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


Weekly Affirmation | Blog Comment Love

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.


We love feedback on the blog (clearly you know about it, as you’re already here!) As you may know we just ran a Soakbox contest, promoting our Knit-A-Long, leading up to the holiday. We asked a question. “What is your preference: french manicure, or solid colour for your nails?” All you had to do was answer. (we keep it simple like that). This was one of our favorite comments, among the hundreds that poured in. Watch the blog throughout the season, we’ll be posting a lot of knitting lovin’. Thanks!

 

“I was so caught up in the pretty I forgot to answer the question…solid color for me : )”- Amber

Soakbox: may your nails match your knits. #5


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


Weekly Affirmation: Travelling with Soak

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.


From Karen, in a comment on the blog.

“As much as I overall suck at packing the one thing that I always pack now is Soak soap. A lingerie store in Toronto got me on to it. I use it for all my hand-washables at home but took it with me when I travelled to Europe. I can wash tanks and camis in the sink and throw them over the shower rod to dry. In Europe we used it to wash socks, underwear and sweaters.”

Thanks Karen! Soak is a great way to stretch your clothing a little further while on vaction. It is especially handy now that we have our minisoaks and  flight friendly 3oz sizes.

Soak 3oz


Soak, on the Shopping Channel! Watch it now.

We’ve been busy, and a bit out of touch with the blog. Thankfully it has been all in the name of good things and lots of work! We’ll be more on top of this moving forward.

Yesterday, as you may already know, we had our debut on the Shopping Channel! It was a very exciting day, full of new friends, new activities and selling Soak!

Jacqueline was the guest on-air, and Chris watched the numbers and helped from the sidelines. When experiencing such new and exciting adventures, it helps not to be alone!

We are very pleased to share with you the link to the great gift set we made, exclusively for them (you have to click to see it), as well as some awesome photos of the television that Chris took in the green room (the nice place where guests wait when they aren’t on air) and Jacqueline’s Dad took from home (the nice place where parents watch proudly as their children sell stuff on TV). We love the grainy look of the shots, combined with the TV buying information. All scents are available online, so get them now! Thanks for watching. We’ll let you know our next air date as soon as we have it.

Oh, and did we mention, you can even watch the video of our on-air episode too! (you have to click on the video link above the image on the Shopping Channel page selling Soak…)

Check it out! Thanks again for choosing Soak. We wouldn’t be where we are today, without you.


Keeping a secret, part 3: Planning the big reveal

What a week we’ve had. The suspense, the drama, the shipping of media samples! Alas, here it is. The final story in the beginning of a great new collection of products. We’re certain these Soakboxes will be here to stay.


Conceptually we were sorted and the designing began. We finalized our new 3oz bottles. They’re 100% post-consumer resin and super cute. Flight friendly and environmentally friendly. We created mini versions of our new labels for Soak 3oz and branded the new and now in high demand Handmaid.
Handmaid & Soak: aquae
We finalized our yarn colours, to match our Soak fragrances, of course, and Fiona finalized patterns.
PatternProgress

As Fiona pointed out, “four colour-ways were selected to encompass both fashion-forward shades and the classics. In my classes when looking at colour selection I point out how each hue has its own personality and provokes a response in us. So I based the designs for each pair of mitts on this theory, designing the patterns to fit with the mood of each colour and Soak fragrance.”

Fiona loves the detail in each pattern. Her words describe them best:

Clark Cable: reds are considered warm, passionate and powerful. This is a classic dark red so the cable design for this colour-way is dramatic and suitable for evening wear. The cables open up to create a saucy little hole for the thumb.
Clark Cable set

Double Pointe Pink: lights or pastels feel young, delicate and soft. Pale pink is very feminine and reminds me of ballet slippers. So this design has cables to look like the lacing of the ribbons and also includes my signature I-cord trim.
Applying Handmaid creme #2
Lace Kelly: this shade is an on-trend combination somewhere between blue & green. Both are thought of as cool, tranquil and calming. The eyelet lace is wonderfully ladylike and is my homage to the demure beauty of the style icon whose name we riffed on to name our colour.
Lace Kelly getting polished #2
Cuff au Lait: browns, the colour of earth, are comfortable, rustic and fertile, darks shades are opulent, light shades make me think of edibles: milk chocolate, caramel and of course cappuccino. The polish is something that you can wear with just about anything and so the design for this one has a “wear it every day” feel, the fold over ribbed cuff makes it cozy and casual.
Soakbox match
As we worked through the packaging, we scheduled photo shoots and naming parties to bring it all together.  When we started receiving bits and pieces at our warehouse, it became harder and harder to keep the project quiet. We even invited hand models from our local knit scene to assist in the photo shoot, trading secrecy for first access to the new designs.

Soakbox #1

In summary, each Soakbox includes a bottle of Soak and Handmaid luxury creme, in matching scents, stylishly coordinated to premium nail polish and matching Lorna’s Laces custom designed yarn.
 

clark cable, out of the box.
We’re all really excited about this project. While it’s still the start of summer, think towards knitting on the beach, cozy fall projects and holiday as this is the perfect gift, for yourself and those who knit. They’ll hit stores starting in June. Ask for them by name. In fact, print out this post and take it to your LYS (or gift store) and have them contact me to order them for you.

Images are available here. Feel free to share them, comment, blog and repost. Please be sure to link back to our website or this blog, so that our great team can be credited for their hard work. The products are live on our site as well, although as mentioned, they won’t ship until sometime in June. If you have any questions (purchasing, selling, promoting or just sending lovely feedback) related to this or other Soak projects, please be in touch! We would love to hear from you.

 “It is always exciting to see a project that begins as just a bright idea come to fruition but when it exceeds your own imaginings it is doubly so.” Fiona Ellis.


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


Keeping a secret, part 1: How to come up with a good secret.

Jacqueline has been brewing up at storm of new products for fall. She’s not always the best at keeping a secret, but sometimes, you have to do, what you have to do. She’s about to spill the beans!


New product development is my favorite job at Soak. Not only is it what I was trained to do (with my industrial design background), but it’s also really quite fun. So, when the stars aligned last year and I was introduced to a great idea, I got straight to work. It has been hard to keep this project under wraps, but it has been worth it. In true Soak style, we’ve been able to design and deliver a unique product with great friends.
Top Secret.

Following the creation of successful gift packs such as our travel packs and Heel/ Solemate boxes, we wanted to create a permanent collection of gift items, from Soak. That’s how the Soakbox was born. It’s a unique concept, filled with new products, unique items (like, say, custom hand-dyed yarn) and retail-worthy packaging. Watch in the coming days for more details on the new product.


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!


Spot cleaning with Soak.

Tonight I’m spot cleaning my dining room chairs, with Soak. I’ve got my favorite bottle of Aquae, a wash cloth and a bowl with Soak diluted in warm water. I’ve got a few stains. They’ll soon be gone. Some patience, elbow grease and Soak ensures my chairs are clean and smell great.

Directions: Dilute a cap full of Soak in a mixing bowl with warm water. Dip the cloth in water. Clean the material with quick firm circles removing dirt from the surface. Try not to over saturate wih water Allow the cushion to dry for at least 24 hours before reassembling chair.

20120401-173946.jpg

I also keep a bowl of clean water handy to wash the cloth, and to ensure I’m not using too much Soak and to make sure I’m not simply spreading the stain around. It’s not fancy, but it is simple, environmentally friendly and it works!

Happy Sunday cleaning!