Sunday, February 28, 2010

State Avenues

I'm about to confess something that I probably shouldn't because it's a little bit embarrassing, but hey, people confess all sorts of things on their blogs.  So here goes: I have a secret fascination with the streets in D.C. that are named after states.  I have been actively trying to find them, and I know all sorts of interesting little facts about them.  Not to bore you, but here are some examples:
--All but two are Avenues.  Ohio Drive and California Street are the exceptions.
--Georgia Avenue used to be a little street in Southeast D.C. (which is now Potomac Avenue).  It was relocated to Northwest when a Congressman from Georgia lobbied for a more impressive street for Georgia.
--Florida Avenue used to be called Boundary Street because it was the northern boundary of the City of Washington back when the City and the rest of the District, Washington County, were distinct.

Not too long ago, I decided to document my search for the state streets by taking pictures of all of them.  (I told you it was weird . . . )  I obviously want to have a set of 50 when I'm all finished.  I've got about 10 already, most of which are pretty close to my house.  Tennessee was this morning's accomplishment.  Of the others, I know where most of the streets are; it's just a matter of being in the right place with a camera and traffic conditions being such that trying to get the picture won't cause an accident.

But for a few states, I don't know where the corresponding streets are.  If you know where I can find any of these, please let me know!
--Arkansas Avenue
--Illinois Avenue
--Iowa Avenue
--Mississippi Avenue
--Montana Avenue
--North Dakota Avenue
--Oklahoma Avenue
--Oregon Avenue
--Texas Avenue
--Utah Avenue

Saturday, February 27, 2010

My Unexpected Saturday!

The inspection for my car expires tomorrow, so I had blocked off the better part of the afternoon to take care of the inspection. In my experience, the inspection station in Southwest D.C. is one heck of a cluster. Typically, the line snakes for blocks before cars are funneled into a parking lot of lanes for inspection leading to the inspection bays. No joke, the past two years, I've had to wait for more than two hours. So, figuring that today is the last Saturday in February, I guessed that the back-up was going to be particularly bad. I steeled myself for a long wait and even brought a knitting project to keep me busy.

So imagine my surprise when I pulled up and there was no line at all! At first, I actually thought maybe the inspection station was closed because the place was so deserted. But, it was open, and I pulled right up to the inspection bay. Start to finish, the whole thing took 8 minutes. What a nice surprise!

Finding myself with a whole lot of extra time on my hands, I went to the Fish Market at the D.C. waterfront. I just love the waterfront area. To me, it's one of D.C.'s hidden gems. It's one of the few places in the city where you don't feel like you're in The Nation's Capital but rather in some little port town. The fact that many tourists don't find their way down there doesn't hurt either. So I got a cup of seafood chowder and some fried clams and sat in the sun and watched the sea gulls. It was a lovely way to spend my Saturday afternoon.

Much better than sitting in line waiting for my car to be inspected.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Treasury Feature: The Color Wheel Called

Yellow House Knits is currently featured in this lovely treasury curated by spongetta.  I'm flattered to be included in such a beautiful collection.  Speaking of beautiful, spongetta, aka Betsy and Sara, have some very striking pieces of their own.  I particularly love their striped shoulder bag.  See for yourself:

Smart and Trendy Giveaway

Smart and Trendy Spring Giveaway - Over 700 dollars worth of prizes!Smart and Trendy Moms have announced their Spring Giveaway.  The Giveaway starts March 1 and runs through April 1.  There are tons of very cool prizes available--most for moms and/or kids.  I'm neither, but I would love one of those Flirty Aprons!  Check it out!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Next to Normal

I'm a bit of a Broadway junkie.  Particularly Broadway musicals.  In fact, I LOVE them.  So whenever my work takes me to New York, I try to arrange my schedule so I can see a show.  Often, I'll just see what's available at the very last minute.  Since I need only one ticket, it's usually pretty easy to get good seats to something.

Well, I was in New York yesterday for an unexpected trip and decided to see Next to Normal again.  I saw it for the first time about six months ago and just adored it and thought it was time to see it again.  Sometimes I think I appreciate a show more the second time because I can sit back and enjoy it rather than having to worry about following the plot. 

Anyway, Next to Normal is not the "traditional" Broadway musical.  The story is about a mother who struggles with worsening bipolar disorder and the effect that her illness has on her family.  It's not a light subject, and the show recognizes that, but the music is just incredible.  And there is a significant plot twist that I never saw coming.  Alice Ripley is breathtaking as the mother and so deserved the Tony she won for this performance.  One of the reviews described the show as "agonizingly beautiful," which is a perfect description.

