Weekly-ish notes on navigating big change

Month: August 2009

Fighting the Someday Syndrome & Learning to Knit

Today I'm interviewed on the Someday Syndrome, which is a website dedicated to helping you move past the “somedays” we all have. It's a short interview and I talk a bit about the pity party I had for myself before I started selling yarn.

If you've come here from the Someday Syndrome: Welcome!

If you're not a knitter, but you think you might like to someday start, why don't you sign up for my free Maybe-knitter Mini-course?

Maybe-Knitters FREE Mini-Course

You'll get 5 little tips on finding a local knitting group or teacher, the resources that I used to teach myself to knit and an early-bird discount when my Learn to Knit kit goes on sale.

How I came to be a Blonde Chicken

Usually, on Thursdays, I post manifestos, love-letters to the season, but today, my Jay's birthday, I want to post a little manifesto for him.

I'm often asked “What's a Blonde Chicken? Where'd that name come from?“.  It's an adorable little story, so be forewarned: Cuteness lies ahead.

Jay has a huge family. Over 15 aunts and uncles (not counting their spouses, their children and their spouses). Huge. One day they all came to our college campus for a big family thing for Poppa, the family patriarch.

Jay and I had been dating…maybe 2 months? And he wanted me to meet the family.

When it came time to meet Poppa, I leaned down (he was in a wheelchair), gave him a “kiss on the jaw” and moved on. I might have said “Hi, Nice to meet you”. Maybe.

Jay was behind me and Poppa grabbed him and said:

“Don't let go of that blonde chicken!”

As a proper young feminist, I was appropriately disgusted with the nickname.

Jay and Tara

Of course, Jay used it to relentlessly tease me.

Months passed, Poppa passed away and Jay kept calling me his Blonde Chicken.

We fell deeper in love, graduated, got married, got jobs and when I started to think about maybe, sorta opening a business, Jay insisted that I should do it.

When I faultered for a name, Jay offered up “Blonde Chicken”.

When I doubted that I could really, truly put all the parts of a business together, Jay insisted.

When I considered quitting my day job, Jay insisted.

At every step, at every opportunity for me to turn back, Jay's had my back, insisting I could do the Thing.

And for him, it isn't even a big deal. It's just the Thing, Tara's Thing She Needs To Do.

He's just quietly certain I can do it. No big pep rallies (even when I thought I wanted one), no big deal. I can do it. Period.

Today, on his 27th birthday, here, in this space he's helped to create,  I just wanted to acknowledge his insistence, and to thank him for not letting go of this blonde chicken.

(PS. The real tragedy – Jay's red/green colorblind. I work with color all day and he can't even enjoy my current favorite color, an enchantingly juicy Cherry)

Seattle A-Go-Go

Since starting my West Coast Adventure more than 2 weeks ago, I've been wondering how to possibly share it all here, with you. 14 days of travel, work, play and visiting is a lot to sum up but here are some of the highlights of the Seattle leg of my trip.

Urban Craft Uprising was unbelievable. Kim Werker's post on the show gives a great perspective. I met so many customers from Ravelry, from my Adventure Club and from Twitter. I met Jenny Hart, Sister Diane and Tara.

Revival Ink at UCU

I even met a couple that graduated from my alma mater (which is bizarre, since we were in Seattle and Lee is in Tennessee) and were interested in learning to spin.

Shows like this are big and fun and completely exhausting. It's so refreshing to chat with people who get what I'm trying to do and exhilarating to meet new people who want to know more.

But at the end of the day, it was relaxing to go home to my college roomates who were hosting me for the weekend. They showed me around Fremont and Wallingford. I saw Stalin.

Lenin in Fremont

We ate cupcakes at Trophy.

Famous Cupcakes 26:365

I visited Hilltop Yarn and spent over an hour chatting with Jessica (of Rose-Kim Knits) at the Fiber Gallery.

Fiber Gallery

I thought about reviewing all the yarn stores I visited and cupcake/chocolate/ice cream parlors I tasted, but decided I'd rather just tell you that if you're in Seattle, see it all! Experience it all, eat it all, talk to all the supersmart fiber people. It is just an overwhelmingly awesome city filled with amazing people and fabulously cute food.

Summer Manifesto – Glad to Be Home Edition


Each season I make a little list of the pleasures I want to soak in. I call them manifestos, but they’re really just love letters to the season. These seasonal lists are my own little things-to-do-before-the-moment-passes.
I hope to keep listing these, every Thursday, as a reminder to soak it in over the weekend (and as a mid-week cheer-up).

After 2 weeks of endless travel (in order: plane, bus(ses), train(s), car, trolley, truck, plane(s)), I am so grateful to have amazing friends and family to visit and a snuggly family to come home to.

This coming week I want to stick close to home and enjoy all the local treasures:

  • Photographing my new shawl (pictured at the top of the post) and listing it as my first pattern for sale!
  • Local library. I LOVE my library and have a summer reading list a mile long (you can keep up with my book lists on Goodreads)
  • Johnson City Farmer's Market. I list this nearly every week, but I am very much looking forward to berries (for more jam!) and peaches (more pies!).
  • Tomatoes! Our tomatoes are just starting to come off the vine and I know the farmer's market is going to be overrun with them. We're going to try canning sauce for the first time and I am so excited!
  • Preserving summer's harvest. Jam! Sauce! Fresh salsa!

What summery goodness will you be enjoying this weekend?

Week in Numbers

Space Needle

1 week = last 9 days

72 lb suitcase (spinning wheel + yarn + clothes for a 2 week trip)

2 planes (Tri – Cin, Cin – Sea)

1 great afternoon with Eileen (lunch! cupcakes! epiphanies!)

12 hours talking to awesome Seattlers (and some fabulous Vancouver-ites, including my dear Kim Werker).

2 yarn stores in Seattle (Hilltop Yarn, Fiber Gallery)

2 hours spent talking to Jessica of RoseKimKnits

1 lunch with crafty rockstar Sister Diane.

2 moments of oh-my-gosh-I-took-the-wrong bus! in 2 (!) cities

1 night with 4 fabulous businesses-women at Cairene's.

2 yarn stores in Portland (Knit/Purl, Close Knit)

1 missed flight (my husband)

1 missed train

54 minutes on the phone with Delta to get the missing luggage sent to our hotel.

1 extra night in Portland

37 hours on a train (Seattle to Portland, Portland to LA, LA to Oceanside)

$40 for some snacks on the train (Jay says, “train-way robbery”. Heh.)

1 yarn store in Southern California (so far!): Clever Knits

2 nights of from-the-garden tomato sauce

7-ish days of being completely unplugged; from internet, from Twitter, even from TV

2 1/2 books read (Not Buying It, Made to Stick, Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society)

2 more days in Oceanside left

10 more hours of plane travel until I'm home to my puppy.

How was your week?