An exploration of my life as I know it. Knitting, working, creating, and cat-wrangling.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

I'll have Nun of that!

Warning! This post is picure heavy, it may take a while to load.

Last night was a bit of Halloween celebrating. Jason and Heidi had a party at their house (which has some of the coolest decorations ever!) and there was delicious food and drink abound.

Because my creativeness can only go so far, my costume was yet another pun. This year was, "A Nun of Your Business" (you can't really see it in the picture, but there is advertising space available on my habit. Get it?). A bit obscure, but it was last minute.

Our host, Cobra Commander, made us grilled hamburgers and hot dogs that were delicious.

and, I finally know someone that won publishers clearing house.

After much food and a deadly green drink concoction we went downtown, where we saw these creatures:

Venger, looking quite dashing even when drinking beer through a straw,

and in case Cobra Commander or Venger got out of hand, there were plenty of super heroes to save the day

Then I saw Prince,

A dead ninja,

A demon,

And this guy,

Of course with all this debauchery Maura and I had to take time out to pray. We almost look convincing!

Maura's boyfriend, Ethan, (who this is not, this is Choi) dressed very similar to this, and with all the picture taking that went on I'm surprised that I didn't get a good picture of him. He looked very convincing as an Amish man.

A good time was had by all, and there were a lot of clever costumes out and about. Nun as clever as mine of course! Ha! There I go again, it's not my most endearing habit but I was never very conventional. Oh, boy. Ok. I'm done now, for real. All I have to say is that this was, hands down, the best Halloween ever. Bar nun.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Pass the Butter Please.

So first things first, I've switched banks. Thank you guys for your suggestions and support, hopefully I'll never have to deal with this again. The End.

I finished Ray's hat and it would fit him perfectly if he were a cone head, thankfully he is not. So I must go back AGAIN and redo the decreases. I think I can handle that though, I don't have to go back that far and it's totally worth it because it's a kick-ass hat (I had to go back and hyphenate that word). So to distract me from having to redo my "perfect" work, I've decided to make something for me. Again. It is the Coronet hat from knitty and I'm making it with my delicious Malabrigo Merino Worsted in the Bobby Blue colorway. Mmmmmmmmm. Malabrigooooo. (sigh) Anyway....

I'm going to try and order some yarn for christmas presents this week, we'll have to see how much money I have. Once I've started those my knitting posts will become fewer. I don't want the recipients to discover their gifts early!

Well, that's all I've got. Stitch 'n Bitch was really fun tonight. There was definitely some bitching, a lot of stitching, quite a bit of dancing in chairs, and much laughing til tears ran. A very good night. So good, in fact, I think I'll do it tomorrow too. Good night!

Monday, October 22, 2007

My day (of going)off.

After a great weekend (despite having to work through it) I had today off. It started out with some warm snuggling and not wanting to get out of bed. But alas, the morning bladder was full and demanded that I (no matter how warm and cozy) should get up immediately. Stupid bladder. Ray reluctantly went off to work and left me to my days activities (which initially included going down the street to Java Joint and having coffee, a Mr. D's donut, blogging, and knitting). I wanted to check my account first to make sure that my check that I deposited on friday went through because I had some bills I also sent out on friday. This is where the day takes a turn for the pissed off.

Please, someone tell me, why when I deposit money from an employer I've been receiving bi-weekly paychecks from for six years (and have NEVER bounced) into an account that I've had for almost ten years (ok, I've bounced that a few times. not the point though) does it take FOUR DAYS for it to finally end up in my account?! Granted, one of those days is a Sunday, and therefore not a business day, but it's not like business stops happening on that day. So when I went to check my balance on line this morning it showed a negative of over $160 for a bill that was pending, but my deposit wasn't pending. Furious, I called customer service to find out if this was an error. He informed me that the closing "business day" is at 4 pm (don't most people work until 5 pm, and go to the bank after work?) and they have a new check depositing policy that requires them to wait two business days before funds are available. This means when I go to the bank every other Friday after work a little after 5 pm to deposit my check, it's not actually getting "run through" until Saturday. THEN, it will sit in their little banky deposit waiting room with all the other "suspect" checks while the bank does background checks (no pun intended. seriously, I am not laughing about any of this) for two days and my bills that need to get paid overdraw my account and the bank can make $31 dollars per check off of me. The customer service guy (who I yelled and swore at while fighting back tears) even told me "well the bank will cover the cost of any checks coming in and you'll only pay $31 for them." I think this is about the point I blacked out. I'm not sure what I said, and I'm really glad that no one (except the cats) was home to hear me.

