Monday, November 29, 2010

Chocolate Gingerbread Drops

I admit that I'm known to claim that all of my Christmas cookies are my "favorites," but these chocolate gingerbread drops may actually be among my real favorites.  I love chocolate, I love gingerbread, and the cherries add the perfect zing to pull the two flavors together.  So good!

The recipe comes from Better Homes and Gardens from a few years back.  (You can find it here.)  I typically use a heavy hand when adding the chocolate and cherries, because I like my cookies with lots of extra goodies. 

A couple of tips:  (As always) use good chocolate, and don't chop it so finely that you lose the chunkiness.  Use tart cherries.  And, be careful not to overcook them, or they'll be too dry. 

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Double Your Fun!

You're not seeing double--they're twins!  In Yellow House Knits.  Just look at these little guys!  I can't get over how darn adorable they are.  Don't they look like little men in those hats!?!?

Many, many thanks to Ellie Musser for sending me pictures of these fellows.  You can see more of her fantastic work on her website

Friday, November 26, 2010

Peabody Street as a Cardigan

I just finished up this custom order.  R. loved the Peabody Street sweater, but she reallty wanted a cardigan for her son.  So I tweaked the design just a little bit and . . . Voila!  I think it looks darling!  I hope R. sends a picture of her son wearing it!

I hope this example will remind customers to think of the sweater designs on the website as mere starting points.  I'm always happy to play around with any design to make it best suit your needs. 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

On this day of gratitude, I want to sincerely thank everyone who has supported me in this little venture of mine.  Whether you've purchased my sweaters, given me useful advice, photographed the sweaters, loaned me your kids to model them, or just cheered me on from afar through your comments and general positive energy, I could not do it without you.  I am consistently awed by how wonderful everyone has been.  And I am profoundly grateful.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Kennedy Street Sweater

Pam sent me this picture of her son showing off his Kennedy Street sweater.  Isn't he adorable?  (Looks like he has lots of personality!)  The sweater is perfect for his fair coloring.  Be sure to check out other pictures of Yellow House Knits sweaters "in action" in the Photo Gallery on the Yellow House Knits website. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Columbia Road by Trina

The very talented Trina Gueck sent me some gorgeous pictures of the Columbia Road sweater.  Here are two of my favorites.  Just look at those little cuties!  You can see more of Trina's beautiful work on her website.  Thanks Trina!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Operation Christmas Cookies

Every year, I make a big platter of cookies for each of  my friends, neighbors, and a select set of co-workers.  The cookie platters typically have about 50 cookies on them, with around a dozen or so different varieties of cookies.  They are very impressive (if I do say so myself)!  It usually takes me a couple of weeks to make all of the cookies, and it ends up taking a whole day to assemble and deliver the platters. 

I officially kicked off the 2010 operation yesterday with two types of cookies.  On the left are thin-mint type cookies from Martha Stewart, and on the right are Martha's cashew-caramel cookies.  (I promise all of the cookies aren't Martha Stewart's!).  I try to balance old and new varieties and holiday cookies and all-time favorites, but the recipients frequently ask for me to keep certain cookies in active rotation.  Both of these are ones that have been requested.

Stay tuned to see what comes next!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Moseying Around Richmond

Friday was a tough knitting day for me.  It took me three tries to get the button band onto a sweater without it puckering and only after I was satisfied with how it looked did I realize that I had it on the wrong side!  And then I broke one of the buttons that was supposed to be on the sweater.

So on yesterday morning, I decided that Bullet and I needed a break.  We hopped in the car and drove two hours south to Richmond.  We didn't have any particular destination or agenda, but we spent the better part of the day cruising around.  We shopped in Carytown and at Libbie & Grove; we watched the kayakers on the James River enjoying the last bit of fall color; we admired the beautiful houses along Monument Avenue; we toured the University of Richmond, which I looked at years ago when I was looking at colleges.  The weather was spectacularly beautiful, and it was a wonderful, stress-free day.

