Shinybees - The Knitting, Comedy and Yarn Podcast (knitting)

The podcast for those who like their knitting, yarn and comedy in equally large measures. Hosted by UK knitter Jo Milmine, there's also a regular Sock Surgery co-hosted with Clare Devine and Kate Read. Business minded? Enjoy the interviews with industry entrepreneurs for top tips and inspiration on making it in the yarn industry. Finally - enjoy the finest fringe knitting pattern picks that Ravelry has to offer.

The Podcasts

Who likes Angel Delight?

This week's episode is definitely on the delight end of the pudding scale as opposed to a seven tier unicorn cake and that's often a good thing. It's a low tariff canter and catch up with no big questions asked or answered and instead we have some light and fluffy as air fun.

In community news, I invite you to come and join the #shinybeescolourworkchallenge  over in the Facebook group and try your hand at some stranded knitting. If knitting with more than one colour has been intimidating to you in the past, now's the time to cast that aside and give it a crack. There will be helpful hints and tips posted in the group throughout the month and the occasional Shetland Pony in Fair Isle. Obvs.

In Enabler's Corner I enable you to two not quite yarny but definitely fun (depends on your version of fun for the latter, but I like it) things to try. First up we have the delightfully witty Amy Nolan of Ginger Rainbow who does the most fantastic illustrations and doodles. She's very witty and manages to bring situational humour out in her quirky drawings. I am a big fan. Secondly, we have #hotelroomview, the fun adventures of working on the road and seeing a lot of hotel rooms, hosted by the wonderful Bexx. It really shouldn't be that exciting or gripping, but there is something about these hotel room views that has captured my imagination. It's a bit like looking at house porn on Rightmove.

In Wippin' Piccadilly, I have finished Helen Stewart's Spindrift Shawl and the Everyday Brew by Clare Devine. I'm never knitting with black yarn again. Future/fantasy knit searching has taken me to the Prism hat by Tin Can Knits which is part of the Mad Colour collection which was released in August. This versatile pattern gives oodles of opportunity for creating a one-of-a-kind hat, and is really more like three patterns in one. Also catching my eye from this collection is 1999, a sweater with a masculine lace (that's a thing) panel down the front. The collection itself comprises 16 patterns and is available from Ravelry for $21.60 USD.

Shownotes for this episode are at www.shinybees.com

Music is by Adam and the Walter Boys with 'I Need A Drink.'

Direct download: Episode_106_-_Colourwork_Challenge.mp3
Category:Knitting -- posted at: 5:31pm UTC

Knitting: Is it *just* knitting? Or is it more than that?

That's what we are going to be exploring today and in future episodes is how knitting transcends just being handiwork and becomes something much bigger. Today that's going to be using the Pussy Hat Project as an example. This is not a political rant episode, it's about using this case study (yes, I am a Geographer) to understand how knitting can spark change and allow people to be heard on a wider level.

In community news, I'm inviting you to join the new Facebook group - Shinybees Podcast Community. There's loads of chat going on in there about podcast stuff and knitting, Use the Facebook Groups App to avoid having the rest of the Facebook guff making your phone go. 

Big goal for this year is 1,000,000 downloads for the podcast. I hope you'll all join me in reaching this target and I'll have lots of info for you about how to make that happen.

Lastly a shoutout for 5647rhats45 for a lovely iTunes review. 

Knitting as more than craft is the topic of the chat this week and I'm pulling apart the Pussy Hat Project from a technical/case study perspective. I am staying well away from passing political comment as to my own personal views, so if you are sick of hearing about it, I hope you will still find this useful. There are lessons to be learned around the idea of knitting as more than craft and how we achieve change through the medium of knitting. For those not aware, the Pussy Hat Project aims to provide the people of the Women's March on Washington DC a means to make a unique collective visual statement, which will help activists be better heard. It also aims to provide people who cannot physically be on the National Mall a way to represent themselves and support women's rights.

Whether or not you agree with the politics of this project, there are lessons: power of a community gathered around a common aim; ability to inspire and motivate people to take part; accessibility to new crafters; creation of new connections within the project; the sheer logistical effort involved in managing a project to create and distribute 1.2 million pink hats.

