I’m always happy when I have the opportunity to browse through Blogland. I forget what a great boon this community has been to me, and it’s jarring when I “come home” and realize that all of the nieces and nephews are all a little older, the tree in the back yard is just a little bigger, and the lines are slowly starting to deepen on the cousins’ faces… the ones who are younger than me. *shudder*

I know that Blogland has grown. I hear about it on the news and in papers, it’s evident when political pundits worry that their candidate has some detractor in Yazoo City, Mississippi that’s creating a fuss on the national level, and it becomes very clear when I update my own rather puny blog. But the reality of it hadn’t hit me until this morning when I started updating my ring status and browsing through who all (yes, that’s a Southernism) of my dear bloggin’ buddies are still out there. The rings are huge… almost to the point of irrelevance. I could spend all day every day reading all of the wonderful, interesting posts and never get through them all, and I’m only reading knit-content blogs. And there’s no way that I can actually make my way around an entire ring—any of them.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s wonderful to know that so many people are connecting. When Rob and I started ThreadBear, one of the primary issues that we wanted to address was the idea of building a knitting community online. Now, who’s feeling irrelevant? I’d say the job is fait accompli. The vastness of the online knitting community is simply staggering, and I’m so glad to still be here… to still be a part of it.

I’ve had my head down and have been plugging through for so long that I honestly didn’t see what was growing up around us. ThreadBear has been a great success, but it has been so at the expense of almost all of both Rob’s and my time for the last several years. He’s made a point of staying constantly in touch with what is going on online; I’ve let him call my attention to the things that he thought required my attention. But it’s definitely not the same as being here. I feel like Rip Van Winkle rubbing my eyes and scratching my suddenly-too-long beard.

And the people! I can only begin to touch on how wonderful everything I’m seeing is, but I do want to make two quick comments. I’m so incredibly happy that some of our old friends are still around. I stopped by Purls before Swine earlier this morning and was, as always, struck by Marcia’s ability to pull life’s essence into a daily commentary that can make you howl with laughter or bawl from the gut. Good deal, sister. Keep truckin’. And I’ve been delighted to find some folks that I really hadn’t paid much attention to before. Crazy Aunt Purl‘s author got me dead to rights a few days ago (Feb. 3) with her cathartic post on weight loss, shame, self-image, and grace in the face of unintentional cruelty that we, as a culture, seem to heap on the backs of our friends, loved ones, and even occasional associates who have gone to the staggering effort of reshaping their lives and bodies to become healthier. Frankly, I’m fat as… well, I’m really freakin’ fat, and I am constantly looking at other people’s bodies to encourage them on their journeys toward better health, but I also know exactly where Laurie is coming from. Color me chastised.

I suppose the point of this is simply that I’m, as ever, glad to be among this energetic, creative, and spectacularly talented group of people. And I’ve never been so excited about making the time to be a part of it.

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