Come on now. I know last year seemed to fly by, but now we’re already into the second month of the year? I thought last Monday was Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and the weekend before that was New Year’s. Seriously, time seems to be flying way too fast for my liking. I suppose I can say that I’m having fun, and perhaps that’s why it seems we’re on fast-forward. Or is it because each day is now becoming less and less a percentage of my entire life. But that’s math. I don’t want to make snyone’s head hurt here…

So yes, I am having fun, though I don’t feel like I’ve accomplished a whole lot, or that I’ve done very much to speak of. Still, I’ve been planning quite a bit for the year. And knitting. Indeed, I’m knitting like the proverbial maniac. That’s not to say I’m manic about my knitting, or that knitting is a mania of some form. Rather, I’ve just been knitting a lot. And the year of the socks seems to have run its course. In 2010 I knit 32 complete pairs of socks, and I also finished two pairs started by others in Sock Wars. Wow – 64 socks I knit start to finish, and 3.5 more that I knit from someone else’s cast-ons. No, I don’t think I’m going be that prolific with the sock knitting this year.

I’ll still knit socks, don’t get me wrong! I’ve even joined yet another sock knit-along group (Six Sox, knitting six pairs during the year). But I’m branching out to work on other projects, including some biggies. Right now I’m in the midst of an afghan that will be a wedding gift for friends who get married in May. The bride is one of my readers, so that’s all I’ll say on that topic until after the gift is…um, gifted. 😉

I have other gift knits planned this year, too. What’s funny is the resurgence of my knitting hobby began with gift knitting. For Christmas 2008, I decided to knit prayer shawls/scarves for the female guitarists in our church choir. I added the pianist to the group, for a total of four shawls and two scarves (for the teenagers). I also knit a prayer shawl for my mom. All the shawls were knit in Lion Brand Homespun so they’d be easy to maintain for the recipients. While I was researching patterns to decide what to use for the shawl designs, I stumbled upon the Lion Brand blog and the news of a sweater knit-along they were conducting. They offered the selected pattern (Cable Luxe Tunic) for free for a period of time (back before Lion Brand offered all of their patterns for free), and I loved the idea of knitting this cool cabled sweater with help from experts and fellow knitters.

The blog also pointed out that participants could get more info about the knit-along on Ravelry, an on-line community of knitters & crocheters (among others). So I registered to join Ravelry, and then I waited until my registration was accepted (of course, now there’s no waiting for new members). Once I joined, a whole new world of information and friends opened up for me! I knit my first pair of socks in March 2009, based on a book about knitting on two circular needles. It didn’t take long, once I had the resources of Ravelry to tap, for me to learn all about knitting with the Magic Loop method, and to find hundreds…nay, thousands of patterns at my fingertips! And then there were books & magazines. Yes, the whole obsession certainly snowballed when I joined Ravelry.

The other big win for me with joining Ravelry was the Gahanna Knit Knite crew. This wonderful group of women live all around Columbus, all sharing a love of this craft of needles & sticks. I’ve learned so much from them, both online and in-person. And I’ve gotten to socialize with quite a few of them, often times without needles & sticks! A whole group of ladies came to my church’s choirs concert to show their support, and that truly meant the world to me. These ladies are my friends (Facebook confirms this!), and I’m so grateful to have found them.

Back to my knitting plans for the year though…I even have travel plans revolving around knitting. Later this month I’ll be trekking over the Pittsburgh for their Knit & Crochet Festival, and in the middle of the summer I’m looking forward to heading west for Sock Summit 2011, hopefully getting a chance to meet a couple more of my sock designer idols! There will be a number of shawls flying off my needles throughout the year, as I honor the ten women in my church small group. I have a tank top to knit up in the next couple months, and my first pair of fingerless gloves. We’ll see what else my ever-growing supply of yarn wants to become… stay tuned!

Knit on.