Wow! An unexpected surprise and paying it forward

Even though I've been a little lax on the blogging front lately, I do keep up with it via email when I'm away from my desk. Imagine my delight last Thursday when I was emailed a comment from the lovely Linda at From the Purlside

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Linda had nominated me for a WordPress Family Award for being part of her blog family. Apparently this means blogs that she stalks, er, visits regularly. Linda also said that for her nominees to participate there are just 5 rules:

1. Display the award logo on your blog.
2. Link back to the person who nominated you.
3. Nominate 10 others you see as having an impact on your WordPress experience and family.
4. Let your 10 Family members know you have awarded them.
5. That's it. Just please pick 10 people who have taken you as a friend, and spread the love.

I feel the need to fully disclose that I don't actually use WordPress as a platform for this blog, but I love the idea of having a Blog Family. Certainly, there are those blogs that I visit more than others. I liken my visits to checking in with friends regularly (even if I don't know some of the bloggers personally, or all that well) and always enjoy seeing what everyone is up to.

So without further ado, and in no particular order, here are my nominations for WordPress Family Awards: 

1. Porpoise Knits
It will come as no surprise to my readers that my bestie Rachel's blog is one that I frequent all. the. time.  She's a triple threat in the knitting world - knitter extraordinaire, designer, and spinner and I'm constantly inspired by and amazed by the stuff that she does. Just trying to keep up with her forces me out of my comfort zone! I've already told her that I've become a much better spinner just by virtue of hanging out with her (and getting to practice more as a result!).

2. chopkins
3. Sel & Poivre
Catherine and Marie's blogs are both knitting blogs that I enjoy reading regularly. They are thoughtful, well-written and usually have excellent pictures of their works-in-progress. I feel like I get to know them both a little more each time I read their blog and I'm always happy to learn something new. And with Marie's blog, I get to keep tabs on some of the Toronto knit-scene goings on as well!

4. Knitted Bliss
Julie is another blogger from Toronto that I love keeping tabs on. My favourite feature are her Modification Mondays that show off people's projects from Ravelry and how they've modified them to make them a better fit, or something completely different from the original design. I also really admire how Julie still finds time to blog, even when it's short and sweet, with her hands full with her new baby Lila (who is delicious - check out the pics on the blog!).

5. A Jar of Marmalade
Another Toronto blogger I check in on is Austen, although she doesn't blog nearly enough for my taste! A writer and journalist, Austen used to write the craft blog at Canadian Living magazine. I'm so happy she has her own blog now, which allows her to blog about the cool things she gets up to (like going to Squam! lucky!) - and she often posts step-by-step pictures of  what she's working on, which is a lot of fun as it's not always knitting. In fact, I'd say Austen's blog is probably responsible for my sewing machine being dragged out and seeing the light of day.

6. The Daily Stitch
Also encouraging me to do some more sewing is the blog for London's The Village Haberdashery. A mix of tutorials, inspiration and tempting sneak-peeks of what new fabrics and yarns are coming into the shop, the blog is friendly and down-to-earth. I like that it's accessible - in that I feel like I can actually do some of the projects that are shown! One of these days I'll manage to make it out to a class...

7. Wise Hilda Knits
8. Knitting to Stay Sane
Two more Toronto bloggers I love to catch up with are Kate Atherley and Glenna C (aka Crazy Knitting Lady). They're both excellent knitting teachers, and designers, and I've been lucky to learn from both during my time in T.O. The great thing about their blogs though, is that they continue to share tips and insights about knitting and designing that mean I get to continue learning with them.

9. Whodunnknit
This fun and kooky little blog is best enjoyed in small doses - otherwise the sheer magnitude of EVERYTHING that the irrepressible Deadly Knitshade gets up to would be completely overwhelming. And it often is anyway! From yarnstorming, yarnbombing, graffiti knitting, writing patterns and books, contributing to various crafty charitable endeavours, and running the city's knit-erati website, Stitch London, there doesn't seem to be anything that this London-based knitter doesn't get up to. Quite frankly, I would want to be just like Lauren when I grow up, if I wasn't certain that I would be too tired to knit!

10. Yarn Harlot
Another of my constant check-ins with Canada is Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's blog about knitting. And while I think most knitters who know about Steph read her blog to see how her knitting is going, I also think most continue to follow her because of how eloquently she shares the rest of her life with her readers as well. Witty and sometimes bust-a-gut-and-snort-coffee-over-your-keyboard funny, the Yarn Harlot is also touching and poignant and strikes an enviable balance with how generous and thoughtful her posts are.

This was a fun experience for me to reflect on just why my favourites are my faves. Thank you Linda for the nomination! And to my nominees, I hope you don't feel obligated - I only wanted to pay forward the good vibes and share you with the rest of my little knitting blog circle. If you do decide to participate, I look forward to learning about more fabulous blogs to follow!