Arm Woolie Fun!

I am a huge fan of things that combine function and fashion.  About 3 years ago, I decided to treat myself to a pair of hand knitted arm warmers.  I wasn’t over the moon with excitement.  I really don’t know why I bought them honestly.  I thought, these are going to be about as useful as fishnet stockings. I probably won’t wear them too much but boy do they sure will look great.  Fast forward to when they arrived in the mailbox and I soon became an arm woolie addict.  They traveled with me outside to take care of the chickens in the morning, then they came to work where I ended up keeping them on throughout the day.  To my amazement, they really do make a noticeable difference in keeping me warm.  I knew I wanted to work with specialty medium of recycled wool that I have here.  I had been thinking about it on and off in between making mounds of diaper covers and decided I needed to get it done. We were coming up on some of the coldest weather in history so what better time?  I think merino wool is the best wool to use.  I find other wools will start to make my arms feel a bit itchy as I work.  Ultra fine merino is THE best wool ever but a bit light weighted.  2 layers would be even better.  So, the reversible arm woolie was born and I essentially had 2 pairs at once.  You have no idea how exciting this was to an arm woolie addict.  I have been wearing this pair now pretty much non-stop all weekend.  I have wrangled chickens in them, walked the dog, hauled firewood, played with a kitten that thinks they were created for her enjoyment, and am now typing this post.  They have held up to the abuse better than anything else and still look brand new.  I hope we are able to sew a few of these up as time permits to add to the shop. If you have been on the fence about arm woolies/warmers, I can’t recommend them highly enough.

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Coffee Filter Snowflake Tutorial

Happy Monday! I thought we would start the week off with an easy craft. The weather is finally getting cold here in the south, and some people are seeing real snow today! My son asked to make snowflakes over the weekend, so that is exactly what we did. We could have used a ton of paper for this project, but then I remembered these coffee filters up in our cabinet. I would not be surprised if they have been there for the past 4 years since we don’t even drink coffee. Making snowflakes are a great way to use them up, and I think they are even easier for kids to cut than thicker paper. I gave my son a paper scrap bowl, and he sat for quite awhile just cutting away. Here we go!

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Gather your supplies. Super simple, coffee filters and scissors.

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Find a cute helper. He could not wait to start!

Here is how you fold the coffee filter.

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Basically just keep dividing it into halves. The more cuts you make, the prettier snowflakes you get. Cut anywhere except for the small tip.

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And here is it! Super simple, and so much fun for kids!

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So make a ton, and decorate your whole house. 🙂

How much wool do I need?

I see this question all the time. How much wool do I really need to successfully use it full time? I know we tend to always want a lot more than we need. 🙂 As far as getting by with the minimum 3-4 pieces is plenty. That gives 2 to switch out during the day, and 2 to switch out for nights. Having 4 also allows for easy washing and time for drying.

So what do we start with? This question could go so many ways depending on your plans to only use wool at night, current season, etc. I think the easiest way to start is with a wool soaker. Upcycled or interlock, either option is great for night time diapering, but still very cute for during the day, and can be used with leg warmers in the cooler months. Soakers are really so versitile, and can even be used under clothing. I would recommend interlock for use under most clothing. My daughter spent the whole summer wearing her soakers under dresses.

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Another great option to start with are footies. Oh so adorable!! They can act just like pajama pants on those cool nights. They replace the need to buy other pants, especially for younger babies that don’t tent to wear shoes and socks very well. I have a hard time resisting any baby in footies!

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Of course, there are so many other wool options out there! Longies, leggings, shorties. There is literally something for every style. It is so tempting to want to buy it all, and there is nothing wrong with that either! I just wanted to give a quick answer to what we really need to get by.

What is your favorite go to wool piece?

Quick Baby Leg Warmer Tutorial

The weather is just beginning to feel like fall here in the south. I am loving it! The cool weather, and my newly crawling little girl, inspired me to make some baby leg warmers. They are so cute, just perfect for easy diaper changes, and they protect little crawling knees! This is an easy 5 or 10 minute project, and you can use just a sewing machine or a serger if you have one.

All you need are some long socks(mine came from target), scissors,  and a sewing machine.

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You are going to make three cuts. One above the heel, below the heel, and at the toe. This does not have to be exactly perfect.

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Now that you have a small tube(previously the foot of the sock), cut a small amount off of the edge. I did 1/4 inch. This makes the cuff a little smaller, so they don’t slip off of tiny feet.

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Turn these right sides together and sew down the long edge.

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Now you are going to turn one edge inside the other to form the cuff. Be sure to check your pattern here, and keep everything going the same direction. I previously made a pair with a directional print, and it took me a few minutes to get the pattern right.

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Insert the rest of the sock into the cuff, lining up all the raw edges, and sew around the edge. Again, this does not have to be perfect.  Knit fabric hides any flaws really well.

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Turn the cuff down, and now you have an awesome pair of baby leg warmers, or arm warmers. 🙂

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Put them on your little model and be sure to ooh and ahh over the cuteness!

