Author: Shinybees

Award-Winning Podcaster | Online Business Owner | Community Builder

Episode 101: No Dalmatians Required


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Welcome back after a short break to the podcast. I’m deee-lighted to be back with you once again, as I have missed you terribly during the break. Having hoped to have moved by now, I am still, sadly, in the same house, but hopefully moving next week.

So, I know you’re all wondering – did Mini Paul Rudd buy the house?

I’m afraid not. I think he bought a smaller one in the next street, and took his somewhat handsome father with him. Luckily though, after a viewing with Chinese Jackie O and another one in which my first impression was one of ‘OMG does Vicky Pollard live here’ (to them, not them to me), we got an offer and are cracking now with the sale as quickly as their ineffectual conveyancer will allow. Which is pretty much at a glacial pace.

If you are not familiar with Vicky Pollard:


Coming up in November, there is Yarnporium, which will take place on 5th and 6th November 2016 at King’s College London, The Strand. There’s a great list of vendors, as well as workshops available over the two days. I’ll be attending on 6th November, so if you;re there, please come and say hi.

I’m also giving away two FREE tickets to Yarnporium. To enter the competition, leave a comment below these show notes to the effect of ‘I went to Yarnporium and I bought…’

Also in November, there’s Festiwool over in Hitchin in Hertfordshire. It’s on Saturday 12th between 10 and 5. Be sure to check out friend of the show Jane at GardeningWitch Designs.

Enabler’s Corner

This week I am enabling you to Northern Yarn. Based in Lancaster and run by the lovely Kate, its’ a treasure trove of local wools, along with some more popular favourites.

Things that caught my eye include the lovely Teeswater Wools hand dyed, which is grown at the foot of Pendle Hill in the Ribble Valley by Freda and Darrell at Higher Gills Farm.

Next up (and perfect for a hat knit) is Lancashire Farm Wool – a blend of North Country Cheviot, BFL and both pure and crossbred Jacobs from a conservation flock in Silverdale. At £9 per 100g I think it’s really competitive.

Finally – and MOST excitingly – Kate has commissioned her own yarn! That’s right, she has had her own fleece spun into the actual Northern Yarn. I’m far too excited about this. It will be launching at Kendal Wool Gathering next weekend, 29-30th October. You can read a bit more about the process on her blog.

Wippin’ Piccadilly

Knitting has been committed! Not too much though, don’t get over excited…

ON the #RewindKAL front, I have only a button band to do before the Lush Cardigan is complete! It’s knitted in a fabulous DK from Berry Colorful Yarnings in my own special Shinybees colour way. It’s going to be a well-treasured item.

I’m still working on Frisson by Brittany Wilson. I am not enjoying the actual knitting, although the yarn is coming out nicely and the finished item will be lovely.

I finished the Talisman Shawl by Helen Stewart, knitted in The Wool Kitchen Urban Hints Blood Orange. It’s a glorious yarn and I enjoyed the simplicity and soothing knit of the pattern, although I managed to cock it up right at the end. As my MIL is a truly wonderful person, despite me loving this yarn, I will be gifting it to her. She’s a good ‘un, and one of the other brothers just got a new girlfriend and I need to maintain status as the favourite (and only at this stage) Daughter-in-Law.

In future knits, I’ve a Kindling Hat and Mitts set planned in some delicious new wool I picked up at Yarndale. It is Stein Fine Wool DK in the colour way ‘Frosty Reception’ and I can see more if it in my future (along with a chat with them about selective breeding the fleece for this!)

I also have plans for a set of hats for the family, but I am struggling with finding suitable patterns. I’d like some recommendations for your go-to hat patterns please, for DK and Aran.

Shiny’s Hive

I have a group on Facebook for business owners.

Wrap Up

That’s all from me this week. As always, thank you for listening. Feedback is always appreciated, and you can email me or message me via Ravelry or social media. If you enjoyed listening today, please consider leaving an iTunes review, to help others find the podcast too. Happy crafting!

Episode 100: The Great Shinybees Hexipuff Amnesty

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Here we are folks and who’d have thunk it: A tonne! From my South African garage to my Wigan spare bedroom – with a couple of amazing awards in between – over the course of 4 years.  A heartfelt thank you to each and every one of you for all the support.

A couple of shout outs today:

GiffnockGirl – loving the pokeballs after our pattern pick last time. Though I am lamenting the lack of Pikachu man bun covers. I can only assume you are all out seeking perfect models for them and I can expect those photos shortly.

Chelociraptor – I always enjoy some fun crochet patterns and burgers are no different.

Trip Down Memory Lane

Hitting the big century milestone has got me doing some reminiscing. I’ve decided to bring your attention to some of my favourite episodes from the back catalogue.

Episode 4 – purely for the Malva pudding if I’m honest.

Episode 34 – It’s the Kate Davies interview. I clearly love her (who doesn’t?) but mostly I love interviewing people you don’t always hear from, cos I’m nosey like that.

Episode 95 – Continuing in the ‘people you don’t hear from’ vein this is an exclusive with Countess Ablaze, although it is recent it is well worth revisiting and a must listen for anyone new.

