Knitting

Episode 80: Relax

Relaxing at John F. Kennedy Park by Edson Chilundo

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

Listen Here

Intro

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.

Read More

Episode 79: OwlPrintPanda – An Interview with Amanda B Collins

Ep79 promo

Listen Here

Intro

This week I very warmly, if somewhat gruffly, welcome Amanda on to the show for an interview. Having previously enabled you to her new collection I was delighted to see more of her work on the front cover on Knit Now magazine. Enjoy some slight sidelines and finding out more about Amanda, her Fiat and lots of dodgy eyelash yarn chat.

Copyright OwlPrintPanda

Copyright OwlPrintPanda

Interview

We start as we mean to go on with a mildly comedic journey through needle felt, crochet blanket magazines, to Amanda’s discovery of Ravelry and her subsequent adventures with spinning wheels before her hobby becoming a business. The release of her first pattern, and it’s popularity on Ravelry, spurred her on and gave her the encouragement she needed to keep going…mostly in orange. Although it’s not a full time profession for Amanda, it is certainly a big part of her life and slots in at the end of her hard working days as a Doctor.

Copyright OwlPrintPanda

Copyright OwlPrintPanda

 

Amanda talks us through her design process. It mainly involves pinterest boards and a quick swatch, though she is not set in one particular method and enjoys taking a more relaxed and ‘haphazard’ approach. That keeps it from feeling a chore for her and keeps things different. No journey is ever a smooth one but there have been no major lessons or terrible experiences for Amanda, just the usual ‘too much yarn, too little time’ and some problems with the space/time continuum. Perhaps some errors and some questionable taste in hot water bottles, tea cosies and cheap yarn…by both of us…

As Autumn Falls, copyright OwlPrintPanda

As Autumn Falls, copyright OwlPrintPanda

 

Amanda’s highlight is the meeting of the lovely yarny community at the Edinburgh Yarn Festival. The realisation that she is a big part of the community and the opportunity to meet some of you lovely lot face to face really pleased her greatly. Amanda also talked honestly about the tremendous excitement at having your first submission accepted and the validation of your work. She is also a lover of Ravelry (who isn’t?) and joins the rest of us in wondering how anyone ever got by in the pre-Ravelry world and serious envy of those who discovered it before. The most valuable lesson – Remember that you do this because you love it, keep loving it.

 

Copyright OwlPrintPanda

Fearlas Mor, Copyright OwlPrintPanda

 

Some controversy – socks in bed? Discuss.

Wrap-Up

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 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

Listen Here

Intro

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.

Read More

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.

Listen Here

Intro

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!

Wrap-Up

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 76: Knitting Calendar

Image Details: '13 Dec 2011 - Countdown to Christmas' by John Davey, via Flickr.

Image Details: ’13 Dec 2011 – Countdown to Christmas’ by John Davey, via Flickr.

Listen Here

Intro

Hello and welcome to the first episode of 2016. I hope you all enjoyed the festive period and got plenty of knitting time in!

Read More

Episode 74: Knitivity

Ep 74 promo

Image Details: ‘Knitted Nativity Scene’ by Andrea_44, via Flickr.

Listen Here

Intro

Today we begin with some festive chatter about that most traditional of Christmas activities – the nativity play. I was a cultural experience in the North of England, including a Yoda Donkey, highly flammable sheep and a Rockport-boot and Phantom of the Opera mask wearing dove.

Read More

Episode 73: The Three Little Pigs

Image Details: '42-365: When The Wolf's At The Door' by Rina Pitucci, via Flickr.

Image Details: ’42-365: When The Wolf’s At The Door’ by Rina Pitucci, via Flickr.

Listen Here

Intro

This week we’re having a bit of a crafty catch up and a few laughs along with it. Come and be lightly enabled and hear a bit of knitted spud banter. It’s back to the usual tangential humour after a crazy couple of weeks at Casa Shiny.

Christmas Bauble with dates

Enablers’ Corner

Come and be enabled (after about 4 weeks of mohair chatter) to the sale at Whistlebare Yarns. In episode 72, we heard from Alice about life on the farm and this week, she’s kicking off a 20% off sale on Yeavering Bell Aran and DK.

Read More

Episode 72: An Interview with Alice Elsworth of Whistlebare Yarns

Alice Whistlebare

Listen Here

Intro

This week we welcome back Alice Elsworth of Whistlebare Yarns in Northumberland for our entrepreneur interview. Having given us loads of great mohair knowledge in episode 69, I can’t wait for you to hear all about life on the farm.

Image Copyright Whistlebare Yarns.

Image Copyright Whistlebare Yarns.

Read More

Episode 70: An Interview With Boo Knits

Image Copyright Boo Knits

Image Copyright Boo Knits

Listen Here

Intro

This week I am delighted to bring Bev aka Boo Knits onto the show for an interview! After knitting her Out of Darkness pattern – known to listeners of the show as the ‘Shawl of Awesome’- I was keen to chat to her and hear about her journey into designing and what inspires her.

