Mo Knits

She also gardens, bakes, reads and exercises. But mostly Mo Knits.


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Don’t Read This Blog!

Let me begin with excuses and end with promises and potential solutions.

I was coming down with the flu before I left for Stitches South.

I didn’t know I was getting sick.

I felt pretty darn awful the entire time in Atlanta, but chalked it up to lack of sleep.

Retuning readers will remember I suffer from chronic sleep disorder: Restless Legs with Periodic Limb Movement. I move then wake up all night every night. This has been happening my whole life. I don’t feel sorry for myself. It’s just the weird wallpaper in the room that is my life.

I intended to do an extraordinary Stitches South recap. Instead I spent two weeks not sleeping with fever, chills, coughing, aching, stuffy sinuses. I was a wreck. Sleep disorder combined with asthma combined with influenza will do that to a girl.

In the midst of South craziness and active illness, I was trying to finalize edits on Lotus Ring.

I’m running a little behind schedule.

I promised a blog feature to Urban Gypz and Erin Lane.  I will do it.

If you’re waiting for a Lotus Ring pattern I will add it to my Ravelry store when it’s complete. I could release it as is, but it was setup for professional printing, and you don’t want to put your home printer through that. The picture on the first page will eat all the ink in the world. Then the rest of the pattern will be illegible because there will be no ink left in the world.

If you simply can’t wait I made photocopies today:

Send $6 for one pattern printing and shipping included.

Maureen Hefti 59 36th Way Sacramento, CA 95819

Send me a little note, and include your Ravelry ID and email for a chance to win a free Lotus Ring pattern!

I’ll use the email address for errata / updates.

Special thanks to Lily D, Yuki H., Margaret S. and Izzie L. for test knitting!


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Changes coming to Ravenous Knits. And a recipie! Yum!

I came up with the name Ravenous Knits a few years ago while at lunch with my friends. We were eating at a bistro called Ravenous. Their logo was a raven.  I was planning a knit business launch but didn’t want to go by MoKnits as I do here. Everybody uses their name plus knits. Sitting in that café, looking at that bird, I knew I was Ravenous Knits.

You see, I’m always hungry. I wrote a couple of years ago about diagnosis with Restless Legs Syndrome. Medications such as Requip and Mirapex put RLS into the international lexicon. You know the letters R L S, but you might not know how hungry people with RLS become as the disease progresses. When my disease is bad I don’t sleep. When I don’t sleep I’m hungry. All day. All night. Unbelievebly, fantastically hungry. You know that feeling you get when you need to pee really, really bad. It’s like that, but, you know, unremitting hunger.

Like me, ravens and other Corvidae species are always hungry. This makes for fun watching-of-birds in family Corvidae; crows, magpies, jays. In my home garden both crows and scrub jays provide much needed snail control. I’m sure I have written in the past various methods these resourceful birds use crack open tough shells. They will do anything for a meal. They are relentless. So am I. The raven is me. I am the raven.

So I copied the ravenous/crow concept, hired a graphic designer to create a logo for me, and paid a lot of money for it. The work was not completely professional; not as well done as I would have liked. Lesson learned. Sometimes you get what you pay for, and sometimes you don’t.

I know more now. I know what I want. I used that unsatisfactory logo, and it taught me what I’m looking for next time. So I am here. Here I am. I have a business that hasn’t left the launch pad, and I’m already re-branding. I’m looking forward to working with the new graphic designer. She’s really good at her work.

And my business ideas are coming into focus.

Most of that focus will be knitting and some of it will be food. My dad was a professional baker, and served as a cook in the National Guard Reserves. He taught me to cook when I was seven. Thanks, dad. My first lessons were homemade marinara then roast beef. Boiling an egg came so much later. I love to cook. I love food.

As a first recipe attempt I humbly offer:

Quick Tzatziki

It’s an empty nest at Chez Hefti. Recipe makes enough sauce for two really big gyros, and doubles nicely.

1 c. plain Greek yogurt—thicker is better. Regular yogurt is too thin.

