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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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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 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.

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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!

Episode 66 – The Diamond Fibre

Ep66 promo

Image Details: ‘Angora Goat’ by noricum, via Flickr.

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Intro

Hello and welcome to another rip-roaring episode of the Shinybees podcast. Today we have the return of Enablers’ Corner, some chat about mohair – the diamond fibre – and its properties, particularly in sock knitting. Following that, we round up with a rundown of the latest shipment from The Golden Skein and encourage you to try out three fabulous hand dyers.

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Episode 52: How to Store your FOs

Asylum Storage

Image Details: ‘Asylum Storage’ by Forgotten Heritage, via Flickr.

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Intro

Here’s another episode to keep your knitty enabling high! There will be a short break in the podcast schedule over summer to allow for some resetting and forward planning for the next 6 months.

Enablers’ Corner

This week we’re enabling to the Scollayalong. Join in for some garment knitting fun.

MakeItFit2015

This kicked off at Indie Burgh Yarn Crawl with a measure up session with my pal KnitBritish. Want to take part? You can add your responses here. It’s all anonymous, and we’ll be analysing the results to see what the real average is!

Wippin’ Piccadilly

I’ve been committing some knitting! The Owls jumper is back on the go and progressing well with a little attention. This is in the Rowan British Sheep Breeds Chunky the pattern calls for. Also on the needles is a little Lush is Adriafil Mirage in neon pink for The Beast. Check out the outtakes after the exit music the hear her thoughts on that and lion hair.

I’ve watched for Mallorn (the swatch was the ‘lion hair’) but have not cast on yet as the pattern starts with a 300 odd row i-cord. Valid?

I’ve started and finished another Lapsang by Clare Devine in Eden Cottage Yarns Whitfell Chunky. You really cannot go wrong with this pattern and yarn combination for quick knits.

I also finished my hap. Pattern was Aestlight by Gudrun Johnston.

Craft Physics: How to Store Your FOs

How do you store your finished objects? Stash storage is a commonly discussed topic, so there are many ideas for how to manage your collection of yarn. What about the finished items? They still take up space. Do you have any top tips for keeping the organised and safe from the dreaded moths?

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!

#FreeYourSkeins2015 Friday Week 2: ‘3 Color Cashmere Cowl’ by Joji Locatelli meets The Golden Skein Autumn Harvest

'3 Color Cashmere Cowl' by Joji Locatelli. Image Copyright Joji Locatelli.

‘3 Color Cashmere Cowl’ by Joji Locatelli. Image Copyright Joji Locatelli.

When yarn and inspiration collide

Week two of #FreeYourSkeins2015 Friday is upon us, and this week there was a very straightforward choice made. I’ve been looking for the perfect way to combine all 3 skeins from The Golden Skein’s Autumn Harvest quarter within one project, to represent the inspiration photo. Joji popped up with the ideal opportunity to do just that and have a bit of fun with the pattern, too, with her ‘3 Color Cashmere Cowl’, covered on #FreeYourSkeins2015 Day 9.

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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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Beyond Merino and Blue Faced Leicester: Top Alternative Breed Choices and Blends in Hand Dyed Yarns

I did a little blogging for Wovember. If you’re interested in trying hand dyed yarns from more unusual breeds, there are a few here to start you off!

Episode 4: Close Encounters

Close Encounter in Zimbabwe

Image Details: ‘Close Encounter in Zimbabwe’ by hchalkley, via Flickr.

Hello and Welcome to Episode 4 of the Shinybees Podcast: Close Encounters. A warm welcome to all new and returning listeners! This week is mostly about rhinos and cake. In the words of Aerosmith, “Just Push Play.”

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Project paralysis

Tied to a Chair

Image Details: ‘Tied to a Chair’ by Hanna-, via Flickr.

Twitter keeps happily reminding me how many days/hours it is until Christmas. As I have mentioned countless times on here, I love Christmas. Nothing pleases me more than rebelliously putting the Christmas tree up in the last couple of days of November. Any excuse to adorn the house with tinsel and yet more fairy lights is a good one, in my book. Unfortunately, all this talk of festive cheer and my very exciting but imminent return to the UK for a Costa minty hot chocolate and a decent curry is getting a bit stressful. How so? I hear you cry. Well, because I am suffering from another craft-related phenomena. One I shall call ‘Project Paralysis’.

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Guest Blog Post: Building the Cosmac ELF

darelfii

Image Details: ‘darelfii’ by airship, via Flickr

Given the overwhelming success of the Unnycount, Mr Shinybees has been busy beavering away in the Shinybees skunkworks on a new project that I am struggling to even vaguely connect with knitting. I am reliably informed that the electronic connections utilise a process known as wire wrapping, which I guess provides a somewhat tenuous link to my particular creative flavours, so I shall let him off this time and allow him to occupy some valuable blog space to tell you all about his Cosmac Elf.

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