Shinybees - The Knitting, Comedy and Yarn Podcast

Shinybees - The Knitting, Comedy and Yarn Podcast


The podcast for those who like their knitting, yarn and comedy in equally large measures. Hosted by UK knitter Jo Milmine, there's also a regular Sock Surgery co-hosted with Clare Devine and Kate Read. Business minded? Enjoy the interviews with industry entrepreneurs for top tips and inspiration on making it in the yarn industry. Finally - enjoy the finest fringe knitting pattern picks that Ravelry has to offer.


Episode 100 - The Great Shinybees Hexipuff Amnesty  

The tonne! A century! Episode 100 is upon us and a hearty thanks to all of you that have listened, do listen and are new to listening. Welcome one and all.

Two topics of conversation this week, one of which contains zero knitting and a lot of the young Wigan version of Paul Rudd and his fit-for-his-age Dad. Don't ask...

To celebrate episode 100 (and total credit to one Countess Ablaze for this idea) I am instigating The Great Shinybees Hexipuff Amnesty. Got Hexipuffs? Want to donate them for a good cause? Post them to Countess Ablaze's studio in Manchester then clear your diary for the Great Swinton Sewing Bee (keepers' Quilt).

In support of Monthly Gift Mcr, all proceeds from the raffled off Beekeepers' Quilts (and party) will go to the supply of sanitary products to this charity for distribution to homeless women. #hexipuffamnesty and #sodhexipuffs are your hashtags of choice. I am team #sodhexipuffs, but for every 100 that arrive, I'll actually knit one of the buggers. 

Show notes of crazy (and Paul Rudd) at

Music for episode is Adam and the Walter Boys with 'I Need a Drink.'

Episode 99 - When Pokemon Go and Yarn Collide  

Pokemon is the theme of this week's episode as I delve deep into the bowels of Ravelry's pattern database to bring you a pattern pick of joyous wonder. If you've been sucked into the Pokemon Go craze (or PoGo to the cool kids) and you need some suitable patterns to accompany your meteoric rise as a trainer, I have you covered.

From head to toe. In yellow acrylic.

How does a Terry's Chocolate Orange fit into this madness? You're going to have to listen to find out!

Also in the mis we have some Enabler's Corner action with the ever fabulous Boo Knits. She has a new collection out - Boos for Beginners - which will take you from zero to hero. Also entirely appropriate for the more seasoned professional, this is sure to be a great collection for the library that you will find yourself returning to again and again. Want to be in with a chance of winning a copy? Head over to the group on Ravelry and tell me which is your favourite Boo pattern.

Also in knitty news, there is the Cheshire Fibre festival which will take place on 1 Oct 16 as part of the wider North West Fibre Arts Trail. Deets in the show notes at

Music for this episode is Adam and the Walter Boys with 'I Need a Drink'.

Episode 98 - Knitting in the News  

This week we're indulging in a current affairs panel TV style format... without the panel. It's just me and three recent knitting related stories that have come to my attention and some thoughts on all of them.

First up there is the story from Dundee of a woman given knitting as a punishment for a road rage related assault. Adamant she was a keen knitter, and that punching a woman in the face was just a momentary old of control before heading into The Knitting Pin, she was tasked with providing 'not a meagre amount' of knitting for charity before December.

Warning - I get a bit cross about this.

Then we have an excellent example of using local resources to overcome service gaps by the Faroese, who have strapped 360 degree cameras to five sheep in an attempt to encourage Google to agree to come and map the place properly for them. You can get a sheep's back view of the Faroes via videos uploaded by the local tourist board. This is magnificent.

Finally we have unexpected fifteen minutes of fame for DyeForYarn, our German friends Nicole and Cordula, who attracted considerable attention his week due to their quirky choices of yarn names. The mugs didn't get it.

Show notes are at

Music for this episode is from Adam and theWalter Boys with 'I Need a Drink'.

Episode 97 - Best UK Podcast of 2016  

This is the multi-award winning(!) Shinybees podcast, winner of the Best UK Podcast of 2016. 

Thanks to everyone who voted for the show. If you want to see the video of the acceptance speech, it's in the show notes. 

Knitting wise, I have been working mostly on Helen Stewart's Talisman Shawl from her Shawl Society club. It's being knit in Urban Hints 'Blood Orange' from The Wool Kitchen.
The #RewindKAL has completed from a prize point of view, but we can keep going with the chat thread as I'm still nowhere near done. I have realised that I am not a slow knitter, I just don't spend enough time knitting.

