And now for a pinch of mutual admiration

The blogging world has lately been abuzz with awards.  I think there are many categories of blogging awards, but the ones I am talking about here are given by bloggers to bloggers. They have a format whereby your blog gets nominated, and then you in turn are supposed to nominate others. They come with a set of rules, which often morph over time, regulating how many blogs you nominate, and sometimes a set of questions you are supposed to answer.   As my daughter Leah put it, “They are chain mail for bloggers!”  Exactly.  Now, I have never been one for chain mail, and if anyone was ever going to wreck the chain on a chain mail letter, it would be me.

However, the purpose behind these awards is to recognize bloggers whose work you admire.  As an opportunity to spread the word about blogs, particularly smaller or newer blogs, this is a method that works well. This week, I have been nominated for not one, but three, of these awards!  It is lovely to have this recognition from my fellow bloggers.  I didn’t know any of the blogs who nominated me, and this has given me a chance to go check them out.   This has been fun.  I send a big thank you to  Yarn tales at Hill Creek who nominated me for a Liebster Award and to  whatzitknitz  and The secret life of a crafter, both of whom nominated me for a Super Sweet Blogger Award.

I cannot help but ponder that if everyone who receives one of these awards in turn nominates another 11, or 13, or x-many blogs, in very short order every blogger on the planet will have a bucketload of them (I am surrounded by statisticians all day).  So, I send my thanks to my readers, including those of my readers who are bloggers themselves; I am pleased that you find my scribblings informative and that you come back here occasionally to see what I am up to.  But I also take these awards with a grain of salt; they are all about spreading the word, and in that sense, all power to them.  I have to admit that I have been so busy writing my blog the last 18 months (and doing the knitting that forms a large basis of it’s content) that I don’t have all that much time to read blogs these days.

Since I am so bad at following directions, I will reciprocate simply by pointing out a few blogs that I like to read.  Here are five blogs that span the range from very popular with big readerships to very small, and cover a range of topics (I present them alphabetically).   If readers are in favor of the idea, I might repeat this exercise occasionally.

1.  Advanced style.  When I wrote a post recently about style and ageing, one of my readers (thanks, Lea!) sent me a link to this blog.  Ari Seth Cohen takes photos of stylish and creative older people, many of them impromptu photos he takes of people he spies on the streets.  This blog is fantastic!   Most of the older women (and men) he photographs have more style in their little finger than a whole catwalk full of celebrities have put together.

2. blairistan.  Blair is a great knitter.  She has very similar tastes in sweaters to mine.  I have been really enjoying Blair’s posts this year because she recently moved from the US to England (in fact, she lives very close to me, though we have never met).  And, in a way that reminds me very much of me when I first moved to Europe 20 years ago, she travels as much as she can.  So at the same time as I chart her progress through a pile of gorgeous sweaters, I can watch her model them in charming UK villages, in Paris, in Malta, and all over the continent.  Fun!

3. Brain pickings.  This is a wildly popular blog that is hard to describe.  It is about psychology, culture, art, books, science and design.  I found this through a discussion at work with colleagues (my day job is in the cognitive neuroscience field). This blog is the work of Maria Popova, who calls it a “human-powered discovery engine for interestingness”.  I dare you to read this blog and not come away with ten books you absolutely must read now.

4. Kate Davies designs.  I love Kate’s blog.  I love her designs.  Kate is a scholar, and has a huge wealth of knowledge about the history of knitting, and about social aspects of knitting and other needlework.  Kate doesn’t need me pointing you in her direction; she is one of the big players in the knitting blog community.  The thing I love best about Kate’s blog, however, is how much it makes me want to be in Scotland.  The Scottish Tourist Board should put Kate on salary.  Her photographs and commentary of Scotland are fantastic!

5. Knitted notes.  Ella subtitles this blog “knitting and blogging in Italy in times of economic crisis”.  As you can guess from that description there is a lot more than knitting here.  The first thing I love about this blog is that Ella writes each post in English and Italian.  I love to read blogs in other languages, and I love that Ella takes the time and effort to do this.  She documents her knitting and designing process, complete with beautiful drawings of her designs.  She also writes with passion and humor about politics and feminism.  And to top it all off, each weekend she watches and reviews an old movie.

Well, that’s enough blog chat for now.  It is cold and dark and rainy out, which means it’s a perfect time to knit!

8 thoughts on “And now for a pinch of mutual admiration

  1. Well done, congratulations are in order for being nominated! You are deserving of it!

    It’s always nice to read coherent ramblings, and when they’re studded with gorgeous photos, what’s not to love? (I refer, of course, to your blog).

    And now you’ve got me turned onto Brain Pickings. I don’t know whether to thank you or to curse you LOL.

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