4 inch portion of cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced

~10 fresh chives, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon rice vinegar (or any white vinegar) plus more to taste

Salt and pepper to taste

Stir together. Lick spoon. Yum

Mr. Hefti and I used this sauce two ways.

First we tried it for lunch after our big Easter lamb roast. Mr. Hefti is experimenting with low carb so we spread sauce over Lavash flatbread (Trader Joe’s or Armenian market) instead of pita. We topped with thin slices of roast lamb, fresh kale, and fresh mint leaf. Minty fresh surprise! Roll up and enjoy! Note: You could easily use pita and traditional garnish of tomato and sliced fresh onion. We didn’t have that in the house.

Second we tried it in a big salad. We needed a quick supper, and I used leftover chopped roast chicken, about ½ a bag of chopped kale, and handful of chopped mint. Served with a bowl of lentil soup and sliced bakery bread, this was a quick and yummy dinner. If you haven’t tried kale DO IT! If you don’t like kale use romaine, spinach or your favorite crisp salad green.

PS: I’m super addicted to Instagram. Let’s connect!


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Lotus Ring pattern. So close to release I can almost taste it.

My new design isn’t secret. My test knitters have been salivating after it since early March and busily knitting away at it for weeks. The discussion board on Ravelry boasts over 100 posts mostly Q and A in nature.

If you’re super-duper curious take a gander http://www.ravelry.com/discuss/ravenous-knits/2057623/1-25

If you yearn to knit lace, there’s a bunch of good info. You don’t have to knit my pattern to get something from the forum, but I’d be honored if you did.

I started a series of lace knitting blog posts at ravenousknits.com shortly after launching website last year, but failed to finish it. Guilt and my busy life led to writer’s block. Designers block. I returned here. Comforting. Familiar.

Knitting lace is complex, advanced level knitting, and I found my own thoughts and experiences weren’t enough to write about it coherently. I needed to collaborate with other knitters and learn the challenges they face.

My newest design gave me a wonderful opportunity to share the pattern with my testers free of charge and glean what I needed from my pattern users, my friends, my knitting community. There is lace knitting magic in that forum. Like an alchemist, I hope to turn it into lace knitting gold.

I’m not looking more testers, although if you have a strong relationship with an indie yarn brand and would like to knit a sample for their shop / trunk show/ trade show I’d be willing to entertain an offer. Our indie dyers work on tight profit margins, and they need all the help they can get. I work from home, supported by a loving and financially successful husband. I’m lucky. Eventually I hope to offer the printed pattern to indie dyers for trunk shows and trade shows at a cost that helps them sell yarn and helps me build a following.

For those of you who have had the misfortune of knitting from error riddled designs, please believe I am making every effort to ensure a happy experience for my knitters. Sandi Rosner is my tech editor. We met through my Yukimi design for Twist Collective. If she’s good enough for TC, well, she’s more than good enough for me.

So I end where I started. The release is close. I expect the pattern will be ready within a fortnight. I’m excited. I thought Lotus RIng would be nice, but I honestly didn’t think it would this good. It’s super pretty, and I’m humbled to be the designer blessed with the good fortune of sharing it with you.


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Yukimi

I’m totally excited to announce my first design with Twist Collective!

Meet Yukimi:

Photo by James Brittain Courtesy Twist Collective

Visit TwistCollective.com for pattern details, and make sure study the entire magazine.

It’s a spectacular issue with amazing designs, and I’m honored to be a part of it.

And…I want to make one of everything.

In other news: I finally sewed this project bag for Lorraine. It’s linen lined with taupe silk.

The fabric is reclaimed from a couple of thrift shop shirts.

Thanks again to Buffalo Gold for the purple Moon Lite.

Lorraine already subscribes to Interweave, so I’m sending a Rachael Ellen Beret pattern.

I’m also including small crochet hook for lace knitting mistake repair, and 10 of my favorite type of stitch markers for lace knitting.

The markers are simple and cheap jump rings–the kind you get at the jewelry findings aisle  in a craft or beading shop.

