Soaking in Space

We are big fans of Chris Hadfield, the commander of the International Space Station. He is the first Canadian to command the ISS. We have been following along his videos, tweets, interviews and songs for a few months now. If you are at all interested in space stuff, he is a very cool guy to keep an eye on.

We were extra excited when we saw this science experiment that he did recently. There was a competition with Canadian highschools to come up with an easy experiment that Hadfield could preform on the ISS with materials on hand. The winning experiment was to see what would happen when he wrung out a wet washcloth when there was no gravity. This answers an age old question: What happens when you Soak in space? The results are amazing and totally Soakworthy!


Yarn Pop and Soak at Stitches West

There are so many knitting and lingerie events around North America, it is hard to keep up! We have a few that we do regularly and we love seeing everyone at those shows. We are super excited that even though we won’t be there personally, Soak still has a presence at many events, marketplaces and tradeshows thanks to our distributors, Louet and Bryson, as well as many independant retailers as well.

Soak will be officially taking up a corner of the Top Shelf Totes, booth number 1140 at Stitches West, February 21-24. We met Lori a few times over the last few months and fell in love with her sewn project bags.

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Lori will have the full range of Soak products, including our brand new Yuzu scent and Elvis Paisley Soakbox. This will be Yuzu’s first appearance in a marketplace, we are so excited for you all to see it and smell it.

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Yarn Pop has matched up some of her prints with Soak labels to make perfect little gifts. I think that a little knitting bag is the only thing that is missing from a Soakbox! Top Shelf Totes are all fully lined with a large tooth zipper, so they are very sturdy. You can feed your yarn through the grommets in the side so that there is no worry of the yarn getting into a tangly mess inside your purse.

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These would also be wonderful for non knitters as a toiletrie bag with some Soak and Handmaid. They look ready to go on an adventure together.

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Thank-you so much for hosting us Lori! We wish we could be there as well.

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Travelling Mini-soaks

We constantly get emails and praise from our customers about how mini-soaks have become a must bring item on their travels. The little single use packets are great in hotel rooms to wash hosiery, swim wear, blouses, or almost any garment for that matter. I’ve also heard stories of people bringing them on road trips, or when back packing because it allows them to pack light an easily wash their outfits without a washing machine or a large amount of water. I wanted to share some of the great photos that I’ve received from our world travellers. Did Soak go with you on your latest trip? Send me your photos and fun vacation stories.

Mini-soaks by a fountain in the Rathaus in Basel, Switzerland

A menu in Strasbourg, France

On a ship on the Rhine.

Luzern, Switzerland

 Citrus strapped to a bicycle on a Canal in Amsterdam.

Celebration mini-soaks in China.

Send your Soak success stories and photos to ngoc@soakwash.com.


Welcome to 2011.

Author: Ngoc

Did you make any resolutions this year? Interestingly the majority of people give up on their resolutions by mid-February and though most know that this happens, year after year, they will continue to make new resolutions (or reattempt old ones). I heard that people continue to do this because it feels good to make goals. In those few minutes when you are committing to make changes or better yourself, you invision the ‘new you’ and how your life will change due to these resolutions. These images of your ‘better life’ are enough of a reward for us that we will continue to make resolutions even if we know we are destined to fail at them. For those of you who have been successful at accomplishing your resolutions, please give us some of your tips.


One of my resolutions was to make better use of my camera. That brings us to the 365 project.

We’ve decided that our photography skills need some sprucing up. What better way to do that than to just get out there and start shooting? We’ve committed to participating in the 365 project, a photo for every day of the year. Not only is it a great way to make yourself pick up the camera, but it also helps to capture memories and document our year. We’ll be posting them on our Flickr account and we’ll post a mosaic of some of our favourites on this blog every now and then. Here are a few from the first week of 2011.


Dragons’ Den

That’s right. We’ll be appearing on Dragons’ Den for the second time. Tune in to CBC on Wed Jan 12, 2011 at 8pm. Send us your thoughts and comments after the show. Here is the video from when we were on last time.


Tradeshows

We’ve been at The Needle Arts National Assocation tradeshow all weekend where we officially launched our newest product, Heel, with great success. If you plan on attending Vogue Knitting Live in New York City, make sure you stop by our booth to say hi. Here’s a video of us setting up at TNNA over the weekend.


