Winter Woolies Part 2

October 23, 2008

Budget, Covers/Wool

If interlock and knit/crochet are too hard to get or are out of your budget there are still more options.  There are tons of WAHMs that can turn an old wool sweater into the cutest pair of longies for your little one.  Recycled wool longies are substantially less expensive and work just as well as their counterparts.

Hyena Cart:

Butterfly Bunz

Misfit Moms: EUC

Tree Bottom Wool

TandL Boutique

The Cat’s Meow


Batik Bum

California Cloth

2by2 Boutique

If you can operate a sewing machine you can probably make some longies yourself (operating the machine is about as far as my talent goes and I have made a couple of pairs).  The pattern I have used is Sweaterpants.  Extremely simple.  And if you really like the sweater but don’t know how to use the body of it you can send it to one of the above WAHMs and have them convert it to a soaker.  I did this and sent it to The Cat’s Meow.  Jenn did and amazing job and it wasn’t the easiest sweater to work with!

I am currently using pocket diapers for Paisley so I don’t lanolize the wool.  However, if you are using fitteds the wool will need the lanolin to provide the wetness barrier.  There are many ways moms lanolinize their wool but this is the system I have found to be the easiest.  You will need: Lansinoh Lanolin, natural baby wash, sink and towel.

1) Melt a teaspoon of lanolin in a cup of water in the microwave.  Mix.

2) Fill sink with cool to lukewarm water.  Add desired amount of natural baby wash.  Mix.  Add melted lanolin.

3) Add wool items to the sink.  Wash areas that are soiled or heavily peed on.  Make sure each item is thoroughly covered with lanolin, I do this by kneading the wool gently.

4) Let sit 15 minutes.

5) Drain sink.  Carefully rinse soap off with cool water.  Don’t be too rough with your wool it can be damaged.  Interlock is more forgiving.

6) Lay wool flat on towel and roll towel up.  Lay wool on flat surface to dry for the next day or so.

I only need to lanolinize wool every month.  When the moisture starts coming through the wool you know it’s time.  You can spot wash your wool if food or poop gets on it.

You can also separate the washing and lanolin steps in this procedure.  Washing the wool first then repeating the procedure for just the lanolin.


About Autumn Beck

Autumn is a wife, mother, homeschool teacher, friend and most important a follower of Christ. She began cloth diapering in 2005 and has experienced many joys and trials throughout the years. You can read more from Autumn over at

View all posts by Autumn Beck

13 Responses to “Winter Woolies Part 2”

  1. Elizabeth Says:

    Whoa – I tried this but there were chunks of lanolin EVERYWHERE in my water – is this right? When I double checked with other lanolinizing instructions online I read from a pea size amount to a 1″ streak – 1T is ALOT and everything seems really sticky… we’ll see how it goes but i’m skeptical…


    • Autumn Beck Says:

      Elizabeth, I have always used a Tablespoon of lanolin for a sink full of wool (5+ items). However, I have edited the post to just a teaspoon of lanolin. In the event of excess lanolin on your wool simply massage (and massage :) ) the wool to work it in. The upside is your wool will be leakproof for a much longer time!


  2. Danielle Says:

    I have sewn up two sweaterpants (sleepyhead is wearing one right now!) and made a wrap out of the body of one of the sweaters, and I love them!! I hit the local thrift stores and bought up every SOFT wool sweater I could find. Thanks so much for all the great info on your blog!


  3. JL Says:

    Oh my goodness. I have been hand knitting wool covers for 6 weeks. These sweater pants look so much easier. I can hardly wait!!


  4. Autumn Beck Says:

    Vicki, you can use any wool. 100% wool is best but I have used blends before with no problems. Warning: merino sweaters pill a TON! But they are so soft. Just have a sweater shaver handy, especially if you have a crawler.


  5. Vicki D. Says:

    Can you use merino wool? I’m thinking about making some longies–Would merino wool be OK-assuming i lanolize it?


  6. Cathy Newton Says:

    Thanks for replying on my blog about the diapers. Next time I go to the thrift store I’m going to look for wool sweaters to convert to “sweaterpants”. I think I could figure out ways to use the body, too. Mittens, a wool sweater patchwork “quilt”, soaker shorts…..

    I am going to investigate fleece diapers, too.


  7. Rosa Fernandez Says:

    Hi Autum! is me again, I forgot to ask you, At the thrift store I saw some wool jackets, are those fine to use for diapers too or not?
    Thank you, Rosa


  8. Rosa Fernandez Says:

    Hi Autumn! Great article, it really helps me a lot, I am new to cloth diapering, so after reading your e-mail I went to a thrift shop and goa a bunch of wool sweaters,and I am going to give it a try.

    My baby is a heavy wetter and a want to give the woollies a try. I was wondering if you can make soakers out of wool too, but I think you mencioned that in the article as well.

    The lanolin that you are talking about, is it the one that you use when you are breastfeeding? Thank you and you have a great article, I always get great advice from you and everything helps, as I told you before I am new to cloth diapers and don’t know much about them.


  9. Erin Says:

    Great article on how to lanolize wool covers. So many moms are intimidated by wool – its too bad as wool is such a wonderful natural fibre diaper cover.


  10. Michelle Says:

    Thanks for the tips on lanolizing Autumn. I have done it, but a different way and I didn’t get the results I wanted… next time I’ll try this!


  11. Crys Says:

    No kidding, I just pulled a pair of woollies made from a recycled sweater off my machine about 5 minutes before I read this post. The pattern included above looks easier, so I will be trying it for the other 2 sweaters I am planning to convert.


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