I’ve been thinking about The Sock Surgery too and how it was the catalyst for the weekly schedule. Had a great time with the wonderful Clare Devine of KnitShareLove (previously Yarn and Pointy Sticks).

Some other highlights have been the collaborations with Louise at KnitBritish for the Edinburgh Yarn Festival, particularly the podcast lounge.

Perhaps the biggest thank you of all should go to Martine Ellis since it was her that bantered me into starting this whole thing in the first place.

Schedule Break

Some news to potentially make you sad, but with a cheeky bit of enabling thrown in, naturally. Given that I am selling my house – have I mentioned that?- and there are various other goings-on at Casa Shiny I am unable to commit to a weekly schedule at the moment. I will be taking a break, mostly likely for a month or so, and when I re-attack it is quite likely that I will aim for a series type podcast as recommended by the podcasting guru that is Colin Gray. The past few episodes have been well received and I definitely feel like I produce my best work when I’ve had some time to chill in between.

A Humorous Aside

So Northern fellas, God love ’em, generally fit into a few well defined categories. We have the pale and greasy with jogging bottoms and bobble hats. We have the Two-Step massive with tight V-necks, huge muscles and tans and tatts. We have the old school Indie kids with their Britpop hairstyles. We have the alternatives all gothy and sullen.

What we do not have are Hollywood hunks – the grey, damp lighting of the North doesn’t make anyone look good. Cue my utter surprise the when a mini 20-something Paul Rudd should appear at my door with his fit-for-his-age Dad. I was not ready. I went into a bit of a spin but recovered with some banter and didn’t come across all Mrs Jones. It did get me thinking about the actual Paul Rudd though, a beautiful famous actor for those poor uninitiated among you, and lo-and-behold he only bloody knits!


Gratuitous Knitty Porn AKA Paul Rudd Knitting

Gratuitous Knitty Porn AKA Paul Rudd Knitting

#HexipuffAmnesty / #SodHexipuffs

I had lots of good suggestions for how to celebrate this historic 100th episode but one stood out and credit for it must go to Countess Ablaze. She does a lot of charity work and last year some of the money from her parties went to Mustard Tree Manchester to help tackle homelessness in the city. It is a problem that is getting more widespread and needs addressing. Related to this I came across a charity called The Monthly Gift MCR. They provide sanitary products to homeless women. I wanted to help somehow and so we put our heads together and The Countess came up with this dastardly little plan: A Hexipuff Amnesty.

For those who don’t know there was a trend, especially around 2011/2012 for Hexipuffs. A Hexipuff is a small hexagonal piece of knitting that is made up of your scraps of sock yarn. It was started by a pattern called Beekeepers Quilt from Tiny Owl Knits and the idea is that when you have enough Hexipuffs you sew them together to make a blanket. It was a Marmite pattern and I came down on the side of the haters and coined #SodHexipuffs. I’m more of a miniature sock knitter, myself.

Lots of people with noble intentions ended up with baskets full of 20-30 Hexipuffs but that isn’t even enough for a cat blanket. They just pointlessly sit there in their baskets gathering dust.

copyright tiny owl knits

copyright tiny owl knits

Having said all that, I’m gonna knit a Hexipuff, and unite mine with all of yours. Pop your Hexipuffs in an envelope and send them to 101 Chorley Road, Swinton, Manchester M27 4AA and the Countess will store them all until later in the year when we will get together and turn them all into blankets. We will then raffle the blankets and the proceeds will go to Monthly Gift MCR.

For every 100 Hexipuffs received I will knit a further one, so please do send in your forgotten and unloved Hexipuffs, or even knit a few especially, and lets do something wonderful together and use this 100 episodes to make a difference. You can use the #HexipuffAmnesty or #SodHexipuffs to spread the word. Guess which one I’ll be going for…

Wrap Up

That’s all from me this week. As always, thank you for listening. Feedback is always appreciated, and you can email me or message me via Ravelry or social media. If you enjoyed listening today, please consider leaving an iTunes review, to help others find the podcast too. Happy crafting!


Episode 99: When Pokemon Go and Yarn Collide

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First and foremost I need you all to know that I have penned my letter to last episode’s feckless judge. I shall let you know what his response is, should he dare to make one. The big news this week is that I am selling my moneypit aka my house. Anyone for a big Victorian number in Wigan? Mates rates (not really). This does however mean that I am mega busy cleaning and planting stuff and de-cluttering, of course, so do look out for me freeing some of my skeins in a sale in the not too distant future. In my busyness I did make time to pop on a narrowboat and it got me thinking again about planning a knitting trip on a narrowboat, let me know if you fancy it, once I’ve got numbers I’ll order the buffet and we’re off. I’ve looked into this, priced it up and all, it could be a reality quite easily. Just think about the crazy that could ensure from 12 knitters on a boat.

