Touch of Nectar

{May 31, 2009}   A Buncha Bentos #33, 34, 35

I’ve been doing the bento thing for lunch. I’ve even been taking photos. Getting them posted on the blog is a whole other story! Here are three recent ones.  Lots of salad! It’s summertime! 🙂

The first, #33, is a tossed green salad, topped with a lentil and corn salad (in a red wine vinaigrette), leftover honey mustard pork tenderloin and fresh strawberries and watermelon.

The second, #34, is another tossed salad, topped with leftover peas, cottage cheese topped with canned diced peaches, a leftover chicken leg and dressing for the salad. I stuck a few mango gummy candies in this one after I had taken the photo.

The last, #35, has more salad, with sliced radishes, canned peaches, three bean salad (from the deli – it was a little on the sweet side), and leftover (homemade) fake hamburger helper.


{May 31, 2009}   A Couple of Simple FOs

The yellow/orange one is Waffle Knit and the pink/gray one is Flying Geese, both on Ravelry. They are made with cheap cotton yarn. Each skein will get me about 2 dishcloths, depending on how big I decide to make them.


The lowly dishcloth. These get a lot of greif, but I like them! They are quick and easy to make and fantastic to use. And when they get yucky? Just toss them in the wash! They are even better after a couple of washings. Work great for face cloths too!

I can’t believe I finally finished it! I’ve only been working on this sucker since the end of January! There’s about a million mistakes. It is too big for the Madster (I did that on purpose) and the buttons are a tad too small for the buttonholes, but it’s mine. I made a sweater!! **Pats self on back**

The pattern is the Seed Stitch Cardigan that I found on Ravelry. It is an easy enough pattern. Not sure I want to tackle that much seaming again. The whole thing is done in five pieces, flat, then seamed together. I think the sleeves would have looked better in the end if they were done in the round instead of seamed.

Ah well. Live and learn. It’s DONE!! 

But… now what?!  I know! A sweater for me… **scurries of to shop for yarn**

{May 14, 2009}   Bento #32 – Vegetarian!

Bento32It has been awhile since I’ve done a bento for my lunch. This one if from a couple of days ago and I’m just now realizing it was vegetarian. Bonus!

Call this a Trader Joe’s Special. Most of the ingredients came from there. In the upper left is artichoke tapenade (from a jar) and sliced ciabatta bread. In the upper right is fresh pineapple and canned pears and mandarine oranges.

The lower section has a mixed greens and spinach salad, topped with an impromtu mix of black lentils (TJ’s in a ready-to-eat bag!), sliced green onions and chopped roasted red/yellow bell peppers from a jar. Seasoned lightly with salt, pepper, olive oil and red wine vinegar. Simple, but tasty!

om-dishclothFor some reason I got an urge to do some small knitting projects. I did a search on Ravelry for some fun dishcloths. I need new ones anyway. I found this Om dishcloth. An easy and fast knit. I think it took me a couple of hours, over a few nights of TV watching. I’ll be making more like this. Next time I will use plastic needles instead of bamboo. The bamboo were a bit “sticky” with the cotton yarn.

I had been reading a bit about how to recycle yarn from old sweaters and such and finally decided to try it for myself. I found an 100% wool mens XL aran sweater at the thrift store for $5. I unraveled the seams and ended up with several HUGE balls of yarn.  It worked out to over 1000 yards of yarn. The green yarn alone was 1050 yards. The blue was another  389 yards and there was a couple of skeins I left for later, smaller, dying projects.

First, I wound them into skeins. I used the lid of a storage container to do this. Not the best thing, but the long sides are exactly 2 feet, so it made measuring easy. I tied the yarn in several places along the skeins so they wouldn’t get tangled.

Next, I washed the yarn in the kitchen sink. I used a bit of Doctor Bronners (lavender!) soap and tepid water. Squeezed gently to dry, then hung on my clothes drying rack while I prepared the dyes.

I had read that you could dye yarn in a crock pot, using food dyes, so this was the method I was going to try first. I soaked the yarn (yarn ramen!) in a water and vinegar solution as the crock pot heated up. Meanwhile, I mixed up a HUGE batch of green dye. Water, more white vinegar and LOTS of green and blue food coloring.  Not all the yarn would fit in the crock pot, so I did this in two batches, but I wanted the same dye for both batches…

After soaking for about an hour, I added the dye. I used my hands (in rubber gloves!) to squish the dye around a bit. Then I let it cook for several hours until the dye had almost been completely absorbed by the yarn. Repeat for batch #2.

I rinsed the yarn in hot, then warm, then cooler water. Squeezed it dry and hung it outside to dry. My original intention was to use the green yarn for a sweater for myself, but one of the larger skeins came out just a bit lighter (very noticable) than the other.

I’m pleased with the result and will try this again soon. Fun rainy day project!

et cetera