Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Salty Dog T Shirt Obsession

I know they're something of a cliche, but I'm kind of obsessed with these Salty Dog Cafe T shirts from (big surprise) the Salty Dog Cafe on Hilton Head.  They're available in a rainbow of colors, and I've been collecting them over the years.  On my most recent trip, I added teal and light pink to my collection.  

I also learned that the Salty Dog has a monthly contest where the winner gets eight (8!!) shirts in his or her choice of colors.  Needless to say, I've now made it my mission to win.  I've even marked it on my calendar so I remember to enter each month.  I already have my eight colors picked out (pink, athletic orange, Carolina blue, lime, purple, yellow, red, and royal (if I can't have the American dog shirt instead)).  

So, Salty Dog people, start looking for my entries.  Sooner or later, you'll be sending those eight shirts to Washington, D.C.  Game on!

Monday, May 30, 2011

And the Winner Is . . .

Callie from North Carolina!  Callie's favorite sweater was the Madison Street sweater, pictured here.  Callie, look for a separate email from me with details about your prize. 

To everyone else, thanks so much for entering--I wish I had prizes for everyone.  If you're still interested in a YHK sweater, please email me for a coupon code to take 25% off any order placed before the end of June. 

Thanks for helping me celebrate the second anniversary of Yellow House Knits!

A Different View of Hilton Head

Spent a lovely week on Hilton Head Island last week with my family.  Usually when I post about my trips to Hilton Head, I include a picture of one of the island's gorgeous beaches.  This time, I thought I would highlight something a little different: the amazing trees that cover the island.  Most of the trees are Lives Oaks, which some have characterized as the signature tree of the low country, and many are dripping with Spanish moss. 

The particular trees in these pictures are located in one of my favorite spots on Sea Pines, in a quiet clearing just off of the bike path connecting Harbor Town and Baynard Ruins.  It's one of my favorite spots to sit and read or just be.  The canopy of trees provides welcome shade from the South Carolina sun, and the birds chirping overhead create lovely background music.  

Don't get me wrong: I go to Hilton Head primarily for the great beaches, but the spectacular foliage--and these particular trees--are an added bonus.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Blast from the Past

This great print, available from The Photo Zoo takes me straight back to high school when mix tapes were a great gift idea--cheap and personal.

My friends and I all made mixes for each other.  I loved getting them and was always devastated when the tape eventually wore out or broke.  We decorated the inside of the cassette cases with pictures, magazine cutouts, and funny captions to make our own albums of sorts.

I remember mix tapes that reflected our collective high school angst.  There was lots of U2 ("How long, how long must we sing this song?"), Billy Joel ("I'd rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints"), Pat Bentar ("Whatever we deny or embrace, for worse or for better"), REO Speedwagon ("Baby, I can't fight this feeling anymore"), Tears for Fears ("Everybody wants to rule the world"). 

But there was a lot of fun stuff too: Wham ("Wake me up before you go-go. Take me dancing tonight."), Culture Club ("Loving would be easy if your colors were like my dreams"), The Bangles ("Ay oh whey oh, ay oh whey oh, walk like an Egyptian"). 

Playlists on iTunes are great, but they just don't have that same personality, do they?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Old But Still Noteworthy

A friend sent me the link to the Letters of Note blog earlier this afternoon, and I keep finding excuses to go back and read more of it.  It's a fascinating archive of correspondence--mostly historical, some from well-known figures, others from every day folk--complete with scans and transcripts of the letters, postcards, telegrams, faxes, and memos.  With more than 500 entries, there's a lot of emgrossing stuff there.
There's a letter from Alan Shepard to his parents, telling them about his new house, Ann's wedding, and, oh yeah, that he is being considered for the new "Man in Space" program.  There's a letter from a slave named Vilet Lester, describing how she has been sold from one plantation owner to another.  A letter from the product marketing manager for Campbell's Soup to Andy Warhol, expressing appreciation for Warhol's paintings and telling him to expect a shipment of a few cases of tomato soup.  A sweet and gracious letter from David Bowie responding to his "very first American fan letter."  Six different letters to FDR complaining about his decision to move Thanksgiving up a week (one asking if he could also change Sunday to Wednesday). 

Go.  Now.  (But not if you have work to do!)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Golf Tees and Fried Pickles

I mentioned in yesterday's homage to Fletch that one of my dear friends and I spent a girls' weekend in West Virginia last weekend. We had So Much Fun. We went to the Greenbrier, which in White Sulfur Springs--just past the Virginia line. If you've never been, it's a real experience.  Truth be told, it's more than a little bit too much Dorothy Draper for me, but the spa is amazing, the grounds are beautiful, the service is impeccable. 

