One of the wonderful results of being a knitter with an internet connection is the online knitting community. I've come in contact with many fabulous people, discovered new sources of yarn and equipment and learned lots of new things about knitting, fiber, and life in general. It's great!
Ravelry in particular has been a real eye-opener. I'm not a people-person by nature (in fact given the opportunity I'd never talk to another stranger face-to-face again!), but suddenly I am confronted by 'my' kind of people. Uber-geeks who think that knitting messages in binary code is just the coolest thing ever. Other 20-somethings who are trying to live simply in a chaotic world. Gamers. Cooks. Wannabe gardeners who live in inner-city apartments. Librarians who think that cataloguing their own books is a fun Saturday activity. Everything with which I identity, that makes me who I am, is shared by other knitters.
Finding so many interesting people has encouraged me to investigate other groups besides those dedicated to socks, books and geekery. To that end, I've recently joined a couple of swap groups. Both run on the karma principle of swapping - one person offers something (earning a nice point), someone claims it and offers something new, which is then claimed by someone else. And so on, until someone ends an offer chain by using a nice point. I've claimed a book and sent off some cotton yarn that I bought back before I knew what I was doing. And I've joined a Christmas exchange! You know for whom you're buying, but don't know who's buying for you. This swap is a knitting one, so it's supposed to include yarn. And I've just joined a second one, which is general nice-ness for Christmas rather than knitting-specific. Both of them have a spend budget, which is even better for those of us with limited resources. So over the next few weeks I shall be making things and raiding shops for interesting things to send my swap partners!