Keeping a secret, part 2: Assembling a sneaky team

This one’s for Fiona Ellis, who has been going crazy being sneaky!


I first met designer extraordinaire Fiona Ellis last summer, over an outdoor movie and coffee featuring Mary Poppins. Fiona had recently had an interesting observation, which she shared with great enthusiasm.  “I work with my hands all the time and so it is important to me that they are well cared for.  And because I used to work in cosmetic formulation (in what I call my former life) I have, over time, developed a fancy for having my nails match my current knitting.”

She continued, “when Julia Grunau (of Patternfish fame) showed me a newly completed pair of fingerless mitts I told her I knew exactly which polish she should wear with them….in that moment an idea was born. How cool would it be to have yarn dyed to match your favourite polish?”  As Fiona declared her passion for nail polish, the collaboration with Soak was initiated. Her seed of an idea was expanded upon, thanks to my love of product development, to become an even more exciting package. And, I got to go nail polish shopping, how could I turn that down?

Polish with matching yarn? A bit out of the box, indeed. As a designer at heart, I knew I could make that happen. Accessing premium nail polish was hard to do, not to mention choosing Soakworthy colors. Coincidentally, we were just in the beginning stages of developing our new hand crème, Handmaid. It seemed like the perfect fit. Of course we already have Soak, now we just needed some yarn.

Enter Beth, owner of Lorna’s Laces. As Beth recalls it,  “A couple of months ago, Jacqueline called and asked if we’d be interested in collaborating with Soak and Fiona Ellis on a super-secret project that involved Soak, Handmaid, nail polish and an exclusive pattern. Interested? Ummmm…..YES!”

(I feel a bit like now is the perfect time to share one of my favorite photos from this project. It’s jumping ahead a bit, in terms of my “big reveal”, but it’s so lovely, I just can’t keep it in any more. I also feel like I have to make a poster of this image for the Lorna’s Laces office, it’s just that pretty.)

 Double Pointe Pink: Polish matches yarn.

Beth continued, “we picked Shepherd Sport for this project. It’s soft, machine washable (always use Soak) and a nice weight for mitts. And you can get a pair out of just one skein! The whole idea of creating color ways to coordinate with nail polish seemed like a total win. Even better, Jacqueline offered to come down to Chicago and play in the dye pots with me to make it happen!  We spent two lovely days up to our elbows in dye.”

 Happy happy!

As we began to plan the Soakboxes, Fiona worked on the patterns (tech edited by the lovely and talented Kate Atherley),and we, at Soak, worked on the rest. Labels, packaging and the new bottles. It was all a work in progress, for what seemed like an eternity.

PatternPlanning

LabelProduction

It was pretty exciting to spend a few days at Lorna’s Laces. We watched other colorways being created, and I learned how to mix and dye yarn.

 another colorway being created on the next table.
 measuring out color!

By the time we were done, we were so excited to have yarn to match our polishes, we couldn’t wait to get back to work on the rest of the project and to share the new colours with Fiona. She had some serious pattern design work to do. Did I mention? There’s a unique pattern designed for each colour, in the Soakbox! There are 4 in total. More tomorrow.

 PreProductionSkeins


Handmaid. A luxury hand creme from the experts at Soak.

Occasionally, we work on top-secret projects, to bring you new and useful products. We’ve spent the past few months cooking up such luxuries as our new hand creme. Enjoy.


Apply sparingly. Rub thoroughly. Get back to it.
Handmaid

It’s as simple as that. Available in your favorite (and current) Soak scents, aquae, celebration, lacey and of course, scentless. This little gem of a bottle is our new 3oz (yes, flight friendly, for your knitting bag, purse, toiletry case or weekender bag) 100% post-consumer resin bottle. It’s perfect for you, and the environment.

Ask for it by name, at your LYS. Invite your favorite lingerie or gift shop to start selling it. If you are a Soak retailer (or would like to become one) and want to start carrying Handmaid, let us know.

You can also find Handmaid on our website, if you just can’t wait to give your hands the love they deserve.

Handmaid is also part of another project we’ve been working on. Watch in the coming days, for updates and details on our newest project. We’re pretty excited, and we know you will be too!