While I was out running on Saturday morning, I came across this cool sculpture by the golf course that is (I think) new since our last trip a couple of years ago.  I took a picture of it because I was really struck by how UN-Greenbrier it is.  It's funky and asymmetrical (though the mismash of patterns is right on--if you've been there, you know what I mean!).  It turns out it's serious art, created by Dan Meyer, who is a well-known scultor.  Shows what I know!

Said friend and I are a perfect match in that we love going to little towns and checking out the local color there. (Lest you be confused, the Greenbrier is NOT West Virginia "local color").  Key to this mission is eating in local restaurants, particularly casual, family places.  We went to the Mason Jar Restaurant in downtown White Sulphur Springs (such as it is) and Oh-My-God, the fried pickles were sensational.  The best I've ever had (and I used to live in Memphis, so I've had a lot).  Dill pickle spears (not chips) with more than a hint of spice in the batter.  They were served with creamy ranch dressing and a bottle of hot sauce.  What a fantastic combination!  No joke, we talked about them all weekend.  Ironically, they didn't begin to compare to the fried pickles at the fancy Greenbrier.

Seriously, I want to go back to West Virginia just for the deep fried pickles.

Monday, May 16, 2011

A Tribute to Fletch

Last weekend, my friend and I were on a little road trip in West Virginia, and I made a reference to our car hitting a water buffalo.  When she looked me blankly, I realized that she had never seen the movie Fletch.  I was astounded!  My brother and I have watched Fletch together dozens and dozens of times, and we regularly work Fletch quotes into casual conversation (and crack ourselves up in the process)--much to the delight irritation of everyone around us.  Of course, I raced back home and watched the movie all over again, chuckling like it was all new to me. 

The best part of Fletch is, of course, the wisecracking of the title character.  So in his honor, here are some of my favorite quotes (leaving out those that aren't suitable for prime time): [I'm cracking myself up just typing this . . . ]

"Yeah, Utah. It's wedged in between Wyoming and Nevada. You've seen pictures of it, right?"

"Mr. Stanwyk's parents Marvin and Velma of Provo, were unable to attend the wedding. Those are three names I enjoy; Marvin, Velma, and Provo."

"If you shoot me, you're liable to lose a lot of those humanitarian awards."

"I'm afraid I'm gonna have to pull rank on you. I didn't want to have to do this. I'm with the Mattress Police. There are no tags on these mattresses."

"I would have been here sooner, but a manure-spreader jacknifed on the Santa Ana. You should see my shoes."

"I'll have a Bloody Mary and a steak sandwich and... a steak sandwich, please."

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Second Anniversary Giveaway!

Memorial Day weekend marks the second anniversary of Yellow House Knits.  What a fun, crazy ride it's been over the past two years!  To celebrate, I'm giving away a free baby sweater!!  The contest begins today and ends at midnight EDT on May 29.  The winner will be announced on May 30. 

Here's how to play:

Mandatory entry: Visit http://www.yellowhouseknits.com/ or http://www.yellowhouseknits.etsy.com/ to view the current collection of sweaters. Leave a comment below with your favorite sweater.

Additional entries (please leave a comment below for EACH additional entry):
--Follow the Inside the Yellow House Knits blog (three entries).
--Like Yellow House Knits on Facebook--http://www.facebook.com/YellowHouseKnits (three entries).
--Blog/post on Facebook/Tweet about this giveaway (one entry per post/Tweet, add an extra if you post a picture of a YHK sweater).  Please leave the URL of your post in your comment).
--Add one or both Yellow House buttons to your blog (one entry per button). Please leave the URL of your blog in your comment.

THE FINE PRINT: Winner will be randomly selected from all entries. Prize will be awarded in the form of a $60 gift certificate to Yellow House Knits, which may be applied toward any Yellow House Knits sweater, including custom orders, plus free shipping within the United States. Please be aware that any deviations from the current collection, including larger sizes, may result in a higher price. Any amounts above $60 are the responsibility of the winner and are payable on redemption of the gift certificate. Any amounts not used may be held for a subsequent purchase and are not redeemable for cash. All other Yellow House Knits policies apply, including but not limited to policies regarding shipping, turnaround times, custom orders, and returns. Email yellowhouseknits@gmail.com with other questions.

Have fun!  Enter early and often!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

If the Sweater Fits

What size should I order? This is one of the most frequent questions I get, particularly with respect to presents for spring and summer baby showers. The warmer months are not typically thought of as "sweater season" so it's probably not a great idea to order a newborn sweater for a warm weather shower gift (at least not if you want the baby to actually wear the sweater!). But people often want the baby to be able to use their gift as soon as possible so deciding what size to get can be tricky.

A good approach is to think ahead to December, January, and February and determine how old the baby will be then. So, for a May shower, the baby is likely due in June or July, which means that he or she will be about six months in the winter. Ordering a six- to 12-month size will allow baby to wear the sweater as early as October or November (though it may be a bit big) and through those last cool days the following March and April.

Of course I'm always happy to help with any sizing questions.