Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Great last-minute gift!

SOAP SWEATER


A pattern by Designated Knitter
This pattern results in a bar of soap which is encased in knitted fabric – it should be a fairly snug fit. As the soap is used, warm/hot water and agitation will felt the fabric around the soap, and it will shrink around the soap. You have both lather and scrubbing action, and the sweater keeps the soapy liquid from leaving a mess on the sink.
(This pattern is the property of DesignatedKnitter and may not be reproduced except for one copy for individual use. If you otherwise print or distribute this pattern without DesignatedKnitter's written permission, you are stealing.)
Abbreviation note: Kfb is Knit into the Front & Back of the stitch. An explanation of this technique (with video support) is available at this link.

MATERIALS:
  • Cascade 220 (or 100% wool, worsted weight which felts well. Lambs Pride, Noro, Manos would all work well. Be sure you do not have superwash or a blend with cotton or acrylic as these will not felt. The addition of mohair actually helps the felting, so those yarns are good as well.)
  • Size 8 DPN’s
  • Bar of Soap (Bath & Body Works Glycerin Soap or any soap you choose.)

    PATTERN
  • Cast on 6 stitches on one DPN.
  • Row 1 – Kfb, pick up new needle, Kfb 2, pick up new needle, Kfb, pick up new needle, Kfb2.
  • Round 2 – Join, being careful not to twist. Knit round.
  • Round 3 – Needle 1: Kfb 2 (4 on needle) Needle 2: Kfb, knit to last stitch, Kfb (6 on needle) Needle 3: Kfb 2 (4 on needle) Needle 4: Kfb, knit to last stitch, Kfb (6 on needle)
  • Round 4 – Knit around
  • Round 5 - Needle 1: Kfb, knit to last stitch, Kfb (6 on needle) Needle 2: Kfb, knit to last stitch, Kfb (8 on needle) Needle 3: Kfb, knit to last stitch, Kfb (6 on needle) Needle 4: Kfb, knit to last stitch, Kfb (8 on needle)
  • Round 6 – Knit around
  • Round 7 - Needle 1: Knit (6 on needle) Needle 2: Kfb, knit to last stitch, Kfb (10 on needle) Needle 3: Knit (6 on needle) Needle 4: Kfb, knit to last stitch, Kfb (10 on needle)
  • Round 8 - Needle 1: Knit (6 on needle) Needle 2: Kfb, knit to last stitch, Kfb (12 on needle) Needle 3: Knit (6 on needle) Needle 4: Knit (10 on needle)


    Knit around until soap begins to narrow. (Mine was about 8 rows even)
  • Work decreases as follows:
  • Round 1 - Needle 1: Knit (6 on needle) Needle 2: SSK, knit to last stitch, K2tog (10 on needle) Needle 3: Knit (6 on needle) Needle 4: Knit (10 on needle)
  • Round 2 - Knit around(put soap into sweater and work final rows around the soap.
  • Round 3 - Needle 1: Knit (6 on needle) Needle 2: SSK, knit to last stitch, K2tog (8 on needle) Needle 3: Knit (6 on needle) Needle 4: SSK, knit to last stitch, K2tog (8 on needle)
  • Round 4 – Knit around
  • Round 5 - Needle 1: SSK, K2tog (4 on needle) Needle 2: SSK, knit to last stitch, K2tog (6 on needle) Needle 3: SSK, K2tog (4 on needle) Needle 4: SSK, knit to last stitch, K2tog (6 on needle)
  • Round 6 – Knit around
  • Round 7 - K2tog all the way around.

  • FINISHING
  • Break the yarn and use darning needle to draw yarn through the stitches.
  • Pull tight.
  • Weave in ends.


    This is a stitch-by-stitch pattern of how I made the soap sweater for a bar of Bath & Body Glycerin soap. (Shown in green sweater.) The tan sweater is a rectangular bar of soap – the pattern is generally the same, I just did the increases & decreases more quickly (no knit rows between increases or decreases) so that the ends were shorter. With this pattern as a beginning point, you can fit a sweater to any soap shape or size.
  • 22 comments:

    Marie N. said...

