Well hello there! I went and did a thing! πŸ˜€

Last night I published my first official knitting pattern on Ravelry! Hurrah for me!! Bold Inspiration is a free knitting pattern available for download on this page or through Ravelry.

But as most of us know, Rav’s got some iteration to work through to make the new design usable. I personally am lucky enough to not have had any serious issues with it excepting my professional opinion as a software developer myself. But that aside, I totally understand and accept that the site isn’t usable for a large number of people…and the response to the critique new design update was not handled gracefully, like. at. all. 😐

Yes yes, I’ve done others in the past. Two to be exact, but they’ve been lost in the shuffle of moving my domain host. πŸ™ Also those other two patterns were never officially published anywhere publicly except my blog-0-sphere.

Enough of the politics of the thing! I’m here to post a celebration about my first self-published knitting pattern! πŸ˜€


Bold Inspiration Specs:

  • Sizes: S M, L or 18.75”, 21”, 23.25” circumference crown.
  • Fingering (14 wpi)
  • 24 stitches = 4 inches
  • US 3 – 3.25 mm & US 5 – 3.75 mm
  • 300 – 350 yards (274 – 320 m)

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Download the Bold Inspiration free knitting pattern PDF here

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πŸ˜€

The Inspiration for the Name of the Thing

I chose the name for the hat based off of a phrase I heard uttered by YouTuber Spawn Wave. I think he was talking about some video game publisher doing something, I don’t remember. haha. I’ve had the idea for this hat pattern for a while now, and I’d been hoarding the beautiful split skein matching gradient yarn for years and since I’m taking some time off work this week I figured it would be lovely as a textured beanie.

Why is it a Free?

TBH: I’m an amateur when it comes to writing patterns. I definitely fall into the trap of assuming that the maker of my pattern is going to be as proficient as I am. Which is totally the wrong mindset to have when writing instructions for creating an interactive object: I had a close friend take a look, I tried my best to make it as clear as possible so that you are able to recreate the beanie for yourself to enjoy, and really I don’t plan on becoming a professional designer. And thus, it is a free knitting pattern.

Bold InspirationΒ uses a cute little slip stitch and mock cabled pattern to create a project that is high in texture, yet simple to work. πŸ™‚

My Tip for Cast-On Working in the Round

One of the things I’ve found over the year while knitting is that I sometimes cast-on 1 extra or 1 less than I need for a pattern. Since working in the round makes it inconvenient to drop a stitch or easily cast on a new one, I have a method to work around it instead of ripping back and recasting.

Step 1: place the beginning of round marker (BORM), prepare to work in the round making sure not to twist your stitches, and slip the first stitch purl wise.

1 less than needed: If I happen to be short a stitch, I’ll lift the long strand that always happens to happen between the last stitch and the first stitch and knit or purl into the back loop as needed for the pattern.

1 more than needed: If I happen to have one more stitch, I’ll slip the last stitch without knitting it, remove the BORM, move the slipped stitch back to the left hand needle, replace the BORM, and k2tog. This method is actually super handy for hiding the join/jog that can happen when working in the round.

The Bold Inspiration hat starts with 100+ stitches cast on using the German Twist method, so if that method is unknown to you and already super fiddly, sneaking in an extra stitch or k2tog to get the right number without having to redo the cast-on makes life way easier.


Β  Β 

Well it’s the end of the month here soon. ALREADY!

Projects I’ve worked on range from speed knitting another sweater, challenging myself with a lace weight single strand silk mohair cardigan, and getting my Nintendo Switch streaming setup going.

So far so good?

It’s been a hard month emotionally. Been trying to stop myself from doom scrolling. The most effective deterrent that I’ve discovered is to be physically active.

Lately I have been exercising more, making an effort to bake more (which inevitably results in more activity due to the standing and the oven checking). The best thing to help me keep on track with this is to use the Strava app. My sister-in-law suggested that I use it. Now, I know it’s mostly for geo tracking actual activity, but I’m a house hermit taking advantage of every excuse not to leave the house. I have a stationary bike that I got from a co-worker earlier this year before the Covid-19 pandemic got spread throughout the state. So all-in-all, I’m making a legitimate effort to not let myself completely atrophe.