We used to do this more often.  By "this," I mean hop in the car and drive somewhere within a 150 mile radius just to see what there is to see.  But more recently, life has gotten in the way.  Maybe yesterday will be the kick in the pants I need for us to start to do it some more. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

November Special Offer

Now through Sunday, purchase a Yellow House Knits sweater and receive free domestic shipping. 

Mention coupon code ITHY-NOV in your convo or email ( to take advantage of this offer. Orders/emails must be received by midnight EST on November 21. 

Please note that, although this offer applies to both in-stock and knit-to-order sweaters, I can no longer guarantee that knit-to-order sweaters will be ready in time for the holidays.  If you're interested in a knit-to-order sweater, feel free to email me for an estimated delivery date.

Have fun!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Finally . . . A New Listing!

I'm so excited about the new Chesapeake Street sweater.  I designed it around those awesome fish buttons, which were custom-made for Yellow House Knits.  I wanted the sweater to be in the same colorway as the buttons, but I didn't want it to be too matchy-matchy, so I swapped in turquoise trim for the purple in the buttons.  I think the change was a good call--the turquoise really livens it up.  I'm just delighted with how it turned out!

The sweater is currently available in stock in size 12 months, but it can be knit to order in any size.  Email me for more information.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Shower Pictures

I've been woefully delinquent in posting pictures from the shower I hosted for my friend Alissa in October.  She actually had her baby on Thursday (Welcome to the World Baby X (that's his actual initial)!), so now seems like as good a time as any. 

I admit that I freaked out a little bit when I realized that there would be 30 guests, but it all worked out flawlessly.  I won't bore you with all of the details, but here are some of the highlights.  As you can see, a good time was had by all!

Here's the guest of honor and friends. 

The favors.  Huge thanks to Melissa at Truly Scrumptious Cookies for doing a fantastic job matching the favors.  They looked truly amazing--and tasted truly scrumptious. 

The cake, which was carrot cake with candy on top and on the sides.  (I also made two additional sheet cakes since the round cake wasn't going to serve 30 people.)  The cake was Southern Living's Best Carrot Cake.  It really was the best--people went back for seconds. 

Saturday, November 13, 2010

My Daughter Has Done It Again . . . Treasury

The Canal Road sweater was featured yesterday in this lovely treasury of red and blue items.  The treasury was created by NightOwlCraftworks's 13-year-old daughter, who is clearly as talented as her parents.  NightOwlCraftworks is a husband-and-wife team who make gorgeous hand-bound journals and pottery.  (She's the book binder; he's the potter.)  Sounds like their daughter has good genes (and good taste!!).  

Friday, November 12, 2010

It's a Dress

Yellow House Knits is primarily focused on sweaters for babies and kids. But every now and then a customer requests some other type of clothing--most often, it's a request for coordinating hats and scarves. ED's mother wanted a jumper for her to wear this fall. She wanted something fun in colors other than traditional fall reds, oranges, and browns, so we went with the pink and purple stripes. It's hard to see in the picture, but the purple stripes are done in a novelty yarn that looks a bit like confetti. I particularly love the flirty little ruffle around the neck and armholes. The mom was thrilled with how it turned out, and I'm thrilled to see ED wearing it. It's always fun to work on something completely different for a change.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Blown Away

This picture of Miss Macie in the Calvert Street sweater just makes me smile.  Look at that hair!!  She's quite the charmer already.

Thanks to Alexi Killmer for another great picture!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Broadway Weekend

I'm back from a Broadway weekend in New York.  All in all, it was a lot of fun!  Saw a couple of good shows, got to cheer on the New York Marathon runners (albeit from afar), and enjoyed the fall weather.

Here's what we saw:

Time Stands Still: a drama starring Laura Linney as a photojournalist injured in Iraq and trying to cope with life back in the States.  A very intimate portrayal of a relationship in crisis.  Moving, thought-provoking, and humorous.  Loved it!

Rock of Ages: A silly juke-box musical of 80's songs, glorifying the hair bands of a few decades past.  Includes music by Journey, Pat Benetar, Poison, Bon Jovi, and so on.  The show won't win any Pullitzer prizes, but it was great fun for people like me who grew up on those songs!

Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson: A rock musical about the life and times of our seventh president.  Parts of it seemed incredibly timely, and other parts were just crass and loud.  My mom HATED it, and I confess I wouldn't run out to see it again--though I did like the music a lot.  I suspect the star (Benjamin Walker) is headed for big things, and someday I'll be able to say that I saw him way back when. 

Friday, November 5, 2010

Alexis in Kalorama Road

I love these pictures of Alexis sporting her Kalorama Road sweater.  All of those leaves look like so much fun to play in too!

Thanks to Alexi Killmer for the great pictures!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Monthly Check-in

I made some good progress in October toward my goals, but I'm also falling down on a few.  Here's the status report. 

35 Before 36 Update

1. Read 12 books.  6/12 complete.  
2. Go to New York City for a Broadway weekend.  All set for this weekend!  We're going to see: "Rock of Ages" (finally!), "Time Stands Still," and "Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson.  I'm super excited!
3. Start saving regularly—even if modestly—for the addition to my house.  On track.  I've started putting the Yellow House Knits proceeds into that account as well, which seems appropriate.
4. Clean out my closet and give a lot to Goodwill.
5. Finish my state streets project.
6. Donate to: Washington Humane Society, Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia, and my various alma maters: Northwestern University, Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Michigan Law School, the University of Michigan School of Public Health. I made my annual donation to the Humane Society in honor of my anniversary with Bullet (I make a similar donation on his birthday each year).  I think it's a great way to celebrate the occasion! (He gets a nice treat too!)
7. Go to the U.S. Botanic Garden.
8. Get a massage and/or a facial each month.  5/12 complete.
9. Purge and replenish my underwear drawer.
10. See 12 movies in the theater.  5/12 complete.  Saw in October: "The Social Network"
11. Spend a weekend the Omni Bedford Springs (my favorite).
12. Keep an inventory of food in the freezer.  Falling down on this one some.  I need to work harder to get a system in place.
13. Run three half marathons. 1/3 complete.  Ran Detroit in October!  I'm thinking about New Orleans in February--stay tuned.
14. Try yoga again.
15. Start to research the history of my house.
16. Reorganize my pantry.
17. Buy a nice piece of jewelry (pearls?).
18. Try 12 new (to me), local restaurants.  5/12 complete. Tried in October: Acqua Al 2.
19. Improve my bread-baking skills.
20. Take Bullet on a weekend trip.
21. Get a new camera.
22. Take more pictures.
23. Pay off my car.
24. Master real push-ups.
25. Make at least two meals per month to freeze for later.  On track.
26. Organize my knitting and needlepoint supplies.
27. Send more postcards when I travel with notes telling people I’m thinking of them.
28. Make a star tree-topper for my Christmas tree.  Canvas is purchased--need to start needlepointing.
29. Have a party.  Alissa's shower was a huge success.  Pictures to come. 
30. Go to the renovated National Museum of American History.
31. Go to the beach.
32. Buy fresh flowers more often.  I'm working on this one, but it's getting harder as the weather gets cooler.
33. Paint my old patio furniture (or have it painted).
34. Take a crafting class.
35. Walk home from work at least once a week, weather permitting.  I haven't done a great job on this one because I've been working long hours.  I need to try to do better in November.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Anniversary Bullet!

Dear Mr. Bullet,

It's hard to believe it's been 14 years since you first came to live with me.  I remember so well that Friday afternoon in 1996 at the Anderson Animal Shelter in Elgin, Illinois.  After the adoption was final and as we were getting ready to leave the shelter, you shook off your collar and took off, charging all around the big lawn in front of the shelter.  It took three people from the shelter to corral you and get you into my car for the hour-plus drive back to Evanston, during which time you repeatedly puked all over the back and front seat of the car.  By the time we got to my (now our) apartment, I was wondering what I had gotten myself into.

Fourteen years later, I can't imagine life without you.  We've been through a lot in those 14 years--lots of ups, a few downs, and some really down downs.  But I'm so glad that you've been with me through it all--my constant, faithful companion.  You are a good dog, and you are a great dog. 

I love you!!!