The lovely Nic of Yarns from the Plain fame got in touch to bring my, and therefore your, attention to the Chesire Fibre Festival. It is on the 1st of October this year at The Hall at Marthall and it’s free. There will be cake available and proceeds will go to Bloodwise. As expected, I will be popping along to make sure it’s up to standard.

Enablers Corner

This week I am not in the least bit sorry for enabling you to an old favourite of mine – Boo Knits. This time around it is the Boos for Beginners patterns. These are a series of patterns increasing in difficulty as you go along and then you’re a pro. Magic. As I’ve said before I do think her patterns are generally pretty straightforward and easy to follow, even if you are quite new, but these are great if you are lacking in confidence. They are also good because if you’re not a beginner you can easily embellish them and make them more fancy if you like, but the simple detailing will also match everything allowing for everyday use.


The first pattern ‘Cuba Libre’ is out and it’s simple and classic but with a hint of lace at the bottom. Boo has very kindly agreed to a GIVEAWAY so head over to the Ravelry page and tell me which Boo Knits shawl you most want to knit when your skillz are ready.

Cuba Libre c) Boo Knits

Cuba Libre c) Boo Knits

Pattern Picks

All Pokemon themed this week, clearly. It all started with an article about crocheters making their own pokeballs and went from there. I’m loving the resurgence of Pokemon as I remember them (and Pogs) the first time round. I’ve done my research and chosen some beauties for your perusal and potential purchase.

My personal fave, as she has other characters too: Pikachu by Sabrina Somers. It’s a freebie too.

Pikachu Choc Orange Cover – the new star of my Christmas List – by Mary Lucas. £3.59 but with obvious never ending value. I love you , Mary.

Pikachu Ear Flap Hat – by Sissy Johnson. Crochet worsted weight, 6 sizes available, $5.39.

Pikachu Bun Sock – by Lulu Bebeblu. Worsted weight, $2.99. Essentially it is a fancy hairnet. Mostly for ballet types and marketed as such. She’s missing a trick our Lulu though – the manbun is a strong market right now and this would be bang on trend for those out catching Pokemon too.

Pokeball – by Linda Potts – another freebie – this time it is crochet DK. Keeping it simple.

Vulpix – by Stephen West. This is actually Pokemon inspired, though dressed up in more adult vocab. A knitted shawl at $7.20.

Woebuffet – by Shelly Hedko. this one reminded me of Jacko with its funny pose and face. Free!

Becasue I feel bad that nobody wants Rattatas – Rattata Plushie by Milayou.

Last but not least: Magikarp Fish Hat – by Wendy M Anderson. This one was for the scariest mannequin head ever.

Pikachu (pokemon) by Sabrina Somers

      Pikachu (pokemon) by Sabrina Somers

And on that grown up note….

Wrap Up

That’s all from me this week. As always, thank you for listening. Feedback is always appreciated, and you can email me or message me via Ravelry or social media. If you enjoyed listening today, please consider leaving an iTunes review, to help others find the podcast too. Happy crafting!




Episode 98: Knitting in the News

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Few thoughts on news items this week, I’m feeling all topical. Think Mock the Week meets Nevermind the Buzzcocks but with only one panelist and three knitty stories…

Before we get going though I want to remind you that I am still preparing for Episode 100 and so am open to any ideas. There are a few on the table already but nowt has been decided as yet so send ’em in.

Oh and my Voodoo shawl is still missing – cheers Royal Mail – so if you happen upon it send it my way. I may even have to start doing my own blocking because of this. Pah.


Episode 97: Best UK Podcast of 2016

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So here we are at the start of our fortnightly releases – missed me?? I can’t believe how close we are to the big 1-0-0 now. Given how busy I am of late my creative juices are flowing a little slower so if you have any ideas/requests about how we should celebrate this in true Shiny style please do email and let me know. Today we have some knitting chat, a good old The Golden Skein quarterly round up and some light enabling.


Episode 96: This Thing of Paper – An Interview with Karie Westermann

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Straight into the news this week as I have so much of it. Firstly, I want to thank you all for your wonderful positive feedback on last weeks episode and my time with Countess Ablaze. A lot of the feedback was around how well she copes with her autism, and how it doesn’t stop her from doing what she wants to do. We have both appreciated it very much, you are all lovely people. If you would like some of our crazy Orange Mocha Frappuccino, the bad news is that the batch we dyed completely sold out to newsletter subscribers in two hours. [Fortunately for us, The Countess (despite being in incredibly high demand) has kindly agreed to do a very small number of pre-orders for those of you who missed out. You can pre-order the yarn here until the limit is reached or 20th June, whichever is earliest. Dispatch will be 1st July.] Edited: This is now totally sold out. Thank you!


Episode 95: Orange Mocha Frappucino with Countess Ablaze

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Hola everyone, I am back from my ‘holiday’. Don’t let the flippant Spanish there throw you off, I’ve not been anywhere and haven’t even had time to knit! In fact I’m still knitting the lace panel for #RewindKAL. Been very busy with other things and Casa Shiny is like a madhouse as usual and that’s taking up much of my headspace. A couple of important points to note before we get down to the good stuff (and it really is good today):