The Golden Skein's Summer Power of 3 Club featured Eden Cottage Yarns, Dublin Dye and Triskelion Yarn. You can find all details at Signups are open 1-7th July for the Autumn quarter 2016.

Show notes are at

Music for this episode is Adam and the Walter Boys with 'I Need a Drink'.

Episode 96 - This Thing Of Paper - An Interview with Karie Westermann  

Karie Westermann joins me this week as my interview guest to tell us all about her journey into designing knitwear. Also a teacher and writer, Danish-born Karie calls Glasgow in Scotland her home since moving to the UK. A regular contributor to knitting magazines and publications as well as independent and commercial yarn companies, Karie became self employed two years ago. 

Author of the Doggerland collection, Karie has now embarked upon her first actual print book project - This Thing Of Paper. Previously a book historian, she will be bringing all this knowledge to the new project, which is funded by a Kickstarter (fully funded within 25 hours!)

Kara's journey back into knitting came as a result of quite a serious illness that left her sick in bed for nine months. It was during this time she returned to knitting, which aided in her recovery and became her main occupation shortly afterward.

You can find everything about Karie at

Show notes are at

Music for this episode is Adam and the Walter Boys with 'I Need a Drink.'

Episode 95 - Orange Mocha Frappuccino with Countess Ablaze  

Returning from a mini podcast break, this week I'm joined by none other than the fabulous Countess Ablaze, who invited me to her studio in Manchester to dye some yarn and have a bit of a chat.

News-wise, the Patreon for the podcast is no more - it just was not working for me int he way I had hoped. 

On a brighter note, the podcast has made the finals of the New Media Europe Awards in two categories: Best UK Podcast and Audience Appreciation Award. Please vote on Twitter each day for the show as 50% of the marks come from number of votes.

Onto the non-interview interview. Countess Ablaze is an indie dyer based in Manchester in the UK. Queen of brightly coloured and saturated colour ways and fabulously executed wigs, faux aristocrat Lindsey delights in bold and intense colours, as well as grey. Makes the colours brighter, you see...

She began dyeing in late 2011 and has developed her own, super efficient systems and processes to get the fabulous colour ways she produces. The business grew out of what was a very dark time for her and has blossomed into a thriving studio with customers worldwide.

Using very technical methods (mushing) she considers the dyeing process as more of an art than a science for her personally as a dyer. 

Champion of eye-searing neon, you'll find everything at

Show notes are available at

Music for this episode is Adam and the Walter Boys with 'I Need A Drink'.

Episode 94: Global Hypercolour  

Hello and welcome to a hyper colour episode of the podcast.

This episode is sponsored by the Indie Burgh Yarn Crawl, Edinburgh's official yarn crawl, which is taking place on 11th June 2016 between 10am and 6pm. Visit three of Edinburgh's fantastic yarn stores and indie emporiums: Ginger Twist Studio, Be Inspired Fibres and Kathy's Knits. Enjoy a range of promotions and discounts, get your yarn passport signed and head to the afterparty at the Safari Lounge. Here you'll find a fantastic range of vendors in the pop-up marketplace including Phileas Yarns, Pekoe Tea, K.M. Bedigan, Spun Plum, C.C. Almon, Edinburgh Yarn Festival, Rainbow Heirloom, Rusty Ferret, Queen of Purls, Lesley Taylor, Hand Drawn Yarn.

For more information head to

Don't forget to vote for the podcast at the New Media Europe Awards. Link in show notes.

The podcast will be on a break for the next two weeks and returning on 7th June 2016.

Enabler's Corner this week is all about the Indie Burgh Yarn Crawl, which I will be enabling you to in a big way. I went last year and loved it.

Alpaca Chatter is all about how to wash and care for your alpaca items.

Finally there is some random chatter about that most famous 1991 flash in the plan, Global Hypercolour.

Show notes are at

Music for this episode is by Adam and the Walter Boys with 'I Need a Drink'.

Episode 93: Alpaca Love  

Alpaca is under the microscope this week as a fibre focus for the next few episodes. Before we move onto that thought, I have news for you as always.

First up, the podcast is up for two New Media Europe Awards. Please follow the link in the show notes to cast your vote BEFORE 29th May, when the first round of voting closes. If you want your award back (you are an award winning audience after all!) then you need to get involved.

