The Needle Bee



Life, projects and more projects

Knitting, LifestyleBrenda Reynoso PenaComment

I have been busy with life, work, family. Just like most people that are probably reading this now. However, I have been knitting, quilting, binge watching classes in Blueprint aka Craftsy (especially the ones about Sergers because now I have a serger and I need to learn how to use it) , having coffee or tea while listening to my favorite podcast or books, and of course working on my day job. Yes I have a full time day job but I still schedule a few minutes a week to do what I love.

I have also made decision to not send newsletters. If you want to keep up with what I am working on, I suggest you follow me on instagram or facebook (links are below). I will post here eventually but I am more active in instagram and facebook.

2018 is almost over and I wanted to share a few pictures of the things I completed this year. I hope you enjoy them!

Note: At this moment I am working on the Veronika Cardigan by Shannon Cook. I really like this cardigan. It has a very interesting construction. My goal is to have it finished by the end of this year. I over the easy pattern and the yarn k am using ( Lana gatito super soft in grey) .


Here is my Passage Poncho by Heidi and Lana. Good news: all kits and stitch markers are 20% off until 12/31/18.


Here is a picture of my first quilt. Is a table runner I completed on Halloween day using Craftsy fabric . Can I say quilting is really fun! I can’t wait to start another quilting project.


I also managed to crochet a linen shawl this past summer without a pattern. I mean, I basically started with a long chain and added a few chain and single crochet stitches until I ran out of yarn. I added some tassels and ta da! It is not a shawl exactly, it is more like a scarf perfect for my cool office or nights.


And finally the Tracie Shawl by Joji Locatelli. This was a fun and quick knit along with my little knitting group here in Tampa. I am not sure if you can see the sparkly blue yarns dyed by the talented Amy from WattsUpyarnco


Well I hope you enjoy the rest of year and get inspired to complete some of your projects.

Merry Christmas! May the new year bring you health, joy, and a lot of time to do the things your love.

See you in 2019!

Vogue Knitting Live and Finished Projects

Knitting, Knitting PatternsBrenda Reynoso PenaComment

It has been a long time since my last post and I have a lot to share. I have been Focusing on my Wips and finishing all the gifts I said I was going to make. 

Going to Vogue Knitting live in NYC this year was an extraordinary experience for me. The yarn, the people, meeting Steven West, Heidi and Lana,  and the knitted garments in every floor were all very inspiring.  My phone unexpectedly stop working for several hours and I couldn’t take as many pictures as I had planned. But here are a few pics.

wearing my Gaptastic Cowl I knitted last year!

wearing my Gaptastic Cowl I knitted last year!


I also took the “Good Measure “ class by Deborah Newton. This was an exceptional class and I highly recommend it. If garment fitting  has been an issue for you ( it has been for me especially getting good bust measurements) this class will help you a lot understand your body and take good measures for a successful knitted garment. 

Here is a picture with me and Deborah Newton  



Lets talk about finished projects.

Big, chunky and fast hand knits  that are also machine washable are my go to patterns for gifts.

The tasseled color block scarf  is the easiest scarf in the planet. I mean anyone can learn and knit this.  The pattern is free by Anne Weil. I used Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick and Quick in bulky weight. I purchased 2 balls of ivory and 1 navy to make the scarf and hat. I made this for my daughter just in time for our trip to NY. I also knitted a ribbed hat with a pom pom on the plane to match the scarf. The hat feel so cozy and warm. I love Lion Brand Wool Ease thick and quick. It is very affordable and it knits up fast. It feels good to the skin and easy to work with.


this is not blocked, it looks much better on the head!

this is not blocked, it looks much better on the head!

I also finished a ribbed cowl for my sister. This is my first introduction to brioche. I love how squishy the fabric is knitted in Anzula Charcoal.  I think you can tell from this picture how squishy it feels. It almost looks like a double knit. I followed the Purl Soho fisherman stitch scarf pattern but then changed it up a little bit and made a cowl. My sister was so happy when she opened her package! Go up my Ravelry project page for more details. 


Below is a quick chunky crochet cowl I made for my friend. Crochet in one long piece with two strands of Tempo Jojoland Light Worsted yarn  with a crochet hook size 6.5 mm. Then sew the  cast on and bind off edges together. I didn’t write the pattern- I just got my stitch dictionary and went along with it and it was done in just a few hours !


When making gifts for adults I tend to go neutral- can you tell I like grey? Anyways, navy, grey and charcoal are always a good choice. Everyone likes these colors . Right? I will be back soon with more finished projects . Keep creating my friends !   

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!



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

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!


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!

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.


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,


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!