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!

2018 the year to FOCUS

Lifestyle, ProductivityBrenda Reynoso PenaComment

In the last few years I have been setting goals and resolutions but everyone knows resolutions only work for a few days or weeks. 

This year, my word of the year is FOCUS. It took me a while to think about what I really want to accomplish this year but I also realized I needed to slow down and focus on one thing at a time instead of multitasking all the time. 


I am not going to talk about how many projects I want to knit or how many times a week I will exercise. Instead, I will check my planner every day and focus on small things one at a time.

This past year has been very busy for the  Needle Bee Shop and I am very grateful for that. This also meant less knitting time for me. When I look back and see Ravelry projects page, I realized I didn't get a lot of knitting done. It's Ok. There is never going to be enough hours in a day to knit all the things we want. 

So what do I want to focus on? I want to focus on my health and exercise routine  (I have been going to Zumba classes and I love it!). I also want to focus on sewing this year. I want to sew a simple dress or blouse.  I am not going to focus on knitting or crochet because those are not only hobbies, they are  already part of my daily routine.

Having something to look forward to, a goal or hobby is a great thing. I hope this helps you decide what you want to accomplish this year and stay focus on whatever you choose to do so that you can get the results you want.


My 2017 goals

Knitting, LifestyleBrenda Reynoso PenaComment

A year ago on Jan 6th I published my knitting and crochet goals but - can you believe out the 6 goals, only the first 2 got completed and the other 4 were replaced with other stuff that was more exciting than the actual goals? If are curious to know what were my last years goals, go here.  

This is why this year I want to try something different. I don't like resolutions- I like goals and adventures. The problem arise when I get distracted or let other unimportant events take priority. And with that I bring you my two words for this year- simple habits !

This means keep simple goals and make it a habit to check your progress on those goals. What I am saying is keep one or two goals and Stay focus by making a habit to look and analyze your progress in a timely manner. This applies to anything in life - losing weight, buying a house, paying off credit cards, using your stash, etc..-so  whatever you like to use to keep track of your goals (paper planner or an app or both) coming back to those goals and tracking your progress is what really matters. One of the reasons why many goals don't get accomplished is because we often underestimate the time and details that each goal require.

So so here are my goals for 2017:

1- grow my business

2- complete the TKGA (MHK) Master hand knitter  level 1.

1-Growing my Etsy shop and website are my top priority. I have exciting news for you in the next few weeks so stay tuned. 2-Knitting and crochet are already part of my habits so they aren't included in my goals except for the MHK program because it requires more dedication and I feel is a major commitment for me.

I hope this helps you think and decide your top priorities when you are ready to write your goals. I 'd love to know what are your goals for this year.  Happy knitting and Happy planning!






More knitting podcasts!

Knitting, Lifestyle, PodcastsBrenda Reynoso PenaComment


Sometimes being home sick for a few days is a great opportunity to catch up on old episodes or learn about new podcasts. I have been watching/listening to a lot of podcasts lately but they are all full of interesting topics and news of the knitting world. If you like to listen to podcasts or are looking for new podcasts, keep reading!

YouTube: you  are going to love the following knitting video podcasts:

  1. The grocery girls (Jodie and Tracie are so funny, I wish  one day I could meet them)
  2. Inside number 23  (lovely Katie from the UK, talks about knitting and sewing)
  3. Brooklyn Knitfolk  (it reminds me of my old days in NYC, Jackyn shows a few videos of NY and knitting)
  4. Tinypaperfoxes  (Jennie and Devon are a cute couple sharing their knitting projects and also sewing)
  5. Sew over it   (I like Lisa's style and tutorials, this is about sewing but hey I want to learn how to sew lol)

Audio Podcasts

  1. Craft-ish by Vickie Howell - like always, she has an excellent  voice and loves everything crafty.
  2. Power Purls podcast by Kara Gott Warner, she is the editor of Creative Magazine.
  3. While she naps podcast by Abbie Glassenberg interviews designers, crafters, bloggers.

I enjoy very much learning about new things and people while knitting, cooking or folding laundry. Audio podcast are great while driving or waiting at the doctor's office. I can say they have become part of my lifestyle!

[Tweet "Podcasts keep my motivation and creativity alive, so what have you been listening lately?"]

Keep knitting my friends...

A Finish Project!

Knitting, LifestyleBrenda Reynoso Pena2 Comments

“This post is part of the 31 days of knitting challenge which is part of the Write 31 Days challenge hosted by Crystal Stine. Don't forget to subscribe and get updates of new posts by email or follow me on social media".

Day 31- A Finish Project

    Today is the last day of the Write 31 days challenge and I am very pleased with my writing and knitting progress. We all know that life is not perfect and things happen, but after all I can't complain. I got a finish project plus a wash cloth totally completed while writing every day for this blog. I'll be honest, if it wasn't for the write 31 days challenge, I would not have completed this. Sometimes in life we need to push ourselves a little. Challenges are good. They help you build confidence, motivation and also keep you moving towards the finish line.