The Next to Normal website ( has a nice sampling of the music, though--as with most musicals--I don't think you can really appreciate it until you actually see the show.  (Be careful--it's one of those websites where the music starts blasting right away so maybe not suitable for work!) 

Monday, February 22, 2010

Girls' and Boys' Clothes

There was an interesting discussion in the Etsy forums last week about why clothing for girls seems to be much more prevalent than clothing for boys.  A couple of sellers said that they find that girls' clothes sell better, which I've found to be true, though parents of boys piped up and said that they buy lots of clothes for their little boys.  Other sellers that people are willing to spend money on girls' clothing.  Also true, in my experience.  Still others said that girls' clothes are more fun to make, which is definitely true!  A lot of great color combinations have a slightly (or overtly) feminine vibe to them, even if there's no pink to be found, whereas colors for boys are much more limited.  Plus the trim offerings are way better for girls clothes--buttons shaped like hearts, flowers, lady buys, cupcakes, and so on.  Sure, there are airplanes and firetrucks for boys, but really well made buttons with those more intricate designs are a lot harder to come by.  Not to mention that girls' clothing can have ruffles and bows and other pretty little flounces that just don't work for boys' clothes.  So, like a lot of people who make clothes for kids, I naturally gravitate toward sweaters for little girls. 

Of course, we can always go the unisex route.  Most bright colors--red, aqua, yellow, orange, green, and purple--look great on boys and girls.  So do most neutrals--browns, whites, and grays.  So for baby showers, unless the mom-to-be knows the sex of the baby, I usually recommend some combination of bright, bold colors.  But sometimes the mom-to-be knows she's having a boy and the sweater needs to look like it's for a boy.  So I'm making a conscious effort to make more sweaters that are more properly characterized as boys' sweaters.  Here's an example of one. 

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Knitting for Grown-Ups

People often ask me if I knit sweaters for adults. The very first sweater I ever knit actually was for me, and I still wear it--and I still get tons of compliments on it. But it's so old that I don't wear it very often. I'm always afraid that it will fall apart while I'm wearing it.

Today, I focus mostly on (much) smaller sizes and knit adult sweaters only occasionally. (As a reminder: Top 10 Reasons Why Knitting for Babies and Kids is Better than Knitting for Grown-Ups.) But there are lots of very talented sellers on Etsy who do knit sweaters for women--and men. Here are some that I think are especially lovely. Click on the pictures to go to the sellers' Etsy stores.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

"Tomorrow is always fresh with no mistakes in it."

So last night, I got home from work at 12:30am (it was a long day) and turn on the TV for just a few minutes so I could unwind before bed. And what's on TV but Anne of Green Gables! There are a few movies that suck me the minute I see them on the screen (Miss Congeniality, Fletch, Vacation come to mind as examples), but when it happens, I know I may as well just commit to watching the rest because there's no way I'm going to "turn the TV off at the next commercial." Not only is "Anne" one of those such movies, but it's on much less often than the others, so I knew it was going to be a really late night. But what a GREAT movie! There I was until nearly 3am watching Anne dispair over her red hair and admiring her dress with "puffed sleeves" and sobbing when Matthew dies. I love the movie all by itself, but every time I watch it, I remember reading the book with my mother when I was in second grade. It's a really nice memory!

Even now that I'm in my 30s, the book remains one of my all-time favories, though I still wish Anne and Gilbert didn't wait so long to get together!

And, I do think it's good to occasionally remind myself that tomorrow really is always fresh with no mistakes in it.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Adopt A Dog

Anyone who's even glanced at this blog knows that I ADORE my dog, Bullet. I adopted him from a shelter more than 13 years ago, and it was one of the best things I ever did. I love animals generally, but I think dogs in particular are such wonderful creatures. They truly are man's (and woman's) best friends.

I volunteer at the Washington Humane Society on occasion--not nearly as often as I'd like on account of my restrictive work schedule--and I support WHS financially. I am in AWE of the dedicated staff and army of volunteers who give so generously of themselves to make the shelter run and to find good homes for all of the cats and dogs (and goats, ferrets, rabbits, snakes, and other animals) that come through the door.

Every time I volunteer, I fall in love with a new dog. It's probably a good thing that Mr. Bullet doesn't much like other dogs because I would take them all home with me if I could. I would be the crazy dog woman with a house full of barking dogs!

All of the dogs below are currently available for adoption at the Washington Humane Society. In the future, I'll post additional dogs looking for their forever families. If you've brought a dog or cat home from a shelter, thank you! If you haven't, how can you resist these faces?

