I’m really excited to be working on a project with my dear friend Jennie (from A Lovely Homemade Life). A few months ago I said to her how it would be cool if she designed a wool soaker pattern and I could promote it on this here blog and on my cloth diapering site. Little did I know that she would jump right on that and create such an adorable little soaker pattern in so many sizes, and with such sweet details…although, I can’t say I’m all that surprised. That’s just who Jennie is.
I met Jennie nearly 13 years ago in my very first class on my very first day of college. My first impression? I was intimidated. Every student who had declared themselves as a foreign language major had been stuck in this same intro to linguistics class. And before class even started there were 35 foreign language majors standing outside of Baldwin Hall room 201.
In highschool I was ranked #16. There were a few kids hanging outside of this classroom who were obviously the valedictorians of their high schools, and Jennie was definitely giving off that vibe. I overheard her telling someone that she was a French major with a Spanish minor. Surely I was in over my head. I could hear all kinds of conversations going on around me. People were mentioning the foreign countries they had been to, and how great they were at speaking the language.
I didn’t think I fit with these people. Including Jennie. Then, sometime early on in the semester (could it have been the very first day? Surely not.) We were told that our big semester long project was to create our own rule governed language. And guess who was in my group. Yep, Jennie.
Ours was the only all girl group, and I remember trying not to talk too much when our group met. Funny how that goes, I didn’t want to seem dumb so I just tried to stay quiet. Jennie was the unofficial leader of our group. She always spurred us forward, talking about what decisions needed to be made next. I won’t lie, I didn’t really enjoy that project. It was mostly my insecurities about seeming stupid. And sometimes I resented having to work on stuff with my group, when I would have rather procrastinated. Our language came out great in the end. I don’t remember anything about it except that it had complicated morphology (word structure), and uncomplicated syntax (sentence structure).
Jennie and I really became friends after that class was over. We lived in the same dorm, started having once a week dinners together, bonded over crafting interests, talking about boyfriends, really, talking about everything. Over the years we’ve been through a lot together, well mostly from a distance…but still together. In no particular order: the births of six children, cross country moves, weddings, silliness.
But back to the topic at hand. She has ALWAYS been more crafty than me. This is not a competition, just a fact. Her fingers are immensely talented. And she’s an amazingly thoughtful friend. I should do an unboxing video sometime of the birthday care packages she sends me. It’s unreal.
So like I said, I shouldn’t have been surprised when I mentioned the idea of a soaker and she ran with it.
She took every aspect that I suggested into account in her design. Every. Single. Aspect. I told her that the rise is sometimes an issue for my kiddos. She made a wonderful rise that is high enough, but not way too high. I mentioned that my kiddos have really chunky thighs at certain stages of their babyhoods. She wrote in a variation for that. You can actually choose whether to make the chubby baby version or not. I have made several soakers over the years, and I LOVE the soakers. Jennie sent me every single size as samples (she made 5 sizes that will go from newborn up to potty training).
One thing I love about soakers is that they are so darn cute. Yes we have used them as cloth diaper covers (actually that’s exclusively what we use at night), but they are great for little shorts, or as cute little bloomers to go under a dress or skirt. So you don’t have to be a cloth diaper user to make this pattern.
It’s been a long time since Jennie and I collaborated on a project together, and I hope I’m a much better partner today that I was 13 years ago. My contribution to this project is the guide to caring for the soaker. Every bit of the design and technical skill belong to Jennie. I hope my knitting readers will check out the XOXO Soaker pattern. It launches next Wednesday, and Jennie is hosting a giveaway on her blog to celebrate. To get all of the updates about the pattern release and any of our future collaborations, please subscribe to our mailing list….And please share this post with a friend…knitters love company. Trust me.