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Knitting a new wool soaker

namenotinuse | Posted in Knitting and Crochet on

Ok Ladies I really need your help. If anyone can help me? My mom was here last week to teach me how to Knit for the first time. Now that I got the Knit and Purl down.  I just was not taught how to read directions. My moms computer is down so she can’t help me. She has a web cam that she can show if I am stuck. I would  like a make Large in this cute Curly Wurly Soaker. I have to buy needles since I looks like I need to use circular knitting needles. Can someone please tell me what size I need since I am make a Large?

Here is the website:http://www.curlypurly.com/soaker.html


G A U G E   &   S I Z I N G

This pattern is based on 4.5-5 stitches/inch and 7 rows/inch. Example, Bluefaced Leicester, Blackberry Ridge Merino, Peace Fleece using 7s or 8s.

This soaker pattern has a lot of stretch and is designed to fit snugly, keeping it nice and trim under clothing. When you choose your size, you want your child to fit in the middle to end of the size range.

This pattern is written for 5 sizes. You may create your own sizing depending on the gauge. Keep in mind to cast on in multiples of 8.

NB (approximately 12″-16″ hip and 14″ rise)
SM (approximately 14″-18″ hip and 16″ rise)
MED (approximately 16″-22″ hip and 18″ rise)
LG (approximately 17″-24″ hip and 20″ rise)
XL (approximately 19″-25″ hip and 22″ rise).

A    N O T E    A B O U T    S H O R T    R O W S :

I like to incorporate some short rows into the pleated section of this soaker pattern. Placing them in only the upper part of the soaker keeps the body trim while adding a bit of room. You may use any method for short rows: wrapping, unwrapping, yarnovers, etc. This pattern will not teach you how to create them. If you like, you can simply skip them. the soaker will be a bit more snug. If you think you might need extra height, you can simply add to the rise. I like no-short row, high-rise soakers under pants, because the soaker waistband comes up over the pants waistband, and that keeps it from shifting around during playtime.

I will note the points at which I suggest adding short rows, but you can add them where ever you choose.

A    N O T E    A B O U T    C A S T    O N   &   S T I T C H E S    U S E D :

You can use any cast on you like, as long as it’s a nice, stretchy one.

Stitches used in this pattern are all common, and videos for each stitch (in both the English and Continental style of knitting) can be found at http://www.knittinghelp.com . If you don’t know something, look it up before deciding to simply substitute another technique. It’s worth it.

Knit (K)
Purl (P)
Knit two stitches together (K2tog)
Slip, Slip, Purl (SSP)
Kitchener graft

Sections are delimited with asterisks. When you are asked to “repeat” you are to repeat the section between asterisks. So “k5 *p1 k7* repeat” means knit 5 stitches, then purl 1 stitch, knit 7 stitches, repeating the p1k7 section ONLY.

T H E   P A T T E R N

CO 64,72,80,88,96 stitches on needles 4 sizes smaller than you would use to make gauge.

join and mark start of round.

Your start of round marker will be your center back. place hip markers as follows: (NOTE: continue knitting in k1p1 rib regardless of the placement of the markers.)

NB – k1p1 for 17 stitches, place marker. continue in pattern for 31 stitches, place marker, continue in pattern for 16 stitches to arrive at center back marker.

SM – k1p1 for 19 stitches, place marker. continue in pattern for 35 stitches, place marker, continue in pattern for 18 stitches to arrive at center back marker.

MED – k1p1 for 21 stitches, place marker. continue in pattern for 39 stitches, place marker, continue in pattern for 20 stitches to arrive at center back marker.

LG – k1p1 for 23 stitches, place marker. continue in pattern for 43 stitches, place marker, continue in pattern for 22 stitches to arrive at center back marker.

XL – k1p1 for 25 stitches, place marker. continue in pattern for 47 stitches, place marker, continue in pattern for 24 stitches to arrive at center back marker.

