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Farm Fresh Blueberries!

It's a rainy week here in New Jersey. Last night we experienced high winds and torrential downpours. Our patio umbrella was picked up and flung across the yard but luckily nothing else was damaged. Despite the weather, my husband and I were able to get out for a long walk around the neighborhood. 

The walk got me thinking about blueberries and baking as our street neighbors a very large farm. We are lucky to have farm fresh blueberries five minutes away all summer. Within seconds of mentioning blueberry muffins to my husband, he was out the door and came back with 2 pints of fresh blueberries. He even sat down and wrote a little about our blueberry fields below!


Hello readers, I'm Ray, Nicole's other half! Living here in historic Mays Landing NJ we are a stone's throw away from the Atlantic Blueberry Company farm. This is the largest highbush blueberry farm in the world, stretching over 1320 acres. The blueberries are grown, harvested and packaged on site. Lucky for us, they sell the berries roadside by the pint. You can not get them any fresher!

Two brothers started the company in 1938 planting just 5 acres and made only $3.02 on their first sale. By 1946 they purchased more land and began to take on partnerships. In 1979, they purchased the farmlands on US 322 to add an additional 600 acres to their operation. To this day it is still owned and operated by the same five original owners descendants. 

Okay, back to the muffins. We found a wonderful recipe for blueberry muffins on Zagleft (link below) with the crumb topping, gathered our ingredients and got to mixing and baking.

Dry mix, including sugar.

I just threw all of the dry ingredients in one bowl and all of the wet ingredients in another (this was not in keeping with the recipe, I'm the worst at actually following directions lol). My husband busied himself making the crumb topping mixture.


There were small lumps in my batter (probably because I didn't dissolve the sugar in the wet mixture, oops). I also didn't have milk in the house so we had to improvise with some no fat powdered milk that I keep in the house for casserole recipes (at this point I'm getting worried, do we need FAT in the milk for these to rise??). No worries, as you'll see later, it didn't make a bit of difference.


My husband filled the pans 3/4 full with the batter. As you can see, he took the job seriously.

My husband filling the tins!

Let me take a second to point out my beloved Pyrex mixing bowl in the pic above.

Fill the tins 3/4's.

The tins are filled and ready for the crumb topping.

Before baking!

After the crumb topping is added. Now we put them in the oven and waited exactly 30 minutes as the recipe stated.


Here are the results! Beautiful tasty muffins, loaded with blueberries. I wouldn't change a thing about this recipe, it's simply delicious and my husband and I can't stop eating them.


Look at the amount of blueberries inside these muffins, yum!


You can get the recipe here at Zagleft.com. I'd like to thank them for a great recipe!


Hello! Slowly but surely I'm getting back into the studio after a well-needed break. I've been getting back to the basics and designing quite a bit with my large gauge looms and chunky yarns. I'm trying to work through my stash as I have quite a bit accumulated after the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival.


It always feels good to get my looms out and just start knitting after a short hiatus.


I've been working out a Cat Themed Balaclava with a decreased crown. I'm pretty happy with the results and just need to tweak a few rows here and there for the final pattern.

I've also been working on a new Fair Isle Hat Design which will hopefully be coming out next month. The Molly Hat is a beautiful, warm toque with pastel tones and fun braids. I loved knitting this hat and hope you enjoy the pattern as much as I did.


I hope everyone is continuing to enjoy their summer. Please share with me, in the comments below, any pattern ideas that you would like to see in the future. It's always great to hear your ideas and suggestions. Also, feel free to share what you're working on too. Have a great day and happy looming!

A quick and delicious summer recipe!



What is a frittata? It's an Italian dish made with fried, beaten eggs. AND it's delicious.

I make this dish all the time in the summer and usually pair it with a salad or fruit dish. Today I was in a hurry and just put some simple mandarin oranges with it. It's wonderful for any meal of the day and makes excellent leftovers as it heats up easily in the microwave. It's also a beautiful dish to look at making it perfect for a fancy brunch (you don't have to tell your guests how easy it was to make).  

How do you make it? See below...


Artichoke Frittata Recipe


  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1/2 cup white onion
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 tsp Italian Seasonings (dry)
  • 1 TB Parsley (dry)

-Sautee the above ingredients in a non-stick, broiler safe, frying pan for about 3 minutes.

  • 6 eggs, beaten.
  • 1/2 tsp nu-salt (if you are trying to cut down on sodium, otherwise use regular salt)
  • 1/2 tsp regular salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh pepper

-Whisk all ingredients together and pour over onion mixture in the pan. 

  • 14 ounce can quartered, artichoke hearts.

-Place artichoke hearts evenly over egg mixture.

-Cover the pan and over medium-low heat, cook for 7-8 minutes. Edges should be brown but top will not be fully cooked.
Set oven to broil and broil Frittata for approximately 3 minutes until golden brown. Enjoy!