These are so simple. I hope you enjoy making tons and tons of them!

What made you decide to try cloth diapers?

How did you hear about cloth diapers? I know everyone has a different story. When I started using cloth diapers 4 years ago, I didn’t have a single friend that used cloth diapers. I knew a few people on the internet that used them, and I knew Shannon used them. That was it! Fast forward to now, and I hear about cloth all the time. We even have a cloth diaper store in my city now, and I think they are doing really well. Cloth awareness is definitely growing, and I love it!

When I had my first son, I honestly did not know cloth was even a real option. I’m pretty sure that I never gave it a thought. I knew that Shannon used them with her son, and I knew that my mom had used cloth diapers on me. When I was pregnant with my second baby, I decided that using cloth diapers would be nice. I’m sure that I was wanting to save money so that I could continue to stay home. My husband would have nothing to do with that idea! He said that was way too gross, and that he would never change a cloth diaper. I kind of gave up on the idea, and went on with life.  It was not long after my son was born that I really wanted to give cloth a try. I did tons and tons of research. Can you relate?? Then I brought the idea back up to my husband. I may have mentioned that he wasn’t changing diapers anyways, so I might as well try it. 🙂 I bought a sample pack of prefolds and covers, and waited anxiously for it to arrive. I was hooked from the first time I used one! It did not take my husband long to come around to idea either, once he realized we were no longer buying a box of diapers every week.

So how did you hear about cloth diapers? Did you want to try them, or did someone work hard to convince you? Have you been turning all of your friends into cloth converts?

Leggings!!

As promised, I am back with a review of the new leggings, and some pictures of them in action.

I know Shannon has been working on a leggings design for awhile. Tons of people have been asking including me. What we didn’t realize is how much thought actually has to go into a wool legging. They have to be able to fit over a cloth diaper bottom, be trim fitting, not too thick, but have to contain wetness. They also have to be easy to make in order to keep up with demand.

Here is what she came up with.

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I know what you are thinking. They are a bit odd looking to put it nicely. I was a bit iffy myself until I really thought about what these things had to do.

1. They have to contain wetness. check! Done with a reliable interlock soaker.

2. They have to be trim fitting. check! Again you have the trim interlock.

3. They have to be comfortable for the baby. check! All of these will be made with super soft cashmere.

Let’s get to the good stuff. Pictures!

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It was instant love as soon as I saw these on Kara! They look so good, and I have zero worries about leaks because of the built in soaker. And, oh my goodness, they are so soft!

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Here is another view. These can be cuffed or scrunched. I’m really a fan of scrunching them. 🙂

I have seen people asking if these would work for a boy. Yes! They can totally work for a boy too! Owen was sweet enough to model for us yesterday.

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cute, cute, cute! I’m thinking darker colors, with an umber soaker would be lovely on boys.

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Here they are together.

A quick note about the fit. I would not size up on these at all. There is plenty of room in the inseam on these for them to last. Kara is pretty well in a medium size soaker. Mostly because she has super chunky thighs, so she needs the bigger thigh band. That issue is eliminated in the leggings though. A medium just swallowed her in these. A small was absolutely perfect. Shannon actually made the small size soaker with a medium size waistband. I believe that is going to be standard on these. All that to say, there is no need to size up on these.

And just for cuteness….

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There will be several pairs of these stocking this Thursday. Please feel free to comment with any questions.

Saturday and a Preview

Saturday I finally did it. I loaded sweet Kara up, and drove to see Shannon and all the wool goodness that surrounds her. This sounds much easier than it was. I had to convince my husband to watch the two older boys all day, and I had to pray that Kara would handle the three hour trip. I finally decided to go for it. So worth it!!! Shannon and I had so much fun finally getting together! It was one of the best days that I have had in forever! 

This was my first time seeing the wonderful Woollybottoms shop. Shannon was so nice, and gave me the run down on how everything works. I couldn’t be there without getting a few pictures. Excuse the iPhone quality, but I just have to show you all. 🙂

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Lovely sweaters just waiting to be sorted through and made into something beautiful.

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A shelf full of goodies just waiting to go out.

If you haven’t heard, Woollybottoms now has leggings available! Shannon has come up with a great design that I think you will all love. There should be several pairs available in the stocking this coming Thursday. Here is a quick preview of what they look like on the bum. 

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Be sure to come back for more pictures of these awesome leggings. I’m also going to give a good review of them so you can know all the facts before you decide to order. 

A Little Catching Up

Hey! I hope you all had a great holiday weekend! I certainly enjoyed having my husband home for an extra day. Today I have been enjoying the extra quiet around the house, and trying to catch up on all the things that get neglected every weekend. 

I decided it was time to get back to this blog. I don’t want to think about how long it has been since our last post. Things got a little crazy for me and Shannon. All is well now, life just happens sometimes. 🙂

I have lots of new ideas for posts, but I would also love to hear from you. What would you like to read about on this blog? I would love to take it beyond just cloth diapering and wool, though there will still be tons of that on here too. Would anyone be interested in doing a guest post? Let me know. 🙂

Have a wonderful Tuesday!