And tbh, I really like it. I’ve never liked the sting in my lungs from running or biking outside. And I like that my legs are feeling better. I feel more energized and I feel better about myself. AND I feel no guilt at all from eating my own baked goods. πŸ™‚ Positives all around!

My next big hurdle is making sure I stretch properly.

So yeah, that’s been my August so far.

One of my cousins reached out to be recently to ask for advice about skincare.

My immediate reaction was to ask what her skin type is and what her goals were. Knowing these two things make building a skincare routine to be more effective.

There are a lot of blogs and resources out there explaining the 10 step Korean Skincare routine, these are just my personal notes and preferences.

Starting out: I advised that at the very least she should get a cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen.

And does it matter which one she should spend more money on?

I said cleanser. There should be nothing stopping you from getting this first important step in your skincare routine.

If your facial cleanser and cleansing routine is not good, then all the products you apply afterwards will not be effective and essentially a waste of money. A good cleanser gets the job done. I know there is a lot of fuss out there over PH levels, laurel sulfates, etc., but there are a few things I keep in mind that categorize a cleanser as good in my view:

  1. It does not sting my face
  2. It does not make my face feel super dry
  3. In the process of using it, I don’t make a huge mess in my sink

Now these are just some of the basics and does not include make up removal; I am a believer in the double cleanse for when I wear makeup. There is such a huge variety of water based cleansers out there that there is very much a possibility of finding a great one that is on the budget side. And because of that, there’s no need to settle on something that works just ok.

Moisturizer is the next step in a basic routine. There are some general rules that I go by when incorporating more steps that I also apply to moisturizers:

  1. Less than 20 ingredients
  2. I am ok with more than 20 ingredients when the list is clearly listing various plant extracts
  3. Dimethicone, silicone, or fragrance is not high on the list

The type of moisturizer you choose also depends on the environment you live in. In dryer climates you will likely want to use a cream based moisturizer, where as in the summer humidity you may opt for a gel. There is also the workplace to consider, air conditioning, air movement, going in and out of hot, cold, humid, dry, zones, etc. Knowing where you are going to be for the day can also determine which moisturizer you want to use.

My general rule of thumb: just put some on, your face will thank you.

Sunscreens! Just like facial cleansers there are so many great Asian sunscreens available that sometimes it is really hard to choose just one. Please remember that a bb cream or foundation with spf in it is not a good replacement for this step. In general you should be using a large pea size, 1/4 tsp, amount to cover your face. There are a lot of great youtube videos demonstrating just how much product that is and how cakey your face will look if you try to do that with a color correcting product.

When purchasing a sunscreen you also want to make sure you are reading the spf description: broad spectrum or bust. There are three types of sunscreens: physical/mineral, chemical, and mixed. Usually I opt for mixed when looking for a good daily basic, then after that I go for a physical/mineral type. The 100% chemical type I’m not really a fan of because of the smell and the likelihood of it having unsafe ingredients, which I’ll go into more detail later in this post.

A physical/mineral broad spectrum sunscreen is your best bet for long lasting coverage with minimal side effects. But it is also most likely to give you a white cast and flash back in photos. To combat that, I like to use the mixed type. The mixed type also has the advantage of the chemical sunscreen formulas that are more liquid and easier to spread on my face.

The rest of the 10 step routine:

So there are also the serums, essences, beauty waters, moisturizing toners, acid toners, face masks, sheet masks, blackhead strips, etc. And they are all products for specific purposes. At this point you want to really focus on making sure you are:

  1. Reading product descriptions
  2. Read reviews from other users,
  3. Read ingredient lists
  4. Make sure you are not clashing any product ingredients: don’t use a physical exfoliant and then a chemical exfoliant.
  5. I find it easier to choose one skin issue to fix at a time: redness, pores, blackheads, overall texture, dark spots, brightening, etc.
  6. Especially if you have sensitive or reactive skin, spot test on the back of your neck or somewhere on your upper arms before your face.

