Sunday, April 27, 2008

Updates and More Eye Candy

I'm up to Row 91 on the Mystic Light shawl; 4 more pattern rows to the end of Clue #2. I've finally figured out that I can't have TV on, can't even listen to music with words while I'm knitting this. So yesterday I cleared more space on the iPod for classical music. As a break from the concentration, I'm moving along on the Sand & Sea Shells scarf. I think back a month to how tough this seemed, and now it's easy by comparison to ML. Even with only 2 horizontal repeats, this isn't going to be a long scarf, though I don't know how the Sea Silk will grow in blocking. DH's entrelac vest is on hold; hard to believe that it's been sitting there for 6 weeks or so. Wasn't February just a few weeks ago???

The roses are still gorgeous, but I need to deadhead them. Not going to happen today, though; our local temps are predicted to near 100F, and I believe it: it was 85F at 10am today, and yesterday was 95F in the shade. At least one of the roses in the front yard is beginning to be covered in a second round (!) of buds.

The star jasmine (not a true jasmine) is blooming, so the air is filled with fragrance. Here in SoCal, this evergreen climbing vine is also used as ground cover or even low hedging. The one under the front window here covers the 10ft width, and has covered the downspout nearly up to the eaves.

In the arbor outside the other office window, the 'Easter' cactus is finally blooming, vivid deep pink starbursts all over. And under the lime tree off the patio, we have the first blooms from some epiphyllums we bought at the Huntington Gardens plant sale last year, a nearly-white. In this heat, the blossoms don't last long, but oh, they are stunning!

DH found the right replacement pump for the fountain yesterday, and started cleaning out the basin, so we'll have that pleasant sound again. I love to listen to it as I'm falling asleep. We 'inherited' a classic fluted 3-bowl fountain with the house, one from real cast concrete; it weighs a ton, as we found out 2 years ago when we hired a local fountain expert to rehab it.

BTW, for you Ravelers and LOTR fans, there's a terrific group just started, named 'One Shawl to Rule Them All'. We've chosen one knitted and one crocheted shawl for each of the races of Middle Earth (Hobbits, Men, Elves and Dwarves), and I've added over a dozen of the suggested patterns to my ever-lengthening Queue, particularly this one from the so-generous people at DROPS/Garnstudio. Plus I've found a wonderful lace knitter, Rav-name lacefreak, whose Project pages are a fabulous display of lace shawls, scarves and even doilies. She has offered me a few suggestions, and I'm feeling more encouraged about actually finishing Mystic Light.

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