Monday, February 15, 2010

One of Sweet Fancy's Favorites!

I was browsing through Fallon's lovely blog,, and saw a Yellow House Knits sweater featured as one of her Etsy Favorites. What a nice surprise! If you want to see it live, act quick because Etsy Favorites can be fleeting!

Check out her great pillows in her Etsy shop: I LOVE the house pillows--so much that I'm thinking of having one made of the Yellow House. Since it's a tall, skinny row house, I think it would be absolutely perfect.

P.S. How cute is Jasper the dog???

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

Thanks to Ella's mom for sending along this picture of her in her Yellow House Knits sweater! I love the sweater with the heart T-shirt! Such a little fashion plate!

And how about those adorable Mary Jane socks! I think they are just the cutest!

Remember that I offer 10 percent off an in-stock sweater or free domestic shipping on a custom order if you send me a picture for the Photo Gallery.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

New! Surprise Monthly Offers for Blog Readers!

Traditionally Yellow House Knits has had big semi-annual sales (usually around April and October) and relatively few other sales during the year. But I've decided to start to offer surprise savings offers to readers of Inside the Yellow House. These offers will generally be made once a month, though not always at the same time every month and will be good for only a short period of time. Each offer will be a little bit different, so keep your eyes on this blog for details.

These offers are your opportunity to get a beautiful, handmade baby sweater at a significant discount. The offers will not be generally announced in the Yellow House Knits Etsy shop.

The first offer starts . . . NOW: Purchase any in-stock sweater and receive 20 percent off OR place an order for a custom sweater and save 25 percent off a subsequent order for an in-stock sweater (the coupon code will be sent when the custom sweater ships). For in-stock orders, use coupon code ITYH-FEB in your note to seller and I will refund the difference, or email/convo me in advance and I will reduce the price. For custom orders, email/convo me with the details of your order, and I will set up a custom listing. This offer expires at midnight on Monday, February 15, so all orders must be placed by then.

Have fun! If you have questions about the offer, feel free to email me:

Friday, February 12, 2010

Is it the Sweater?

Here's hoping the tears aren't because this little lady is unhappy with her sweater! Her mother assures me that she usually smiles when she's wearing it.

This sweater was a custom order for a baby shower. It was designed to match the silver sage color in the nursery. I thought it was a really a meaningful shower present. Since then, I've been asked to do a couple of other sweaters in this same color combination. It's particularly good for moms and moms-to-be who prefer colors that are a bit more subdued.

You can't see it in the picture, but the sweater buttons in the back with a beautiful sea glass button.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

New Business Cards and Note Cards

Check out my new business cards and note cards. I think they turned out great!

handknit baby sweaters handmade baby sweaters

Monday, February 8, 2010

Works in Progress

Since I was homebound this past weekend on account of the snow, I spent much of the time watching movies and knitting. (Also made some awesome chili, but that will have to be the subject of another post.) I got tons finished, including two cardigans, which are being blocked right now. I hope to have them ready for posting on Etsy in the next few days.

In the meantime, here's a little teaser of something in the works. I'm still looking for the right buttons, so I'm not quite sure when this one will be finished, but I'm really excited about it!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Blizzard of 2010

Well we survived the massive snowfall. In the end, I think we got about 20 inches, though it was hard to tell with all of the drifts. It was a fun, relaxing weekend, but now the Big Digout begins. It's going to take D.C. a while to recover--and the predicted additional 4-8 inches on Tuesday and Wednesday isn't going to help much with that.

Here are a few pictures for effect. That's the yellow house itself in the first picture, and Mr. Bullet out for a walk in the second.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Snowpocalypse! Snowmageddon!

Call it what you will, but the D.C. area is bracing for a major dumping of snow. It's been snowing fairly steadily for the past few hours, but so far no accumulation. Apparently, it's going to start to stick soon, and we can expect to see 20-30 inches before it's all over. I've lived in a lot of cold-weather places (Boston, Chicago, Michigan), so that much snow isn't entirely novel to me, but the folks in our nation's capital are not accustomed to dealing with the white stuff. So it looks like we could be stuck inside for a while.

Here's Bullet in the last snow storm. You can bet he's excited about this one as well. Actually, not too long ago, he used to LOVE the snow. But as his age is catching up with him, it seems that the snow just makes him grumpy.
The good thing about all of this snow is that it will give me plenty of time to knit this weekend. I have a bunch of projects that are almost finished, so I'm hoping to make some significant headway on those. I'll post whatever I finish.

Enjoy the snow!