Oh look, it's the end of the business day. I'll be right back, I want to see if my pending bill went through.

Ok, so it hasn't gone through yet, but they also haven't posted my daily balance yet either which means it still could.

So as not to make this story torture anyone any longer I'll end it by saying that tomorrow, when my deposit finally hits my account, I am going to withdraw any money that I don't need to cover outstanding purchases and I am taking it to a different bank. One that deposits my money in my account at the time I am depositing it. What a novel concept!

And now on to knitting.....!!

So remember the crocheted top I was blocking in this post? Well it's done and now it's too big for me. But, I'm okay with it, because it is going to go to the lovely Maura and she will wear it with the love and pride it deserves. She also took some pictures of me in it first so I'll always have it to remember. She took a bunch of other pictures of me as well for a school project where I was literally buried in yarn! Well, up to my waist anyway, but I think that's the happiest I've been since my wedding day. I can't wait to see the pictures, she's said I can post them here when they're done.

Ray's hat is moving along, although I think I might rip back the decreases. I reversed the ones in the pattern to make a smoother decrease but it ends up with these little holes (which you probably can't see in these pictures but they're there, trust me). So that's my project for tonight. That and Heroes. Oh, Heroes, you'll ease all my anger and pissed-offedness and probably end the episode with another nail-biting cliff hanger. I can always count on you for that.

p.s. Ray got off work early and took me to lunch at Baker's Square. It made me feel a lot better. He even bought us a whole strawberry rhubarb pie to take home! (the fruit ones are only $5.99 right now, go get 'em!) I love him.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A Tale of Two Hats

The last couple days have been spent on projects. I started and ripped out and started and ripped out and started again on Ray's hat between Sunday and Tuesday. The first time I kept screwing up the pattern because I had cast on two less stitches than the pattern called for (I'm knitting it in the round and the pattern is flat, -2 st.= no seam), however, I forgot to not do those two stitches in the pattern repeat. Therefore I ended up with a spiral pattern that was spiraling out of control! I also decided that I thought the hat was too narrow with the two stitches left out so when I cast on again I did so with the correct amount of stitches and left the pattern as-was.

As I knit along, something just didn't seem right (no pun intended!). First, let me say that this hat is knit from the top down. While that may be fine when knitting flat (as the pattern calls for), in the round it makes for a difficult start, and what I like to call "The Inverted Bellybutton" or "Nipple Effect" on top of the hat. Being in denial I kept knitting, thinking that with every increase the "nipple" would get smaller and smaller. This hat was shaping up more like a cone that a dome and I was getting pretty frustrated. Then I looked at the spiral pattern and how it twisted around the fabric and I noticed that one of the spirals didn't look quite right. Count, count, count, count, count. Oh crap, those two stitches WERE supposed to be left out and one section of my spiral was a little larger than the others. AGGHHH! At this point Ray decided to tell me that he didn't really like the spiral pattern/fair isle combination and wanted a "crown" that would be more plain. Good, now I don't have to look at this pattern anymore. I do love Marnie MacLean's patterns, but this one wasn't working for me.

