The Needle Bee

Knit.Crochet.Shop.

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.

Meet knit designer Andrea Hilton.

Knitting, Knitting Patterns, DesignersBrenda Reynoso PenaComment
Stoneland-Poncho.jpg

Hello Friends,

Today I bring you a great interview with knitwear designer Andrea Hilton. I met Andrea in the fiber muse sanctuary FB group hosted by Aroha Knits. Right away I checked her Ravelry page and her blog. Her designs and personality made my heart sing! I thought OMG I could laugh and talk to her all day. I am sure you will enjoy reading about Andrea's life and  her designs.

Tell me about yourself. How long have you been knitting?

I am a knitting addict. I truly wish knitting burned more calories so I didn’t have to perpetually fret and subsequently ignore the fact that this obsession of mine does NOT count as exercise. (Although I have taken up knitting socks while walking and so far haven’t stabbed my eye out with a teeny tiny needle. So there’s that.) Even my four-year-old knows how important knitting is to me. He always reminds me to pack my knitting whenever we take a trip. Not that I would ever forget.

I live in a super duper small town in (far) northern California near the Trinity River. It’s a quiet way of life without stop lights or traffic. Squirrels outnumber people. When I am not knitting, I manage a ridiculously oversized vegetable garden and orchard (you’d think we were trying to feed an army…), take long walks with my son, and spend the warm summer months floating in crystal clear bodies of water. I also work part time at a “normal” job to help pay the bills. I am fairly certain that I do an astronomical amount of dishes and picking up of ridiculously small Lego parts. (Remind me why toy manufactures haven’t invented a Lego vacuum yet…?)

As a working mother, I honestly do not have that much time to devote to knitting and designing. I carve out what I can and do my best. I have a to-do list that will always be longer than I am tall (although to my defense, I am quite short). I am proud of the work that I do and generally believe in myself. I know someday when my son is older and I have more time to devote to my craft, I just might make some progress on that list of mine.

Maybe.

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What made you take the next step and start designing knitting patterns?

I started designing knitting patterns because I failed to do market research and actually thought it was a viable business plan.

(I will pause while you stop laughing and catch your breath.)

You can read all about my Big Start here, but basically I thought I could design a pattern once, sell it, and make money. This was nearly four years ago. I quickly learned it’s incredibly hard to be financially successful as a designer and actually sell patterns in a very oversaturated market. It takes a lot of hustle, perhaps more so than actual designing.

Pure determination and willpower has kept me going. Oprah said successful people do what they love. Well, I love knitting, so I’m hoping Oprah was right. (In the meantime, I drink wine to mitigate my lack of financial success and otherwise bolster my pride.)

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What is your design process? Do you look at the yarn first and then think about the pattern? How do you find inspiration?

I like simple patterns and modern (but not too weird) designs. Less is more. I tend to select stitches with texture but not busyness. I typically stay away from intricate cables. They’ve never appealed to me.

Like all designers, I probably spend way too much time flipping through stitch dictionaries, swatching and generally trying new things. I keep a Knitting Journal where I jot down my ideas and stitch patterns that I want to incorporate into future designs. Then I throw all my Nice, Neat Organization out the window when I impulsively buy yarn that I frantically whip into something generally unplanned.

What do you like to knit when you are not designing? Do you have a needle preference?

My personal knitting queue is painfully long. I knit two “for fun” knitting projects this past year: Rosemont by Hannah Fettig (a cardigan) and Sheltered by Andrea Mowry (a poncho). I loved both! Designing sweaters is well beyond my skill level at this point, but I love knitting them.

I finally broke down and bought a ChiaoGoo Twist needle set this past spring for my birthday. The skies have parted and the sun is beaming down on me! These things rock. I love knitting on sharp, metal needles and will likely never go back to wood or bamboo. They take too much time. I also like Addi Turbo Lace needles!

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Where can people find you? Ravelry? Instagram? Blog?

Folks can find me all over the place! I have a Ravelry Group and am on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook. My blog, Life, is This Knitted here. Always stop by if you need a good laugh. I will do my best not to disappoint.

I hope you enjoyed Andrea's interview as much as I did. I love meeting new people in the knitting community.

Happy Knitting!

How about a 10% off anything?

KnittingBrenda Reynoso PenaComment

Hello Friends!

I have an announcement. I am now offering a 10% off anything in my Etsy shop if you sign up for my newsletter. As a subscriber you will be the first one to know about new products and promotions (I promise no spam just goodies) Here is the link:

http://eepurl.com/cwHTGr

And don't forget to share it with your friends. 

Happy Shopping!