Soakbox Knit-A-Long: All Knitted Up and Gifted Away

Over the next few weeks we are running a knit-a-long for the four patterns in our Soakboxes. We will be posting detailed information on each of the patterns as well as fun things you can do with your Soakboxes for yourself, as a gift and as a group. You can order a kit from us directly, just click on the link on the right, or you can ask for it by name from your local yarn store. May your hands be soft, fibers fresh and nails match your knits!

We’ve been thinking a lot about who we would like to gift Soakboxes to. Our knitter friends are an obvious choice, and ourselves of course!

Soakbox Gifts

But then we got to thinking about other friends and family. What about our non-knitter friends? They might love the idea, but the “some assembly required mitts” may be beyond their skill set. So that’s where your abilities come in. You could knit up the pattern, and then slip it back into the box, all ready to be wrapped up and given to a worthy friend.

Soakbox Gifts

We are sure that it is not just knitters that enjoy matching their polish and their knits!

Soakbox Gifts
So who is on your extra special list? Who deserves both the gorgeous Soakbox, and a knitted gift?

Soakbox Gifts


Soakbox Knit-A-Long: Clark Cable

Over the next few weeks we are running a knit-a-long for the four patterns in our Soakboxes. We will be posting detailed information on each of the patterns as well as fun things you can do with your Soakboxes for yourself, as a gift and as a group. You can order a kit from us directly, just click on the link on the right, or you can ask for it by name from your local yarn store. May your hands be soft, fibers fresh and nails match your knits!

Clark Cable is one of the more advanced patterns in our series, but one of the great things about fingerless mitts is that they make great canvases for practicing new techniques! Cables are often thought of as really advanced, but the truth is that they are surprisingly easy, and they make a great visual impact. We are sure you will have all your friends asking after them when you are done!

Cables

As always Knitty has a great tutorial with photographs on how to work cable stitches.

Errata

There is one tiny mistake the original pattern. We did go through and manually correct the patterns that are in the boxes, but we will mention it here again, just incase one was missed, or if you aren’t sure what it means.

In round 14 it should read as: P3, k3, turn work so that WS is facing; you will re-work the last 6 sts once more, and all the way round. WS now facing: K1, (p2, k6, p3, k1) four times, p2, k6, p2, k1. Turn.

Needles

Choosing needles when working in the round on small circumferences can be a bit of a puzzle. In this case Isobel, our test knitter, recommended working with two short circular needles rather than double points as she found the cable needle plus lots of needles a bit of a handful.

Clark Cable

Ladders

What are ladders? Well, other than something that you use to reach that last can of chickpeas in the pantry, they are a pesky side effect of knitting in the round. What happens is that there is too much yarn going from one needle to the next and it creates a gap between the stitches that looks like a little ladder. Due to the reverse stockinette background of the pattern it is bound to show up a little bit, but there are a few ways to minimize things.

One way is to make sure that the first and last stitches on your needles are pulled snuggly to reduce the amount of extra yarn.

Another is to use magic loop or two circs, as this will give you two sets of ladders instead of the three that you would get with dpns.

Whatever you decide to do, I am sure that the overall effect of the ladders will lesson once it is blocked. Isobel found that once she had washed them in Soak and eased them into shape, the ladders disappeared all together!

Yarn Quantity

It is always a good idea to check your gauge on a pattern, but there is an extra reason to do it on this one. There isn’t a lot of extra yarn, so you are going to want to make sure that your mitten isn’t going to accidentally come out too big as you will then run out of yarn. It is easier to check  that your needle size is right and start over than to knit 1.75 mitts and discover that you have run out!

Happy Knitting!


Soakboxes: knit-a-longs, magazines and manicures

Working on something special this fall? How are those hands holding up? It’s time to put down your needles and pick up a Soakbox. What’s that you ask?
Lace Kelly getting polished #2

Soak, Handmaid luxury hand creme, nail polish and custom dyed to match yarn. Who could ask for anything more? Ask for them by name, get one at your LYS. They’re everywhere! (or have your LYS get in touch with us if they don’t stock them yet)
We’ve got some great things brewing related to our Soakboxes this holiday season. Watch for knit-a-longs, tutorials, give-aways and Ravelry updates about each design.
If you spot someone knitting Soakboxes, do let us know. We’re gathering images, feedback and manicure shots!

Looking for more about Soakboxes? Want to blog yourself? Here are some fun links. Check out Annie’s blog. Meet Natalie. Hello Knitty! They are also featured in the holiday issue of Knit Simple magazine (we’re super proud)

Our website is stacked wtih new products for all your holiday needs. From stocking stuffers (Handmaid anyone?) to full bottles of Soak, we’ve got your holiday gift giving all sorted out.

 Applying Handmaid creme #1

As for Soakboxes, here are some holiday ideas to start you off. There’s still time to knit before the holiday season!

  • Knit up the knits and put them back in the box for a great gift for the non-knitter in your life (if you can resist them yourself!)
  • Host a manicure & knit night with friends. Bring some bubbly and knit all night long.
  • Have your LYS host a class around Soakboxes.  

Have you knit all four yet?

 Soakbox: may your nails match your knits. #6


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


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