101 things to do with Soak | 032 Suitcases

Author: Esther 

I love everything that comes with travelling: exploring new places, trying new foods, experiencing new cultures, and meeting wonderful people. I have been lucky enough to travel to many different cities around the world for both missionary work and for pleasure. My trusty bright green suitcase has been the perfect companion during my trips to Seoul, Puket, Vancouver, Torreon, Monterrey, Tampico, Nava and most recently, New York City.


  

I’ve had this suitcase for years and the once bright vibrant green fabric is now decorated with stains and has dulled in color due to the thin layer or dirt and dust. Having a brightly colored suitcase makes it easily spottable when it circles the luggage conveyor belt. After returning from my latest vacation, I decided that my suitcase needed a good cleaning.

How I cleaned my suitcase:

Please remember to empty everything out of the pockets.

I put the suitcase into my bathtub and poured some Soak directly on the heaviest stains and used a slightly wet brush to gently scrub away the dirt. I gave the bag a quick rinse and was amazed at how dirty the water was. 

Open up all the pockets/compartments and leave it to air dry. 

I left it in the bathtub overnight to dry and when I went to check on it in the morning, it looked brand new. I forgot how bright and vibrant it used to be. My green suitcase is now clean, smells great and is ready for our next great adventure together. 


It’s Friday and I’m bagged. Week 29. Huile d’Olive

Author: Ngoc 

Grab a coffee or tea and join us each Friday, to learn how these Soak worthy bags came to be. Are you bagged? Send us your favorite bag. If we feature it here, we’ll send you a Soak gift pack, in a pretty bag, of course! 


Today’s bag is compliments of Paul and Marianne, a newlywed couple who spent their romantic honeymoon in France. On their first day exploring Aix-en-Provence, they came across a wonderful open air market.

 Surrounded by home-made tapenade, artisan breads, fresh spices and beautiful flowers, they were reminded of Chris (from the Soak office) and decided to pick up this wonderful bag for her.
I’m not exactly sure why they were thinking of Chris on their honeymoon, perhaps it is her love of farmer’s markets and her adamancy that most fruits and vegetables should only be bought while in season. Or maybe there is just something about olive oil that brings them fond memories of Chris. Either way, she scored a great new bag for her trips to the St. Lawrence Market in Toronto.
 
If you are lucky enough to find yourself in Provence, be sure to visit the wonderful markets and enjoy a baguette and some black olive tapenade for us. We’ve been told that you won’t be disappointed.

 


It’s Friday and I’m bagged. Week 22. Loop. London.

Author: Jacqueline

Grab a coffee or tea and join us each Friday, to learn how these Soak worthy bags came to be. Are you bagged? Send us your favorite bag. If we feature it here, we’ll send you a Soak gift pack, in a pretty bag, of course!


While in London, we visited a myriad of beautiful shops. One such shop was Loop. Loop has been working hard in the last month as they have moved into a beautiful bigger shop at 15 Camden Passage, Islington (right around the corner from Angel tube).

They had their opening party last Saturday with great success. When Susan opened the doors to the new shop at 11am, she was greeted by 150 wonderful customers cheering and clapping.  the line

While their previous shop was lovely, the new shop boasts several floors, workrooms and equally brilliant neighbors.loop camden paassage 3 Loop also has a booming online business. We enjoyed browsing the shop for vintage buttons, yarns and magazines alike. I love the extensive use of the word Haberdashery in the UK. It is highly underused here in Canada. Seriously, where, here, would you ever find this phrase? ‘Pompom kits, olivewood buttons and knitting Nellys are just a part of the huge range of haberdashery available’. Soak will now be part of this great shop, both in its online shop and retail outlet. It’s no surprise I left the shop with a cute bag and some fab finds. That’s the joy of travel.

Loop is also sponsoring the opening night party of Knit Nation, a UK based knit event occurring this summer. If anyone can figure out how I can go back to the UK for this event, do let me know! More on that another day.


It’s Friday and I’m bagged. Week 19. Melt.

Author: Jacqueline

Grab a coffee or tea and join us each Friday, to learn how these Soak worthy bags came to be. Are you bagged? Send us your favorite bag. If we feature it here, we’ll send you a Soak gift pack, in a pretty bag, of course!


