Shinybees - The Knitting, Comedy and Yarn Podcast

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

Polish deisgner Justyna Lorkowska is in the hotseat this week, chatting about her journey from private primary school teacher, through motherhood and into knitting designer. Designing under Lete's Knits, Justyna has a wide portfolio of patterns, from accessories to garments and for all age ranges, as well as a few for the men in your life (or yourself!). Majoring in chunky texture and cabled details, she's designed some of the  favourites of Ravelry, such as Alecia Beth, Alice in Wonderland and most recently, Florrick. She collaborated on a special edition kit for Edinburgh Yarn Festival, designing a shawl pattern, Aisling, for Eden Cottage Yarns.

Shownotes as always are at

Justyna can be found at

Music for this episode is provided courtesy of Music Alley and is 'I Need a Drink' by Adam and the Walter Boys.

Direct download: Episode_42_-_Letes_Knits_-_An_Interview_with_Justyna_Lorkowska.mp3
Category:Knitting -- posted at: 3:50pm UTC

We're back with some enabling, a bit ore enabling and some socks this week. Oh, and baby bums. That is sort of enabling too.

In Enablers' Corner, there is a precis of the new collection from Tin Can Knits, entitled 'Max and Bodhi's Wardrobe'. Modelled by two of the cutest kids known to mankind, both of whom have chubby baby bum on show and one of which is sporting a mohawk, it is sure to have you scouring your friends for babies to clothe, or indeed, considering expanding your own brood.

Wippin' Piccadilly covers finished objects and works in progress. There are very large pompoms on babies. It's a bit baby centric in general at the moment. That isn't a hidden message by the way.

The Sock Surgery is an exercise in self-striping yarn enablement, with Clare's picks of the best places to get your hands on hand dyed and commercial self stripes.

Finally, we round up with a fab giveaway from Tanja at The Knitting Swede.

Shownotes, as always, are on the blog. Music is provided courtesy of Adam and the Walter Boys via Music Alley, with 'I Need a Drink'.

Direct download: Episode_41_-_Baby_Bums_and_Self_Stripe.mp3
Category:Knitting -- posted at: 9:08pm UTC

This week, I'm delighted to bring an interview with Stephen West of Westknits. I caught up with Stephen at Edinburgh Yarn Festival where he proclaimed brioche stitch to be the stitch of the year and indeed the new garter stitch, recounted fangirling Ysolda in the early days of his design career and declared Tosh Merino Light in Edison Bulb his Desert Island Skein.

No swants were harmed in the making of this podcast.

Shownotes for the episode are at

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

Direct download: Episode_40_-_The_Prince_of_Brioche_-_An_Interview_With_Stephen_West.mp3
Category:Knitting -- posted at: 9:09pm UTC

When your favourite author shuffles off his mortal coil, there's little else you can do but pay homage in a knitty fashion. Following the death of Sir Terry Pratchett, this episode could certainly be described as a knitty tribute.

Enablers' Corner takes a non Pratchett-driven form with a rundown of the first quarter yarns from The Golden Skein. These were UK dyer Joy of The Knitting Goddess with the colour way 'Golden Wings Flutter By', dyed onto the Britsock base. This is a 40% BFL, 20% Wensleydale, 20% Alpaca and 20% Nylon, British sourced and spun. Secondly, there is Swiss-based dyeing duo Fides and Gaby of Siidegarte, with the colourway 'Butterfly'. This is dyed onto the Siide-Quirlig base, a heady blend of 70% Silk and 30% Seacell. Finally, there's the fabulour Michelle of Berry Colourful Yarnings, with the colourway 'Peacock's Revenge', dyed onto the Saturated Sock base. This is a 75% Superwash Merino, 25% Nylon base and is a self-striping yarn.

The pattern pick is back, with less emphasis on the comedy and more on a collation of Discworld themed patterns. A brief history of Discworld time is offered for the uninitiated.

In the Sock Surgery, it's all about afterthought heels. Get that self-stripe out my friends!

Clare also introduces a new book review section to the Sock Surgery. This episode is a review of Sock Architecture by Lara Neel. Clare's verdict: not for beginners, but and excellent companion book for those interested in more technical knitting aspects. There is a giveaway running for this book at

As always, full shownotes are available at

If you like to knit your socks both toe up and cuff down, you're probably already familiar with British designer Louise Tilbrook. If not, listen in for her take on all things yarn and running a business within the industry by night, and working as a scientist during the day.

In Enablers' Corner, there;s a quick rundown of Edinburgh Yarn festival purchases, with mentions for Knockando Woolmill and Whistlebare Yarns.

