My name is Shaulaine (Xiao Lan or ‘Dawn Orchid’ in Chinese.)

I am an engineer by trade (Engineering Physics 2004, McMaster) and I work in the defense industry.  I am deeply interested in my work, but yarn and colour are my daily comfort.

I started knitting in 2004, because there is something very hypnotic about forming stitches.  To this day, I couldn’t tell you exactly why.  Next, I discovered Fleece Artist, and all of a sudden, touching colourful fibre became a clinical addiction.  As many engineers will tell you, life is meant for optimizing.  So after I knit my first sweater, it was compulsion to start modifying them to fit my shape and style.  This evolved eventually to:  “Let’s just start from a blank canvas, shall we?”

I have classical, old-fashioned tastes … probably born from a life-long diet of Jane Austen, Dickens and Lucy Maud Montgomery books… But I also admit to a vain love of figure-flattering clothes.  If your tastes run in this vein as well, then hopefully you will find something you like on this site.

I love to sew, embroider, and crochet as well, and nothing is more enjoyable to me than hybridizing some of these techniques with my primary love of knitting.  If this interests you as well, feel free to follow my blog as a I document some of my attempts. 

I recently added dyeing to my list of hobbies. I love designing colours, and having the total freedom to not only to design the sweater, but to design the palette and select the fibre when I can’t find it for sale anywhere else. I have a particular affinity for untreated BFL in subtle colours and have found it hard to acquire – so here I am dyeing my own, and it’s available for sale here if you’d like some as well:)

When I’m not knitting, a lot of my spare time goes into my garden.  I don’t have my dad’s inspirational knack of composition (,) but digging, planting, cultivating and inspecting daily growth with a beer in hand, is as addictive as knitting.  My beds are made up mostly of different conifers, perennials (blue in particular:)), several species of japanese maple, and always, always… roses.  I always start the garden season with plans to operate in “maintenance” mode, but by April I will inevitably have dug up 3 new flower beds, laid out some rocks, and sometimes some new pathways.  I never intend to do it… it just sort of occurs as a by-product of acquiring 1 new plant and finding a spot for it.

I enjoy a peaty single-malt every day, and whenever I can get away from my work, I love to canoe the very beautiful waters of this country.