Why I Choose to Use Cloth Diapers

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Monday, December 27, 2010

Baby Mittens: Knitting pattern

Now that Christmas is over and you probably find yourself with a little time to relax, it's a great time to cuddle up in a cozy chair and take up your knitting needles.  I have the perfect project for you--one that I completed in an afternoon while dividing my attention with my toddler.

I decided I didn't like the mittens Bunny had, so what better to do with a free afternoon than to make her some mittens that I do like, so I came up with this pattern.  I've never really written a pattern down before so bear with me.

Materials Needed:
Worsted weight yarn--I used about 1/4 of a ball of Paton's wool
Size 5 or 6 double pointed needles
Tapestry needle

This pattern is for my 15 month old and leaves plenty of room to grow while still fitting her snugly.  If you use wool, remember that it will relax a bit over time.

1.  Cast on 24 stitches (or some number divisible by four based on the measurement of your baby's wrist)

2.  Knit 2, purl 2 for ten rows (you can do less if you want, but I wanted a nice, thick cuff to make sure Bunny's little wrists are well covered) 

3. Knit (stockinette stitch) in the round for 5-6 rows or 1/2 inch (the distance from your baby's wrist to the bottom of his/her thumb.

4. Create the thumb hole: Split your circular stitch and knit back and forth for 4 rows alternating with a row of purl and a row of knit.  If you need to make the thumb opening larger, you can add rows in increments of two, making sure to end with a knit row. 

5. Go back to knitting in the round using only knit stitch. This is when you will connect either side of your knitting that you split at #4.  There should be a nice hole in your mitten now where you will add a thumb later.  Continue knitting stockinette stitch for 2 1/2 inches, or the length from your baby's thumb to the top of his/her fingers. 

6.  Close the top of the mitten: knit 4, knit 2 together (4x)
                                                 knit 3, knit 2 together (4x)
                                                 knit 2, knit 2 together (4x)
                                                 knit 1, knit 2 together (4x)

7. After cutting a tail of at least 8 inches, use a tapestry needle to thread your yarn through these remaining 8 stitches.

8.  Add the thumb: Using two double pointed needles, start picking up stitches at the bottom of the thumb hole and gradually work your way up.  Picking up the stitches this way will make your thumb point upward rather than sticking straight out
Pick up 4 stitches at the base of the thumb hole.  Purl them.
At the end of that purled row pick up a 5th stitch.  Knit the row.
At the end of the knitted row, pick up a 6th stitch.  Purl the row.
At the end of the row pick up a 7th stitch.  Knit the row.  At the end of the row pick up an 8th stitch. 
Divide the 8 stitches you have onto two needles.
Use your remaining two double pointed needles to pick up four more stitches around the top of the thumb, completing the circle.
You will have picked up 12 stitches total around the thumb hole.
 *If the instructions for number 8 are too difficult, you can simply pick up 12 stitches around the thumb hole.  This will cause the thumb to stick straight out rather than to point upwards, but it will still be fully functional.  Aesthetically, I just prefer my thumbs to point upward. :-D

10.  Knit in the round for two rows.

11.Then knit 4, knit two together (2x).  You will have 10 stitches.

12.  Continue knitting (stockinette stitch) for 1/2-3/4 of an inch (or the length of the thumb)

13. knit 3, knit 2 together (2x)
      knit 2, knit 2 together (2x)

14.  After cutting a tail of at least 8 inches, use a tapestry needle to thread your yarn through these remaining 8 stitches.

15.  Weave in all your ends.

16. (Optional).  If your toddler is like mine and likes to take their mittens off, adding a string between both mittens so you can thread them through the arm of his/her coat is a great option.  I picked up 3 stitches on the bottom of the cuff at the back and knit an I-chord for about 28 inches.  Then, I attached the I-chord to the other mitten at the bottom of the cuff in the back.  An I-chord has some stretch to it so you don't want to knit it too long.  But you want it long enough that the mittens hang out about an inch or two from the coat sleeves.  I'm sorry, I do not have any pictures of this part of the process currently.