I like the closed jump rings best, but can’t always find them.

Hope you like them, Lorraine!

I’ve been told I should include photos of my cats. Here’s an old one, and it’s still good:

They like to snuggle when they are cold. The rest of the time they hiss and growl.


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Winner of Buffalo Gold contest #4 is…..

Lorraine!

I loved her comment. She must have read my blog, and remembered that I like to bake.

In her comment she posted a recipe that is delicious. Here it is with a few technique de cuisine tweaks.

Glazed Pumpkin Muffins

Muffin Batter:
◦1 cup granulated sugar
◦1 cup brown sugar
◦3 eggs
◦1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup canola oil -OR- fat free plain yogurt
◦1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree
◦3 cups all-purpose flour
◦2 teaspoons baking soda
◦2 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
◦1/2 tsp salt
◦1 package instant vanilla pudding mix

Glaze:
◦2 cups powdered sugar
◦1/2 tsp cinnamon
◦2-4 TBSP Milk

Directions:
1.Preheat Oven to 350 degrees F
2.In a large bowl, combine sugar and eggs until blended. Add oil and pumpkin. Beat until frothy and well blended.
3.In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, salt and pudding mix.
4. Add wet and dry ingredients together. Stir gently until dry ingredients are moistened. Do not over mix.

5.Fill lined cupcake pan 3/4 full and Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
6.Remove from pan and cool completely.

Glaze
1.Whisk together powdered sugar, cinnamon then and add 1 tbsp of milk at a time until desired consistency.
2.Dip warm cupcakes into glaze to coat.

Recipe courtesy: afewshortcuts.com, posted with permission.


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Buffalo Gold Moon Lite Giveaway # 4

Buffalo Gold Giveaway

Yum

But first let’s sum up several exciting months of 2011:

  • February – Rain on the Prairie published in Interweave Knits Spring issue.
  • March – ravenousknits.com website launched. With a bit of help from my web designer I learn how to use software for my website. Steep learning curve.
  • May – I become a University of California Certified Master Gardener. Steep learning curve.
  • June – Daughter graduates from high school. <Hallelujah!>
  • July – Rachael Ellen Beret premiere at Sock Summit.
  • August – Rachael Ellen Beret for sale in my Ravelry pattern store. Daughter goes to college.

So, yeah, things have been busy

This isn’t even including the days of anguish in August when I had a design accepted for publication at a magnificent online magazine and my charting software crashed. ON DEADLINE DAY. I lost all of my work. However I managed to overcome adversity. I launched the software on a different computer then furiously recreated several days of work in less than 24 hours. Triumph!

Back to Buffalo

Buffalo Gold Moon Lite, that is. It is good stuff, and news from the ranch is that they don’t have plans to mill Moon Lite again in the near future. It’s a shame because it is a silky, pleasurable wonder. In any case, congrats to them on the tremendous success of their wonderful ready-to wear line.

So. Yes. Giveaway. Offered here is a tagless orphan skein in purple Moon Lite sent to me my the lovely and gracious Theresa Miskin for my readers. It is reported to be the last skein of Moon Lite at the ranch.

This orphan is no ragamuffin. Oh no, she is all Cinderella. She would love to be transformed into a Rain on the Prairie Scarf, so a copy of Interweave Knits Spring 2011 issue will be included. These pretties will arrive packaged in a project bag sewed by myself.

Terms:

  • Leave a comment on this blog post.
  • Your comment becomes your entry.
  • One entry per person.
  • Participant leaving my favorite comment wins.
  • Deadline for entry is  26 October 2011,  11:59pm Pacific time.
  • Winner will be notified via email on 27 October 2011, and posted on my blog.
  • Winner must claim prize no later than four days from end of contest.
  • In the event that winner does not contact me within four days, a new winner will be selected.

Good Luck and Happy Knitting!

PS: No need for huge disappointment in case you don’t win. Moon Lite is still available from my friends at Paradise Fibers and a few other online shops. Also–BG Lux knits up at the same gauge, and is even dreamier to knit than BG Moon Lite.