Weekly Affirmation | meet Melissa

Every Thursday we post a comment, tweet, email or secret message we’ve received from one of our Soakworthy customers (stores, fans, consumers, friends). Sometimes, on a rough day, it’s really helpful to read an inspiring message from someone in our community. Someone who appreciates what we do. Someone who is as passionate about Soak as we are. We appreciate all the love that comes our way. Really we do. 


@Jacqueline_Soak I just bought a new bra and they wanted me to buy their lingerie wash. I declined since I had a big bottle of Soak at home.”

Thanks for the twitter love Melissa. This is one of Melissa’s lovely designs called Lily’s Lilies.

Melissa, knitwear designer: Soakworthy.


Handmade Ryan Gosling

We love you @HandmadeRyan. Thanks for including Soak! Goes to show we’re truly embedded in the knitting community as the leading wash!

Source: handmaderyangosling.tumblr.com via Jacqueline on Pinterest


Look what came in the mail today!

Crafty treats always inspire us. While it is the season to gift others, this week, Jacqueline’s Etsy acquisition is a little something for herself!

When mail comes to the office, it is often bills, inventory or office supplies. Sometimes, especially around the holidays, our Fedex, Purolator and Canada Post delivery trucks come more often, with lovely little treats. This is what I got this week.

It’s a pincushion ring, in pumpkin vanilla. It came in a lovely box, with a sweet card and some holiday gift cards. The pins were even Soakworthy colors. I just love it. It’s made by Liz Smith, who has a company called Made in Lowell.

It even had the perfect hangtag and ribbon. I love the little details. I can’t wait to wear it over the holiday when I work on my sewing and quilting projects.

It’s the little things in life that are the most rewarding. I hope you’ll find some time to treat yourself over the holiday. Share your Soakworthy craft finds with us, we love to see them!

Yup, I’m already wearing it at the office.


Chris finished her baby blanket!

20111207-122615.jpg

After months of knitting, Chris finally finished this lovely blanket made of Gems, from Louet. This rich chocolate brown pile of warmth (as evidenced by Jacqueline cozying up at the office) will soon go to a new baby due any moment!


Let’s talk turkey, with a holiday gift set giveaway from Soak and Lorna’s Laces!

For those of us in Canada, this Thursday is just another fantastic day at the office. We’re long past the days of turkey, eaten more apple pie than should be eaten and are well focused on our holiday shopping. In an effort to support our American friends and the start of their weekend feasting and holiday season, we’re offering a couple of our new Lorna’s Laces + Heel holiday gift sets for you! We’ve shipped an abundant amount of gift sets to local yarn shops around the world.

We were packing,

then they were packing.

While the gals at Lorna’s Laces are focused on Turkey fixings like cranberry sauce or gravy, we prefer to ponder the likes of apple pie vs pumpkin pie. We’re giving away one of each of the following sets: Beverly with Peppermint and Purple Club with Scentless.

So the great task? Tell us in a comment whether you prefer apple pie, or pumpkin pie with your Thanksgiving dinner (or any time for that matter) and we’ll choose a random winner for each gift set. You have all weekend to eat pie and ponder your choice. We’ll keep the contest open until Sunday night at midnight. The winners will be announced Monday and the prizes will ship shortly thereafter. 

For a chance to win the other two sets, visit http://lornaslaces.blogspot.com/ and follow the instructions there.
If you aren’t one of our lucky winners, you can buy one for yourself or a loved one at your LYS or we have a limited number for sale at  www.soakwash.com. Follow us on facebook, twitter and Ravelry.com. Share the Soak love and good luck!

Happy Turkey, from all of us at Soak.


Sock Summit 2011

Chris and I are finally home after a long week of beautiful yarns, delicious donuts, and friendly people. I think I will have to add Portland to my list cities that I love. The weather was great, the transit system was efficient, and their downtown had great restaurants, cute shops, great food carts and one giant book store.

