December 1st is a holiday with multiple meanings in my life.... the one that has been the longest-running is the fact that it is my sweet husband's birthday. This year marks his 52nd on the planet. He was the recipient of another of the fabulous cabled toques, this time in Ironstone "New Wool" yarn that was a thank you gift from Jenny Gaus, who won my sock kit contest at the end of June.
The smiling birthday boy, in his new hat.
This photo highlights the detail of the beautiful Ironstone "New Wool" yarn ... the colorway doesn't have a name but deserves to be called "Beautiful Mountain Stream", in my opinion.
Glenn's son Rex and girlfriend Scarlett took us to dinner last night to celebrate this momentous occasion; they continued partying long after I went to bed, and he had a great birthday.
World AIDS Day
The other special day marked each year on December 1st is World AIDS Day. About nine years ago, while serving as the advisor of the Downieville High Teen AIDS Task Force, I purchased an Until There's A Cure bracelet that I have worn all the time since... as you know, there still is NO cure for AIDS, and an immense problem still exists. Those who contract HIV in North America live longer than two decades ago, when the first people were dying here, but those in Africa, where the disease is most rampant, aren't. The epidemic has touched my life in many ways over the years, from losing friends, to helping a student who lost her uncle and brought a portion of the AIDS Memorial Quilt to our area, to visiting the AIDS Memorial Garden in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. I don't have any magic insight as to when we will get a handle on this enormous crisis, but spend a few moments each year making a special point to meditate for those lost to it.
Lastly, December 1st this year means that the Knit Unto Others KAL is over... the site will remain up all winter providing sources and links to help us continue to knit for others whose situations are less fortunate than our own (to get there click on the button above). Although there is still a month left of 2005, and it's really too early to write a year-end reflection, I can say that to me it seems there have been far more huge tragic events this year than in others I remember. That said, there is also still lots and lots of unfilled, everyday human need for food, shelter, warmth and love. That is why I put the Rad Bad Beanies button to the side. This loosely constructed organization is collecting hand made hats for Big City Mountaineers, a non-profit whose mission is to help urban youth build self-confidence through outdoor experience.
Those of you who have known me any length of time are aware that I held a similar job, working with rural youth, for eight years, taking them hiking, backpacking, kayaking and climbing in summer and snowboarding in winter, so this is a mission close to my heart, and one that I can testify has true life-changing value to these youth. I have decided to continue to make hats over the course of the winter to send to the Beanies in spring, for the trips planning next season. I am also going to make up several more childrens scarves to send off to the Chinese children who benefited from my knitting during the KAL... and somewhere in there, I plan to make this sweater for myself! Stay tuned for my review of Interweave's Knitscene, which features this design and several others, on Monday.
Have a great weekend.