My latest favorite art/craft inspiration reads

Here is a little gratitude for some of the people who inspire me to continue making things from fiber. These are the online places I visit the most outside of social media to find inspiration and feed my fiber habit. I know you all have more suggestions, so leave them in the comments below! 

For those of you who live in the USA, Happy Thanksgiving. 

Yarn Harlot

I have been reading Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's blog longer than anything on the internet. I love her honesty, the way she makes me laugh, the peeks into her life and the realization that being middle-aged is not a horrible thing (she is just a tad older than me). If she can call herself a middle-aged knitter, I can too. And perhaps most importantly, she is a writer. Sure she is an amazing craftswoman, teacher, and lecturer, but she is probably a writer first. I'd love to ask her if she thinks of herself that way. Reading her blog is a lot of fun. (If you like it, she has written a whole pile of books also.) You don't have to be a knitter to enjoy her work. Get ready to laugh.

A Field Guide to Needlework

Sarah Swett is one of my tapestry heroes. She also makes me laugh (sensing a theme here). On her blog she talks about her thoughts and her creative process. She makes amazing tapestries and a whole host of other fantastic things out of fiber. Sarah has a way of reminding you that making things is fun and experimenting is fine. She posts on Tuesdays. Oh, and she is quite the master of tapestry and she uses all handspun, hand-dyed fiber... made by her of course. But she doesn't make that seem overwhelming. She makes you want to try it yourself.

Those are the two blogs that I never miss. But there are many other sites out there that are worth some time. One of the best is, the other is ATA.


Joe and Sam Pitcher are the people behind this site. They have a nice newsletter which summarizes what is new and gives links to new content. Poking around their site I just found THIS article about why sketchbooks are so great for textile art production (the work of Lynne Butt). This site is a major rabbit hole--so dive in Alice.

American Tapestry Alliance

I would be remiss if I didn't mention this site. ATA has a robust website with extensive educational articles as well as online shows. Tapestry Topics is their quarterly online magazine and old issues are free on the website. (Become a member to get the latest from them--it doesn't cost much!) Don't miss the artist pages--you may find a new artist that inspires you. Consider starting your own artist page!

Magazines I love lately:

Wild Fibers

I haven't bought an issue of Wild Fibers for years. But I was at my LYS (thank you Shuttles, Spindles, and Skeins!) recently and the last issue was sitting right in my line of sight. After picking it up I couldn't put it back down. This magazine is gorgeous. The stories are deep and the photography is excellent. Stories about fiber and making with fiber range all over the globe. Linda Cortright is the woman behind this magazine. I saw the movie Shepherdess of the Glaciers at the recent Clothroads film festival in Loveland, CO and heard more about the project to produce cashmere that Linda has worked on. That she can be part of projects like the Pangong Craft Center and still produce this gorgeous magazine is incredible. Feeling like I can experience a bit of fiber all over the world in so many different cultures is eye-opening and inspiring. Get a copy. I think we can change the world through this kind of outreach.

American Craft Council

I love what the ACC does. I love that reading their magazine makes me think about how craft works in my life and inspires me by all the incredible craftspeople they feature. I love how their organization makes me think about art and craft both academically and in a very tactile way. I went to the ACC conference in 2016 in Omaha and hope the next one is just as good.

Fiber Art Now

I do love this publication. It reminds me a little of the Textile Artist site but in print. Lovely photos, interviews with artists, reviews of fiber shows, and a real commitment to furthering fiber as an art form. They also have a lot of online presence on social media and sponsor both online and in-person exhibitions of fiber art.

And if you like to listen to audio while you weave or work, try these:

NPR's Invisibilia. This podcast is all about the things we don't see. Fuel for any artist's imagination.

NPR's S-Town. This is a serialized story and it is riveting.  I listened to the whole thing while a resident artist at Hambidge last April. The link will take you there or search for it wherever you get your podcasts. It is about a reporter who is investigating a story about a man named John who contacted him with this line: "John B McLemore lives in Shittown Alabama." John wanted the reporter to investigate a murder. Someone does die, but maybe not the person you think!

There are other people's media that I follow consistently. There are business-related things like Marie Forleo's Marie TV, Amy Porterfield's podcast and more fiber-related things like the Woolful podcast. I loved Syne Mitchell's podcast, Weavecast, when it was running and you can find those online though she doesn't make new ones anymore.

What blogs or websites do you love? They could be fiber-related but maybe they just offer support for your life. Leave them in the comments below so we can all expore them!

Sarah Swett, Casting Off (detail), tapestry