Also in news the #RewindKAL is ongoing. I have just cast on my Lush Cardigan, so plenty of time to join in still over on Ravelry or on social media with the #RewindKAL. I have some great prizes lined up from Suffolk Socks, Knitting in France and The Golden Skein with some more in the works.

There will be a break in the podcast broadcast schedule following next week's episode, so there will be no episode on 24th and 31st of May. The show will return on 7th June.

In Enabler's Corner we have Lezley Taylor's awesome crochet hook keyrings and stitch markers. Head over to Ravelry to enter the competition to win one of these as well as a set of stitch markers.

Finally we look at alpaca as a fibre as a quick overview before diving into more of a focus on it in the coming episodes. There is a mention for Sir Titus Salt who introduced the fibre to the UK in 1836 and I direct you to the British Alpaca Society's Alpacapedia.

Show notes are at

Music for this episode is provided by Adam and the Walter Boys with 'I Need a Drink'.

Episode 92: Midwinter Yarns - An Interview with Estelle Faust  

This week I am joined by Estelle of Midwinter Yarns.Specialising in Scandinavian yarns, Swedish-born Estelle runsMidwinter from her home in the rural Welsh Valleys.

Aided and abetted by her husband Mark, also known as MrMidwinter, she delights in bringing the best yarns Sweden has tooffer to the UK, in her quest to share the culture of herhomeland. 

Originally an interior designer, Estelle started her businessafter moving to Wales. She'd often thought of starting a businessbut it was the move and having more space that made it a reality.She's a self-confessed endurance knitter.

You can find everything Midwinter Yarns at

Show notes are at

Music for this episode is Adam and the Walter Boys with 'I Needa Drink'.

Episode 91 - Is That It?  

Chat abound this week! Catching up is the order of the day. LJ completed the marathon and her derriere is fine, thank you for asking.

Yarn Shop Day is on Saturday and I am looking forward to diving face first into The Countess' Tunnock's. That's not a euphemism; she will have a tower of Tunnock's. If you can't come to Manchester, why not check out what's happening in your area? If you're abroad - stage your own Yarn Shop Day.

In Enablers' Corner, I invite you to be enabled to the ME box. It's a monthly stationery subscription box. If you struggle to find the right sort of cards, this could be the answer to your stationery woes. It's £15 inclusive of postage and you can sign up at between 1st and 7th of every month.

In Scottish yarn news, there's the Loch Ness Knit Fest, 29th Sep - 2 Oct 2016. Also, get yourself to Pitlochry next weekend, 7th May at the Atholl Palace Hotel. Dingwall Auction Mart hosts the Highland Wool Fest on 21st May 2016.

I have some emails from lovely listeners. Props to Westy for looking after his fans and producing funny videos by taking the mickey out of himself.

I take a look at The Knitting Goddess' new yarn, Totally British 4ply. It's an 85% Wensleydale, 15% Shetland blend which is grown, spun, processed and dyed in the UK. It's a great way to access breed yarns with the added benefit of lovely hand dyed shades too. I rather like it. It comes in at 400m/100g and retails at £18.50 per skein.

Finally I ask the question, "Is The It?" for the stash accumulation. 

Show notes are at

Music is courtesy of Adam and the Walter Boys with 'I Need A Drink'.

Episode 90: Curious Handmade - An Interview With Helen Stewart  

This week I am pleased to welcome the lovely Helen Stewart onto the show. Designer and voice of the award winning Curious Handmade podcast. 

Originally from Australia, Helen is quite the nomad and loves travelling. She began designing when she moved to London. It was a part-time venture for a while, until after he second daughter was born. Having become increasingly unhappy in her corporate role and keen to create a situation where she could have flexibility to be with her girls, she took the big leap into designing as a business at the end of 2013. She launched the Curious Handmade podcast around that time and has hosted the weekly show ever since.

She finds inspiration for her designs in many ways but most frequently whilst travelling. High points of her journey have been winning an award for her show, as well as having the opportunity to meet so many interesting and influential people.

You can find everything about Helen at and her podcast is on iTunes and Stitcher.

Show notes are at

Music is 'I Need a Drink' by Adam and the Walter Boys.

Episode 89: Paula Abdul Would Be Proud  

This week I bring you lots of things to be inspired by. The reference to Paula Abdul is not covered within the show but encompasses the idea of 'two steps forward/two steps back'.