In Enablers' Corner, I enable you to the Not Seen Before MKAL which starts on 31st January 2017. This is part of the Sight is Life project (and collection) which raises funds to support a facility in the DRC who conduct sight saving and restoring operations.

Show notes are at shinybees.com

Music for this episode is Adam and the Walter Boys with 'I Need a Drink'.

Direct download: Episode_105_-_Knitting_As_More_Than_Just_Craft.mp3
Category:Knitting -- posted at: 11:22am UTC

Permission. You don't need it from anyone to enjoy your hobbies, especially and most particularly if that hobby is knitting.

This week the chat is about two notions: 1) selfish knitting and 2) hiding yarn purchases from significant others. Selfish is a bad word. It has negative connotations and is not a compliment. Why, oh WHY then, do we use this to describe engaging in our hobby if the thing we are making is for the benefit of ourselves? It's utter twaddle! Nobody expects it from football players or golfers. Nobody calls them selfish for doing their own hobby for their own-flipping-benefit. Why is it an accepted thing as a knitter?

Secondly is the idea of it being a big joke to hide yarn purchases from significant others. To the extent of it being an 'amusing' sign in yarn shops. No, no, no. 

You are allowed to give yourself permission to buy whatever you want, whenever you want and knit whatever you want with it for your very own self UTTERLY UNAPOLOGETICALLY.

Also - family who think you knitting in public is antisocial (whilst they play on Facebook) - do one!

In Enabler's Corner I have a huge amount of love for Sam and his geographical knitting and travelling. 

In Active Stash Exploration, I revisit a very special skein from South Africa. It is leftovers from the Tanya's Train project. 

Show notes are on the blog at shinybees.com

Music for this episode is 'I Need a Drink' by Adam and the Waterboys.

Direct download: Episode_104_-_Your_Permission_Is_Not_Required.mp3
Category:Knitting -- posted at: 3:48pm UTC

The first show of 2017 brings the project of the year for podcast to you. This year, we're all about Active Stash Exploration. What's that you say? It's definitely not cold sheeping, that is for sure.

First up we have a quick catch up on happenings, before diving in to some news both for the Bees on the business front and for the podcast. Bees Inc is restructuring and that means we will lose some parts of the empire in order to focus on others. There is a free business group on Facebook (Business Without The Boll*cks) as well as a new online community portal that I am currently building. If you're sick of tying yourself in knots about what you 'should' be doing in your business and getting nowhere because of it, I'm the girl for you.

I also organised a business retreat in Cumbria at the end of January. There is one place left - email me to enquire.

On the pod front, I have lots of exciting stuff lined up for the year. The main project will be Active Stash Exploration, but there will also be lots of mini themes and challenges to go along with it. I have started a new Facebook group as an alternative to Ravelry which is getting less engagement in the forums due to the clunky interface. The group is Shinybees Podcast Community.

In Enabler's Corner, I am enabling you to the Brioche Challenge over in Louise Tilbrook's new group on Facebook - Everyday Knitter. If you have ever wanted to learn brioche and have been a bit intimidated, there are loads of great folks over there casting on, ripping back and trying again. If you want a go and need moral support, that is definitely the place to do it. The community is already really chatty and helpful. 

Hat Enabling this week is courtesy of Gillian Harkness of Mina Knits Designs with the Rios Rocks collection. It's a group of 6 hats designed in Malabrigo Rios and inspired by the Rio Olympics. If you prefer the more understated look, this could be the collection for you. Quick to knit (worsted weight yarn) and great for nice, semi-solid colours. My favourite is the Rio hat. Collection is available on Ravelry at £14.40.

And then we have Active Stash Exploration. This is my rally against the idea of cold sheeping and stashing down. I've tried it before and I am no good at it, chiefly because when I am told not to do something I have to spend time thinking about how to do it without flagrantly breaking the rules. I hate the idea of depriving myself of something that brings joy. Counter this again the feeling of FOMO when you go into the stash and find stuff you cannot believe you own and you can't wait to knit, but you don't have chance yet.

