Episodes

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.
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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).
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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.
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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.
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Save the youth, knit a hoodie…

Hoodie

Image Details: ‘Hoodie’ by Davharuk, via Flickr

Nowadays, the humble hoodie, rather than being a utilitarian item of clothing, is often villified as the uniform of choice for the feral ‘yoof’ of Britain. This reputation is perhaps a little unfair: yes, a lot of young people choose to wear one, but then so does my Mum on occasion, for reasons of comfort and warmth rather than to hide her face as she holds up the nearest off-license at knifepoint. Which is clearly what all the ‘yoof’ will be planning on doing with their hoodies on. I think not, somehow. More likely, they will just fancy a sherbet fountain and a gallon of your finest Pepsi Max, please, shopkeeper.
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Your house was very small…

…with woodchip on the wall

Woodchip & Pencil

Image details: ‘Woodchip & Pencil’ by monikahoinkis, via Flickr

I like Common People. Just not woodchip. It’s the most evil stuff known to man. I have no idea why anyone would ever think it stylish or even useful. I consider it to be a crime against humanity. It’s certainly an instrument of torture that has been liberally used (along with other hideous textured, often clashing, wallpapers) in the rented hovel that is Shinybees HQ. Coated with about a century’s worth of magnolia paint, several hundred layers of which are probably lead-based and which has now adopted a certain and not at all attractive yellowish hue, I regularly wake up in the night in a cold sweat, having just had a nightmare about how badly the porridge-effect walls are affecting my creative mojo. I am quite convinced that, whilst it probably holds together this asbestos ridden palace that Jack wouldn’t even claim to have built, there has to be another way to disguise the fact that there is a foot-wide crevasse in the walls where there should be plaster.
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Welcome to the jungle…

Not actually in the jungle, he's sat in my Dragon plant...

We got fun n games!

But this post has nothing to do with Axl Rose and co and everything to do with Shinybabytobee’s latest and coolest handmade gift to date – a Kenana ‘Knitter Critter’ Lion.  This was a gift from one of the Stitchettes at Knit Club (who may or may not have ‘outed’ herself as a knitter via Facebook after the last blog post) and came from a gorgeous new yarn store in Bath, which has been open since last October. I haven’t had the pleasure of perusing this fine looking emporium of all things beautiful and yarny myself (yet!), but I have it on good authority that it is not only utterly wonderful, but that the lady who runs it, Laura, it is equally lovely. The shop is called Wool and they also have a Knit Club, so if you are in the Bath area, I would recommend checking it out.
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The first rule of Knit Club is….

knitted cake

Image details – knitted cake by freeformbyprudence, via Flickr

Don’t talk about Knit Club!

I think I might get this made up into a slogan t-shirt, along with ‘Knitting is not just for Nanas’ or some other suitably informative knitting-related cliches. There is a clandestine ‘stitch and bitch’ going on in the Chateau Shinybees  locality, however its members (other than my good self, of course) and its precise location remain shrouded in mystery. I’m an ‘out and proud’ knitter and would quite happily be seen in public, brandishing a pair of knitting irons with gay abandon, my latest work in progress hanging from the needles. Alas, however, the other stitchettes are definitely not out of the knitting closet yet, and prefer to secretly beaver away at their latest project far, far away from prying eyes.
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It’s the way of the world, Shiner…

(McCulloch, 2008).

Hello and welcome to the Shinybees blog!

This is where you will hear about the latest goings-on in Shinybees world: mostly crafty things of all persuasions (owing to a criminally short attention span) but also things of the random persuasion and the occasional things of the ranty persuasion.  There will definitely be a liberal sprinkling of glitter and sequins (there can never be too much glitter or too many sequins in daily life in my opinion, the tackier the better, quite frankly) and a healthy dose of good humour. I will be sharing my latest finds, favourite purveyors of handmade stuff, crafty book reviews, current makes and ‘works in progress’ and hopefully some tutorials in the future.

I’d really like to hear from you: feedback, ideas, new things to occupy the Bee, recommendations are all very welcome! Enjoy!