I'm always inspired by yarn - I'm seriously addicted, and looking through oddment bins or auctioned scraps is like porn for me. It's not the quantity or the quality, but the diversity of colour and texture that gets me going: I love random bits of bright colour and knobbly boucle, speckled tweeds and fluffy mohair. I get excited by colour, and heaps of it: the more haphazard the better (strange for a person who has a reputation for wearing black all the time!) I also find that the more crochet I do, the more motivated I am to try new things: my head is constantly buzzing with new ideas and my hands have to work hard to try and keep up!
I also get enthused by what I see other artists and craftspeople coming up with. I love paging through the getcrafty.com blogs where people post photos of their recent crafty successes, and I also love seeing how some artists are pushing the boundaries of sculpture and creating amazing theoretically-based pieces. Two artists working in crochet who make me go "oooooh!" are Louise Weaver from Australia, and New Zealand Cook Islander Ani O'Neill. Louise crochets tight skins out of lurex and synthetic yarn for taxidermy models of native animals, and plays with ideas of identity and indigineity as well as creating amazingly groovy little creatures, and Ani draws on Pasifika traditions of handcrafting to make brightly coloured wall pieces in yarn. She also sets up wonderful interactive crochet installations, where visitors create the artwork and take it home with them, emphasizing the community-based nature of this type of craft.
Finally finished! I think I started this over a year ago and I've been working on it on and off - the sleeves took the longest. This was a bit of an experiment and I don't know whether I'm game to wear it out in public, but I'm pleased with the result. That's my wee kitty Calliope curled up in the top of the picture and you can just make out the striped hindquarters of our other tabby Tintin in the bottom right corner.