Today the sister blog, chicklet to A Little Red Hen, debuts. Its life began as a zine, small paper giveaway announcing what was coming online in Knit A Condom Amulet. (Reaons for invented word "blogzine" on the new site.)
There are seven (7) free patterns for Condom Amulets by five (5) knitters you may know--Lisa Daehlin, Michelle Edwards, Amanda Gale, Kay Gardiner and me.
Why? We need new ways to start conversations about Safe Sex. I wear a Condom Amulet to fiber festivals, meetings, and parties. "That's pretty!" a woman comments as she peers to look closer. "It's an amulet...a condom amulet," my reply, and another chance to explain. Yes, I began knitting them when I learned about the crisis in HIV for women over 50. The 50-plus women are always surprised, ask questions.
Becoming HIV-positive was Jane Fowler's wake-up call. Hearing her in 2005 sparked my idea for the Condom Amulet Project. Jane, whose diagnosis led to an active life as poster-woman on the issue, points out in an LA Times article this week reports that when she first knew something was wrong, her doctor
... dismissed her questions about getting tested for HIV as unnecessary for someone her age... early symptoms were [only]routine ailments of aging.
Once we accept that sexual experiences occur at all ages, the need for universal Safe Sex awareness is obvious. Someone you know would appreciate a handknit or crocheted Condom Amulet. Designs-- 6 in yarn, one in wire--
The ManThong Condom Amulet
Ballband Key Chain Condom Amulet
Bra and Breast Pouch Condom Amulets
100% Corn Silk from Iowa Condom Amulet
Knit Wire Bracelet (pictured above) Condom Amulet
The Princetonian Condom Amulet, from the college series
The new blogzine invites your Condom Amulet creations. Write about it at your own site-- details HERE. Without knowing about the new site, Samantha at the blog, Kith and Kin, started making them, even has a category for "condom amulets."
December One is WORLD AIDS DAY. The global AIDS numbers are lower than had been thought, and yet, in the words of a New York Times editorial, "...stabilizing at an unacceptably high level." The U.S. needs to do far more, to shift away providing major funding to abstinence-only programs. WomensEnews on positions of presidental candidates is revealing.
What's happening with sex education in your community? At subway stations this week, front page of the free paper, am New York, asked "How Young Is Too Young?" Inside, an article on a campaign by local students to convince the NYC City Council to make sex ed mandatory in all public middle and high schools.
Many thanks to my knitting friends for their patience, to Annette Segars who loaned her glamorous hand to model the Knit Wire Bracelet, to Suzi @RGENerationX, and always to ACT UP, longtime model for consciousness-raising through direct action.