Now, enjoy watching your baby's hands keep toasty warm in his/her new mittens!  

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

 Today, oh glorious day, a Savior was born.

Today a tiny baby who is everlasting, issued forth from an exhausted, laboring woman.

Today the Great God of the universe came in a package tiny enough to fit in the crook of his adopted father's arm.

Today a mother and father looked into the face of God. Touched his tiny fingers and toes, kissed his perfect lips, snuggled His baby head into their shoulders.

Today God entrapped himself in baby flesh so He could walk with you and talk with you, and understand you intimately.

Today Love was breastfed. Truth was burped. Hope wore a diaper. Peace was rocked quietly against a soothing heartbeat. Life slept in the curve of a mother's body.

Today we were given the chance to live eternally in the humble setting of haystacks and manure.

Today, Bethlehem brought forth the greatest gift ever known to man, and didn't even know it.

I wrote this last year and posted it on my personal blog on Christmas Day. I like it so much that I decided to share it with you all this year. 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

More sentimental diapers

I've had this dress since I was 14 years old.  Back then, it was the 90s and sunflowers were THE THING and I was hooked on them.  Getting this dress was a BIG DEAL for me because we didn't have much money and it was actually stylish and also flattering (I wasn't breastfeeding at the time so my cups weren't running over).  I remember that I just felt so beautiful when wearing this dress back when I was a couple of sizes smaller. 

Today, It no longer fits well (it's slightly tighter--ahem) and it's not really my style anymore--or anyone's for that matter.  If I weren't making diapers for my daughter, this dress may have stayed in my closet for years and years.  But I gave in and cut it up for diapers because it is, in fact, a way to save the dress while still keeping it useful.  And so we have this:

My daughter now wears the dress I so adored when I was 14 years old.  Seriously.  Can it get any better than this?  I don't think so!

Monday, December 13, 2010

I'm so tired!

I think I was crazy when I decided to do a handmade Christmas AND still take a couple of custom orders.  Christmas is nearly here and I have only half of my presents made.  I'm going out of my mind JUST A LITTLE BIT! That, and the fact that my daughter has had hand foot and mouth disease, croup, an ear infection, and then a full body rash/reaction to either her vaccines or her antibiotics (and we're pretty sure we narrowed it down to the latter).  I'm so tired.  I want to just focus on Christ and what he did when he sacrificed his divinity to become human for us, but I'm too busy knitting stuffed frogs, sewing fleece hats, and mixing bath salts.  This is not what Christmas is about.  Next year, I'll go back to what I did last year and simply order all my gifts online.  It was wonderful! No Christmas shopping to dampen my spirits, and no wasting time away from my daughter bent over a sewing machine.  That, or I'm going to start making my Christmas gifts for next year in January!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas Card Portrait

We are non-traditional people, my husband and I, so when we saw this picture that my sister had taken of us where Bunny is laughing so hard, we had to choose it as our Christmas card picture despite the fact she's not looking at the camera and her pant leg is hiked halfway up her leg.  If you think this picture is different, you should see the wedding portrait I chose to frame:

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Bunny and the Leaves

As December starts and we're thick into the Christmas Season, it just may be time to catch up by posting some pictures of Bunny with the Autumn leaves.  We've discovered that leaves are her absolute FAVORITE thing.  When she sees one, she must stop and pick it up or we get a bit of a tantrum.  And it's really a pity that she only has two hands because there are so many more leaves than that and she wants them all. 

Angry Birds

So, this post is more for me than for you.  It's a tutorial on how to make those little birds from that iPhone app game, "Angry Birds" and since I have family members obsessed with that game, I'm thinking I might have to make some in the future.  For now, though, I'll post the link here for posterity until I have the time to come back and look at it.  Otherwise, I'll forget where it is!