    I love this idea! Thank you :-)

    Mrs P said...

    This is a great idea. Is there any way to make the sweater reusable?

    Marie N. said...

    Nice surprise! I just saw your pattern on the Yahoo Knitpatterns email group from Leah. Congrats!

    Designated Knitter said...

    Thanks Marie - I was excited to see that too!
    Mrs. P - I haven't really thought about making it reusable - I think that would depend alot on how much it shrinks as it felts. And because it felts, you can't unravel....I've pretty much considered it a one-time shot, a great idea for leftover bits of yarn. Although, I must confess that I wondered about cutting it apart when the soap is gone and using it as a pocket on a felted bag.....

    artsandminds said...

    Thanks for sharing your pattern... perfect for those hard to buy for people! But what does "kfb 2" mean?

    Designated Knitter said...

    I'm sorry, I should have listed abbreviations.
    Kfb is an increase where you knit into both the front and back of the stitch. You do a normal knit stitch, but before you move it off the needle, you knit into the back of the same stitch. So Kfb2 is Knit Front & Back in 2 stitches.

    Anonymous said...

    What a great idea. Could you make it reusable by creating some type of button flap so you could add more soap bits after the bar is gone?? I do not know much about felting but this would be a great thing to have in addition to a wonderful gift

    myharplady

    darkstarr said...

    What timing! My daughter just purchased a similar item at a holiday bazaar. Only hers is done from roving.

    As far as re-using the sweater, it was suggested to us that when these are used up (and well rinsed) they make wonderful kitty toys.

    Thanks so much for sharing this.

    BrownBerry said...

    Hi! I'm promoting these over at our Year Long Gift-a-Long as a Gift List idea. The site is at www.knitallyear.blogspot.com. Just thought you should know :)

    nora said...

    I would think the only way to make it reusable would be to use a yarn that doesn't felt, or to make it larger and then felt it so that it remains one size that's large enough to reuse. You could make one from a wool blend or acrylic but then it probably wouldn't be as soft (but would be good for exfoliating)or hold in the squishy liquefied soap mess as well - depending how tightly you knit it.

    Tara said...

    To make it reusable, use a yarn that won't felt, and instead of decreasing at the end, knit the last few rows, adding an eyelet row, thread with i-cord or twisted yarn rope, and then you also have something to hang it up with.

    Silvia said...

    Fab Idea to use in a little 'Bathtime'/'Pamper' gift Hamper...Thanks so much for sharing that Idea

    komankova said...

    hehe. nice. i did crochet some cotton soap nets before but hit is even more funny - great idea

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    Polly said...

    Thanks for this pattern! I would like to reuse this so I'm making it out of wool, hoping it will felt. When it's used up I may felt it a bit more and then cut into two pieces for scrubbies in the kitchen.

    Polly said...

    Thanks for this pattern! I would like to reuse this so I'm making it out of wool, hoping it will felt. When it's used up I may felt it a bit more and then cut into two pieces for scrubbies in the kitchen.

    Polly said...

    Thanks for this pattern! I would like to reuse this so I'm making it out of wool, hoping it will felt. When it's used up I may felt it a bit more and then cut into two pieces for scrubbies in the kitchen.

    Polly said...

    Thanks for this pattern! I would like to reuse this so I'm making it out of wool, hoping it will felt. When it's used up I may felt it a bit more and then cut into two pieces for scrubbies in the kitchen.

    Em said...

    To reuse, first you could just use as a scrubbie type washcloth. Or, once it's felted, could you cut a slit in it to add more soap, then either sew it up, needle felt it back together, or just continue to use it (and it will become re-felted through the scrubbing action)?
    Looking forward to trying this pattern. I use a felted soap in my shower and it lasts a long time and makes a wonderful body scrubber.

    online shopping said...

    It can't work as a matter of fact, that's exactly what I consider.

    Noel Wright said...

    I love the idea of it being recycled into kitty toys!