Thursday, December 27, 2012

Top Five of 2012: Inspiration

Inspiration is one of the best words in the English language. Whether it refers to a creative well-spring or the ability to breathe (isn't that kind of the same thing?), it's all good. Having said this, I feel uneasy listing off my inspirational blogs and bloggers because I don't want to leave anyone out and, trust me, the inspiration is omnipresent! (I read 175 blogs a day, peeps.)

I link to great posts and bloggers all the time, and I've heard back from many of you over the years that those links are eye-opening. In this post, I thought I'd focus on blogs that provide great technical information (note: Gail, I had this lined up before you did your post, I swear. Not stealing your angle! :-))
  • Apropos of Gail, her blog, Today's Agenda, is a fantastic knitting resource. In 2012, she hosted a knit along for beginners and demystified the very popular Miette Sweater. It's an awesome blog series you can still access, wherein you'll learn as much about how to accomplish good fit as technique. Gail (who looks like she's 30), has apparently been knitting for 40 years so she knows her shit. It's also very approachable and the garments shown (knitted and sewn) are so lovely and beautifully rendered.
  • Sewaholic Patterns - a blog that turned into a store and then a repository for some fantastic technical information - is a place I visit often when I'm trying to get a grip on finishing my garments with professional aplomb. If you aren't already a regular visitor, you should be.
  • TECHknitting, a blog I'm reasonably new to, explains the most complicated knitting concepts - concepts I didn't even realize were concepts - so thoroughly and clearly it's creepy. It's VERY useful when you've got some tricky thing you've got to fix and you have no idea of where else to turn.
  • I've often said that, if I had to be stuck in a website forever, I'd choose Ravelry. Man, there's so much going on there that I'd never be bored. Buy yarn and patterns or read reviews of them, Join fora and chat groups on any number of knitting- or non-knitting-related topics. Contact a member (maybe even the designer of a pattern you just bought) and get valuable feedback about some element of knitting that's confusing you. Look at the tremendous creative efforts of others. Make friends with them. Email. Sell yarn from your stash or buy someone else's. OMG - I haven't even scratched the surface.
  • Finally (for the purposes of this list), I'm going to mention a blog I've been reading for a LONG while and which fills me with technical inspiration but which has nothing to do with sewing or knitting. Joe Pastry helps me to develop and connect on the basis of my first craft-love: baking. Furthermore, it does so from a very scientific perspective, one which enables me to cross-apply principles frequently, to achieve better outcomes than I ever would have otherwise. He even posted an amazing streusel coffee cake recipe with me in mind. Gotta love that! Trust me, it's awesome.
Something I do find interesting is that, were I to write this post last year, I would have included a number of blogs that aren't actually active anymore. I think this bears mention because, in truth, the world of writing for the benefit of others (in addition to the joy one attains from it and the ability to diarize one's craft and life experiences) is capricious.

I'd like to take a moment to say thank you to so many wonderful bloggers (past and present) who, in their attitudes and by their content and expressiveness have truly enriched (and sometimes even changed) my life. If you're wondering whether you fall into that category, I'm pretty sure you do. So I raise my (now wine-filled once more) glass to you all to say: May you all receive as much joy and inspiration in your daily lives as I have gained from you. Ladies and gents, you kick some serious ass.


  1. YOU kick some serious ass! I look forward to another year of reading your blog. :)

  2. Thanks for these introductions -- and thank you for the inspiration you provide in your enthusiasm for learning and your willingness to anatomize and articulate so clearly. And for doing it with style and ever-so-engaging energy.

    1. You are so kind, F! And I will forever be in your debt for your knitting expertise and willingness to be there for me. xo

  3. So much to say! (Of course!)

    1. Awwww . . . thank you so much for those lovely compliments!

    2. Check is in the mail re: looking 30 ;-)

    3. Get out of my head!! I was planning a VERY similar post for the Inspiration assignment - I just can't stand to leave anyone out!

    4. I'm raising my glass to you too - but mine has bourbon in it :-)

    Here's to a great 2012 and an even better 2013!

    1. 1. De rien. They are well-deserved.

      2. I hope it's for a decent sum of money. I've been kind of off the rails lately :-)

      3. It's ok! We can both do it. It will make us seem very planned.

      4. Bourbon is good. I don't have any on hand and ain't no way I'm going out anytime soon, but we can cross-toast with many delicious beverages. xo

  4. Kristen,

    Your blog is like an on-going sewing/knitting Phd program!

    I know I don't always have time to read/comment but I often skim because I know we'll need to review many of your posts in the future. For example, Martin has read/channeled many of your posts. You might not realize it but you've taught him shit! And it's reflected in the workmanship.

    Why oh why don't guys want to communicate? He should be the one telling you this. But the knowledge he picks up goes directly to his hands, working silently.

    Please know you're there in the technique, and the creations!

    1. Susan: Something tells me that a lot of fashion design grads would have something to say about that - but I thank you for that awesome compliment!

      And Martin's vests are gorgeous - if any of my musings have assisted him, I am thrilled to hear it.

      I hope you'll be back to more crafting in 2013. I know 2012 has been a very busy year for you in other areas. xo

  5. Hurrah for a wine filled glass.
    I'm hoping 2013 is more healthful for you and look forward to continuing to be inspired by your wonderful creations and pithy writing.

    1. Good health in 2013 would be an excellent thing! And I look forward to reading more about your adventures and great new garments - not to mention those gorgeous kiddies.

  6. Gosh, picking 5 is hard. I agree that Tasia has lots of great information on her blog.
    I am looking forward to seeing what comes next year from your blog.

    1. Ha! Me too, Sera. I'm about to do the goals post and I wonder about what's in the next few months. Here's hoping we both have lots to say.