Monday, December 6, 2010

I Couldn't Help Myself!

I loved my fabric ornaments so much that I decided they needed friends.  I made them seven birdy companions.  One, the first one, I kept for myself because it's cute and it has a couple of mistakes.  Five, made it successfully to my shop, and another one was a casualty of toddler curiosity and is sitting on my craft table waiting for repairs that may or may not come.  But here are the birds I did list.  I hope you like them! I certainly do!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Something Different

With the Holidays here and my need for a little extra cash these days, I figured it couldn't hurt to try to make something useful out of the T shirt scraps I have that are too small for diapers.  So I made these.  I listed all four of them for $12 which is cheaper than most other fabric ornaments I found on Etsy.   In my searches I found that they are generally going for at least $8 per ornament.  Except for the fact that one of them sort of looks like a hot dog which isn't what I was going for at all, I think these are adorable!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Upcycled Nightgown

Okay, so it's sort of weird looking, but I made Bunny this nightgown out of one of her Daddy's old T shirts.  I would have made her a diaper but I wanted to get all of Darth Vader and the "Vader was framed" and it wasn't possible with a diaper her size so a nightgown it was!

I'm not very good at the trim. I just tried to figure it out myself and I honestly just did it quickly rather than taking my time and doing it right. 

It's really funny to watch Bunny wander around the house in a floor length nightgown.  She's just so darling!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Night Time Leaking

Bunny's pocket diapers have rarely leaked at night-- I mean, rarely if ever!--and we only use doublers occasionally.  But it's been three or four nights now that her diapers have leaked massively, soaking her clothing from the waist down.  At first I thought it was just a fluke, but then it happened night after night and with all my favorite brands of pocket diapers--Bum Genius, Happy Heinys, and my all-time, hands down, favorite pocket, Fuzzi Bunz.  When my Fuzzi Bunz leaked, I knew that it was time to do something differently.

So, tonight, Bunny is in one of my T Shirt Fitteds with a wool cover and two doublers.  Yes.  It's excessive, I know, but I'd rather start heavy and pull back.  I mean, it's this, or wake her up 1-2 times a night to change her which means that once awake, she'll nurse so much that I'll have to eat a fourth meal around 3am to make up for the calories lost and the hunger pangs that will follow, not to mention the sleep that will evade me and threaten to overtake me as I attempt to teach my high schoolers each morning.  In any case, I can't imagine wool failing.  PUL is great and all, but it repels and creates a barrier and when the absorbency of the inner layers has reached it's limit, then the moisture has nowhere to go but out, unless the diaper happens to be perfectly sealed at the leg and waist openings, which none are.  But wool absorbs, and does so slowly, soaking up more than 1/3 of it's weight so that if the absorbent layers aren't enough, it should pick up the slack.  At most, it will be damp in the morning, but it certainly shouldn't make her clothing damp.

If fitteds are going to be a regular night time thing for Bunny, I think I'm going to have to start adding a stay dry layer to them--well, at least to Bunny's fitteds.  I don't like the idea of using fabrics that aren't upcycled though, so maybe I'll just sew some liners for night time.  We'll have to see.  Having a heavy wetter is new for me.  I find it ironic, though, that now that she's nursing less and sleeping more, she's peeing more.  It's not like we changed her diaper when we woke up half asleep in the middle of the night before this for me to nurse her.  Maybe she's just taking in more volume.

Fitteds with wool worked great! No more urine leaking out onto her clothes and no more nasty microfiber smell! And what's better, is that you can use a fitted underneath a fleece sleeper with no cover because fleece has many of the same water resistant properties of wool!  This means, of course, that I need to make even more fitted diapers for her.  I've really stopped using her pockets lately and I'd never had to store all 40+ of them in the basket before.  My poor changing table is overflowing with pockets gathering dust, and soon the fitteds basket will have the same problem as I keep finding sentimental old T shirts to make fitteds for Bunny.