Active Stash Exploration is the method I will be using to kick those feelings of missing out to the kerb. It's NOT about cold sheeping - the emphasis is on active exploration of what we already have and the stories attached to the yarn. A nifty by-product of this probably will be less acquisition but the emphasis is not on that.

My theme for January is reacquaintance with what I have and thinking about which stories I want to share first. I would love to hear your stories if you decide to join me in this with the hashtag #activestashexploration and in our shiny new Facebook group.

Full show notes for this episode ate at shinybees.com

Music is by Adam and the Walter Boys with 'I Need a Drink.'

Direct download: Episode_103_-_Active_Stash_Exploration.mp3
Category:Knitting -- posted at: 2:00pm UTC

This week the show returns after a short hiatus. I'll give you a few funny tales from the past couple of months to get you in the mood for some Shiny On Form thought the episode. Pulling an octagenarian and gatecrashing a funeral are amongst the highlights.

In Enabler's Corner, I enable you to the Tiny Tea Hat collection, which is the mini version of the most popular hats from Clare Devine of Knit Share Love's Tea Collection. It contains Chai, Everyday Brew, Lapsang and Liquorice.

This is where it went off on one for the first time and I enlighten the world to the fact that the latest Hot Right Now craze for Ponytail Hats on Ravelry is in fact nothing to do with Facebook and everything to do with the Manbun.

After this, I review Woolly Wormhead's Painted Woolly Toppers for Kids. Edgy, fun, a little subversive plus impossibly cute kids and interesting hat construction = a winner for me. 

Shownotes for this episode can be found at www.shinybees.com, along with highly amusing photos of Vladimir Putin with a man bun.

Music is from Adam and the Walter Boys with 'I Need a Drink'.

Direct download: Episode_102_-_On_The_Edge_Of_Something_Magical.mp3
Category:Knitting -- posted at: 11:51am UTC

As Ravelry is disappointingly light on actual dalmatian patterns, I'm afraid this episode will not contain a pattern pick, but there will be a few of the usual segments you know and love. And a bit of mini Paul Rudd.

Events-wise, coming up we have Yarnporium in London on 5-6 November. I'll be attending on the 6th: please say hi if you see me. And if I am holding any yarn, take it from me. Please. I have two tickets to give away - to enter leave a comment on the show notes on the Shinybees website. Tickets will be given away next week.

The following weekend is Festiwool in Hitchin, Hertfordshire on 12th November.

In Enabler's Corner, I enable you to Northern Yarn. Kate is based in Lancaster and has a great range of local breed, hand dyed and her very own yarn line called Northern Yarn. If you're into local wool or knitting British, she's definitely worth a look. Find her at northernyarn.co.uk.

Wippin' Piccadilly returns. Finished items wise, there is the Talisman Shawl by Helen Stewart in The Wool Kitchen Urban Hints yarn. Nearly finished is the Lush Cardigan by Tin Can Knits in Berry Colorful Yarnings. I'm not loving Frisson by Brittany Wilson, as the pattern is not as fun as I had hoped, although it looks great. Yarn by Toil and Trouble for The Golden Skein.

I have plans for Kindling Hat and Mitts by Helen Stewart (Knitvent 2015) in yarn from The Little Grey Sheep.

I ask for your best hat recommendations for knitting for the family. Let me know your favourites on Ravelry or on social media. I need enabling!

Full show notes are at shinybees.com

Music by Adam and the Walter Boys with 'I Need a Drink'.

Direct download: Episode_101_-_No_Dalmatians_Required.mp3
Category:Knitting -- posted at: 4:51pm UTC

The tonne! A century! Episode 100 is upon us and a hearty thanks to all of you that have listened, do listen and are new to listening. Welcome one and all.

Two topics of conversation this week, one of which contains zero knitting and a lot of the young Wigan version of Paul Rudd and his fit-for-his-age Dad. Don't ask...

To celebrate episode 100 (and total credit to one Countess Ablaze for this idea) I am instigating The Great Shinybees Hexipuff Amnesty. Got Hexipuffs? Want to donate them for a good cause? Post them to Countess Ablaze's studio in Manchester then clear your diary for the Great Swinton Sewing Bee (keepers' Quilt).