Interview

Bev’s journey into design was quite by accident, when she could not find the right pattern for a precious skein of Fyberspates Faery Wings, and decided to create her own. The first pattern was enthusiastically received and people began to ask when the next would be coming out. Her husband suggested this could be a good way to pay for her yarn, so she decided to pursue the opportunity.

A lover of high quality and hand dyed yarns, Bev advocates knitting only with what you truly love and paying the extra couple of pounds to have what you really want. In terms of dyers, Lichtfaden and Hedgehog Fibres are current favourites.

You can find Bev on Ravelry and be welcomed into the friendly and active Boo Knits group.

Giveaway

Bev has very kindly donated three prizes to a giveaway palooza: a complete pattern collection and two single patterns. In order to enter, pop over to the group on Ravelry and leave a comment saying which is your favourite Boo Knits pattern.

'Be With You' by Boo Knits. Image Copyright Boo Knits.

‘Be With You’ by Boo Knits. Image Copyright Boo Knits.

Beadalong

There’s still plenty of time to take part in the #beadalong – you can find details on Ravelry here.

Wrap-Up

I’m running a listener survey. Please go here and let me know what you’d like to see from the podcast!

Also, I’ve started a mailing list. You can sign up here and I’ll send you all the latest podcast news, along with the occasional comedy dog in knitwear.

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 69: Man Socks

Image Details: 'Lace Shawl #4' by Gina de Villiers, via Flickr.

Image Details: ‘Lace Shawl #4’ by Gina de Villiers, via Flickr.

Listen Here

Intro

Hello and welcome to episode 69 of the podcast, from a new location, in England! This week, there’s a bit of chatter about moving house – again – and the calamities that come with that. Jo catchup complete, there is a plan afoot to visit Countess Ablaze at her studio on Swinton on 5th December 2015. All welcome, but please let me know if you are coming, so I can give the good lady Countess notice of numbers. If you can’t make it, I strongly encourage you to check out her shop online.

Socks for Men

Rachel Coopey rejoins us for some chatter about socks for men – for those who knit for men and those who are men who knit. Colour-wise, it’s all about asking what is appropriate for a non-surprise recipient and doing some detective work for those who don’t know they are being knit for.

Self-patterning yarns are a good option for maintaining the interest in a plain stockinette stitch sock for those who are well endowed in the foot department. Also, consider buying 150g of yarn (3 x 50g skeins) to ensure you have enough yarn without getting stuck with large amounts of leftovers.

Listener Q&A with Alice Elsworth of Whistlebare Yarns in Northumberland on Mohair

Thank you to all the listeners that sent in questions regarding mohair yarns and use thereof for knitting and other things. Alice covers why mohair isn’t itchy these days, spinning techniques, uses of different age of mohair amongst other topics.

Beadalong

Want to try your hand at beaded knitting? Step into the #beadalong.

Sign up in the thread on Ravelry and pop over to the chat thread to take part in the beaded fun.

Cast on will take place on 16th November 2015 at 8:30pm live on Periscope with me (@Shinybees).

The KAL/CAL will med on 10th Jan 2016.

Patterns for the KAL are as follows:

Kunye by Clare Devine.

The Kunye Shawl, Designed by Clare Devine for TGSONEKAL and modelled by the fabulour Jess of Ginger Twist Studio.  Image Copyright Clare Devine, All Rights Reserved.

The Kunye Shawl, Designed by Clare Devine for TGSONEKAL and modelled by the fabulour Jess of Ginger Twist Studio.
Image Copyright Clare Devine, All Rights Reserved.

Be With You by Boo Knits.

Image Copyright Knittingfiona, via Flickr.

Image Copyright Knittingfiona, via Flickr.

Winter Wander Shawl by Helen Stewart.

Winter Wander Shawl. Image Copyright Helen Stewart.

Winter Wander Shawl. Image Copyright Helen Stewart.

And for the crocheters, Lisa’s Shawl by Shireen Nadir.

If these patterns are not for you, fear not! You can take part with any beaded design – the main thing is that you have something you are highly motivated to make, for when it gets a bit tricky.

Special Offer Discount Code For KnitVent 2015 from Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade

Knitvent2015 is upon us and if you’re looking to take part in the advent fun, I’ve a cool discount code for you which will get you 15% off the whole collection. Each Thursday from 5th November, a different ‘door’ on the advent calendar will be opened, and you’ll receive another glorious pattern in your Ravelry inbox. The first pattern is Winter Wander Shawl (shown above) and the collection contains another 5 patterns including another shawl!

Helen has very kindly offered a discount code for listeners of the podcast, which also applies to the Candlelit Shawl (shown below) which would be another great choice for the beadalong. Simply enter the code SBKNITVENT15 for 15% off.

Candlelit Shawl by Helen Stewart. Image Copyright Helen Stewart.

Candlelit Shawl by Helen Stewart. Image Copyright Helen Stewart.

Wrap-Up

I’m running a listener survey. Please go here and let me know what you’d like to see from the podcast!

Also, I’ve started a mailing list. You can sign up here and I’ll send you all the latest podcast news, along with the occasional comedy dog in knitwear.

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!