Another week has rolled past. The Vols are playing Arkansas State at Neyland Stadium tonight--not a big enough game to be on the usual TV stations so I'm listening to the game on the radio. It's a trade off not being able to watch the game...it's much more fun to be able to see what's happening but I get more knitting done tuning in to the radio broadcast. I much prefer our UT announcers over anyone else, so that's a big advantage to following the game on the radio. No matter, the bottom line is the Big Orange desperately need a seriously good win after the shellacking we suffered at the hand of Tim Tebow and the Florida Gators last week. No defense! Things are looking good as they just scored another TD with 1 min. LTG before halftime. Leading 31-14 at the half sounds a lot better to me!
I took a few more pictures of my garden this week. It's still terribly hot and dry, so the garden looks kind of ragged. My roses are filled with blossoms and I've never had such an abundance of lantana before either. They look more like shrubs than flowers and they are covered with big fat fuzzy bees and a multiplicity of butterflies. Miss Emme, the wonder mini-wiener dog, is fascinated by those bees and she gets irritated with me for not letting her go after them. Children!!! I planted some bronze tipped golden mums out by the lamppost and in a few flowerpots this morning. It's still kind of hot for mums, but as long they get plenty of water they'll be OK. I was pleased that several of the little lavender mums I planted last year came back and are blooming quite nicely too. Gotta love those perennials :-)
I chose to share photos of 2 of my favorite plants today. The first is a blue hybrid passionflower. This flowering vine really takes off and starts to spread and bloom in August. Mine is a little late this year because I moved it to the back of the backyard where there would be more room for the vine to spread. I love the complexity of the flower and it's delicate features. It's amazing that a wild vine can produce such spectacular blooms! The other picture is native wildflower here in the Smokies that blooms in the late spring, fades in the summer, but returns with new foliage and flowers again in the fall. The native pink bleeding heart (Dicentra eximia) loves a moist shady location which makes it a bright spot under the trees.
Moving on to the knitting front, I've been focusing all my attention on the Icarus Lace Shawl. Regenia has taken me up on my throwdown so now I really want to finish fast! The pattern calls for 5 repeats of a 24 row section of chart 1 before moving on to the more interesting lacy stuff. I'm working on that 5th repeat but I'm concerned about the size of my shawl and how much yarn I still have left over. The original used 90g of Fino, which is a little bit fatter than the Lace-a-licious I'm using. They are both baby alpaca and I'm using the same size needles, but I'm at about the half-way point and I've only used 20g of yarn. That ain't very much folks. I've pretty much decided to add an extra repeat and I might even add a 2nd one depending on how things look after 6 repeats. A bigger shawl is good, a smaller shawl would be disappointing, and since I have plenty of yarn I'll just knit on!
I love the way the colors of this yarn are working out in this design. Icarus is well-suited to a subtly hand-painted fiber--something you can't say about most fine lace shawl patterns. I just received another cone of new lace yarn from Richard at ColourMart. This time I purchased a blend of 65% cashmere/35% silk in my favorite "BonBon" blush pink. I already have some pure silk yarn in this colorway in my stash, but I was unprepared for how stunning this cashsilk would be--all the softness and halo of cashmere with the strength and sheen of silk. Wow! I think I might like this blend even more than I love pure cashmere. I'm considering patterns for this yarn, but am leaning towards knitting one of the Shetland Sampler Stoles from either A Gathering of Lace or Victorian Lace Today. Of course I have lots of time to change my mind while I finish Icarus, but right now Hazel Carter's Stole in AGOL is in the lead. Oh yummy!