Plain Jane Knits Up A Storm

A few musings about my needlecraft hobbies - knitting, crocheting, quilting, & cross-stitch along with my other love, genealogy. While growing up, I used to HATE the term "Plain Jane", but when it comes to knitting & crocheting, I've realized that I really *am* a Plain Jane in that I don't use fancy yarns.

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Location: Northern Detroit Metro area, Michigan, United States

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

CPSIA - A Rant About A Good Idea Gone Wrong

I don't rant very often, but the new CPSIA law which takes affect on February 10th is enough for me to make an exception. The official name is the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, but I remember the acronym by (pardon my French): Cr*p, Politicians Scr*wed It Again.

The law was a response to the recall of toys imported from China because of lead contamination about a year ago, but it has been carried to extremes that threaten not only charity knitting for children like our K4 group does, but the livelihood of crafters across the country. The law requires testing of any item intended for children 12 & under to ascertain that it is lead free. But, instead of requiring the raw materials - yarn, fabrics, & buttons - to be tested and certified as safe before being offered for sale here in the United States, the law demands component testing of the completed item. This means that two different sized sweaters, even made from the same brand & dye lot of yarn, would have to be tested separately. For now, XLP (X-ray testing) is adequate to meet the requirements, but starting in August a third party test that consists of destroying the item will be necessary.

Testing isn't cheap. A number of Etsy sellers have repriced children's items to reflect the cost of the testing. How many people will buy a child's patchwork skirt or toy when the price is over $1000 because of the cost of testing that skirt or toy to comply with this law? There is no possible way that those of us who knit for charity can continue to make items for children as the penalty for distributing any item meant for children without a testing certificate can reach as high as $100,000 & jail time.

I've called my Senators and asked for help - the CPSIA needs to be amended to allow for component testing by manufacturers rather than requiring each craftsperson or charity to test the completed item. Also, the implementation needs to be delayed until the CPSC has time to finish regulations - as of now, those decisions on how the law will be applied won't be available until after February 10th when the law goes into effect.

Please join in and let the politicians know that this law was passed without any thought of the devastation it will visit on those who make their living or augment their income by crafting safe products for kids. The following links will provide more information.


Forbes "Scrap the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, Part 1; Part 2; & Part 3

National Bankruptcy Day - February 10, 2009

Fashion Incubator

Discussion of the CPSIA on President Obama's site Save small business from the CPSIA made it into the top ten action items.

Many more links at Overlawyered


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Good Golly, Miss Molly...

Once again, it's been a while & I seem to have missed my own Blogversary on the 6th. But I haven't been idle..

These are about half of the Snuggles (see The Snuggles Project home page) that I crocheted out of Homespun and took to the Michigan Animal Rescue League for the cat cages. These were in way of a thank-you to a kind lady who donated five large boxes of acrylic coned yarn to our group in 2007 that we used to make hats & scarves for the shelter for homeless veterans in Detroit. I took 21 Snuggles to the shelter in December and these 19 a little over a week ago. Homespun is a nice yarn to work with, but after it's washed, it looks a little ratty - enough so that we don't use it for hats, scarves or afghans - but it stays soft and the cats shouldn't mind how it looks. Here's the entire pile including a trial granny square Snuggle on top.

I've been knitting slippers for sale at the Senior Center. Marina, one of our K4 members, knit about 11 pair for the craft sale and we sold out. I'm hoping that these sell well too.

These two baby afghans were crocheted over the Xmas holidays - before I learned that thanks to the new CPSIA law that will render them as "hazardous waste" on February 10th because no charity group and very few crafts people who make items for children 12 & under will be able to afford the testing for lead that will be required at that time. I'm probably going to rant more about this well meaning but stupidly written law at a later date but for now, there's good information at CPSIA Central as well as forums on Twitter, Ebay, Etsy, and other places where we knitters & crocheters gather.

Our group donated at least one 18 gallon tote of baby & children's hats & scarves just before Christmas. It's heart-breaking that unless the CPSIA law is amended that we will be unable to do that this coming year. Right now, I'm starting in on *adult* hats & scarves that are not included in the law.

In other news, Michigan - like much of the country - has been in a deep freeze (-21° windchills at one point) and then when it warmed up a few degrees we got about 6" of snow. Here are the views out the sliding door into the back yard.

There really are four more steps there after the first one - it just *looks* like a ski run.. {g}

Acrylics Anon/a