Author: Shinybees

I'm a multi-crafter from the North West of England, living in South Africa.

Episode 27: Toe Up or Cuff Down Socks and a Review of WTF Knits

Hello and welcome to all new and returning listeners, especially those who came over from A Playful Day. Welcome to the show! 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.


The pantomime opened last weekend and we have another three shows to come this weekend. If you’re not familiar with pantomime, you can find out an explanation here. It’s a bit of a British thing.


Episode 26: How to Write a Knitting Book Whilst Homeschooling 3 Children with Sally Cameron

Image Copyright Sally Cameron, reproduced here with kind permission.

Image Copyright Sally Cameron, reproduced here with kind permission.

Following on from Episode 25, where I reviewed Sally Cameron’s new knitting book, “Msanzi: South Africa on my Needles” and gave the breathtaking knitting and landscape photography a glowing report, we’re back and Sally has joined us! Also this week there is a quick rundown of WIPs in the Wippin Piccadilly section and a yarn shop review of the Nairn Wool Shop.


Beyond Merino and Blue Faced Leicester: Top Alternative Breed Choices and Blends in Hand Dyed Yarns


I did a little blogging for Wovember. If you’re interested in trying hand dyed yarns from more unusual breeds, there are a few here to start you off!

Originally posted on Wovember:

Here at WOVEMBER we have featured a great deal of wonderful yarns for your knitting and crafting delectation. As well as singing the praises of different breed yarns, we do like to celebrate the skilled people who bring that wondrous skein into our stash too. Today’s post does just that – looking beyond the confines of the go-to merinos and BFL, to celebrate British hand dyers and six beautiful breed yarns,

Blogger, podcaster and co-owner of a luxury yarn club outfit, Jo Milmine is here to wax woolly for WOVEMBER

I’m as much of an aficionado of a buttery soft merino as anyone else is. This ubiquitous breed of sheep produces yarns that vary as widely as its geographical distribution. Be it combined with nylon to make a sturdy sock yarn, spun with a high twist to give excellent stitch definition or mixed with silk for a touch of…

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Episode 25: Choose Your Weapon! How to Choose Needles for Sock Knitting

I heart ChiaoGoo.

I heart ChiaoGoo.

Following on from the last episode, where we welcomed Clare Devine to talk about how to choose yarn for knitting socks, this episode sees us explore the next big life knitting question: which needles? Starting off the episode is a little bit of chat about recent travels, then there is a review of Msanzi: South Africa on my Needles from Sally Cameron. We have a giveaway from a fab new indie dyer, Coach House Yarns, before we get into all things needle related.


How to Choose Yarn for Socks


Clare adds some more information to her chat in Episode 24. Head on over for a look!

Originally posted on yarnandpointysticks:

If you listened to the Shinybees podcast and popped over for some more detailed information – welcome, I hope you like what you find. If you have not listened to the Shinybees podcast episode where we chat about yarn choices for socks I highly recommend you tune in, it is a great podcast – and the perfect intro for this article.

So, how do I go about choosing the right yarn for my socks?

How to Pick the perfect sock yarn_1

When thinking about my sock knitting I always try to think about things in relation to three main categories: fit, durability and aesthetic. I find that by thinking in these terms I can often evaluate what I need from my tools, the pattern or stitches I am using to put together a design, or select a pattern.

On the topic of yarn I think these three categories are important and to use them effectively you…

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Episode 24: Choosing Yarn for Socks with Clare Devine

Sock blockers with Elgin socks!

Sock blockers with Elgin socks!

Image used with permission of Clare Devine.

Hello and welcome to Episode 24 of the podcast. This week we will be mostly learning a lot about how to choose yarn for socks with Clare Devine.

Thanks to Frkstrik for alerting me to the amazing resource for everything knitted and crocheted toilet cover related. Check out this bad boy on Amazon.

The Halloween vultures did not quite descend upon Shiny Heights and now I am left with an awful lot of Swizzels sweets. It should not surprise me that there were no Blackjack sweets in there as they are, in fact, made by Barratt.

I wonder out loud if Hoxton will return with the panto this year. She has been quiet on the podcast front as she has been expecting a baby! You can find her back episodes for the pantos here.

The Golden Skein

Harvest Autumn

Image Details: Harvest Autumn by Tranuf, via Flickr.

The latest quarter of The Golden Skein featured Sylvan Tiger Yarns of Yorkshire, Hartlam Yarns of South Africa and Kettle Yarn Co of London.

Autumn Harvest

There are still one or two skeins available on The Golden Skein website for the Autumn quarter.

‘Celebration’ on sale now


Image Details: ‘Celebration’ by Linyihan, via Flickr.

The final quarter for 2014 is on sale now. Spots are still available but are limited, so be quick if you want to join in!

Review: Blacker Yarns West Country Tweed


Blacker says:

This limited edition Westcountry Tweed yarn is made from a blend of lustrous Teeswater Crossbred wool from the Mendip Hills and matt Black Welsh Mountain wool from Devon.

When blended together these two fibres create a soft grey shade. The fibre is then dyed in the wool and blended with nepps – miniature balls of felt – before spinning. The resulting yarn is an elegantly heathered woollen spun DK with a beautiful provenance: both the fibre and the spinning which create the yarn come from within 100 miles of each other.

Westcountry Tweed beautifully reflects our tradition of linking our yarns with the landscape. The four shades have been selected to match the moors, cliffs, and seas of South West England. We like to think of the colourful nepps as tiny wild flowers, accenting each colour’s subtle shades.

Like all Blacker Yarns, the fibre used in Westcountry Tweed comes from fleeces of animals reared in Britain according to the strictest of welfare standards.

I say:

It’s a great yarn. Well priced, and the little subtle neps add a bit of fun and interest. It softens and blow when washed and should make for a hardwearing yarn. It is being knit into a hat for Milly to test run for longevity and I will report back on how this goes at a later stage on the blog.

The yarn will be released for sale on 14th November at the Blacker Yarns website. Go here for lots of breed yarns and information.

Wrap Up

That’s all for this week. If you enjoyed the podcast, please consider leaving me an iTunes review to help other people join in the fun. You can contact me win email at, or I am Shinybees on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook. Enjoy!