Episodes

Banksy it ain’t!

Knitta-Please-Bike

Image Details: ‘Knitta-Please-Bike’ by dandeluca, via Flickr.

Banksy does grafitti. He’s done a reasonably good job of making a career out of it too, over the past 20 years or thereabouts. Banksy’s stencils feature striking and humorous images, occasionally combined with slogans. The message is usually anti-war, anti-capitalist or anti-establishment. Subjects often include rats, apes, policemen, soldiers, children, and the elderly. Labelled as ‘vandalism’by Keep Britain Tidy, grafitti artistry seems to split people right down the middle. Personally, I quite like Banksy’s stuff and I struggle to see how a dead cow and calf chopped in half and pickled in formaldehyde can be considered art (it’s just minging unless you’re a vet or something) yet the Tate seems to think it is, so who am I to argue?!

Anyway, I don’t do grafitti. I’ve spray painted a few pots for the garden and tarted up the odd mirror frame or bit of furniture, but I’d never be good enough to do an actual picture with it. Knitting, on the other hand, could be a goer, which brings me nicely round to the subject of International Yarn Bombing Day, which, coincidentally, is today!

Read More

Tidy up time…

Womble

Image Details: ‘Womble’ by pigpogm, via Flickr

The Wombles of Wimbledon did a mean line in tidying up. Cutting around the Common, collecting and recycling other people’s rubbish: what better way to encourage a generation of children to keep their rooms spick and span? Created by author Elisabeth Beresford, Wombles live in every country in the world, with burrows mentioned at Loch Ness, Yellowstone Park and the Khyber Pass (bet it’s a bit sporty round there!) and the main burrow being at Wimbledon Common. Below a certain age, Wombles are nameless, but when they come of age, they select their name from Uncle Bulgaria’s atlas. At this point, I am fairly tempted to get out the atlas and choose myself a Womble name, however I do have a blog post to finish, so I might save that for another day.
Read More

Spinning around!

Spinning Wheel at Dusk

Image Details: ‘Spinning Wheel at Dusk’ by mtsofan, via Flickr

As you may have already noticed, I have taken my first step into the world of spinning. Unlike Kylie, I will not be wearing gold hotpants whilst conducting my yarny business, as I’m afraid gold simply isn’t my colour…
Read More

From Ewe to Yarn: Short back and sides.

Warning Sheep!

Image details: ‘Warning Sheep!’, by pearsongraphics, via Flickr

Sheep shearing and wool production has been an important part of the UK’s sheep industry for the past 6000 years. Sheep are usually sheared at the beginning of the summer months, as they no longer naturally moult, to prevent them overheating in the warm weather. For many centuries, wool was the UK’s most important export and the cloth trade led to the development of many of the nation’s industrial towns. Today, the UK is the 7th largest producer of wool in the world, exporting around a third of its annual clip, however with wool prices around 50p per kg, the value of the wool for most farmers does not cover the cost of shearing.
Read More

Mobile me…

{11} The view from the cot

Image Details: “{11} The view from the cot”, by scribbletaylor, via Flickr

Now you may be as surprised as me to discover that it is really hard to find anything on Google to tell me the origin of the baby mobile. I can buy swathes of horrid plastic mobiles in varying price ranges from seemingly every purveyor of goods on the planet, but yet no-one wants to tell me why we have them or, indeed, whose idea it was in the first place!
Read More

Babybee

Baby girl album

Image Details: ‘Baby girl album’ by jerseygal2009, via Flickr.

Things have been a little quiet on the crafting front at Shinybees HQ for the past couple of weeks since a special delivery on 28th March, when the Babybee came crashing into the world. Whilst she is a good model for my booties, I simply haven’t had time to even pick up a needle (let alone eat or sleep, really) and the blogging has been a far distant ambition on the list of things to do today.
Read More

Handmade Birthday goodness!

Birthday cake

Image Details: ‘Birthday cake’ by 3liz4, via Flickr

So, there was a birthday at Shinybees HQ last week. Birthdays are always good news, because they generally involve cake and presents (and we’ll ignore the whole getting older bit in a blur of gin induced happiness) and I had plenty of both, minus the gin, unfortunately. I will make no apology for the slightly self-indulgent blog post: it’s my party and I will cry if I want to, quite frankly. Plus there is some crafty goodness to share by way of a Gingerbread Bunny tutorial.
Read More

Count me in!

counter on a zipper

Image Details: ‘counter on a zipper’ by pinprick, via Flickr

The knitting row counter is a device for keeping tally of how many rows have been completed when hand knitting. It can also be used to track the number of increases and decreases made during a pattern. The first on-needle knitting row counters were seen in the UK the 1920s, when complex patterns for recreational knitting became widely available. Originally manufactured from bakelite and later plastic, this type of counter is still in widespread popular use today (see picture above).
Read More

Podcast review:iMake

Speaker Cone

Image Details: ‘Speaker Cone’ by the justified sinner, via Flickr

Crafting is one of those pastimes whereby it makes it hard to do anything else at the same time.  Unless you’re doing a million rows of stocking stitch or something else equally mindless, you are going to end up cocking something up if you try and watch the TV at the same time as working on your latest project. When I’m baking, I like to listen to Radio 4: bit random I know, but at least it is vaguely educational. When I’m crafting though, I listen to podcasts. Now there are many out there, on all different subjects and from all over the world. Personally, I prefer British podcasts: there are a raft of American ones that are really well written and presented, but I do find listening to the accent a little hard work, so I like to keep it local.
Read More

On the naughty chair…

Ducking Stool

Image Details: ‘Ducking Stool’ by kamsininjapan, via Flickr

The Medieval period of the Middle Ages was a violent and blood thirsty time, but they sure knew how to do torture! Far from just being sent to ‘sit on the naughty chair’, the ducking stool was punishment taken to a whole new level. A punishment specifically used on women, it involved strapping the accused to a stool by the side of a river, then dunking her in the freezing cold water for as long as the operator felt was necessary, dependant upon the crime and the woman’s social status.
Read More