So I decided to use a different pattern of hers, the Carlsbad hat. This is knit from the bottom up! It's still knit flat (she must like to seam) but the adjustments on this hat are a lot easier. I am having to make quite a few adjustments though since my gauge is completely different from hers (I think she's using a DK weight and I'm using worsted) but the measurements are right. I'm basically using her pattern as a guide and I hope that it doesn't come back to bite me in the ass when I go to decrease. ~fingers crossed~

Tonight I am blocking/have blocked the Blissful halter top that I made from the Happy Hooker crochet book. It is my first/only crochet project so far and I have been putting off blocking it because I didn't think that I would have anywhere to do it. I opted for the floor in our spare room/closet room and put some laundry baskets over the top of it to keep the cats off. I'm hoping that it's dry tomorrow so I can wear it to my "photo shoot" with Maura. She is doing a series of photos for a class she's in of people and their passions. Since knitting and yarn are a hobby/lifestyle that I've been more passionate about than anything I can think of, she is going to take some pictures of me with my "stash" and a few of the items I've made. If she'll let me, I'll post them here when they're done.

Tomorrow I have the day off and if my top is dry I'll be sewing the ribbon and hook-n-eye closures on it, knitting more of Ray's hat, and playing "super model" with Maura. Oh, and TKG of course. Depending on the weather there may be a secret craft project that I work on, but we'll have to see about that.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Whew, just under a week.

I haven't kept up with this blogging thing as well as I thought I would. Writing takes time, picture loading takes time, and there are only so many hours in a day (8 of which I'm usually at work). Anyway, enough excuses. Here I am and I've got some things to talk about.

I had the day off and overslept. It felt great. I did manage to get some things done though. I finally finished a pillow made out of a band T-Shirt (Fifteen, if you've heard of them. 90's punk awesomeness) that didn't fit me. I started making it about three years ago ~hangs head in shame~for my friend Amanda's birthday. I think the reason I stopped with all three sides sewn was because I was afraid to sew on the zipper, something I'd never done before. Well, I made myself finish it because she was scheduled to have a C-Section that day and I wanted to bring it to her at the hospital. She laughed as hard as she dared when she saw the pillow and I fell apart with the cuteness of her little girl, Moxie Ann. Matt (the daddy) was on the phone when I got there, but when he got done seeing him hold his little girl so gentle was one of the sweetest things ever. I'm really flattered too, because this hat (being modeled so obligingly by Sam) that I made for Moxie is going to be the one they bring her home in. I got the pattern for it here.

I'm so happy for them and wish them all the happiness, health, and sleepful evenings that can be bestowed upon them.

We had a dinner date with Janet and Matt (friends from my Thursday Knitting Group, aka TKG) at Manny's. It was their anniversary (Manny's, not Matt and Janet's) and so they had a mariachi band going around to all the tables playing requests. We didn't know any Mexican/Spanish songs so we let them play whatever they wanted. The harmonies were beautiful, the bass was deep, the harp player was phenomenal (with long, thick fingernails), and the guitar player's fingers flew like hummingbird's wings. Oh and the food was really good too. I had crab enchiladas and they were delicious. Matt and Ray totally geeked out about computers and networks while Janet and I downed margaritas. We came back to our place and hung out (probably a little too late) and watched a movie. It was a really fun evening and I look forward to doing it again, although maybe with a curfew next time. :)

I finished the Clapotis I had been working on.

I even blocked it and everything. It's the first knitting project I've blocked and I guess I understand the importance of it, but it takes forever and I'm not that patient once the item is done. I want to wear/give it right away, none of this "air drying" nonsense. At least not when it's taking up my bed (which is the only space in the house that I can block anything without the cats laying on it). Anywho, I have a few other things I may block that will break me into the habit.

I also wanted to post a picture of my Heartstrings Eyelet Top that I finished last month, but didn't have a blog to post it onto, just my Ravelry.

I made this with Lara cotton yarn that I bought with a gift certificate my mom gave me. The pattern was only $5 and is really easy to follow. It's worked from the bottom up in the round and you knit the sleeves first, leave them on stitch holders, and join them in at the armpit so there is very minimal seaming. Me likey. Because of the delicate eyelet pattern, this pattern works well with cotton yarns, but you could probably use a silk or bamboo yarn and get just as nice pattern definition.