In support of Monthly Gift Mcr, all proceeds from the raffled off Beekeepers' Quilts (and party) will go to the supply of sanitary products to this charity for distribution to homeless women. #hexipuffamnesty and #sodhexipuffs are your hashtags of choice. I am team #sodhexipuffs, but for every 100 that arrive, I'll actually knit one of the buggers. 

Show notes of crazy (and Paul Rudd) at shinybees.com.

Music for episode is Adam and the Walter Boys with 'I Need a Drink.'

Direct download: Episode_100_-_The_Great_Shinybees_Hexipuff_Amnesty.mp3
Category:Knitting -- posted at: 5:43pm UTC

Pokemon is the theme of this week's episode as I delve deep into the bowels of Ravelry's pattern database to bring you a pattern pick of joyous wonder. If you've been sucked into the Pokemon Go craze (or PoGo to the cool kids) and you need some suitable patterns to accompany your meteoric rise as a trainer, I have you covered.

From head to toe. In yellow acrylic.

How does a Terry's Chocolate Orange fit into this madness? You're going to have to listen to find out!

Also in the mis we have some Enabler's Corner action with the ever fabulous Boo Knits. She has a new collection out - Boos for Beginners - which will take you from zero to hero. Also entirely appropriate for the more seasoned professional, this is sure to be a great collection for the library that you will find yourself returning to again and again. Want to be in with a chance of winning a copy? Head over to the group on Ravelry and tell me which is your favourite Boo pattern.

Also in knitty news, there is the Cheshire Fibre festival which will take place on 1 Oct 16 as part of the wider North West Fibre Arts Trail. Deets in the show notes at shinybees.com

Music for this episode is Adam and the Walter Boys with 'I Need a Drink'.

Direct download: Episode_99_-_When_Pokemon_Go_and_Yarn_Collide.mp3
Category:Knitting -- posted at: 10:42am UTC

This week we're indulging in a current affairs panel TV style format... without the panel. It's just me and three recent knitting related stories that have come to my attention and some thoughts on all of them.

First up there is the story from Dundee of a woman given knitting as a punishment for a road rage related assault. Adamant she was a keen knitter, and that punching a woman in the face was just a momentary old of control before heading into The Knitting Pin, she was tasked with providing 'not a meagre amount' of knitting for charity before December.

Warning - I get a bit cross about this.

Then we have an excellent example of using local resources to overcome service gaps by the Faroese, who have strapped 360 degree cameras to five sheep in an attempt to encourage Google to agree to come and map the place properly for them. You can get a sheep's back view of the Faroes via videos uploaded by the local tourist board. This is magnificent.

Finally we have unexpected fifteen minutes of fame for DyeForYarn, our German friends Nicole and Cordula, who attracted considerable attention his week due to their quirky choices of yarn names. The mugs didn't get it.

Show notes are at www.shinybees.com

Music for this episode is from Adam and theWalter Boys with 'I Need a Drink'.

Direct download: Episode_98_-_Knitting_in_the_News.mp3
Category:Knitting -- posted at: 12:55pm UTC

This is the multi-award winning(!) Shinybees podcast, winner of the Best UK Podcast of 2016. 

Thanks to everyone who voted for the show. If you want to see the video of the acceptance speech, it's in the show notes. 


Knitting wise, I have been working mostly on Helen Stewart's Talisman Shawl from her Shawl Society club. It's being knit in Urban Hints 'Blood Orange' from The Wool Kitchen.
The #RewindKAL has completed from a prize point of view, but we can keep going with the chat thread as I'm still nowhere near done. I have realised that I am not a slow knitter, I just don't spend enough time knitting.

The Golden Skein's Summer Power of 3 Club featured Eden Cottage Yarns, Dublin Dye and Triskelion Yarn. You can find all details at www.thegoldenskein.com. Signups are open 1-7th July for the Autumn quarter 2016.

Show notes are at shinybees.com

Music for this episode is Adam and the Walter Boys with 'I Need a Drink'.

Direct download: Episode_97_-_Best_UK_Podcast_of_2016.mp3
Category:Knitting -- posted at: 8:10pm UTC

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