First up there's news about Shiny's Hive, and a party to be remembered at Countess Ablaze for Yarn Shop Day on 30th April 2016. Come and join lots of us fun folk between 10am and 5pm and get involved in the fun. Isla of BritYarn will also be there with a trunk show. British Wool a gogo.

I review Yarn In The City's London Craft Guide. It's a crafty guide to London, with lots of insider tips for food and refreshments along the way. It comes with 11 patterns for ghat all important holiday crafting too. You can find everything to do with the book at

Finally, we have Wippin' Piccadilly with Voodoo by Boo Knits (yes, still) and Frisson by Brittany Wilson. Lush by TinCanKnits for the #RewindKAL.

Shownotes are at

Music is by Adam and the Walter Boys with 'I Need a Drink'



Episode 88 - The Wool Kitchen - An Interview With Helen Reed  

Helen Reed of The Wool Kitchen is my super-fun sidekick this episode. Helen is a hand dyer based in Walthamstow in East London, although originally she's a Northern bird, albeit from the wrong side of the Pennines (Yorkshire).

She worked in retail prior to becoming a mum, and once her kiddies were going to school, she decided to start The Wool Kitchen as a business to indulge in her creative side.

A colour addict, you can expect wild and vivid skeins from Helen. Even the pared down colour ways are still bright and lively. The colours need to be released from her head onto the yarn, to allow her to be more colourful and be more creative.

Helen was encouraged into yarntrepreneurship by her evil accomplices at Knit Night and hasn't looked back. She loves to meet new people both in real life and virtually, so you'll find her hanging out most on Instagram (or by her brightly coloured yarn on her stall).

Helen has foolishly offered her Desert Island Skein up as a giveaway this week (let's hope she isn't shipwrecked anytime soon) and you can enter via the thread on Ravelry in the Shinybees group.

You can find Helen as @thewoolkitchen on Instagram and Ravelry as well as her shop on Etsy.

Show notes are at

Music is courtesy of Adam and the Walter Boys with 'I Need a Drink'.

Episode 87 - Travelknitter: An interview with Larissa  

Larissa of Travelknitter is my guest this week on the podcast. Fans of the show will know I am a big fan of her work, in particular her sorcery ability when it comes to creating red yarns. It's a hard colour to dye and she does it so brilliantly, I've collected one of every of her red colour ways. 

Larissa is based in East London and is originally from Australia. Travelknitter is a part-time operation that was born out of her need to find exactly the right kind of red yarn (a girl after my own heart). She has lots of great tips for running a business as a side venture as well as very interesting details about how and where she dyes her yarns.

Larissa dyed a colour way for The Golden Skein in the Autumn 2015 club.

You can find Larissa at

Show notes are at

Music for this episode is by Adam and the Walter Boys with 'I Need a Drink'.

Episode 86 - Beaded Knitting on a Train  

This week we have a friendly catch up post Edinburgh Yarn Festival. I reassure listeners that knitting on a train with beads is indeed a perfectly safe activity. Come and hear the rundown of Scotland's premier knitting festival. It's not done to death, just a few highlights including my notable mentions for Beyond Measure, Cowtown Knits and Tilly Flop Designs and the Best In Show... which is like Crufts, only without dogs.

We round up with the three dyers from the spring quarter of The Golden Skein. Go and check out Whistlebare, Snail Yarn and Sparkleduck.

Show notes are at

Music is Adam and the Walter Boys with 'I Need a Drink'.

Episode 85: The Little Grey Girl - An Interview with Gemma Dudley  

This week Gemma Dudley of The Little Grey Girl joins us ahead of her first ever show at Edinburgh Yarn Festival. Purveyor of stylish, handmade bags and notions, The Little Grey Girl is the perfect place to find a beautiful receptacle for your knitting.

Gemma opened The Little Grey Girl in October 2015 and runs it as a side-business from her main day job. A creative at heart. TLGG allows Gemma to explore this and escape from the office environment she inhabits during the day.

A huge lover of hand dyed yarns and the colour grey, you'll find her at

Shownotes for the episode are at

Music is by Adam and the Walter Boys - 'I Need a Drink'.

Episode 84: Yarns From The Plain - An Interview with Nic Rudd  

Nic Rudd, dyer behind Yarns From the Plain and voice of the popular podcast of the same name is our guest this week on the show.

Based on the Cheshire Plain in north-west England, Nic began her career as an industrial chemist working in the nuclear industry, before moving into what could be considered an equally hazardous environment as a primary school teacher. Having been curious about dyeing for some time, she began to sell her excess stock at local guild meetings, before taking the leap into it as a business, alongside studying for an HNC at Bradford.

