Weird fact about me: I’m kind of obsessed with popcorn.
Would I say it’s one of my favorite foods? Probably, once I found and tweaked this recipe. I’ve always liked it, but this recipe took it to a new level and swore me off of the standard microwave popcorn forever.
And the best thing? This recipe is so easy.
Unpopped popcorn kernels (amount depends on size of your paper bag)
1 paper bag, any size from lunch bag to grocery bag
Olive oil or your favorite oil of choice
Kelp powder (available at your local health food store)
Fill your paper bag with enough popcorn kernels to cover the bottom. Try not to to put too much in there – you won’t believe how much it will expand.
Coat it in olive oil. Be generous – having too much in there isn’t going to hurt anything.
Close and fold over the top of your bag a few times – you want to make sure that the force of the popcorn popping doesn’t open your bag inside the microwave.
Put your bag in the microwave and turn it on high for anywhere from 2 to 4 minutes, depending on your microwave. Listen to the kernels popping; if there’s more than a few seconds between pops, you’re probably done.
Take it out – caution, it will be hot! – and dump into a bowl. (I tend to use a large mixing bowl, as you will need a little extra room for the next step.)
Shake your olive oil over the popcorn and then shake the kelp powder over it. Kelp powder, which is from seaweed, doesn’t have that tangy taste of too much salt, so you can be generous with it. Then, shake the bowl enough for the popcorn to turn over – and repeat the olive oil & kelp powder treatment. Shake it once more and repeat one more time, for a total of three applications of oil and kelp powder. (This is usually enough for me, but if you like yours to be really coated, feel free to repeat a few more times.)
And you are DONE. Sometimes, I serve it with fruit and cheese and that’s what we have for dinner. Lots of times, it’s my lunch.
Either way? It’s delicious and the best popcorn I’ve ever had.
This winter, I made a few scarves for my brother, who lives in New York City – after this winter, he personally requested a scarf and a sweater. The scarf has been finished and sent up, but the sweater is on its way. (Or at least it will be, after a sweater hiatus, as my summer sweater has taken an incredibly long time.)
Undertaking knitting a sweater is not a quick job. My summer sweater has been a WIP for about two months now – and while I knit on it every evening, I’m not the fastest knitter. (I knit English-style and at the moment, I’m not necessarily interested in switching to continental style, but I might have to.)
I’ve had to take a break recently, due to some pain in my right shoulder while knitting. Has anyone else struggled with this? Through internet sleuthing, I’ve tried a few different things to combat it:
Improved my posture (which I will admit, is terrible)
Placed a pillow on my lap to elevate my arms and knitting
Various and sundry shoulder stretches
Heating pad on my neck and shoulders
But nothing seems to be helping. Knitting community at-large, I’d love some help: any wise words on how to get rid of it?
I read Show Your Work in book form but read Steal Like An Artist in digital form. Ironically enough, there wasn’t much difference between those experiences, but each book is absolutely worth reading for creative types. If I had to pick my favorite, it would be Show Your Work, as I think that thinking about your influences is a really valuable lesson to take away from any book. (Do I smell a blog post series coming? Maybe!)
Such an amazing book. Most of us have looked at our phone or texted while driving – and if you haven’t, stop lying. Have you ever realized that you don’t remember what happened during the period while you were doing the two things simultaneously? This book is all about that – and the consequences of texting while driving, seen through one case in Utah. If you’re at all interested in how the brain works – and how your phone might literally be working against you – this is a must read. This book easily made my top 10 books of the last year; in fact, I spent lots of my anniversary celebration reading it!
Everybody probably knows about this one, as it’s so popular. I wanted to read it to see if all the fuss was deserved – and it was. I think that the really interesting thing about this book is the idea of ridding yourself of possessions that bring you no joy. It’s an interesting idea; I know that there’s several things in my house that I brought in that bring me no joy and they shouldn’t be in my life. Kondo is really onto something here; absolutely recommended.