You can now remove the center back marker, leaving only the two hip markers. A simple glance towards your cast on tail will remind you where your start of round is. Remember that this tail is in the center of the back of the soaker.

continue to k1p1 around for 14 rows (2 inches) ignoring all markers.

If you want to switch color, do it here.

If you want to add short rows, add the first one here, after changing color, before changing needle size. Make a single short row from hip marker, back to hip marker and back again.

Switch needle sizes to 2 sizes below those needed to obtain gauge.

*k3 p1 k1 p1 k1 p1* for 7 rows (1 inch).

If you are adding short rows, add the second one here. Make a single short row from hip marker, back to hip marker and back again.

k5 *p1 k7* repeat until 2 stitches remain before center marker. k2. repeat around for 7 rows (1 inch).

If you are adding short rows, add the third one here. Make a single short row from hip marker, back to hip marker and back again.

change to needles used to obtain gauge. continue knitting in the round until entire soaker measures 5″, 5.5″, 6″, 6.5″, 6.5″ from CO edge. (If using short rows, make sure these measurements are made in the FRONT of the soaker, not the side with the short rows).

Knit from start of round to first marker (right hip). BO 5 stitches. Knit to 5 stitches before hip marker (left hip), BO 5 stitches.

Knit across, k2tog last 2 stitches. Turn and purl until 2 stitches remain. SSP remaining 2 stitches. continue until 18, 18, 20, 20, 20 stitches remain (4.25-4.5 inches). leave stitches live on needle, snip the yarn, and return to stitches between the BO sections (front of soaker).

join new yarn and knit across until 2 stitches remain. k2tog. turn work, purl to final two, SSP until 18, 18, 20, 20, 20 stitches remain.

measure leg opening, and continue in stockinette without decreasing until leg opening measures 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 inches.

Graft seam.

pick up stitches around leg opening for cuffs. I prefer a 1 inch 1×1 ribbed cuff using smaller needles (for example the same needles i used for the 1×1 section of the waistband), but a rolled cuff works as well. Really, you can do whatever you like for the cuffs.

Block your soaker and have a fashion show.



Davina Swan
Martha Link
Cat Kahn


Ewe Betcha
Mosaic Moon
Knit Witz Baby
Moss Feet Knits
Cheeky Knits
Dana- The Cushie Tushie
Beemer Knits
Wooly Wonders By Nada
Dandelion Dreamers
Whimsical Fairies
Julie – The Cushie Tushie


F I N A L    W O R D S

Edited 2/2/2009 3:25 pm ET by namenotinuse


  1. GailAnn | | #1

    Guage is kind of a personal thing.

    Buy your wool.  Knit a sample with size 7 needles and another sample with size 8 needles.  You are trying to achieve 5 - 5 1/2 stitches and 7 rows per inch.  So measure your samples and see which one is closest.  It IS possible that neither 7s nor 8s are correct for YOU. 

    No one else in the world knits exactly like you do or I do.

    If you type a knitting question into the Google search engine, such as "In knitting what is SSK?"  Often times a video will appear.


    1. namenotinuse | | #2

      but it says in the begining of the directions to knit 4 size smaller???

      T H E   P A T T E R N

      CO 64,72,80,88,96 stitches on needles 4 sizes smaller than you would use to make gauge.

      join and mark start of round.


      I should make myself clearer. I know how to do the stitches that are require but it looks confusing such as the one above. i well aware i am suppose do 96 stitches for large but stitches on needles 4 sizes smaller ??? doesn't make since. Do I get a needle that stitches 4 size smaller than in the next round use my 7 or 8 size?

      1. GailAnn | | #3

        As I understand it you cast on with needles 4 sizes smaller than the needles used to make your guage sample.  So if a size 7 meets the need of the correct guage, you will begin your cast on with a size 3 needle.

        I'm thinking this is to make the ribbing a bit snuger, perhaps stretchier arround the waist. 

        Futher down in the pattern it says to switch to needles 2 sized smaller than needed to make guage.  Finally toward the end, the pattern says to switch needles one more time, this time to the size that is needed to make guage.

