Reviews

Episode 16: Run, Rabbit, Run!

Park Bench Discards Irn Bru

Image Details: “Park bench Discards Irn Bru” by Craig Murphy, via Flickr.

Hello and welcome to Episode 16 of the Shinybees podcast. Thank you for joining me and a warm welcome to all new and returning listeners.

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Shinybees in The Knitter Magazine

The Knitter Podcast

That’s right! The podcast was recommended in the latest issue of The Knitter. It was a pleasant surprise; I bought the magazine today to get my copy of the sock heel masterclass article by Clare Devine. I spotted the mention as I was flicking through the rest of the magazine, prior to sitting down for detailed reading.

Along with Clare’s brilliant article, there were some lovely sock patterns in this issue in a separate booklet. There is also a great article on visiting Shetland, which is on our to-do list for this summer, so should come in very handy.

If you would like a quick preview of what is in this issue, you can see it on the preview video on YouTube here.

Episode 14 – On the Road to the North

"North" by forchaza, via Flickr.

“North” by forchaza, via Flickr.

Hello everyone and welcome to episode 14 of the podcast. I hope you are all well and have had a lovely Christmas and New Year.

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Episode 13: The Cat in the Hat

Cats, Hats, and Things

Image Details: ‘Cats, Hats and Things’, by rcpromike, via Flickr.

Hello and Welcome to Episode 13: The Cat in the Hat. What it says on the tine, effectively. All will become clear….

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Episode 12 – Out and About at Yarndale

Bus to #yarndale

Image Credit: ‘Bus to #Yarndale’, by Bee, via Flickr.

Hello and welcome to the show notes for episode 12. This episode is all about Yarndale, a new Yarn festival held in Skipton in north Yorkshire in the UK. I was lucky enough to go along and met up with Nic from Yarns From The Plain podcast and Aimee from Knit Spin Cake podcast and we had a good old giggle and shopped till we dropped. Well, Nic did most of the shopping as you will hear shortly.

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Knitting and Crochet Blog Week 2013 (4KCBWDAY6): Covet Thy Neighbour’s Knitting Stuff

I heart ChiaoGoo.

I heart ChiaoGoo.

Day Six (Saturday April 27th): A Tool To Covet

Write about your favourite knitting or crochet (or spinning, etc) tool. It can either be a tool directly involved in your craft (knitting needles or crochet hook) or something that makes your craft more pleasurable – be it a special lamp, or stitch markers.

Is it an item that you would recommend to others, and if so for which applications/tasks do you think it is most suited. Conversely, do you have a tool/accessory that you regret buying? Why does it not work for you?

Today’s post was the one that jumped straight out at me as I read the topics for this year’s Knitting and Crochet Blog Week.  A lifelong aficionado of vintage Granny needles of the kind you can easily pick up for 20p a pair at a charity shop, I have recently started to make the move towards more expensive tools. This was through necessity, rather than a dislike for my retro equipment. It is very difficult to pick up circular needles of the length required to knit shawls. It was a simple as that, really. So, as it was Christmas soon, I requested a set of KnitPro interchangeables. More on these later. I have, recently, however, fallen totally in love with ChiaoGoo needles.

chiaogoo needle
ChiaoGoo apparently means “Crafty Lady”. Not sure how the famous male knitters feel about that, but hey-ho. I have only 2 pairs at the moment, as I wanted to try them before committing to the whole set. I have to say they are brilliant: the cables have no memory and are a rather fetching shade of shiny red; the needles points are lovely and sharp and slide nicely over each other when knitting; and the size is etched onto the needles, which means that so far, it has remained completely intact.

Kaleidoscopic!

Kaleidoscopic!

Contrasting this with the Knitpro interchangeables, I have to say they were a little disappointing, given the good things I had heard about them prior to buying. I suppose you could say they were good value at £49.99 for a set with 8 sizes of points in, however I just felt that the finish was a bit lacking. The coloured wood is indeed very aesthetically pleasing, but the size rubs off the needle almost as soon as you take them out of the packet. Also, the needle points are not always the same, which I find quite upsetting. Then there is the issue of the cables, which need soaking in hot water to straighten them out a bit. Depending on how highly you value these things, this might not be a problem for you, but I am afraid it was for me. The final nail in the KnitPro coffin was the cable needles. They have very irritating grooves in them, which some people love, but I found to be a right pain as the yarn kept getting stuck in the gap, thus making them fiddly and slow to use.

The cable needle of Doom.

The cable needle of Doom.

I think I prefer steel needles over bamboo, and this means that the stainless steel ChiaoGoos are a delight to work with. I still go back to the vintage Aero needles every now and again for flat pieces of baby garments or squares for the Knit a Square project. I do enjoy using DPNs for socks, and the Knitpro sock needle set I have does suffer from the same problems that I found with the interchangeable set in terms of the size rubbing off and a disparity of sharpness between the points of the same set. Might be time to invest in the ChiaoGoo DPNs…

Only requires a comedic entendable metal aerial to look like some kind of Acme controller for setting off small nuclear devices.

Only requires a comedic extendable metal aerial to look like some kind of Acme controller for setting off small nuclear devices.

I have another tool that has been coveted by many readers of this blog, made for me by my talented, wonderful and handsome husband (no, he didn’t write that, but if he could have, I reckon he would have!) This is the UnnyCount. There is only one of them in the whole world and I have it, my friends. It might be large, but it definitely adds an air of authority to knitting projects. It could possibly set off tactical nuclear weapons should the need arise and would almost certainly not look out of place in the knitting bag of an evil henchman. You can read all about it here. And if electronics is your thing, you can read about the Cosmac ELF that dear husband made – and guest blogged about – here. He’s a pretty funny guy, but then I am biased.

Which of your tools will I be coveting today?

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4KCBWDAY6

Episode 1: Send in the Hogs!

Son/daughter of Billy

Hello and welcome to the shownotes for the first official Shinybees podcast. For those of you coming back after the Pilot Episode, great to see you again, and a warm welcome to any new listeners.

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Book Review: Kirstie Allsopp’s ‘Craft’

Amongst the seriously awesome presents that I received from Mumsy for Christmas, including the welly socks for my Hunters, was a copy of Kirstie Allsop’s Craft. As you can imagine, this was extremely pleasing for me, as I had thought about buying a copy but thought ‘no, wait, maybe if I am a really good girl and finish all my wips, Father Christmas will bring one for me.’ Well, I was really good (apart from the wips, and I have just cast on for a knitalong, so I am not doing terribly well with the wip discipline) and it arrived on Christmas Day. Unlike the Mothership’s Christmas scarf…

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LYS Review: Black Sheep Wools Craft Barn

Standard Northern weather as we pitch up at the Barn.

On 4 January, I went with Sal from The Gingerbread Bunny to the Black Sheep Craft Barn in Culcheth to do a bit of yarn shopping. We had planned to go to Purl City Yarns in Manchester, however, as the weather has been particularly horrid here, we didn’t fancy dicing with death on the M60, so went the A road route to the Black Sheep instead. As I spend a fair amount of my yarny disposable income with this particular purveyor of fine fibrous goodness, it seemed appropriate that they be the subject of my first LYS review.

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