The Needle Bee

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Starting Point Shawl by Joji Locatelli

KnittingBrenda Reynoso PenaComment

A few months ago, the talented Joji Locatell -  published her Starting point Shawl mystery Knit along (MKAL).  So of course I decided to join. 

What is a mystery knit along (MKAL) ?

A MKAL is when designer or a group of knitters decide to knit a pattern and the designer releases part of the pattern weekly for a total of 4 or 5 weeks. It is called a mystery knit along because you don't get the full pattern right away. Basically you just have enough information to get your yarn and needles ready. You start knitting the instructions as they become available every week along with other knitters. You and your fellow knitters  chat about your progress in a fun learning environment (chat groups are usually in Ravelry) and continue knitting each week until the final clue is released. 

 This is a rectangular shawl pattern with a geometric design. The shawl is more like a big cozy wrap knitted in fingering weight yarn.  I was excited to join this KAL with my cousin because we just love anything Joji designs. The thing is, this is a very big project and you have to knit each clue twice and I don't have a lot of time to knit. You are almost knitting 5 skeins of fingering weight yarn in about 5 weeks. That is a lot of knitting ! However,  Mystery knit alongs are fun and adventurous.

These past week I was home the entire week due to Hurricane Irma so I made a promise to finish this shawl.  And I did! I love how the colors complement each other. I used fingering weight yarns in Anzula squishy, Madeline Tosh and Malabrigo sock and my hiya hiya needles in size US 5.  After blocked, the shawl measure 93 in long! You can find more details and pictures of my progress in my Ravelry project page. This  shawl will be my Florida winter coat!

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Books: 

When I find an authorthat I like, I tend to read or listen several of his/her books often. A few weeks ago I listened during my drive to work The midwife confession and this past month I just finished listening to The  secret life of Cecee Wilkes by Diane Chamberlain. I loved these books. These books will keep you awake from listening to podcasts. That is how interesting they were to me. I like how Diane twist her stories keeping the reader alert and wanting to know more about the characters.

I also read - What she Knew- by Gilly Macmillan.  This book has the suspense I like in audio books and according to several reviews in Goodreads, is an awesome book.

Currently, I am listening to -The Year of Yes- by Shonda Rhimes. I am enjoying this book very much. Did you know Shonda knits? I will love to meet Shonda one day. 

Until next time.

Remember to always find time for the things you love! 

 

Anzula Skeinettes

Yarn, KnittingBrenda Reynoso PenaComment
Anzula Skeinettes  

Anzula Skeinettes  

Several weeks ago  I got an email from Anzula about their new Mini skeins sets or Skeinettes that were going to be available this Fall 2017,  l  knew I had to have them available in my shop. If you are a fan of Anzula yarns, then you know how soft and luxurious they are. There are 7 themes available and the colors are just so lovely. Mini skeins are very popular and versatile.  It is like a sample of yummy yarns in different colors.

Let me introduce you the cutest mini sets.

Anzula Squishy Skeinettes- mini skein sets $33 per package 

Yarn: Squishy

Gauge: 7.5 sts per inch- US 2

Yardage: -/+ 67 yards each, 335 y total per package

Content: 80% Superwash Merino 10% Cashmere 10% Nylon

Care: Machine Wash Cold, gentle cycle

Hand Wash to extend the life cycle of your project

Lay Flat to dry

Great for Shawls, cowls, hats, scarfs.

This yarn is very soft and squishy!

Themes:

Citizen Skein (Gravity, Hippo, Pewter, Charcoal, Black)

Knitting in the Rain (Charcoal, Storm, Lapis, Seabreeze, Nimbus)

Ocean's Anzula (Lottie, Alice, Birdie, Chiva, Bluberry)

Wuthering Hanks (Seaside, Peach, Bubblegum, Irene, Seafoam)

Dr. Strangeskein (Misfit, Petunia, Tesla, Alice, Key Lime)

Rebel Without a Stitch (Temperance, Sexy, Madam, Rust, Aqua)

Somewhere Over the Skeinbow (1 Red Shoe, Curry, Clover, Chiva, Violet)

 

Note: There are limited quantities ready to ship.  

If you need to reorder special quantities, please contact me.  

Happy Shopping!

 

 

http://www.theneedlebeeshop.etsy.com

The Risen Cardigan

Knitting, CrochetBrenda Reynoso PenaComment

Today's post is about the Risen Cardigan by one of my favorite designers Melanie Berg.  If you are looking for an easy project with minimal design but entirely boring, you might want to consider this pattern. This cardigan was relatively easy to complete. I like the simple lines and plain stockinette stitch design in the body with the interesting reverse purl stitch pattern  in the cuffs and bottom.  This is a seamless sweater worked top down and doesn't require buttons.

I started this project in late October 2016 when I visited A good Yarn store in Sarasota, Fl. I found this beautiful yarn made by Baah (la jolla) in the color champagne.. So yes, it took like 9 months to complete but that is what happens when you start several projects at the same time. 

This was my first time knitting the reverse purl pattern stitch shown on the collar and cuffs. I have to say that it was very interesting and easy. The entire sweater took almost all 3 skeins ( I still have about 30 yards left). You can find more details and pictures in my Ravelry project page here.

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Whenever I start a big project like this with a yarn that is new to me, I read the entire pattern to make sure I understand how it's constructed and to understand the schematics. I knit and block a big swatch. I let it rest  and then look at it the next day to make sure I like how the yarn feels.

One thing I forgot to do was to alternate the skeins as I was knitting to avoid uneven color tones. You can see what I mean here in this picture. The right front is lighter than the rest of the sweater. This is very common when you knit with hand dyed yarns because not all skeins are identical. 

