Stopover in Singapore

I am in Singapore at the moment hanging out with my friend, Erun.  We were both serendipitously in Malaysia on business at the same time, me in Johor and Erun in KL, and so we both met up in Singapore for the weekend.  We have a hotel room on the 57th floor of Swissotel, The Stamford, with a harbour view.  Here is the view from our balcony:


We spent today walking around the harbour and ended up sitting in the bar at the top of the Marina Bay Sands.  (It is the iconic Singapore structure which is basically three tall towers with a boat stretched across the top which you see in the photo above.  I think it looks silly.  But sitting in the bar on the top having a drink is super cool.)


The views from there were spectacular.  We even took a selfie, to fit in with the other tourists (though without a selfie stick; I do have some standards).


These photos are from Erun’s phone.  I might post more when I get home and figure out how to download photos from my new camera.  In the meantime, hello from Singapore!






Gilded paradise


I finished my gold shawl weeks ago, but waited until I was in Sicily to photograph it.  We were staying in an absolutely fantastic villa, called the Commenda di San Cologero, which is beyond gorgeous.  (It also has the nicest, most friendly staff you will ever meet.  I’ve stayed there twice now, and hope to return soon.)  It is on the eastern coast between Catania and Syracusa.  As you can see from these photos, it was a most beautiful backdrop for this lovely piece of knitting.


The pattern is the #02 Reversible Cabled-Rib Shawl, by Lily Chin and originally from Vogue Knitting, Winter 1999/2000.  It can now be found on-line as well; check the Ravelry pattern page here for details.


The shawl is knitted in the now discontinued yarn, Kidsilk Haze Eclipse, by Rowan Yarns in the colour Virgo.  It is a very lovely shade of beige gold.  If you don’t have any Eclipse saved up, don’t fret – Kidsilk Haze is readily available and works perfectly for this pattern.  (I have previously knit this shawl in Kidsilk Haze in a vibrant green, which you can see in this post.)


Many people have commented on the repetitive (and endless) nature of this pattern.  If you look over the projects on Ravelry you will see that I am not the only one who called it “boring”.  (Although there are those who find it “meditative”).  It is essentially a very big shawl knit in 2×2 ribbing in lace-weight yarn with cable crossings every 12 rows.


The first time I knit this pattern it took me 20 months to finish – it was so boring, I kept putting it aside to knit other things!  I finished this one in just over 4 months.  Perhaps this relative speed is because, having worn the green one countless times over the years, I know that the benefits outweigh the effort.   Perhaps, I am simply in a more “product knitting” place right now.  Or, dare I say it, perhaps I have been too lazy to cast new things on and thus managed to power through.   Whatever the case, the end product is absolutely worth it.


In the above photo, Emma is wearing another project of mine, the Viajante shawl, which I knit in 2013; this was another endless, repetitive knit in lace-weight that produced a magical garment.  (We photographed this piece in Sicily as well; it will feature in an upcoming Wearability Wednesday post, so keep your eye out for it.)  Today just happens to be Emma’s 23rd birthday – Happy Birthday, gorgeous!

I am still planning a long travel post for you with lovely photos of our adventures in Sicily. It will have to wait until I get home, however.  I am, rather ironically, writing this post in the middle of the night in my hotel room in Malaysia while suffering terrible jet lag.


See that smile in the above photo?  Well, you would be smiling, too.  It was the best holiday ever!

Radio silence

I have just returned from a week-long holiday in Sicily with Doug and the girls and 16 other friends!  It was an amazing holiday in every way.  I am now home for less than 24 hours before flying to Malaysia to teach.  I have lots to say, many photos to show you, and a new knitting project to discuss.  I will get around to a great, newsy post as soon as I can.

In the meantime, I am here to report a solid week without any internet connection of any kind.  During the past 7 days, I did not look at my work email (with the approval, nay even the urging, of my boss, who could see that I was in serious need of a holiday).  I did not check my personal email.  I did not go on Ravelry (not once!  for a week!).  I did not read any blogs.  I did not even read the news!  I can report that the world did not end, that spam email can exist in a vacuum, and that Ravelry managed to survive without me!  All is well chez Knitigating Circumstances.


This one’s for you, Mom!

Today is Mother’s Day.  I had the best Mother’s Day present – both of my daughters flew in from Vancouver yesterday!


