Friday, July 29, 2011

EtsyBABY Customer Appreciation Sale

The July and August special offers will coincide with EtsyBABY's summer customer appreciate sale.  Check out the EtsyBABY Facebook site to see all of the good deals and offers.  Yellow House Knits is offering 20% off your entire purchase.  Use the code SUMMER2011.  The offer ends August 5, 2011.  

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Collection for Everyone

On January 1, 2010, Lisa Congdon started a year-long project to post a photograph every day of one of her own collections (real or imagined).  She posted them on a blog, appropriately titled A Collection A Day, 2010, which was apparently phenomenally popular at the time, though I confess that I didn't hear about it until after the fact, which was my loss because I would have loved to check in everyday to see the latest collection.  The 365 photographs are now a book--sort of a collection of collections.  Find out more here

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Owney Forever

I'm charmed by the story of Owney, the mascot of the postal system in the 19th century.  As the story goes, Owney was a mutt who found a home of sorts in the post office in Albany, New York, in 1888.  He soon began to travel with mail bags on mail wagons and trains, making his way across the state and even to Asia and Europe.

Mail clerks on the trains considered Owney a good luck charm because no train Owney rode was ever in a crash.  The clerks marked has travels by placing medals on his collar, one for each stop.  Eventually, the tags got too heavy, so Owney got his own harness for all of the tags, which jingled when he walked. When Owney died in 1897, mail clerks raised money to have his body preserved (which I find a little less charming!), and he's been on display at the Smithsonian ever since.

Owney is now featured on a Forever stamp, which is scheduled to be released today.  I think the stamp is so sweet, I might just send myself a letter!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Tracking Guinness

I admit to being a bit obsessed with the animal tracker on the National Aquarium's website.  Consider the story of Guinness, a young gray seal who was found stranded on a North Carolina beach in March.  He was taken to the National Aquarium in Baltimore and found to have a broken jaw and to be underweight and severely dehydrated. 

Guinness was nursed back to health at the aquarium, where he gained 110 pounds.  He was released back to the Atlantic on June 24.  But before they let Guinness go, they affixed a satellite transmitter to his back.  The transmitter will eventually fall off when he molts, but in the meantime we can track Guinness's movements online on the aquarium's website.  As of the last update, he was swimming around near Maine, which means he has traveled nearly 600 miles.  I find that to be truly astonishing.  Happy travels Guinness!  Be safe out there!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Color Inspiration: Pool Party

I find inspiration for the colors in my sweaters in so many places.  Whenever something strikes me visually, I find myelf trying to find a sweater in it.  I'm in love with color, so I thought I would start a new series based on my thought process. 

This pool party by A Blissful Nest looks like it was just gorgeous.  And the colors are so peaceful and dreamy and summery.  Oh the possibilities . . .

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Ideal Bookshelf

I think these paintings by Jane Mount are fascinating.  Kind of like portraits of people's souls.  Jane paints people's ideal bookshelves---their favorite books, books that inspired them, that changed their lives, books that made them think. 
I've been trying hard to think of what would be on my ideal bookshelf.  It's actually a really hard exercise.  There are so many books that have meant a lot to me over the years.  To boil it down to just a handful is no small task.  Here are some I couldn't leave off the list: 
--Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery 
--Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
--The Secret in the Old Attic by Carolyn Keene
--Style: Lessons in Clarity and Grace by Joseph M. Williams
--East of Eden by John Steinbeck
--The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook by Ina Garten
--The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner
--"B" is for Betsy by Carolyn Haywood
--Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
What would be on your list?

Find the whole collection and ordering information on The Ideal Bookshelf website.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Seeing Triplets

This weekend, I finished up these little sweaters for triplet boys who just turned 1.  They were such fun to make, and I'm really pleased with how they turned out.  What a special, thoughtful gift.  I know the boys will look just darling in them!