Speaking of, here is a close-up of the pattern:

Ok, so it's not that close-up, but you get the idea. This was a progress shot from about a month ago. Yeah, I'm pretty fast.

Today I'm going to try and start another hat for Ray. This one will combine two separate patterns, the charts from Binary will wrap around the hat in a "0" "1" sequence to spell "hat" and the pattern used will be Nautilus men's hat pattern worked in the round. We'll see how that goes. I'm gonna have to do some funky math because my guage doesn't match up with the patterns. But that's another blog for another day.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Oh, hey, it's Monday

So I had a very relaxing weekend at home on my couch. Just me, my computer, and my knitting. And episode 2 (season 2) of Dexter, which was really good. I'm really glad that I can be reading the second book on which the series was based and it's not following the same story line. It's like two different shows....but one's a book.

Ray and I played a few board games last night and after he decimated me in Sorry (I only got out of start twice, only to be "sorried" back in each time. He won the game and all my pieces were still in start) we played again and this time the game was more exciting. Particularly the part where I won. Then we tried to play Scrabble, but I always take forever to come up with words (lets see how well you do with L, X, H, G, I, R, Q, N, O. We were playing 9-piece to make the game go quicker). So we decided to take a walk instead. For about an hour.

It was fun, we walked past a consignment shop that keeps a little kitten in a cage in it's window. It was really kind of sad. It's not exactly torture, it's a HUGE cage, but I couldn't lock up a store at the end of the night with a cute little orange kitty mewing to be loved from behind bars. After we ran out of plans to break into the store and steal the kitty we continued on toward the river. Giant monstrosities are being built next to other ones in the form of clinical looking office buildings. Fountains are sprouting up everywhere (the idea of small water features right next to larger water features is somewhat puzzling), and measures are being taken to ensure the safety of our precious, youthful binge drinkers. Apparently we can solve our cities college drinking problem with chains and amusement-park-ride-line-style gating. Whoda thunkit?

Tonight was pretty relaxing as well. The highlight was definitely Ch. 3 of Heroes. This show just keeps sucking me in (although I must admit that this season has yet to make me squeal as much as the first, but I'm patient, and I know it will happen), and the story just keeps getting more rich. If you're not watching this show, well, shame on you.

Well, that was that. And now I want to get back to knitting before I have to go to bed. Good night all. If I wake up tomorrow and can regenerate my skin or fly through the air, I promise this will be a much more interesting blog.

I'm just sayin.....

Sunday, October 7, 2007


So this is the life of blogging. Hmm. Well, I hope that I can keep up with it. To begin with, I am ZombieCat and I reside on the "coastal" (technically it's on the river, but "bankal" doesn't sound as glamorous) city of La Crosse, WI. Sharing my life with me are my husband, Ray (or Tech Support, as he sometimes is) and our two cats Zombie (you got me, my user name came from my cat), and Sam.

Here, Zombie is helping me get through the harrowing, and nail-biting ending of the last Harry Potter book.

And this is pretty much what Sam does all day:

I have a job that I don't hate, but it is still a job and takes time away from my main passion which is knitting. I'll be posting some of my projects and progress here, but if you are on Ravelry you can get a much better idea of what I have done (my user name is the same).

Basically I decided to start blogging in hope of using it to keep in touch with family and give them a way to know what is going on with me without having to remember that they also own telephones (this is something that runs in our family and I am just as guilty of it). I've also been inspired by alot of the knitting blogs that I've read and sometimes just need an outlet for my ideas. Whether anyone reads this or not is something that I'm not sure I want to think about at this point, but if you do, thank you and I hope that you laugh when appropriate and come back to visit me often!

Since I am new to this "blogging" thing, I'm sure there will be things that go wrong, or features that I don't use that could make things easier for both me and you readers. Bear with me and if there is something that I'm obviously not catching on to, please feel free to send me a friendly heads up.

So that's it. This is my first post and I think it went pretty well. Only time will tell if I can keep this up and not bore everyone (including myself) to death. Stay tuned.