Wildlife at the new gaff: Part 1

Warthog Sign

Image Details: ‘Warthog Sign’ by puseetee, via Flickr

I thought it was time to share some pictures from our new gaff in SA. I am not very technically competent when it comes to taking photographs, although Mr Shinybees fancies himself as a bit of a photographer. Well, he takes about 200 photos in one go and then ‘edits’ them down to about ‘2 good ones’. I, on the other hand, can see what would make a good photo, I just can’t take one, unfortunately. This will have to change whilst I am expatriated, as there are so many amazing things to photograph here, it would be a great shame if I didn’t manage to improve!

Read More

The Spirit of Christmas

christmas tree explosion (day 9 of 365) EXPLORED!!!
Image Details: ‘christmas tree explosion (day 9 of 365) EXPLORED!!!’ by stephenvance, via Flickr

I know, I know, I can’t believe I am writing a blog post about the ‘C’ word either. In September. It hasn’t even been Hallowe’en yet, not that it makes much difference to the retail industry, who are already trying to push gaudy decorations on us like some kind of shady drug dealer. Not that I have a particular problem with Christmas decorations, in fact there was a stray piece of red tinsel up in our old house until we moved. In July.

Read More

A Knitty Gift


Whilst randomly perusing the Ravelry boards one day in early August, I came across a thread which listed all the blog giveaways, online discounts and competitions.  I have previously entered a few giveaways on my favourite blogs, and won a bit fat zero prizes – same as whenever I play bingo. Despite participating in what is seen by many who are not ‘in the know’ as yet another Granny pastime (like knitting) for the last ten years, obviously not counting any Easter egg bingo or the many years playing it on the games compendium before that, I have only ever won £10. That was in 2005, I was at university and we went mental and spent it on 3 kebabs. Not all for me, I hasten to add. There were 3 of us!

Read More


Who is the other follower?!!

I made a recent new discovery when it comes to keeping up with all things blog-related: Bloglovin. I was alerted to it’s existence by Penny from Planet Penny, who found the Shinybees blog on Bloglovin. Naturally, I had to have a nosey, as I had previously not come across it.

Read More

The Sock Monster

Sock Monster.

Image Details: ‘Sock Monster.’ by laurenbeth93, via Flickr.

It would seem that I have fallen into a trap. A trap that favourite podcasters and bloggers have often declared that they would avoid. Knitting something that life is indeed too short for. An item of knitwear I too, would never bother with because, well, I just didn’t get it. Until now, that is.

Yes, I’m talking about knitting socks.

Read More

Why everyone needs stash


Image Details: ‘Globe’ by pixagraphic, via Flickr

It’s been exactly 57 days since I was separated from my stash. 57 long, gruelling and inspiration-lacking days. 82,820 minutes since the movers came and packed up all my favourite toys for the move to SA. The Minstrel. The sewing machine. 3 crocodile boxes of yarn. 2 of fabric. My sewing box!

Whilst this pining for material belongings may seem a little over-dramatic to some, I have noticed a disturbing correlation between distance to stash and crafty mojo. I intend to call this Shinybees’ First Law of Stash. This law states that distance to stash is inversely proportional to crafty mojo: as distance to stash increases, crafty mojo decreases. This should explain why my crafty mojo has taken a bit of a hiatus over the past few weeks as my stash sailed south, and why I have had a renewed sense of inspiration since landing in SA, as our shipping container is in Durban, waiting to be transported by rail to Pretoria. Once they fix the railway line, that is.

Read More

Magazine review: Mollie Makes

I guess it is time for the first magazine review on the blog: Mollie Makes. Unfortunately for me, the lovely Martine from iMake has somewhat beaten me to it, as I have been working on the seemingly endless search to find out whether I can, indeed, take my knitting on the plane. Check out the link above for Martine’s version and read on for mine.

Read More

Have knitting, will travel: At the airport….


Image Details: ‘knit-plane’ by docpop, via Flickr

In view of our impending relocation to SA, I have been doing a little research into knitting on planes. There seems to be a plethora of beliefs when it comes to this pastime, and nobody can seem to agree on the answer, as a quick search on the Ravelry boards will attest. So I decided to do a little digging, as the last thing I want is some blunty security officer taking away my prized pins and current wip. As if I would stab someone with my new Knitpro DPNs. Have they any idea how much those things cost!!?

I will caveat at this point, that all information in this post is with reference to travel from the UK and I would strongly advise that you make your own enquiries if you are travelling elsewhere. I don’t think ‘but Shinybees said’ will cut it if you come up against some overly officious security type in Venezuela. That said, as you are about to find out, there really does not seem to be a definitive answer, and how that can possibly be, I have no idea. Surely, someone holds the trump card when it comes to the rules, right? Wrong! So, just in case, I have also added some top tips for avoiding attracting attention when going through security, courtesy of the Ravelry massive.

  Read More

Dancing feet

baby feet

Image Details: ‘baby feet’ by Amy the Nurse, via Flickr

I thought I would share one of the latest mini-projects completed Chez Shinybees, now that the intended recipient will have indeed received his gift. I was inspired to make these after receiving a beautiful handknitted cardigan and bootie set from Baby G’s Mum when the Babybee arrived. I needed a small and relatively quick project, as the Babybee was sucking me into a crafting (and blogging) black hole with the seemingly endless feeding-nappy-wind the bobbin up-sleep if you’re lucky, Mother routine and I wanted the baby in question to receive them sometime before his 18th birthday. So, to Ravelry!

Read More

From Ewe to Yarn: Mellow Yellow


Image Details: ‘Rumpelstiltskin’ by monsterpants, via Flickr

Rumpelstiltskin was a fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm, who first published it in 1812. It follows the story of a miller, who lied to the King by saying his daughter was able to spin straw into gold. She couldn’t, and was locked in a tower with a spinning wheel and some straw and told by the King to get on with spinning some bling or she would be executed. As luck would have it (if you can consider being locked in a tower on operation certain death ‘lucky’) there was a sneaky little gnome on hand, who could indeed spin straw into gold, for a fee. The first night it cost a necklace, the second, a ring, and on the third night she had nothing left to offer, so the gnome demanded she hand over her first born child. As you do. As if, being a young, single gnome who can, in fact, spin straw into gold, you would ask for a screaming child. I would have asked for a cartful of straw myself and then gone to Vegas with the proceeds. An-y-way, the King marries the daughter as he’s clearly a golddigger, and they produce the sprog, at which point the gnome returns and demands the Queen hand it over. She doesn’t want to do this, and manages to convince the gnome to give her a chance to win the brat back. He says if she can guess his name correctly, she can keep the child. She has a couple of goes and gets it wrong, so she sends her messenger to spy on the gnome, who overhears him singing a rhyme to himself which includes his name. A bit schoolboy, really. If he’d been getting on with the spinning, he wouldn’t have been found out. So the messenger tells the Queen that the gnome’s name is Rumpelstiltskin and she wins the bargain, leaving Rumpers pretty vexed, so vexed in fact, that in some versions of the story, he rips himself in half. Seriously, just get on with the gold making dude!

Read More