Now for the fun parts: once you figure out what ingredients work for you and what combination of products works, you budget can be cut way down because you are no longer spending money on various products to test. And also, my favorite part, all the limited edition packaging! πŸ˜€

More Resources:

Reddit: Asian Beauty

Reddit: Asian Beauty New User Guide

Fitty Shades of Snail: How To Guide

Youtube:
The Beauty Breakdown
Gothamista

Other:
Cruelty Free Kitty
Temptalia

 

My Current Favorite Brands:

It’s Skin

Innisfree

Stratia

Tatcha

My Current Routine:

Cleanser: Dr. Jart Micro PH Foam Gel Cleanser

Serum: Stratia Rewind

Moisturizer: Stratia Liquid Gold, Innisfree Cherry Gel Cream

What have I been up to?

I’ve been knitting. A. LOT. If you’re a friend on Ravelry, you’ve probably noticed my sweater knitting game has increased quite a bit. I’m averaging 1 sweater/garment a month since the beginning of the year. But now that the weather is turning nicer, I want to spend more time on my yard, gardening, etc. It also helps that Animal Crossing: New Horizons is basically like a yard work simulator. Pulling weeds there motivates me to pull actual weeds in my backyard. 

I’m one of the lucky ones. I didn’t lose my job, I’ve already been working from home the past 4 years, and my cat still loves me.

How am I coping?

Going at my own pace. Despite what may seem like lightning speed knitting, I’ve been trying to put zero pressure on myself to complete UFOs or attempt extreme knitting (hyper complex stitch patterns, trying to eek out a free pattern, or work with a material I’m not familiar with). 

I’m also taking the time to stretch. Yes, I’ve been a couch potato for quite a while now, but under normal circumstances I’d be taking 3-5 mile walks on the weekends with the nice weather. Since I’m not doing that, I am making an explicit effort to stretch and do squats on my own.

Routine:

  • leg stretches x3 against the spare bed
  • 15 push ups against the bed
  • 20 squats
  • 10 horse stance 3 second dips

What are my future plans?

 More knitting? Probably. ^.^

I’ve finished spinning some nice garnet dyed BFL into a fingering/sport weight 2 ply yarn. I have plenty of yardage for my own sweater. I’ve got some basic ideas already down on paper and am excited to start on it. But first. I need to finish my current WIP which is the babycocktails pattern Luxardo

 

So I bought a few games on Amazon over the weekend.

The two games in question: Dragon Quest XI and Ni No Ku Ni
I bought DQ because I played the demo and was able to survive the mild clench induced headache. It’s totally worth the motion sickness.
The other game I bought because it was on sale too.

So both games I got for under $80. Under normal circumstances it would be closer to $110. So yeah, I think I got a good deal.

And since it is my birthday month, I probably shouldn’t have bought them. But being a married person with a shared bank account…why miss out on a sale?
I won’t get anything else, besides yarn…

Rose City Yarn Crawl is this coming weekend. I don’t really want to go because of the crowd and covid-19 going around locally.:(
But I also don’t want to miss out on my favorite independent yarn dyers. _heavy sigh_

I don’t know what happened, but looks like my old blog settings got messed up. I know that I was way behind on updating my site. But…I figured stuff would still work since I was just using the WP as a blog, nothing crazy going on over there in terms of software and settings. But alas, it is gone.

I’ve lost easy access to those blog posts, but I haven’t deleted the old hosting account…so technically it’s all there, somewhere, hopefully.

Ugh, 7 years of blogging all gone. πŸ™ 

But this does give me a good kick in the pants to get this blog to focus on something. I hadn’t regularly posted on my first blog in years. And this is a good thing! I don’t have any reason not to give this website a good focus.

What do I do?

I play video games – female perspective, motion sickness awareness

I am into fiber arts – knitting, crochet, spinning, felting

I love my cat – my little cinnamon roll of terror

I casually hoard beauty products – maybe I’ll actually do reviews? (probably not, lol)