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

Lots of Edinburgh Yarn Festival news this week for you and there's a pair of weekend tickets up for grabs for a lucky listener. The Podcast Lounge is shaping up to be a fun area to chill out over the weekend of 14-15 March 2015. Clare, Kate and I will be hosting a Sock Surgery drop on Saturday 14th. If you have any sock knitting woes, come and see us to get help with them! I'll be hosting an informal Q&A on the Sunday which is being referred to currently as 'Enterprise Enabling' to answer any questions you migth have about starting your own business. I'm a huge fan of enabling in all senses of the word and more than happy to share my experience with any of you.

The Indie Burgh Yarn Crawl is back for its second year. Date for you diaries is 13 and 14 June 2015.

Yarn And Knitting are opening their bricks and mortar shop in the North Laines in Brighton. Their Grand Opening party is Saturday 7 Feb, 2-6pm.

In the Enablers' Corner, there are two new to me podcasts for you; Wooldiaries of South Africa and The Baarmygirls in the UK.

Wippin' Piccadilly is back. There ahs been some casting on.

Full shownotes are available at

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


Direct download: Episode_32_-_Edinburgh_Yarn_Festival_Scoop_and_How_to_be_Enabled.mp3
Category:Knitting -- posted at: 4:01pm UTC

It's finally arrived! Casting on our wonderful socks in the Sock Surgery is upon us and this week we welcome back Clare Devine and Kate Read to discuss that most crucial of techniques: casting on. If you want help for the whole year on your sock knitting, you're in the right place.

The episode opens with the Enablers' Corner, a new official segment, where you'll find all sorts of enabling to help you achieve your crafty goals. Having made the realisation that I am a knitting 80%er, I asked the gurus of the Stash Heap Challenge group on Ravelry for some tips on how to overcome this. These go from the slightly laissez-faire finishing projects as you need the needles for somethign new, through to full on organised spreadsheets and indivisual criteria. Move over, Eurovision! If reducing your WIPs is an ambition of yours, there is plenty to go at here.

In the #SockSurgery we are talking all things casting on. There is also the first Sock Surgery Agony Aunt question, which discusses how to adjust your pattern for a narrow heel. Got Agony Aunt questions yourself? Come over to the Shinybees Ravelry group and post them in the discussion thread.

As always, show notes are available at You can find all things Clare Devine at

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

The enabling continues at pace this episode, where there is lots of #FreeYourSkeins2015 chatter, along with the introduction of the Stash Heap Challenge group. Want to join a group with lots of ideas of how to get control of your yarn collection? These are your people!

There is a bit of a discussion about feminism, the fact Loose Women is the worst TV programme ever made and the lack of any artistic merit in R&B music. It gets a bit shouty. You have been warned. Have you ever been sterotyped from a knitting perspective?

We welcome Sarah Chy of to talk about her experience of setting up and growing an online knitty community. 

Shownotes can be found on the blog at Come and join the Shinybees Podcast group on Ravelry and join in the fun!

We’re all about enabling this week on the podcast. The latest knitty news is on the agenda, along with some world class enabling and the official announcement of the Sock Surgery Year of Socks.

New Year's Resolutions. How do you do yours? Do you have crafty resolutions each year or do you go down the word of inspiration route? I am a big proponent of just making changes when they need making rather than waiting for New Year. This year I will stop knitting knitwear that is too big and knit to my proper size!  2015 is the year of knitting to my figure. Waspish waists and 50’s styling are go!

#FreeYourSkeins2015. This is The Golden Skein’s take on Project365. Want to get a one skein pattern suggestion per day to enable you to knit your lovely skeins in stash? Walk this way my friends! We will be doing a post a day over on the Golden Skein blog, which we will share around on all the usual social media. Feel free to join in with the hashtag #FreeYourSkeins2015 and show us what you are making or pattern suggestions to be included. 

Edinburgh Yarn Festival is taking place on 14 and 15 March 2015 at Edinburgh Corn Exchange, there will be a huge marketplace, workshops and the podcast lounge amongst other exciting things. There are some great vendors that you don’t see everywhere as well as a great Scottish contingent!

Sock Surgery Year of Socks will be kicking off in episode 31, due out on 18th January and casting on the following day, 19th January. The socks for the first month will be top down heel flap construction and Kate will be following Clare’s Tarsi pattern. For those who would like to try something different but still with that construction, Clare will be doing a pick of 5 patterns at various skill levels to enable you along no matter what your experience levels! The hashtag for this will be #SockSurgery. Come and join us!

Full shownotes for this episode can be found at


Direct download: Episode_29_-_The_Year_of_Enabling_and_How_to_Make_Your_Socks_Fit.mp3
Category:Craft -- posted at: 8:32pm UTC

It's the last day of 2014 and the last podcast of 2014. I simply couldn't allow you all to fall into the cold, harsh light of January without a comedy knitting and yarn podcast episode to cheer you along. Excuse my lemsip induced dulcet tones and slightly dulled reactions during this quick-step instalment of the podcast.

The giveaway for WTF Knits by Gabrielle Grillo and Lucy Sweet is ongoing. To enter the draw, leave a comment on the blog post for episode 27.

Wippin' Piccadilly

It's been a finishing palooza over here at Shiny Heights! Off The needles we have the Cardamom Rose cowl by Thea Colman. Also off the needles and onto the head is the Hipster Hat by Tin Can Knits. 