These sweaters are a good example of how to tweak an existing Yellow House Knits design to make a custom design.  Clients who want a custom sweater are often unsure about how or where to start, and they don't trust their style instincts.  Beginning with an existing design and changing it up can be a good way to put your own stamp on a sweater.  If you look closely, you might see that these sweaters started from the Harrison Street sweater.  We changed the colors, added the coordinating sleeves, swapped out the buttons, and . . . presto chango . . . three darling custom sweaters perfect for triplets!

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Gift of YHK

Can't decide between a pink or a yellow sweater?  A cardigan or a pullover?  Size 12 or 24 months?  Give the gift of a Yellow House Knits gift certificate instead, and let the recipient (or the recipient's mom or dad) make all of the hard choices.

We can send the gift certificate to you to wrap up and present in person or to the recipient directly.  Gift certificates are available in any amount, can be applied toward any Yellow House Knits sweater, including custom orders, and can be combined with other discounts and offers.  Email with questions about gift certificates or to redeem the gift certificate. 

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Etsy Front Page Challenge

Yellow House Knits has been on Etsy for almost two years now and has never been on the front page.  Not once.  Rather than letting myself be bitter about it, I'm issuing a challenge.

As you may know, the items on the front page are chosen from Etsy treasuries, which are collections of items chosen by Etsy members.  The items often have a theme or unifying thread--color, use, texture, etc.  I've posted treasuries featuring Yellow House Knits sweaters in the past (click on the "Treasury Department" tag below to see lots of examples).

So here's the challenge:  Create a treasury (or, better yet, multiple treasuries) featuring a Yellow House Knits sweater.  If you're new to Etsy or to treasury making, you can find some tips here.  If your treasury makes it to the front page with the YHK item included, you win a $65 gift certificate to Yellow House Knits, which you can redeem for a free sweater.  Just send me an email ( claiming your prize.  It's that easy.  Good luck!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Heaven in Two Bites

Two years ago, NPR rather boldly declared that macarons were the next cupcakes.  Since then, I haven't seen any signs that America's love affair with cupcakes is waning.  That's a-ok with me because I love a good cupcake--particularly when the ratio of frosting to cake is sky high.  That said, I was happy to hear about the arrival of macarons on the desert scene, though I didn't have a whole lot of options to develop a love affair with these little confections.

That all changed when The Sweet Lobby arrived on Capitol Hill.  Tucked into a tiny space between Dunkin' Donuts and my go-to place for Thai take-out, The Sweet Lobby offers the most divine macarons.  They are the perfect combination of crunchy, chewy, creamy, and gooey--and, in the case of the hazelnut-praline salted caramel macarons, salty and sweet.  In a word, they are "amazing" (though it would be more accurate to take two words and call them "absolutely amazing").  I have a hard time trying to decide between all of the flavors (raspberry, chocolate, pistachio, lemon--I'll take one of each please!) and the rainbow of colors.  They come beautifully package in a pretty little box so I've been justifying my repeat purchases as gifts to myself.  Since The Sweet Lobby opened, I've been OBSESSED with this place and these little bites of heaven.  If you're in the neighborhood, go now!  And get a box for me!

(Photos courtesy of The Sweet Lobby.)

Friday, July 1, 2011

Color Me Beautiful

 When I was a kid, I loved coloring.  My art skills were questionable, but I still loved the freedom to create and I loved the vibrant colors in my Crayola box.  I remember marveling over all of those perfect crayons, in a rainbow of 64 colors, all lined up in a new box, and I confess that using the first crayon of the box for the first time required a bit of willpower to destroy that beautiful perfection.  But after that, it was a colorful world. 

Apparently other (bona fide) artists are also fascinated with crayons.  These carved crayons are the work of Pete Goldlust.  I'm not sure how well they'd hold up during the creative process, but they sure are amazing to look at. 

And check out this crayon sculpture by Herb Williams, which is one of a whole 3D series in which he uses only crayons.  (There's even one of a Crayola box!)  Apparently he has an account with Crayola, who sends him cases of 3000 crayons in a single color.