        Thus if you knitted to guage with a size 7, you would also need to buy a set of 3s and 5s.  Begin with the 3's, progress to the 5's and then to the 7's.

        I enjoy reading knitting patterns, especially old ones from the 1920s, 30s, and 40s.  I'll take them to bed and read them like any other book.

        It is always a prudent practice to read through an entire knitting pattern prior to beginning your project.  Gail

        Edited 2/2/2009 3:53 pm ET by GailAnn

        1. namenotinuse | | #4

          Thank You so much for your time. One more thing before I go looking for them are they all three circular knitting needles or regular ones? I have 10  that my mom bought so I can practice. I will be asking more question when I get stuck if you don't mind helping. Again Thank You!!!!

          1. starzoe | | #5

            I couldn't see where the length of the circular is mentioned. Maybe I missed it, but it is critical. If you use one too long you will stretch the stitches or not be able to knit in the round as the points won't meet. A circular that is too short may not allow you to get all the stitches on.For a Large you will cast on 88 stitches instead of the higher number. Large is the fourth largest size, so you will count from xx (xx, xx, xx, xx)- - four figures counting the first one.For a first project in knitting, this is truly a challenging pattern for you. Some of the instructions are rather vague for a newcomer to knitting and this pattern is for knitters with quite a bit of experience.Unless you are using the yarn called for you may have problems finding a yarn that will work to gauge. As pointed out to you, gauge is what the tester of the pattern used, but it may not be yours as you may knit looser, tighter and buy a lot of needles to find your personal gauge for this yarn - or any yarn you might want to use.I don't like to discourage new knitters, but this pattern is pretty complicated and I wouldn't like to see you get discouraged right at the beginning of learning a new skill.

            Edited 2/2/2009 6:48 pm ET by starzoe

          2. namenotinuse | | #6

            I totally understand. But I have crochet for years and have made soakers that are crochet and really like the look of this pattern and thought I can make one knitted since I know the process to making a wool soaker crochet that is.

        2. katina | | #7

          Hey GailAnn - good to know I'm not the only one reading the old patterns.  "Recipes" they're called in some of my really old stuff.  So little information is given, particularly in the pre-1900s ones; love the engravings.  And as for some of those Victorian household items...!

          Enjoy yours - Katina

          1. GailAnn | | #8

            Thank you. 

            You may be interested in a little project I've been working on..........

            Some of the old knitting patterns are so beautiful and would be wearable today IF they weren't so small in size.  I've tried lots of different methods to enlarge the patterns.  Some methods did work, but the "Look" of the fine knitting with quality yarn seemed lost.

            Years and years of failure after failure.

            I'm not finished with it yet, but so far so good.  I decided I was about 30% - 35% Larger than the person for whom the garment was intended.  So I've enlarged all of the HORIZONTAL stitch counts by 33%.  Vertical row count is a little more challenging, because I'm not 33% taller than anyone!!!  It seems to be measure and fuss ---  fuss and measure.  Like I said, so far so good.

            Life is a journey.  Gail

          2. starzoe | | #9

            Knitters' graph paper can be printed off the internet free. Make sure it is for knitting, and you can print off any gauge you want that matches your swatch.Then, it is relatively easy to make a knitting pattern to fit you. Using the graph paper and your measurements, draw a schematic and knit from that.

          3. GailAnn | | #10

            I'll certainly give that a try.  Gail

          4. sewchris703 | | #11

            It's not just that the people were smaller, it's that the foundation garments that women wore then made them smaller. So as you resize the patterns to fit you, you will need to take that into consideration as well.Chris

  2. sewchris703 | | #12

    Try making this soaker first: http://withatangledskein.blogspot.com/2007/11/amys-flat-knit-wool-soaker-pattern.html Another good one to start with is this one: http://www.freevintageknitting.com/baby/fancy-pants-baby-pattern.html Both of these patterns are free. My dd knitted both of these for my granddaughter.


    1. namenotinuse | | #13

      thank you

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