I think every knitter has something that inspires them. With many, it is tradition, the idea that you are connecting with millions of other knitters in other culture and in the past. With some it is color or texture. With some it is downright usefulness.
I love conceptual knitting. What I mean by that is, I love knitting that is more than just "hmm, this stitch looks pretty!" I like stuff that has names before it ever exists. I love Pink Lemon Twist patterns for this reason - she thinks about her patterns and they actually mean something. Swan Lake is a perfect example. Not only the big details, like the wing, but the small things as well, such as the field of cat's paw stitches that represent the pas de chat ballet step. I love that.
I've posted about this before, mostly about how being concept-driven has gotten me into trouble because I ended up knitting totally unattractive socks because the idea got into me (remember the Van Goph socks?). I'll buy anything if you give it a nifty name and a plausible explanation. I love the idea behind the Moonlight Sonata shawl, which I'm absolutely determined to get back to once I get all the scarves and such under control (seriously, what is it with me and the scarves lately?), but I've discovered something in the process - I don't really like repetitive patterns. I like the stitch motifs to change after a while. I'm not patient enough to do the same thing over and over and over again if that same thing is actually work to accomplish. I apparently don't mind knitting 1x1 ribs until my hands fall off because I can watch tv or put on a book or whatever, but if I actually have to pay attention then the repetition quickly becomes tedius.
Anyway. Not the point.
The point is I am totally, totally excited about the book concept Annie Modesitt is working on, which she's currently calling History on Two Needles. See the posts here. Annie is looking at historical sculptures, paintings, etc, and reinterpreting the garments involved into knitted items. That is SO COOL. I can't wait. I only hope the patterns will be wearable as well as interesting and beautiful - sometimes function gets lost in a concept, but I'm really looking forward to seeing how the book comes out.