There has been great debate about whether this blog is about just Soak, or great products in general. Is it commercial, or personal? Is it promotional or creative exploration? Well, we’re not ready to commit either way, but we feel that anything that inspires us enough to share should be included.

Sometimes it is about Soak, sometimes our customers, sometimes, like today, brilliant design, merchandising and products in totally unrelated fields. Today, I bring you, Melt.

While in London (yes, there’ll be several posts about great British discoveries), we discovered, at Liberty of London in the ‘confectionery department’, Melt chocolates. More specifically, hot chocolate lollipops.  A stick of perfectly square chocolate, wrapped in vividly coloured papers, filled with deliciousness.  Single origin hot chocolate blocks, as they are called. Hand made in their own kitchen.

Directions: swirl the lollipop in steeped milk and enjoy. How decadent.

A few steps from Portobello Road in a posh neighbourhood in Notting Hill, we found a Melt retail store. There were bars of chocolate, truffles and other caramel treats in the most perfectly elegant space.

There was even a Melt bike for carrying chilled bundles of deliciousness around town.

As I was leaving with my perfectly lovely bag filled with hot chocolate lollipops, I couldn’t resist photographing the shop, to share it with you. From brand to bar, Melt is a true example of a leading company. Check them out; we hope you’ll be as inspired as we were. Oh, and yes, the hot chocolate was delicious!


It’s Friday and I’m bagged. Week 18: Part 2, Feast of Fabric.

Author: Jacqueline  

Grab a coffee or tea and join us each Friday, to learn how these Soak worthy bags came to be. Are you bagged? Send us your favorite bag. If we feature it here, we’ll send you a Soak gift pack, in a pretty bag, of course!


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Katherine called it the Mother Ship. Some refer to it as Mecca. You may know it as Liberty of London. This London-based department store is, in my opinion, the perfect store. I could live there (on the fourth floor, in modern antiques/home textiles to be exact). I would venture to the second floor for cosmetics, linens and art deco printed towels and go to the ground floor for sweets, garden accessories and an endless supply of scarves. 
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Most importantly though, I would spend time on the fifth floor, in the haberdashery. Four walls. One yarn, one fabric, one crafts, and one of books and trinkets. An endless wall of Liberty prints is truely my quilting dream come true. I bought six half yards of decadent fabrics as well as an assortment of cotton hankies and scarves.IMG_4203 

There’s a Rowan concession, filled with Amy Butler fabric, Rowan yarns and knitters who demo yarns and books all day long. They can knit on the job, but they can’t sit. One lovely lady told us it took three months for her arms and back to adjust to knitting while standing up.  Best of all, when we talked of our Soak travels, they had heard of us! Fancy that. 

More London updates upon my return. I’ll be flying home when this post goes live. I hope my fabric stash will accept my new Liberty prints with the same enthusiasm with which they were purchased. I can’t wait to get them home.


It’s Friday and I’m bagged. Week 17: Mission accomplished. Well, the first half.

Author: Jacqueline Grab a coffee or tea and join us each Friday, to learn how these Soak worthy bags came to be. Are you bagged? Send us your favorite bag. If we feature it here, we’ll send you a Soak gift pack, in a pretty bag, of course!


I’ve travelled across the Atlantic to see the Quilt Exhibit at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, England. This morning, we started off at Quilts 1700-2010. What a way to start the day. The exhibition includes historical work created in the UK from eighteenth century patchwork through to modern times. My favorite piece was a quilt made entire of wool by a tailor, James Williams, of Wrexham, Wales, 1842-52. He, yes he, used left over pieces of wool from his tailor shop and spent over 18 years making innovative quilts.  Following the exhibit I went to the shop to secure a stash of limited production, reproduction fabrics made especially for the show. Needless to say, my bag was full. 

 

I bought fat quarters galore, and don’t worry dear quilting friends, you know who you are, I bought fat quarters and treats for you too.  We bought one copy of the show catalog, which I’ll surely bring to the next Quilt Sunday

Incidentally, I’ve also been photographing inspirational patterns as I come across them on my travels. A new sketchbook is surely in the works… but that’s another story. 

 The second half of the journey you ask? Liberty of London, on Thursday.