Still ongoing is the Quadratic Shawl by David O' Kelly for Eden Cottage Yarns. Also new on the needles is the Kunye shawl by Clare Devine, which is a pattern that was designed to celebrate a year of The Golden Skein. The KAL is ongoing and there will be prizes. Hashtag is #tgsonekal and the details are over here on Ravelry. Anyone is welcome; if you have 400m of fingering weight yarn and 4mm circular needles, get yourself over there!

Review of Yokes by Kate Davies

My copy of the latest book by Kate Davies arrived a few weeks ago, and I am now sufficiently familiar with it to give you my informed opinion. It's a collection of 11 designs along with essays that covers all kinds of yokes from countries all around the North Atlantic as well as interviews on the subject. RRP is £19.99 and it is available now from Kate Davies or a variety of local and online knitting emporiums.

That's all of this episode and for 2014. A big thank you to you all for listening this year; I hope you've enjoyed the direction the podcast has gone in and will join us for 2015. There are lots of big plans ahead for the year of the sheep!

As always, feedback and comments are always appreciated. Happy Hogmanay!

Direct download: Episode_28_-_Hogmanay_and_Yokes_3.mp3
Category:Knitting -- posted at: 3:18pm UTC

It's a yarn, comedy and sock knitting palooza this episode as we review WTF Knits and welcome Clare and Kate for the Sock Surgery.

It's time for your luxury yarn fix, with the latest offering from The Golden Skein. Check out our yarns from Knitsch in New Zealand, BaT'at in Yorkshire and Eden Cotatge Yarns in Yorkshire. There's also an announcement of the #tgsonekal, a knitalong to the pattern "Kunye" which was designed for us by Clare Devine. Details over at The Golden Skein group on Ravelry. There will be prizes. Very nice prizes.

Interested in weird and wonderful knitting patterns? I review WTF Knits: Weird Adventures in Wool by Gabrielle Grillo and Lucy Sweet, published by Bantam Press. Available now, it's a cracking little stocking filler that is sure to have you chuckling into your knitting. Want to win a copy? Enter the giveaway over on the blog at

Finally we have Clare and Kate back on the show for the Sock Surgery, discussing the pros and cons of toe up and sock down for knitting socks. We also revisit the needles choice aspect of episode 25, with feedback and discussion from out lovely listeners.

Full shownotes for this episode are available at






Direct download: Episode_27_-_Toe_up_or_Cuff_Down_for_Socks_and_WTF_Knits_3.mp3
Category:Craft -- posted at: 2:27pm UTC

Ever wondered what it is like to write a knitting book whilst you homeschool your 3 children? Wonder no more, as Sally Cameron aka PinkHairGirl joins us from South Africa for an interview about just that. Learn about some of the trials and tribulations of how she accomplished writing a knitting book as well as picking up some top tips in general. She also kindly offered a copy of her book as a giveaway prize.

Wippin' Piccadilly returns with mentions for the Lapsang pattern by Clare Devine, Hipster by Tin Can Knits and Cardamom Rose by Thea Colman.

On our yarn shop travels, I review Nairn Wool Shop, aka Calendonian Craft Connections and Wool on the Brae.

Show notes as always are available at

Direct download: Episode_26_-_Writing_a_Knitting_Book_with_Sally_Cameron.mp3
Category:Craft -- posted at: 10:54pm UTC

Ever wondered how to choose needles for your first attempt at knitting socks? Want to hear some more about those other methods you might not have tried yet? Clare Devine returns to give us the low down on needle choices for knitting socks, ably accompanied by Kate.

We also have a review of a new knitting book from South Africa, by Sally Cameron. Msanzi: South Africa on my Needles is a knitted journey from the beaches of the south to the baobabs in the north. Fifteen patterns for all the family are accompanied by breathtaking landscape photography from Cape Town based Andre van Rooyen.

Giveaway for this episode is kindly sponsored by Linda of Coach House Yarns, a new to the scene UK indie dyer. The colourway reviewed is 'Tiger Tiger' in the Everyday Sock base. Check out her shop on Etsy, where you can also find a range of colourways inspired by the film Labyrinth.

Full shownotes with links are available at

Direct download: Episode_25_-_Choose_Your_Weapon_2.mp3
Category:Craft -- posted at: 3:09pm UTC

Learn the basics of what to consider when choosing yarn for socks this week with my guest hosts Clare Devine and Kate Read. We chat about fit, durability and aesthetic and why considering each of these for your project is important. There is a rundown of the latest instalemtn from The Golden Skein Power of 3 Club, Autumn Harvest. This included yarns from Sylvan Tiger, Hartlam and Kettle Yarn Co.

Finally, we have a preview of the latest yarn to be offered from Blacker Yarns in Cornwall. West Country Tweed will be available in 4 shades, undyed, blue, purple and olive and comes from sheep from just two farms in Devon and Somerset. It will be available from 14th November 2014 at

Full show notes are available at

Direct download: Episode_24_-_Choosing_Yarn_For_Socks_with_Clare_Devine_2.mp3
Category:Craft -- posted at: 9:31pm UTC

Hello and welcome to a special bonus Hallowe'en episode of the podcast. Take a break from the tedium of opening your front door to little kids dressed in black and high on sugar and e numbers to go for a quick canter through the history of the day. To go along with this, the infamous pattern pick returns with the somewhat apt theme of pumpkins.

As always, shownotes are found at Enjoy!

Direct download: Episode_23_-_Knit_Your_Own_Halloween.mp3
Category:Craft -- posted at: 5:22pm UTC