I don’t remember how I got into sashiko, but I LOVE the concept. (Naturally, I have yet to do anything in sashiko, but the intent is there.) It’s a traditional Japanese geometric embroidery that the lower classes practiced when mending clothes; each stitch pattern has a different meaning, so the meaning behind the stitch was literally sewn into the fabric. (Gives a new meaning to thinking of someone, wouldn’t you say?) Parker’s genius idea is that these are patterns that are makeable by machine, as they tend to be made up of connected lines. (Traditionally, they were hand-stitched.) This book also has a dictionary of patterns in the back and for that alone, I will be purchasing the physical copy rather than borrowing it from the library.
Those are some of the great reads I’ve found recently, but I would LOVE recommendations. What have you been reading lately?
A week ago, I was able to finish my second baby knit – Bonbon, part 2. This is for a very cool and chic baby girl with a very cool set of parents.
There’s so much you learn the second time you knit a pattern.
1. Which side is right and which side is wrong. Personally, I don’t think it much matters for this pattern, but if you like those soothing diagonal chevron stitches as much as I do, there is a right and a wrong side.
2. What yarn works and what yarn doesn’t. This time, I used an exclusively cotton yarn; it’s not as soft as the other yarn I used (Caron’s baby soft that I got on super sale), though it will hold up to baby vomit and the washing machine, which is my big concern when it comes to baby knits.
3. How to improve your magic circle techniques. I can probably do magic circle in my sleep now. It makes me that much more excited to try to knit a pair of socks. (I can’t tell you what socks I will be making – as they will be a present for someone who reads this blog – but they are AWESOME.)
This is, of course, just for this particular pattern, but I do feel like you learn something new every time you knit a pattern again. Are there any patterns that you feel like you understood better the second time around?
I’m not selling any of my crafts (yet) but instead some vintage finds that I’ve come across in my explorations. Most of them are 1970s and 1980s, but there have been some older pieces that are going to come up now and again.
Opening the shop has been a learning curve (a pleasant one), that is for sure, but for now I’m happy to host it on Etsy rather than self-host. Opening my own business – even my own side business – has been quite a learning curve, so I’d like to write about that a little bit more in depth about how to do that, piece by piece. Coming soon to a blog near you!
But for now, it’d be great if you could check it out and here’s some of my favorite items:
So, after intending to do it for absolute ages, I finally took the time to photograph my yarn stash for my Ravelry account. (Now, have I uploaded those yet pictures to Ravelry? No, I have not.)
And I have to say: it really helped me figure out what yarn I should – and should not – buy.
Turns out, I have a literal rainbow of colors; I own every single color of the rainbow – except pink. (And really, is pink part of the rainbow? Technically, no.)
Most of my yarn is acrylic, as I’m concerned about cost. While I would love to buy $30/skein yarn, it is not in my budget at the moment. I am thinking about buying through KnitPicks, though, as I’ve heard a lot of good things about them.
Most of it is worsted weight, so I couldn’t make a sock out of what I have, which is one of the next projects that I’d like to undertake. That, or a Christmas stocking…
I think, for now, I’m going to choose my patterns for my yarns, and not vice versa. It’s stashbusting time!
There’s a lot of perfectionist tendencies in me for many reasons, none of which I will be going into here. It took me an incredibly long time to realize it, but the single-most destructive thing in my psyche is that tendency toward perfectionism.
Why? It retards my growth.
I lean toward not doing things unless they can be done perfectly – which doesn’t allow me to start things at all.
So, as one does, I turned to Voltaire.
This wasn’t my natural inclination; as many of my former college classmates can attest to, anything to do with French philosophy is persona non grata with me. However, when I find myself grappling with my perfectionistic tendencies, I turn to a quote that I found in Gretchen Rubin’s The Happiness Project:*
Perfect is the enemy of the good.
You can’t do anything good if it has to be perfect all the time. And you can’t learn anything new if you have to know it, the best, right away.
So, I remind myself not to fall into that trap. Am I perfect at it? Not even close. But I am good enough – and that’s all you need.