The Golden Skein

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.

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Episode 84: Yarns From The Plain – An Interview with Nic Rudd

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This week we’re joined by the wonderful Nic Rudd of Yarns From The Plain, purveyor of lovely British hand dyed yarns and voice of the Yarns From The Plain podcast.

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Episode 80: Relax

Relaxing at John F. Kennedy Park by Edson Chilundo

Relaxing at John F. Kennedy Park by Edson Chilundo via Flickr

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This week I am back to something resembling my old bouncy self and am using this platform to impart wise words about not biting off more than you can chew and ‘caning it’. Oh and chatting very enthusiastically about Zoolander. Blue Steel! Zoolander KAL anyone?? It’s all a bit sing-songy this week too.

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Episode 78: What to Knit in 2016

Image Details: Ramona and my small stash of yarn by Suedehead, via Flickr

Image Details: Ramona and my small stash of yarn by Suedehead, via Flickr

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This weeks episode follows on from goal setting and includes what I pinky promise to knit this year. It’s all about embracing your stash, however disorganised, and the unbridled joy it brings. Maybe now is the time to actually get some of that yarny loveliness out of the box and get knitting. Check out Helen Stewart’s Curious Handmade podcast for more on Stash Appreciation.

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Episode 77: Knitting Goals

Image Details: 'Goal Awaits Game - Essaouria, Morocco by AG Gilmore, via Flickr.

Image Details: ‘Goal Awaits Game – Essaouria, Morocco by AG Gilmore, via Flickr.

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This week’s episode follows on from the excitement of preparing for the knitty events of the year to looking at what you want to achieve in your knitting this year. Lots of people are cracking out new planners and diaries, so it’s a great time to think about how to get to where you want to be in terms of improving your skills, tackling projects or trying new things.

Enablers’ Corner

Be enabled to the Nature’s Shades KAL and the TGS Vintage KAL.

Image Details: 'You are never too old to set an new goal or dream a new dream' by BK, via Flickr.

Image Details: ‘You are never too old to set an new goal or dream a new dream’ by BK, via Flickr.

How to Set Knitting Goals

1) Set goals that you find exciting and motivating. Ask yourself why achieving this goal is important to you. Knowing this will help you when the knitting gets tricky.

2) Set goals you can measure progress against. You need to know where you are starting from and where you are going to in order to measure progress. Progress is the important thing, not actually reaching the goal. You need to know how much you have improved as this will spur you on.

3) Write it down somewhere you can see it often and write it down as though it has already happened.

4) Planning, planning, planning. Go back to basics and do the work to see if what you are planning is achievable. Work out your requirements, the speed at which you know, the timeframe you have available and how much you can produce per day and ask yourself, “Is this feasible?” If not, pick something easier (or interim goal) or give yourself longer.

5) Accountability. Tell people with a vested interest in seeing you succeed what your plans are and update them often. It can be motivating having external accountability when trying to achieve goals.

Image Copyright Woolly Wormhead. Downloadable via Ravelry or available in print on website.

Image Copyright Woolly Wormhead. Downloadable via Ravelry or available in print on website.

Review: Woolly Wormhead’s ‘Painted Woolly Toppers’

The latest book from Woolly Wormhead is reviewed today on the podcast. ‘Painted Woolly Toppers’ is a collection of ten hats designed specifically for handpainted yarns and are structured to show off the very best elements of varigated colour ways.

I interviewed Woolly Wormhead in Episode 61,where she talks in detail about her approach to design.

My favourite design is Lamitra.

'Lamitra' from Painted Woolly Toppers. Image Copyright Woolly Wormhead. Downloadable from Ravelry.

‘Lamitra’ from Painted Woolly Toppers. Image Copyright Woolly Wormhead. Downloadable from Ravelry.

I enjoyed the interesting constructions (something Woolly is known for) to the designs as well as the firm embrace of crazy handpainted yarn in this book. There is also a good range of difficulty levels to the projects. The styling and photography is really appealing and extra bonus points are awarded for the shoot taking place in the Northern Quarter in Manchester.

What I would have liked to see (we have to find some areas for improvement!) is more information on the yarns. The name is there and colour way name, but there is no weight/yardage readily available. I am sure I could find this if needed, but I want to know as I am looking so I can mentally shop the stash and estimate how long the projects will take. I really liked the photography, so I would have liked more images of the projects.

Would I buy it? I will as soon as I start to knit more hats, as I just don’t knit many at the moment. It’s a great vehicle for expanding upon basic hat knitting and construction and I’m always looking for ways to use the crazy handpainted yarns I am so fond of!

Can you buy it? Yes you can, via Ravelry either as single patterns or an eBook. You can also get a hard copy of the book, along with the ebook at Woolly’s website. You’ll also find some of her free patterns available for download on her website too, so you can try them out!


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 59: Self-Stripe Madness – An Interview with Michelle Berry of Berry Colourful Yarnings

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This episode of the Shinybees podcast is sponsored by Yarn in the City. Yarn in the City creates experiential yarn-centric events for knitters and makers, designed to bring people together through a shared love of craft. Yarn in the City organises the annual Great London Yarn Crawl taking place this year on Saturday, 5th September.

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Episode 47: Calamities and Curiosities

Le cabinet de curiosité de Bonnier de la Mosson

Image Details: ‘Le cabinet de curiosit√© de Bonnier de la Mosson’ by Dodeckahedron, via Flickr.

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2015 poster (pdf)

The Highland Wool Festival is taking place at Dingwall Mart on 23 May 2015. The exhibitor list is now available.

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Episode 39: Of Socks and Discworld – A Knitty Homage to Sir Terry Pratchett


Image Details: IMG_0543 by cherryred2001, via Flickr

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This episode is a knitty homage to my favourite author, Sir Terry Pratchett. In Enablers’ Corner, there’s a little rundown of the first quarter of The Golden Skein. The Pattern Pick, somewhat unsurprisingly, takes its inspiration from Discworld. Then the Sock Surgery returns with some chat about Afterthought Heels and a review of Sock Architecture by Lara Neel.

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#FreeYourSkeins2015 Friday: Week 1 Pattern of the Week – ‘Snawheid’ by Kate Davies

'Snawheid' by Kate Davies. Image Copyright Kate Davies Designs.

‘Snawheid’ by Kate Davies. Image Copyright Kate Davies Designs.

The Year of Enabling has commenced!

In Episode 29 of the podcast, I announced a new #Project365 that I started as part of The Golden Skein, dubbed #FreeYourSkeins2015. Bemoaning my own useless attempts at freeing skeins, there needed to be a strategy for thinking about how to use those lovely yarns and get them out of stash and onto the needles. The only plausible way to really give an undertaking like this a proper kick-start, was to dedicate daily time to searching out patterns.

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Episode 29: A Year of Enabling and How to Make Your Socks Fit

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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.


Recent crafty-type exploits over Christmas have enjoyed a spot of proper whisky tasting. We tried Glenmorangie, Glen Moray – my local – Talisker Port Ruighe and Aberlour. We learnt all about colour, nosing, legs and adding water to whisky. I won’t be doing tasting on the podcast, but if you want to listen to someone who does know and like her whisky, go over to Caithness Craft Collective and listen to the ‘Drams’ section.

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