I used the wet blocking method and used blocking mats and pins. 

Like I said, this is the second sweater I knit so I am not an expert at all. One last thing I will do when I knit my next sweater/ cardigan is to add more width to front side. A little extra fabric of at least 1 inch to each front side will make the sweater a little bigger. This garment is meant to be open without buttons so it should be ok. Overall, I am very happy with this sweater, I am sure it will be my go to sweater this fall.

A Crochet Basket:

This week I found two old skeins of tape yarn in my stash. This is the a ribbon yarn that is used to knit or crochet ruffle scarves. So I decided to make a small basket for my current crochet projects. The basket was super fast to crochet, I used single crochet stitches with a size 6.0 mm hook and a pattern from one of my crochet books. There are many free crochet patterns like this in Ravelry . For example: the is free and very cute.. What do you think? I like it. So if you have some old bulky yarn and don't have a pattern in mind, a basket like this is a good choice.

Happy Knitting,

Brenda

Anzula Kits + free shipping!

YarnsBrenda Reynoso PenaComment

Hello friends !!!

I love soft and yummy yarn. Today's post is all about Anzula yarns. If you are not familiar with Anzula luxury fibers, then let me introduce you one of my favorite yarns.

Anzula yarns are very well known for their hand dye yarns and fibers made out of the most luxurious fibers in the USA . They have a soft and squishy feel,  and create stitch definition. The cashmere and merino wool nylon blend makes these yarns perfect for cowls, shawls, sweaters and socks. I also feel very proud to support an American small company who sources fibers from local mills.

During a recent Ravelry search, I found several free crochet and knitting patterns that are great choices for the Anzula Kits that I have available in the shop. If you are looking for ideas or inspiration, check my Ravelry favorites where I bundled them by name. I love how everything is so organized in Ravelry!

And lastly, here are a few of the kits available in the shop. Did I mention they are their just $85 (each kit has 3 skeins with 80% merino wool, 10% cahsmere and 10% nylon)  and you get free shipping in USA!  I personally love the kit in worsted weight for a nice chunky cowl and (maybe a hat) for the fall.

I hope you find ideas for your next fall or winter project with these colors. 

Happy Knitting!

Welcome to my new home!

homeBrenda Reynoso PenaComment
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You may have noticed different colors and a different blog design here because I moved my blog to Squarespace  (SS) from Wordpress (WP).

Moving and new beginnings are awesome   because they give me the chance to reflect and recharge -and that's how I feel now!

After  months of analyzing which platform to use I decided to go with SS. There are a few reasons for this:

  1. It's simple, easy to use  without the need of plugins.
  2. You don't need coding experience or hire a web designer.
  3. Because it has a drag and drop design feature, formatting a blog post it is fun. You can see what your post is going to look like on a mobile device or computers.
  4.  Customer service is awesome.
  5. I actually enjoy writing more in SS.

But I am not against WordPress. I think it is a great platform and it has a giant capacity to do many things that I don't need. Let's just say it was a little overwhelming for me. Although I am not a programmer,  I am comfortable with WP but SS is just easier and less time consuming for me. 

So, if you are a photographer , designer or an  artist and  are thinking about moving your blog to a new platform, you many want to consider Squarespace.

I know this is still a work in progress and I may change a few things around but in the meantime, please feel at home and enjoy. I will grab a coffee and my knitting and relax !

Happy Blogging!

 

Summer bags and tops: think Katia washi yarn

KnittingBrenda Reynoso PenaComment

Summer is almost here and that means quick knits with light weight yarns.  I currently subscribe to the Katia blog which is full of modern fashion from Spain.  So the minute I read about their new patterns in Katia washi yarn I knew I had to share it here. I was happy to know this yarn is not only excellent for bags and baskets,  but also a great choice for a quick summer top. Katia washi is a tape bulky yarn,  made of polyester and viscose  with 100 grams / 109 yards  per skein and  it is machine washable! The yarn is very soft and affordable. You can purchase it here in my Etsy shop. I currently have kits on sale to make cute bags like the following drawstring and tote bag. You also get the printed pattern when you buy the kit. You may also buy single skeins if you prefer to mix up the colors.

This sleeveless knitted  top is made with only  2 balls of Katia Washi yarn. The pattern details for all links shared here are in Katia Website.

If you like to crochet, this cute Crochet bag is super easy and a great summer accessory.

And how about this open white top made with two balls of Katia washi on size US15 and US19 needles. 

I hope you find ideas and inspiration for your summer knitting. For a complete list of Katia patterns and ideas, please go here.

To purchase Katia Washi, please visit my Etsy shop. Happy knitting!

Brenda 

5 Shawls 5 days challenge 

KnittingBrenda Reynoso PenaComment

If you follow Aroha Knits in Instagram or Facebook you are probably aware of her popular #5shawls5days challenge. This month I was part of this challenge and I am very pleased with the experience. I like this type of challenges- a new skill every day for five days. After  all, you are just knitting just a little swatch ! Besides learning new techniques and the ability to change the shape as you knit, this is another way to use your stash. I used the Jimmy Bean Wool beanie bag that I got last year. You can find more about this here. This little bag had 4 different brands of fingering weight yarn (Mrs Crosby, Baah by La jolla, cascade silk and Lornas Laces) each had about 20 yards but I probably just used 10 yards for each mini shawl.

My favorite shapes are the asymmetrical and the semicircular. Shawls are very popular in the knitting community. They are quick and easy to wear.

So if you have never work on a shawl or want to leant about shawl design, I highly recommend going over Aroha Knits website and sign up for this challenge.