How Wool Works Great for Cloth Diapering – Getting Ready to Dye

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Have you wondered how wool makes a good cloth diaper cover? This is a photo of a freshly cut soaker getting ready to dye. Not only is it not yet lanolized but it has been washed with regular detergent which would have stripped some of the natural lanolin. I can’t wait to play with colour later 🙂

Water droplets floating on wool

Water droplets floating on wool

This image shows how water does not immediately absorb into wool.  If there was a layer of cotton beside the wool it would quickly absorb it before the wool would.  This wool has not been lanolized yet; can you imagine how much better it would be with a little extra lanolin added.   I actually had to wring it and squeeze it to make it absorb the vinegar/water mix to get it ready for dying.

Cloth Wipes for Noses and Faces

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Cloth Wipes for Noses and Faces

Cloth Wipes for Noses and Faces

As a family of 5 we go through sooooo much paper!  We use paper for crafts, paper for bums, tissues for noses and paper towels for hands and faces.   My ongoing goal is to reduce our use of paper.  So far, we use – recycled paper for crafts, cloth wipes for baby bum and now finally I have completed my stash of cloths for faces and noses.   Even  though cleaned well, we use separate wipes for the babies bum and for faces.  I looked forever to find a container for my cloths and finally yesterday I got it at Michaels Craft Store.    How do you reduce paper use in your house?

It’s Birthday Time Again!

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 I have the benefit of having 2 birthdays at the same time.   Not the same day, but close enough.   So, every year I try to come up with some eco-friendly form of loot bag or gift for the kids to take home or play with during the party.   One year I did capes – those were awesome and some of the kids still play with them. I highly recommend those!  For the capes, I sewed a loot bag for each to match with the child’s initials on them.

Last year I did crowns for the kids to decorate themselves.  For the crowns, I put them in brown paper bags.  

This year, I did crayons!  I see so many awesome crayons on Etsy and thought, “Easy, I can do that!”  Well, not so easy!  I’ve been working on this on and off for about 2 weeks and I’m finally done.  I started off by pealing the crayons with my finger nails – ouch!  Then I switched to a knife – scary dangerous!  Then a carrot peeler – um, still dangerous.  Finally, my hubby says, “why don’t you just put them in water?”  He’s so smart!   And for the record – rubber ice cube trays do melt!   Not exactly what I had envisioned, but done!   This year I’ve chose another Etsy WAHM to make my loot bags for me.   We’re going to give out re-usable sandwich bags from The Straight Stitch this year and I’m so excited to see how they turn out!  Do you have an eco-friendly idea for loot bags?  Please share!


I will do almost anything to get my kids to sleep!

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I sew and knit while they sleep, I NEED them to sleep!

Do you remember my blog post No Sleep?  Well we’ve got the littlest of the littles going to sleep a little better than his brother and sister.   The bigger two on the other hand, DO NOT LIKE TO SLEEP!

For quite a while, I was able to make little polymer clay buttons to bribe my two oldest to go to bed quietly but after a month or so, they got more and more creative with the types of buttons that they wanted and were making it more and more difficult (and time consuming) for me to reward them…. “I want a green monkey, wearing a green hat on a green pillow on a button” and  “I want a princess with a bow in her hair wearing a pink dress with blond hair but she has to have braids and they have to go all the way around her….”

Polymer clay buttons
This was some of my earlier bribery….

After the button bribery was all done (and no longer effective at all), we did stars on the fridge.   If you get 10 stars, we will buy you a movie. Well we didn’t think that out so well because the movie chosen by my 6 year old, involved a certain doll character and left a lot to be desired.  I really don’t like to play it for her which makes it a lousy example of what happens when you go to sleep nicely.  Does she want to earn any more stars – NOPE!

So tonight as I’m putting the littles to sleep,  in the sweetests of voices the oldest of the littles says, “Mama, will you make Barbie some jammies?”   Well, really, do I want to spend my night making fashion accessories for my, not so favourite character? – NO!  So, knowing that this little one of mine NEVER goes to sleep without a fuss, (so I won’t actually have to do it) I agree to make her a sleeping bag.   And then …. 5 minutes later…. silence.   And here it is.  So I guess this is the new bribery.   She has 7 Barbies; sewing these will buy me 7 nights of silence.

Barbie in a sleeping bag

What crazy things have you done to get your littles to sleep?

Welcome to the Wool Addiction!

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Buying wool  to make recycled diaper covers – When I buy wool to make bottoms for cloth diapering, they should contain at least 70% animal based hair/yarn/wool such as lambswool, merino, angora, alpaca and pure wool. I try by best to get 100% wool. Animal based yarns contain the natural oils needed to make the covers moisture resistant and anti-bacterial. The remainder of the materials cannot be plant based or they will allow the bottoms to absorb moisture (like cotton) and leak! 

It is said that wool holds about 30% of its weight in liquid. They may feel damp when the cloth underneath is wet but not yet “leak”, you’ll need to change your little one and hang the cover up to dry.

Recycled wool sweater to make diaper covers

Choose At Least 70% Animal Wool or Hair to make Diaper Covers

When you use wool as a cover – You need to make sure that there is enough absorbent cloth (i.e. fitted, prefold, or flat diaper) underneath to hold the amount that your little one makes. Change him/her once she is wet. When one pair becomes damp, change your baby and alternate with another bottom, air drying between each diaper change. So unless your baby soils the wool or gets it soaked, you should get through the day wearing two bottoms. I wash my wool soakers anywhere from every 2 weeks to once a month unless really soiled. No cover is “bullet proof” without a good diaper underneath it. Wool is not a water proof material.

Washing your woolies – You don’t need to rinse wool when you wash it with a wool wash, just gently squeeze out the excess water.  Do not wring them out.  I use Eucalan and have good results. 

 Don’t use regular laundry detergent because it can strip the natural oils out of the wool.  Be careful not to use water that is too warm and do not agitate them too much – this could cause them to felt or shrink.

Washing woollies with wool wash

To lanolize your woolies – Put a small pea sized amount of Lanolin (Nipple Cream or whichever brand you prefer) in a small baby food jar, add a drop of wool wash (or baby wash) and hot water and shake till the lanolin is dissolved. It will look milky. Some people microwave the Lanolin quickly before adding the soap and water to make sure that it is fully melted. Add this mixture in a basin or sink with room temperature water and then add your woolies. Turn your wool/ longies/ shorties/ soaker/ skirtie inside out and put in basin. Let them sit for about 20 minutes. When they are done I like to gently squeeze them and then lay them on a flat wire rack with a dish towel on top and under each pair. The towel absorbs most of the moisture. At the end of the day, I air dry them without the towel.

Woollies Soaking in the Sink

Woollies Soaking in the Sink

Wool is great for overnight diapering for preventing leaks and is a great alternative to PUL because your baby’s skin can still breath. 

Wool is also really really cute!

Littlest of the Littles

My Littlest in his Newborn Woolies

Wool and Rainbows

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Today it is gloomy in Toronto. Being out with the littles at 3:30, it seemed like it was almost night time. Now this brings me to the rainbows…. on gloomy days like today; I think of rainbows! Have you noticed my banner? Wool + Rainbows = LOVE! All these soakers are ready and waiting for you! You can find them here…