I spent a lovely day with my daughters, but unfortunately was unable to spend the day with my mom.  So, Mom, this one’s for you!  Happy Mother’s Day from Kelly, Emma, and Leah!  We are all thinking of you.  And just in case you are wondering where Doug is, he was part of this grand Mother’s Day out, too:

IMG_20160508_144303Here’s wishing everyone a lovely day.

Annoying things

It is May and it is cold outside.  Furthermore, our boiler has broken down (again!).  I am sitting next to the gas fire place wearing multiple sweaters and socks, trying to keep warm (in May!).  This is annoying.  Unfortunately, this has led me to ponder some of the many things which I find annoying.  So, in direct opposition to my normally pleasant and optimistic blog posts, I am going to write about annoying things.  Go ahead – call me grumpy!

Knitting-related annoying things:

  • Rolled edges – I know these are all the rage lately, but I don’t like them.  They don’t look neat.  They roll up.  You put a lot of work into your garment and it looks unfinished.
  • Triangular shawls – I know these are seriously all the rage these days.  And there are many of them that are gorgeous.  I love to see them.  But I can’t wear them.  They look dumb on me. They fall off.  They hang funny.   Though many people wear them with amazing panache, they frequently look dumb on other people too.  (OK, there goes half my readership.)
  • Mystery KALs –  I want to know what I am knitting.  Enough said.
  • Colour pooling – No matter how much I love those variegated yarns on the skein, I tend to fall out of love with them when they are knitted up.
  • Shapeless cardigans – Why are these so popular right now?
  • People who don’t measure themselves and then blame the designer when the sweater doesn’t fit- Do you think that people come in standard sizes?  Does the designer come and personally measure you?

Book-related annoying things:

  • Bad editing – I hate this above all else.
  • Billionaires – As soon as I see the word “billionaire” on the jacket copy you’ve lost me (it used to be “millionaire”, but, you know, inflation….) While I’m on the topic, I also hate serial killers, motorcycle clubs, rock stars, hockey players, tattoo artists, and generally, anyone under 25 (OK, now I’m just being mean!).
  • Any book with a pink cover.
  • Self-help books – Why do they all have numbers?  Ten things that will make you happy.  Three ways to get rich.  Seven rules for making friends.  Does counting make us happier?  (I am a knitter; believe me, it doesn’t.)
  • Diet books – All of them.
  • Bad editing – This is so annoying, that I’m listing it twice.

Generally annoying things:

  • Pseudo-science –  Just because.
  • Reality TV –  What is the point?  Really; I don’t get it.
  • Being questioned about American politics – Do you have any idea what it’s like to be an American in Europe right now?  US politics are such a train wreck at the moment, everyone wants to ask you about it.  As soon as I open my mouth, people discern my accent and line up to ask “WTF?”
  • Flavoured coffee – OK, so I’m being curmudgeonly here.
  • Celebrities – Huh?

I’m going to pour myself a glass of wine and knit now.   The next time you hear from me, I will be my normal cheerful self.

The only WIP still standing

Now that I have the prospect of free time for knitting, I must come to grips with the fact that I have only one project on the needles.  It’s boring.  It’s endless.  And since I can’t make up my mind about what to knit next, if I want to knit at all I have to power through and finish this.


Last weekend I took both shawls – the finished green one (now many years old and needing a good wash and block) and the not-yet-finished gold one – and laid them out on the grass, with the gold overlapping the green.  Pretty, huh?  I love how neat the edge on the gold shawl is – that’s the actual edge, not a photo-shopped splice.

I was trying to get a photo which would show how much remained to be knit.  It turned out to be a pretty difficult thing to get in one shot; here’s the best I could do (the angle distorts everything):


I’ve been making steady progress all week so it’s even closer now.  I just added in the last ball of yarn!!!!!  I think I will be done within a week or so, and then a terrible problem emerges.  What next?  I am suffering from over choice.  There are so many gorgeous patterns out there begging to be knit that I have descended into a pattern paralysis, so to speak.  While I remain in this state of indecision, I will keep on ribbing.


Have a good weekend everyone!


“attractive wife fat sweater mohair”

WordPress gives you statistics on a number of things, including what search terms people have used to find your blog. This can sometimes be informative, sometimes baffling, and sometimes hysterical.  This morning, I found this:


People found your blog using the following search terms:

image (1)


Enough said.