Ottobre Design has a great wool soaker pattern that is knit with roving. I loved the way it looks, but wanted to knit with worsted weight rather than roving. So I re-worked the pattern for worsted weight wool. I also made a few changes that make the pattern easier to knit and to give a little better fit over a cloth dipe. So I decided to call it Adaptation.



This soaker is knit flat and seamed. It is knit in garter stitch with a ribbed waist and leg cuffs (that can be left off). This pattern is easy enough for beginners. Plus, the garter stitch is stretchy enough (even without short rows) to allow this soaker to fit for a long time.


Written in 5 sizes:
Newborn~ 17" (43cm) hip, 13" (33 cm) rise
Small~ 19"(48 cm) hip, 14" (35.5 cm) rise
Med~ 21"(53cm) hip, 15" (38cm) rise
Lg~ 23.5" (59.5cm) hip, 18" (45.5cm) rise
X-Lg~ 26" (66cm) hip, 21" (53cm) rise


5 sts and 8 rows per inch in garter stitch


Worsted weight wool
US 5 knitting needles, or 2 sizes smaller than obtains gauge
US 7 knitting needles, or size to obtain gauge
US 7 double point needles, or size to obtain gauge
Tapestry or darning needle


Pattern Notes:
If you slip the first stitch of every row on the body, it makes seaming much less difficult. I also like to leave a long tail before my cast0on and after the bind-off for the main soaker. I then use these long ends to seam each side.


Video for mattress stitch and picking up stitches:

Working on double point needles:

If you like a higher rise, simply knit the front and back of body longer than the pattern calls for. The front and the back should end up the same length.


A note about yardage: Just to give you a rough idea on yarn amounts for your
chosen size, I used approximately 133 yards for size small and 210 yards for size
large. I didn’t keep track when I knitted the other sizes.


Using US 5 needle, CO 53 (57, 65 ,71, 77).

Work k1p1 ribbing for 2 (2, 2, 2.5, 3) inches.

Back of Body
Change to US 7 needle. Knit every row until soaker measures 5, (5.5, 6 ,7, 8) inches from cast on edge.

If you would like a longer or shorter rise, this is the place to make adjustments. Remember to make the same adjustment to the front of the body.

Decrease Row: k2tog, k2tog, k to last 4 sts, k2tog, k2tog
Repeat this row until 17 (17, 17, 19, 21) sts remain.

Work even in garter stitch for 1.25, (1.25, 1.5 , 2, 2.5) inches.

Begin increases:
Rows 1-3: kf&b;, k to last st, kf&b; (23, 25, 27 sts)

For Newborn size, skip to "Final increases."

Row 4: kf&b;, kf&b;, k to last 2 sts, kf&b;, kf&b;

Repeat Row 4 until you have 27 (27, 33, 39) sts.

Final Increases:
For Newborn and Small:
Next Row: kf&b;, kf&b;, k to last 2 sts, kf&b;, kf&b;, using backward loop, CO 3 sts. (30, 34 sts)
Next Row: k all sts, then using backward loop, CO 3 sts at end of row. (33, 37 sts)

For Med, Lg, X-Lg:
Next Row: kf&b;, kf&b;, k to last 2 sts, kf&b;, kf&b;, using backward loop, CO 5 sts. (36, 42, 48 sts)
Next Row: k all sts, then using backward loop, CO 5 sts at end of row. (41, 47, 53 sts)

Front of Body
Knit every row until front measures 3, (3.5, 4, 4.5, 5) inches from end of increases. Front and back sections should be the same length.

In order to make the top of the body on front and back look the same, you will want
the last row of the body to be a right side row. If you’re counting rows and the last
row will not be a right side row, simply stop one row early. It will be better for the
front of the body to be one row shorter than the back than to be one row longer than
the back. The ribbing should begin with a wrong side row.

Change to US 5 needle. Work k1p1 ribbing for 2 (2, 2, 2.5, 3) inches.
BO in pattern.

Seam sides using mattress stitch.

Leg Cuffs
Using US 7 double point needles, pick up and knit 34 (40, 46 ,54, 60) sts.
Join and work k1p1 ribbing for about 1.5 to 2 inches.

BO loosely or use a sewn bind-off for a very stretchy leg opening.

You're done! You only have to weave in ends and block. If you're using them over cloth diapers, be sure that you wash and lanolize before use. I like to just block as I lanolize.


download now

You do not have to be a Ravelry member to download.

**Please Note: The pdf has been updated on 1 February 2010


This pattern is copyright protected. The copyright does not transfer with sale. You are receiving a digital
copy, which may not be sold, either in printed or in digital form. You may use this pattern for personal
use, charity, and gift giving. You may sell items made from this pattern on a small scale. I would
appreciate it if you would note that it was made from my pattern and list a link to my site (at bottom of
page). Not for use for mass production.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Connie, for taking the time to do this "adaptation"! I've been looking for something easy to let my daughter (age 11) try to knit for her brothers. This is exactly what I was looking for!


  2. Thanks! I have made to ottobre pattern ,but find it a bit bulky. I have been wanting to make it out of worsted weight yard – so this pattern is perfect!

  3. Yay!! Thank you so much for this adaptation. I tried the Ottobre pattern but it came out so poorly. I "froggy"ed it in disappointment. You can imagine how excited I was to find your Adaptation! I can't thank you enough. Also you linked your blog to the and come to find out I was knitting wrong! Silly me trying to teach myself a new skill… lol! So THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!

    Also, I made 2 size smalls, but they seem big for a newborn. Being such an inexperienced knitter and having pregnancy impaired math skills, I was wondering if you could help me modify the pattern to make it in newborn size? I feel silly asking… but I don't trust myself with this. If not, that's totally cool. Just really wanted to thank you for this wonderful Adaptation!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Hi, My sister gave me your web site and I like the looks of this pattern. However, I do have a question. It shows eyelets. But your pattern does not give the instructions. Would *K1,P1,yo,K1P1tog* work for the pattern?

    • I don’t work any kind of eyelet row. I just thread the yarn tail of the drawstring onto a yarn needle and use it to weave the drawstring in and out between stitches. Then you can move the drawstring as baby grows, and it’s harder for baby to pull the drawstring out of the soaker.


      Hope that helps!

  5. Hello I was wondering if this would be possible to work as a stockinette stitch rather then the garter stitch as I like the smoother look of the stockinette stitch so much more

    • You could work Adaptation in stockinette stitch, but you would basically be rewriting the pattern. If you worked it as written but in stst, you would have a rise that was much too tall for baby.

      I like the look of stst soakers too, but the garter stitch soakers are amazing for heavy wetters or for nighttime use! However, if you would like a stockinette soaker, I would recommend my Cutie Bahootie pattern ( or searching for a free stst soaker. Have fun knitting!

  6. Oscia Wilson says:

    How is the drawstring made?

  7. Hi, and thanks so much for this adorable pattern. I can’t wait to get started!!

    I have a question, though, about the seam. Your directions say to use a mattress stitch, which I normally use when knitting, but it makes an invisible seam. I really like the look of seeing those vertical seams on the front that a lot of the knitters have done.

    Can you tell me how to achieve that look?

    Thank you!


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