  • Sprinkle Parmesan Cheese on top (optional)



Use a rubber spatula lightly around edges and your frittata will slide out of the pan easily. Cut into equal sections and serve with a side salad or fruit cup. You can make this the night before serving
 and heat up in the oven also.






It's officially summer and I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July. Mine was spent with family on the beaches of Brigantine, NJ. It was a fun day of swimming in the ocean, good food and corn hole. Unfortunately, I lost every game but luckily I'm a good sport! It was a perfect day except for the green head flies which were apparently in a relentless feeding frenzy. Sometimes it can be hard to share the outdoors with the local wildlife. I took the above shell picture at the Brigantine, South End Cove late in the day just before the sun set.

So recently there's been some time off and my studio has been quiet but I did find some time to finish the Kilobyte Cowl Pattern. I'm really excited about this cowl. I love the "digital" look to its' color patterning and the color combinations. It's a loom friendly cowl and will work on any loom using even peg numbers. If changing the loom, just remember to use the proper yarn weight. I really like this cowl on a smaller gauge loom as you get more color patterning, which really shows off the effect.

When I first shared this cowl on social media, it really got a lot of attention. Lots of people commented on it and loved its' design and colorway. For that reason, I decided to make it available to everyone and place this one on the blog as a free pattern. The free pattern is below and I hope you enjoy it. Happy 4th of July week!

Happy Looming - Nicole


Loom Knit Kilobyte Cowl
Free Pattern


This urban style cowl features modern Fair Isle colorwork, a hemmed neckline for comfort and a flattering ribbed bottom border.

Level:  Confident Beginner+
Finished Measurements:  10”/25.4 cm L x 22”/55.9 L.
Gauge: 18 sts and 22 rows = 4”/10.2 Square in Stockinette St.

Yarn:  Patons Classic Wool Worsted, 100% wool, #4 worsted weight, 209 yds/192m, 3.5ozs/100gms.
  • 1 skein each, (B) Seabreeze Ombre (#77735), (C) Magenta (#77402) and (A) Grey Mix.

Supplies
  • Loom:  Small Gauge, 3/8” peg spacing round loom with 90 pegs. The pattern works in multiples of 2. The KB Adjustable loom was used in sample. You may change loom/peg #'s to suit. This is a Loom Friendly cowl and will work on any loom at any gauge using appropriate yarn weight and an even number of pegs/stitches. Do a gauge swatch to make sure it will be the size you want and fit over your head if changing the loom.
  • Knitting tool
  • Crochet hook
  • Measuring tape

Pattern Notes
The cowl is worked in the round from top down. It has a hemmed top border (you can easily add ribbing if you prefer) and ribbed bottom border.
The cowl is gauged using the regular knit stitch (this is the only stitch I use for colorwork such as Fair Isle as it gives the crispest look to your stitches). If using the u-knit you may have to add more rows/stitches. The e-wrap knit is not recommended for this pattern.


Pattern


Foundation Rnd:  Chain CO 90 sts with 1 strand A; join to work in the round.
Rnd 1:  Knit in A.
Repeat row 1 until work measures 3”/7.6 cm.
Create hem:  Lift the 1st row of stitches (cast-on row) up onto the loom one by one until all stitches are lifted (just like a hat brim) being careful to keep your sts in line.

Begin Center of Cowl
Rnds 1-3:  Knit in A.
Begin Color Pattern (chart is located at the end of this pattern)
Rnds 1-7:  *K1 in B, k1 in A, rep from * to end of rnd.
Rnds 8-14:  *K1 in A, k1 in B, rep from * to end of rnd.
Rnds 15-21:  *K1 in C, k1 in A, rep from * to end of rnd.
Rnds 22-28:  *K1 in A, k1 in C, rep from * to end of rnd.
Rnds 29-42:  As rounds 1-14.
You may adjust rnds in this section to achieve the desired height of your cowl. Use a measuring tape for best results.


Begin Bottom Ribbing
Rnd 1:  *K1, p1, rep from * to end of rnd.
Repeat rnd 1 until bottom ribbing measures 1 ¼”/3.2 cm. 
Bind off:  Chain one bind off all pegs.

Finish:  Weave in ends and block to even out stitches.



Abbreviation
Definition
Knit
Regular knit st. Reach up through loop on peg grabbing the working yarn, forming a new loop. Pull current st off of the loom and place new loop onto the peg. Video
Chain CO
Video  This is my most commonly used cast on.
Purl
Purl st. Reach down through the loop on peg, grabbing the working yarn, forming a new loop. Pull current st off of the loom and place new loop onto peg.   Video
Chain One BO
Chain one bind off. Also referred to as the single crochet bind off. Video


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