    Thirty one days ago I talked about finishing some of my WIP's. I haven't blocked the city cape by Purl Soho but hey! it is finished, my needles are empty and that is what really counts. At the beginning of this challenges I also mentioned how working on one project at time was going to help me get one of those Wip's off the needles and it did.

       Thirty one days ago I wasn't sure about signing up for the write 31 days challenge and join other 2000 bloggers but I did. 

    [Tweet "Writing is not easy. It requires discipline and dedication."]

    I want to thank Crystal Stine for this opportunity and for her encouragement. I also want to thank all of the wonderful bloggers that were part of this challenge and their help along this journey.

    Today I have new friends in the blogging world and 2 finished projects. And finally I want to thank God for giving me the strength and power to continue.

    If you missed any of the 31 days post blog, you can find them here. Now is time to start casting on other projects and work on those holiday gifts! Happy Knitting.

Five tips to keep your hand knitted sweaters in great shape

Knitting, LifestyleBrenda Reynoso Pena2 Comments

“This post is part of the 31 days of knitting challenge which is part of the Write 31 Days challenge hosted by Crystal Stine. Don't forget to subscribe and get updates of new posts by email or follow me on social media".

Day 30- Five tips to keep your hand knitted sweaters in great shape this winter

When it comes to sweater weather it is very nice to find one of those hand knitted sweaters in your closet. But how do you make sure your work of art is in great shape after it has being forgotten all summer?

If is very difficult to store your sweaters nicely when you don’t have a lot real estate in your closet or drawers dedicated to your beautiful sweaters. No worries, I got a few tips for you to make sure they stay in shape all year.

1-Do not hang your knitted sweaters even if it is for a few minutes. Heavy sweaters will grow and you know at that moment you will remember when you first knitted the swatch to make that sweater. Take a few minutes and fold them. Here is a great tutorial to fold sweaters.

2-Use a sweater divider or a sweater box and store them by yarn weight. Don’t stack more than 3 bulky sweaters or cardigans in one section and 4 or 5 lightweight sweaters at a time. You can label each box for example: cardigans or v-necks. It will be a lot easier to find what you are looking for when you are in a rush. 3-Use lavender bags or mothballs to keep little bugs from entering your closet. If you must hang a very lightweight sweater, use a lingerie hanger (those padded satin cute hangers) to keep the shape and avoid the bumps on the shoulder. The picture below shows how to hang sweater to avoid those bumps in a regular hanger.

4- When you are ready to wash them, do not mix your hand knitted sweaters with your regular laundry. Keep a lined basket or a canvas bag in your closet where you can throw the used sweaters until you wash them. When you are ready to wash them, use a gentle wool wash or soak soap.

5-Upon the Spring arrival, store clean sweaters in canvas storage bags with lavender bags. Actually, any breathable storage bag or box made out of cotton works well. This will ensure your sweaters are ready for next winter.

Happy Knitting!

Note- All images above were found in Pinterest.

My Dream Craft Room

Knitting, LifestyleBrenda Reynoso Pena2 Comments

“This post is part of the 31 days of knitting challenge which is part of the Write 31 Days challenge hosted by Crystal Stine. Don't forget to subscribe and get updates of new posts by email or follow me on social media.mydreamcraftroomtheneedlebee Day 28- My dream craft room

I have always wondered what a knitwear designer stash looks like? Or an indie yarn dyer? How do they manage yarn storage? Tools and equipment. I don't have a craft room but I often dream of one day having one. A room where I can listen to soft music or watch my a movie, with a comfy couch, good lighting and a center rug. I also want space for my desk, books, and several shelves decorated with yarn. And finally, my sewing machine just in case I feel I am in the mood for sewing with a pretty comfy chair and cute baskets around. So I guess what I really want is a knitting/ craft/ office space. Sounds like a dream right?

The reality is, all I have now is the corner of my kitchen with a small desk and a bookcase. I think I will call it the multipurpose nook for now!

If you have been following along the 31 days of knitting, you know how much I love Pinterest and the inspiration ideas I get from it. To me, Pinterest is like going shopping without a wallet or more like screen shopping. I also have a board dedicated to my dream craft room only. Any idea that I find related to storage or craft room goes directly to this board. Are you ready to get some ideas for your craft room? This cabinet is lovely for yarn storage!

I will definitely have a few of this!!

Lovely room!

It is nice to dream about things we want. Do you have a knitting or craft room? What items do you have in your knitting room? Note: All images were found in Pinterest.

Reminder.... is celebrating all of the amazing Write 31 Days readers who are supporting nearly 2,000 writers this October! To enter to win a $500 DaySpring shopping spree, just click here . Good luck, and thanks for reading!