i've been playing for about a year and a half and i think its time for a little shredation!!! does anyone have any suggestions on how to increase my knowledge of theory (none whatsoever) and some excersises to increase speed? thanks
Check out justinguitar for theory, along with musictheory.net .

For a decently easy shred song, you should be able to do scarified by Paul Gilbert after ALOT of practice.
look at demon driver or appregios from hell by yngwie. obviously don't try to play them full speed but they have a wide range of different sweeping patterns and harmonic minor scales that you can use.
Get the Metal Method platinum DVD package and you’ll have years worth of shred instruction to keep you busy.
As for theory, I would suggest some intro Music lessons. There is no better way to learn theory. As for speed, I suggest trying something slow and buying a metronome. Then, slowly speed up the metronome.