatterncentral.com and add them to thier list.  I don't know how they post them, but I'm sure there is something on the site to instruct you how to do that. 

          40. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #58

            Those are soooo cute!  I love the colours.  You did really well.  Such a handsome model too.  Adorable smile.  Looks like he was not so hard to work with either, tee hee.  Cathy

          41. namenotinuse | | #59

            Thank You but he is a She. I know I know she looks exactly like her daddy.

          42. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #60

            OOOPS!  My most sincere apologies.  From the pic I assumed...  well, you know... assume, makes an #### out of u and me.  I am so sorry.  SHE has a beautiful smile.  And SHE looked like a beautiful and easy model to work with.  I hope we are to be honoured with more pics with crochet garments with this darling model in the future.  Cathy

          43. KraftyK | | #61

            I totally understand. It is always hard to tell sometimes. I have a matching hat as well. I have made shorties if you want to see those and recycled longies as well. Thanks again for your apologies.

          44. User avater
            ThreadKoe | | #62

            I ALWAYS want to see!  I love seeing what people have done!  It gets the creative juices flowing, and gets me working towards finishing my painfully slow UFOS!  Please do post more pics.  Cathy

          45. Josefly | | #63

            Just got around to seeing your photos. What a darling granddaughter, and cute, cuddly soaker(s?).

          46. KraftyK | | #50

            Ok Ladies I finished my footies wool soaker yesterday and she wore it to a church function. She looks so snuggly and warm. I took picture. I will try to download the picture on computer today. I am not feeling to well. Exhausted.

  3. sewchris703 | | #7

    Have you tried the library for old crochet books? I have several crochet pattern books from the 70s and 80s that have footed pants and catsuits that can be used as footed longies.


    1. KraftyK | | #8

      Thanks for tip. I already did that. My library is very small and only had to crochet books nothing to do with baby stuff.

      1. damascusannie | | #9

        Does your library belong to any sort of inter-library loan program? Here in Wisconsin, our local libraries all belong to a regional library system that allows us to go on-line and order books from any of the other libraries within the system. I can search by subject, author, title, etc...It effectively gives me access to much, much larger libraries. Right now, every library book in our house except one is from another library. In addition, our librarian can order books for us through WIS-CAT (Wisconsin Catalog) which covers all the libraries in the whole state and even libraries in other states.

        1. KraftyK | | #10

          Thank You for info. No they don't I was in shock when I heard that they don't that. You know I was looking in youtube.com and found a video how to make baby booties. I think I am going to do that but without added the lacing and such. I will let you know how it turns out. It probably take me a week or two to get it done. Since I have an infant and two older girls. Thank You so much for your help.

          1. damascusannie | | #11

            There's one library in our area that refuses to join the MORE system, but I think they are going to be forced into it by pressure by the town board which provides most of their funding. They have noticed that they are seeing fewer and fewer people every quarter and when they did a bit of asking around, they learned that folks were driving to other libraries so that they could order books and stuff through MORE. They've hinted to our librarian that they'd be interested in hiring her if she is looking for a change because she made such a big turn-around in our library in just five years. She took us from almost no patronage to one of the highest in the whole system in terms of the numbers of books that pass through, and now we have one full-time librarian and two part-time librarians on staff, a new library that's rapidly out-growing its space and a dozen special programs for kids and adults. She's a pistol and I sure hope that our town board does whatever it takes to keep her!

    2. GailAnn | | #32

      On e-bay almost every knitting and crocheting pattern book for babies and children published prior to 1950 will include patterns for soakers.  Usually pretty cheap, too. Gail

      1. sewchris703 | | #34

        I have some old booklets from the 70s that have soakers and pants in them.  The knit ones work great but some of the crochet patterns have too open a pattern to use as soakers.  Most of the ones I have are really designed to only cover the plastic pants.  But my dd and I are slowly adapting them to be used as soakers.


  4. KraftyK | | #30

    Hello parrot from Scotland(Pretty cool) I bet is beautiful there. I would love the pattern. Can you explain how to do them in different sizes such as nb,3-6 month,6-9 month and 12 month etc.... If possible.

    I have to let you know I did make one footies wool soakers but not finish because I ran out of yarn. I will post in a couple of weeks what it looks like soon as it done but I would love a pattern.


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