We saw people carrying these bright  pink boxes around and heard that you can’t go to Portland without having a VooDoo donut. I choose the maple bacon which actually have a full strip of bacon on top of it. As we walked along the river, we noticed that there was a beer festival being held and stopped in to look around. We met some sheep that were about to get sheared. Look at that face! We saw a lot of beautiful yarns. The Sincere Sheep is a company that uses all natural dyes to create these beautiful colours. We’ll talk more about them in a later post.Hundreds of people showed up to participate in the super secret flash mob dance incorporating colourful skeins of yarn! Here’s the youtube video of the dance courtesy of ‘knittinglikecrazy’ Along with all the yarns, there were also great embellishments including these cute buttons from Jennie the Potter.  There were lots of great pairs of hand knit socks! And of course it wouldn’t be a knitting show without some yarn bombing. We had a great time and can’t wait until next year! Thanks to everyone who stopped by our booth to say hi.


Lacey, she sure has kept us busy.

Meet Lacey. The newest fragrance in the Soak family. She’s an original. A new design. Front runner in a new look for Soak, just in time for an array of summer events. Stick with her. She’s going places.


lacey soakFirst things first. What does it smell like? That’s always the first question. Before commenting on how pretty the bottle is, before the new design, before availability. This modern scent combines spring blossoms with sweet bergamot creating a light yet alluring fragrance. Lovely, in a word. Just lovely.

You’ll start to see bottles pop up at local shops, in magazines and online.  While you wait for it to show up in your local shop, you can purchase it online at our shop. Own a shop? Email Chris to get a case sent out immediately.

Feedback from the front line? So far, it’s all fantastic.

Becky, manager at La Maison d’Eva Fine Lingerie says, “LOVE LOVE LOVE the Lacey! It has almost sold out, everyone loves it! Love the bottle design too, it’s pretty and looks very chic.”  
Secrets from your Sister staff say, “The labels look great!!!”

Our favorite tweet thus far, from hand-dyed yarn company Lorna’s Laces when they saw the first photos, “I wish my computer had scratch and sniff!”

You may notice that Lacey has many personalities. She’s unique, yet different. We’ve worked long and hard to develop a unique production process allowing us to have a series of bottle designs for each new fragrance. You can collect them. They’ll appear and deliver randomly. More on that later.

We’re also working with leading edge designers, including Tall Poppy, who designed the graphics for our first new bottle. We’ll feature each designer in upcoming posts as we introduce both them and our unique design process. You’ll simply fall over when you hear about the roster of designers we’ve got lined up. Trust me, you’ll jump for joy, start collecting bottles and twirl with excitement over our upcoming designs.

This summer our first stop is Sock Summit in booth 607.  Catch Carrie and Phil, Heel and of course Lacey at our booth. Meet Ngoc, our marketing coordinator. This’ll be her first big show. She’ll be there with knitter extraordinaire, Chris. Where’s Jacqueline you ask? She’ll be heading up the booth at Curve (lingerie show, for the knitters out there) in New York.  Soak will be in booth 427.

Later in the summer, after some much deserved rest (and a lot of shipping) we’ll be at the NorthWest NeedleArts Market in Seattle, then at Vogue KNitting Live in LA. Fall will be here before we know it, bringing more new scents, innovations and great ideas you’ve come to expect from the experts at Soak.

Enjoy.

Lacey. All six of her.


TNNA Columbus 2011

TNNA is always a great trade show. I particularly love the Columbus show. With the North Market for excellent lunches, Jeni’s ice cream, Pam’s popcorn and On Paper stationery store just down the road, what’s not to love?


There is always something weird and wonderful happening after show hours at the Hyatt bar. Sadly we missed the night that Amy Singer played her ukulele and everyone sang like they were sitting around a campfire. Happily we didn’t miss the night that Alisha pulled a taxidermy grizzly bear head out of her suitcase and proceeded to knit a massive ‘bear skin rug’. That bear became famous at the show. Everyone wanted to take a picture with it.

We got to see old friends.

Dave from Louet doing a weaving demonstration
Ravelry with their first booth at TNNA.  As a footnote, they are a truly innovative company.

We met some new friends.

Marly Bird, host of The Yarn thing Podcast

We bought another Namaste purse even though we swore we wouldn’t.The fabulous new mini messenger bag from Namaste

We celebrated milestones.
5 years of Potter Craft

We spent time admiring pretty yarn. Be Sweet booth
Koigu booth

We launched new products.

Lorna’s Laces new Solemate. It contains a fiber that interacts with your body’s microclimate to moderate temperature. Out of this world!

We decided Nancy from Namaste was our favourite person when she showed up to a bar wearing this


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