The main interview segment is with Louise, where we cover all the usual questions that you hear in the entrepreneur interviews.

Finally, Clare Devine rejoins us with her top tips from knitting toe up socks in the Sock Surgery.

Shownotes, as always, are availabel at Music from this episode is from Music Alley and is 'I Need a Drink' by Adam and the Walter Boys.

Edinburgh Yarn Festival is on the horizon and all of that wardrobe planning you did to make sure you were impeecable turned out in beautiful knitwear for the day should be upon you. And me. but it's not, because my knitting is not finished. Is yours? Don't worry if not, because in today's episode we discuss methods of overcoming your wardrobe malfunction in Enabler's Corner (warning: contains enabling). 

The Sock Surgery returns with Kate and Clare, discussing what to do when you have finished those socks. The merits of blocking your socks and how to wash and care for them are important subjects to consider if you don't want all your hard work to go to waste!

Full shownotes for this episode are available at


Story time this week where there is a roundup of all the happenings at PodRetreat2015, including patio chairs, statues of Elvis and fuse box infernos. If you want several good reasons why you shouldn't buy French cars or Welsh farmhouses, you'll find them here.

In Enablers' Corner, we visit New Lanark UNESCO World Heritage Site in Scotland and learn a bit about the mill and social impact it had. There's a quick description of the facilities on offer there as well as inforation about the yarn they spin, which is the main thing we all want to know about, after all.

Finally, the Famous Shinybees Pattern Pick returns and it's a bit of a crazy one on the subject of 'ball'. Warning: may cause you to laugh so hard you urinate.

Show notes as always are on the blog at

Direct download: Episode_36_-_The_One_With_The_Circus_Music_and_a_Trip_to_New_Lanark.mp3
Category:Knitting -- posted at: 10:14pm UTC

It's all about the socks this week. Clare and Kate return to discuss different methods for casting off top down socks as well as a brief overview of cast-offs for toe up socks.

In Enablers' Corner, I announce a new, one-off collaboration between The Golden Skein and Edinburgh Yarn Festival. Based on the format of the Power of 3 Club, the Linne Foirthe (Firth of Forth) Club is a celebration of the Edinburgh Yarn Festival and the Scottish yarn scene. Edinburgh is home to an array of wonderful designers, dyers and yarn shops and the photo draws its inspiration from the iconic Forth Bridge, which is 125 years old this year. The club is on sale on 15th February 2015 at 1900 GMT at The Golden Skein website.

On the sock front, Kate and Clare discuss casting off, with Kitchener Stitch and cinching of the toes being the two main methods of casting off a top down sock. Clare loves Elizabeth Zimmerman's sewn bind off as her go-to for toe up socks.

In the Agony Aunt section, Clare answers a question on using magic loop for two-at-a-time socks with a heelflap construction. Clare recommends a tutorial at

Kate joins me in person to discuss how she has found her first month in the Sock Surgery and gives a precis of the Tarsi Grande pattern as well as the Hullabaloo yarn from The Golden Skein's winter 2014 club.

Full shownotes for this episode are available at

Music for this episode is courtesy of Music Alley and is Adam and the Walter Boys with 'I need a drink'.

Direct download: Episode_35_-_Cast_Offs_For_Socks.mp3
Category:Knitting -- posted at: 10:44pm UTC

Special guest Kate Davies, of Kate Davies Designs, joins us on the podcast this week to discuss her journey as a designer and writer, from her previous life as a university academic to the current day. She shares the highs and lows of running your own enterprise as well as a glimpse into her everyday life as a designer.

You can find Kate Davies online at, as well as on Ravelry, Twitter and Instagram.

As always, full shownotes are available at

Direct download: Episode_34_-_Making_it_as_a_Knitwear_Designer_with_Kate_Davies_2.mp3
Category:Knitting -- posted at: 1:40pm UTC

It's very socktacular this week with the return of the Sock Surgery. The show kicks off with a review of the 9.5" (9") / 23cm asymmetric circular needles from Kinki Amibari, kindly given for review by Rachel at Clare will also be reviewing these on her blog in the near future. My verdict: quite good fun for knitting socks, very disco handbag friendly. If you want to be in with a chance to win a set of these, head over to the Ravelry group to enter!

Sock Surgery this week covers how to fix common things that go wrong when you start knitting socks, chiefly the losing of stitches singly or in multiples.

Finally, the Agony Aunt section covers resizing of socks to fit you, chiefly how to go about making patterns suitable for 56sts size socks.

Full shownotes are available at

Music for this episode provided via Music Alley: 'I Need a Drink' by Adam and the Walter Boys.