The Needle Bee



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!

Flying and Knitting

Knitting, LifestyleBrenda Reynoso PenaComment

flying and knittingDay 15- Travel knitting tips

We have reached the midpoint of the 31 days of knitting and with that comes travel. As I prepare to go a few days to NY and go to the NYS Sheep and wool festival I started thinking about my carry on luggage and the things that I want to bring with me. Traveling alone in a plane is a great time to catch up on a video, book or knitting. I choose to take advantage of all 3. How? I plan to listen to an audiobook while knitting or watch a movie while knitting. But one of the things that I always worry is the knitting needles. I have heard several stories about knitting needles. If you search the word “knitting” in the Transportation Security Administration website, here is what you get:

In general, you may place your knitting needles and needlepoint tools in carry-on or checked baggage. Circular thread cutters or any other cutter or needlepoint tools that contain blades must be placed in checked baggage. You are permitted to keep scissors smaller than 4 inches in your carry-on baggage. Even if an item is generally permitted, it may be subject to additional screening or not allowed through the checkpoint if it triggers an alarm during the screening process, appears to have been tampered with, or poses other security concerns. The final decision rests with TSA on whether to allow any items on the plane.

Note the last sentence of the above quote. Now, here is my issue. I just have a few sizes of wooden needles and I will be disappointed if the TSA staff decides to confiscate my sharp size zero chiaogoo needles because they are very sharp. This means that I will have to use wooden needles to knit the socks which is not a good idea because whenever you change needles your gauge might change.

I have heard of many stories from several people and it sounds like sometimes you can get away with the metal needles. I believe it all depends if the items trigger the alarm and also on the airport. International laws might be different, so make sure you check the TSA website and your airline. Wish me luck!

So I decided to take some wooden circular needles and a few crochet hooks. I plan on knitting a few dishcloths that are part of my WIP’s (work in progress) and coffee cozies for my holiday gift knitting.

I wanted to share a list of things I do before traveling:

1-Make a list of the things you are taking a few days before- this will help you pack faster. I literally write everything that needs to go in my carry on and my purse. I like to go the old fashion way and write it on paper and check off things as I am packing. 2-Don’t go crazy packing a lot of projects, chances are you are not going to have a lot of time. 3-Take a lace project like a shawl-if you have one in mind and are travelling alone. Lace is great for the plane because really nobody is asking you questions and you can concentrate while you count those stitches! 4-Bring some dental floss and nail clippers and use them as yarn cutters. Avoid scissors. 5-Avoid taking double pointed needles (DPN). Take circular needles instead and avoid losing one of your DPN’s. Use a pencil case to put your needles. 6-Take a pretty project bag that fits in your purse. 7-Make a list of the important places you want to see and people you want to meet. 8-Enjoy your trip, happy knitting!

“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.