umba jumbas

About a month ago I was talking to a friend from home and she told me she was planning on using cloth diapers for her second child, a girl who was due in May. She said she was going crazy buying these things called “soakers” off the internet, and asked if could I make her some if I had time? I had no idea what a “soaker” was, so I did some research and found some free patterns. (Eventually, my boyfriend got sick of me calling them “soakers” and insisted I call them something more inocuous, like “umba jumbas.” I graciously complied.)

I originally thought I was just going to just make one, but I had just enough yarn to knit 3 (and I mean just enough – see the teeny yarn ball in the bottom photo).

umba jumbas

From left to right: Punk Knitter’s Soakers, Curly Purly’s Soaker Pattern, Classic Wool Soakers

The Punk Knitter’s pattern is very easy, and it’s knit mostly in the round except for the crotch, which you graft together in the front (maybe next time I’d graft it in the back?). This was was way easy, and I love the little i-corn tie at the top. Curly Purly’s soaker is actually the first one I knit, and while I love the look of it, I don’t really like the wide leg hole, or the height of it. (Nor do I like the way the pattern is written…. I was originally going to write this big long blog post on how crappily it was written, but in the end I’m a headcase who wasn’t really reading it correctly, and once I got over the fact that soakers really don’t need short rows, I was able to speed through it.) But there are definitely some mods I’d like to make…. next time I’d probably incorporate some yo’s in the ribbing and include an i-cord, and maybe do less ribbing and more “body” stitches, add possibly some of these ruffles around the leg holes, and maybe some ruffles on the butt (I so wish I had enough yarn for those…. too cute!). The Classic Wool Soakers on the right were the pattern that started it all (I saw them originally on Elliphantom’s blog) and I think they’re my favorite. Those little leglets (for lack of a better word) are too friggin’ cute. I almost am having a hard time wrapping them up and sending them out! But I think my boyfriend would kill me.

Anyway…. once I realized I was making 3 soakers umba jumbas I knew I wanted to send the baby 3 little onesies, too, so the baby would have complete “outfits” (isn’t that what every girl needs?). I was originally going to try and make some, but then I realized I’d leave that up to the experts so I did a quick search on and found these through Norabella‘s store.


Aren’t they the cutest?! I’m so excited with how this all turned out.

Now, I’m at a crossroads, knitting-wise. I’ve recently decided to start knitting monogamously, meaning I’ll only work on one project at a time. But I currently have 6 projects on the needles, so I don’t know if I should cease starting any new projects until ALL THOSE are finished (yikes!) or allow myself to start another one but not start any more until that one is finished.

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4 Responses to umba jumbas

  1. I saw the photos at flikr via some of those knitting groups and found my way here. I knit “umba jumbas” (I may have to start calling them that, wool covers/soakers just seems boring now) for my daughter.

    I don’t think I’ve used any of those patterns yet though so it’s really nice to be able to see them side by side to see where they’re different. I’ve been wanting to try the curly purly ones but have been a bit put off by the leg openings so it’s good to hear your comments.

    Anyway, they all look great. Those onsies are so cute too. (Although with the wool covers to show off you could just go with shirts another time, especially for a summer baby – my daughter often just had a shirt and diaper with cover over last year, probably this year too!)

  2. PS — I forgot to say I am so excited that you have a bacon category for your blog. That’s fantastic!

  3. Janet says:

    I love the “umba-jumbas” so much! I think it’s great you were on board with what the mommy wanted.

    In my “twisted” world, I think it’s absolutely okay to start a new project and call that your monogamous one — because in my opinion, it feels like a fresh start — with no negative mojo that might be attached to those other unfinished ones. While you knit monogamously, you’re free to think about what you want to finish next and whether you want to finish or frog some of those other WIPs.

  4. Heather says:

    Umba-jumbas is cute, and less boring than soakers, I agree. But really, call it what it is. Maybe poopa-loompas? I realize I’m completely missing T’s objective to talk about such things in euphemisms.

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