 

simple life

I (Katherine) have been thinking a lot lately about making life more simple. Everything seems to get crazy faster than I can imagine. I’m sure most of you can picture just where I’m at. I have a 5 year old who is about to start kindergarten, a three year old in treatment for leukemia, and a 5 month old, plus a husband, family, friends, lots of things to keep up with. I am finding it necessary to just cut out the extra “fluff” in my life, and no I don’t mean lovely diaper fluff. 🙂 If it doesn’t just work easily for me, then I don’t need it.

So the changes start at home. I have been working in my few spare moments to organize little things. Even if it’s a drawer that no none else will see, I still feel better knowing it is done. I am looking for things that I can sell because we just don’t need them sticking around. I even recently switched to a basic sewing machine because the electronic one just wasn’t as wonderful as I expected it to be! I think I will even work on making a plan for all those fabric scraps that I just can’t let go of. Major fabric hoarder right here. Ha!

I have started writing everything that I need to do down each day. I can’t always rely on myself to remember it anymore. I am making the rooms in my house work for us, rather than just setting them up as they were intended. For instance, our eat in kitchen actually works as our office, and the piano is in front of the unused fireplace. I need to give myself a break on some of the cleaning. Kids toys are everywhere! I need to see that as good, and remember that toys mean that kids are happily playing. Before I know it, they will be in another stage, and maybe I will even miss stepping on those tiny legos. 🙂

My favorite new system is in my boys’ closet. I no longer hang their clothes. Instead, they are in labeled bins. This has been life changing! They can now easily find their clothes, and getting dressed is no longer a fight. I found the idea and printables on pinterest.

So lets discuss. What have you cut out to make life easier? What have you organized lately that has made a huge difference? I would love some helpful tips, and I’m sure there are more of us out there looking for ideas too! 🙂

Does Your Cloth Diapering System Leak at Night?

One of the most common emails I get is from frustrated parents that are waking up at night with wet sheets and a wet baby.  They are sleep deprived most of the time as it is, and they have tried many things only to end up in frustration and often resort back to disposable diapers at night.  Getting a good diapering routine can be a bit of a challenge….. believe me I know!  One big reason why leaks are so much more prominent at night is that as your little one sleeps soundly, they begin to hold urine for longer periods of time.  Then when they go, they really GO.  If you don’t have an adequate diapering solution in place and ready for the flood, you probably will experience leaks around the legs and front.

There are many successful ways to cloth diaper at night and a solution that works for one, may not work for another.  I am not going to talk about all of the options out there…. I am just going to cover using the breathable option of a fitted diaper plus wool.  Whatever option you go with, one thing is the same….It all starts with having a really good foundation with your diaper.  The diaper needs to have several layers of absorbent materials…. the more, the better.  I had posted on our Facebook page asking what diapers our customers were using with their Woollybottoms.  Since my little diapered baby is going to be 9 this year, I wanted to stay in touch with what diapers were being used successfully today.  We had an overwhelming positive response to Sustainable Babyish aka Sloomb diapers (www.sloomb.com) I have a date in a couple of weeks to talk to our local Rotary Club about Woollybottoms and cloth diapers so I needed to get my hands on a “modern” cloth diaper for show and tell and this Sloomb diaper is to be my model. I received this diaper in the mail last week and immediately I said now this is a GREAT diaper!   OK people…. look at all the layers of material in this diaper!  It is amazing!!!  I think there are 9 total layers of organic bamboo/cotton fleece in this thing.  No wonder this diaper is a success at night. There are enough layers to handle the flood your little one throws at it.  The urine is slowly absorbed through the layers without just shooting straight through everything.  In conclusion, you MUST have a good diaper with plenty of absorption power. If you have a diaper that doesn’t seem to cut it, you can easily add layers!  We had success by simply tri-folding an infant prefold and laying that inside our not-so-absorbent diapers and that gave us the extra layers we needed.

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So, now that you know what to look for in a diaper, you need to find the right cover.  Again, there are many options out there for covers and many of them work wonderfully!  However, nothing is going to allow air flow like wool.  I can feel some wool intimidation from some of you already and we will cover that in a future blog post 🙂 I don’t want to hear from any of you that wool is too hard to care for, too scratchy, there is no way it can hold back urine, the thought of lanolizing wool is scary, yadda yadda. Just trust me on this one OK? We will debunk the wool myths soon enough. On a wool cover, you want to make sure it is on the thicker side for overnight use…. just like the diaper.  All wool covers are not the same. An extra heavy weighted wool will help ensure you will make it through the night with dry sheets.  There are tons of wonderful options out there for wool and again, we will cover those in a future blog post.   Pictured here is a Woollybottoms pull on style soaker made from a gentle felted recycled lambswool and there is an added sewn in layer of wool in the wetzone.   This Sloomb/Woollybottoms combination is destined for success!

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