A fan of all things British, her yarns are no exception and you can find some interesting blends amongst the Stanley range, which is available in 5 weights.

She has lots of tips for making business work that she freely shares, along with her unbridled passion for Microsoft Excel.

Listeners can get a juicy 15% discount in the Yarns From The Plain shop with the code SHINY15.

You can find Nic and links to all her social media, as well as the blog and podcast at

Show notes are at

You can become a Patron of the podcast and join our Virtual Knit Night at

Music is by Adam and the Walter Boys and is 'I Need a Drink'

Episode 83 - An Interview with Helen Lockhart of Ripplecrafts  

I'm delighted this week to have Helen join us on the show to tell us about her journey into dyeing. I've admired her work for a long time (and asked her to collaborate with The Golden Skein twice as a result) and always enjoy the way she tells the stories of the yarns she creates and the way she's inspired to do so.

Helen is based in Assynt in the Scottish Highlands and finds endless inspiration in her surroundings and the traditions in the area. She grew up in Southern Africa before moving to the UK in her late teens and has always been surrounded by making and crafting. She began Ripplescrafts after she and her husband, Stevan, moved to live in the Highlands full time from the Scottish Borders.

You can find her at

Shownotes for this episode are at

Music this episode is Adam and the Walter Boys with 'I Need a Drink.'

Episode 82: Commit  

This week has news, reviews and the potential theft of a bottle of IPA. Yes, it's still a knitting podcast, but we do enjoy a real ale on a regular basis.

First up you can now join me on Anchor and Snapchat as @Shinybees. Prep is ongoing for the #RewindKAL - you can join in over on Ravelry in the Shinybees Podcast group. I also reveal my word for the year. I've never done this before but I feel it's in the spirit of the word to do so. I'd love to hear yours!

Edinburgh Yarn Festival is taking place 17-20 March 2016. I will be offering a session in the Podcast Lounge on how to build a content calendar for your blog or podcast on the Friday afternoon and an informal Q&A on anything business or podcasting related on Saturday afternoon after the Podcaster Meetup, which will be taking place 12.30-2 both days. For those that come, I'll be offering a free power hour consultation to one lucky draw winner.

If you can't make it, never fear: I'm going to repeat the sessions via webinar in the two weeks after EYF. TI'll also make the replays from these available for download. To sign up for these (completely free!) go to

Enablers' Corner warns you at going to and looking at the clubs (closing 1 Mar) and The Rt Honourable Ronaldsay is highly likely to result in a stash based indiscretion. You probably won't escape without buying the lovelies and these yarns are rebels which refuse to be tamed!

To wrap up, I have a first look at Blacker Yarns Tamar.

Show notes available at

Music from Adam and the Walter Boys with 'I Need a Drink'. Pass that IPA...

Episode 81: Re-rewind  

Who knew that Craig David him-very-self would inspire an episode of a knitting podcast? Well, it's happened as this week I pay homage to his ability to not age one bit in a decade and still have perfect eyebrows and corkscrew curls.

Shoutouts to Trish, Jeny and Betsy and join in with the Fish Lips Kiss Heel pattern giveaway over in the Ravelry group, where there are still plenty of folks looking to gift patterns.

The podcast Patron virtual knit night takes place on Thursday 18th Feb 2016 at 2000GMT. To join in, become a patron at $5 or above. Details at

Project bags are now available in the Swagporium at £4+P&P

February events include Unravel at Farnham Maltings in Surrey. I will not be attending.

Enablers' Corner sends you to a fab tutorial by Clare Devine for the German Twisted Cast On. there will be plenty more where that came from, so be sure to subscribe to her YouTube channel to get all the goods!

Rewind KAL is the name of our next KAL starting on 13th March. If you have ever knitted a pattern in a KAL (or otherwise) and wished you could go back and re-live the experience, this is the KAL for you. Likewise if you'd always wished you'd taken part in a KAL when you didn't, and regretted it, come and knit the pattern now! I will be knitting another Lush Cardigan by Tin Can Knits in Berry Colourful Yarnings Sparkle DK.

Hashtag for the KAL is #rewindkal and there will be a virtual knit night for all those who are taking part.

Finally, there's a review of Take Heart: A Transatlantic Knitting Journey by Fiona Alice.

Show notes are at

Music for this episode is Adam and the Walter Boys with 'I Need a Drink'

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