Wednesday, January 28, 2009

So this is a group effort by home crafters all over the country to raise awareness of the new lead laws going into affect February 10, 2009.

Imagine if you will, the local farmer's market where you can find fresh locally grown fruit, regional flavors and oh yeah, pick up that gift for the baby shower you have later on. Oh wait, you can't buy a shower gift anymore at the farmer's market because, the new lead laws have made unique, hand crafted childrens items next to extinct. You'll just have to go to Walmart or Toys R Us to get a mass produced plastic toy. But wait weren't those the toys that had dangerous lead levels in them to begin with? What now?

OK this may be an exaggeration, but the threat to hand made children's items is real. The new lead laws are written in such a way that it is almost impossible to decipher exactly what group of items the legislators are targeting. The law encompases, ALL children's items. This includes toys, clothes, & anything designed to be used PRIMARILY by children 12 and under. Also because there are several different compliance issues that need to be met under the new law, it is almost impossible to decide where one issue applies and where others do not. To make matters worse, we have been receiving inconsistent information regarding our concerns.

I'm sure the Consumer Product Safety Commission had certain targets in mind when working with legislators to develop this law, but clearly those ideas were not accurately translated into the actual law.

Many of us have argued grammar, and other symantics, but ideally, some consistent answers to what we can and can't do is needed. If you love hand made, please support our cause. Contact your local government officials. Donate your legal expertise if you have it. We will appreciate any help that you might be willing to offer. Many of us can work with the new laws the way they are but that will mean a scarcity of children's goods. Unfortunately for some this will mean the end of what they do and what they love.

Please help us Save Handmade!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

OK folks, I finally did it. I finished my Sock Froggee Pattern. You can click the link to the right for a PDF version. Good Luck, and please, please contact me if you have any questions or need clarification.

I do recommend that only advanced knitters attempt this pattern, or if you have completed one of my other patterns then you should be ok.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

New Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act

Hello, everyone, I am asking you all to take a moment to support my cause. The new Consumer Protection Improvement Act which will go into effect on 2/10/09 could be problematic for crafters like myself. It basically will require any and all toy and children's clothes manufacturers to have certification that our products do not contain hazardous amounts of lead or other harmful items. For those of us who spend a lot of time trying to create something that is not mass produced and safe for our own children, this could lead to some major problems.

I am still fairly new to my own business, but I do feel that this is a hit for small business everywhere. There are several other small yet more established businesses which will undoubtedly be able to deal with the new laws, however, the increased cost will likely drive prices up. For many it is a lively hood. There is a lot of media on this situation and I have been reasearching what I can do to help. From everything Ive seen, the large toy companies will not be seriously affected by this but for us smaller entities, we cannot afford the cost for testing and will have to remove our items for public sale. It also could mean that charity knitting for children will also be illegal.

Ive read the letter with the proposed changes and I feel that they are reasonable and would encompass what I do so I voted in agreement with the idea. As the Act is worded now, there is no exclusion for items that have already been tested an found in compliance and no exclusion for items that scientifically have no lead. I am asking those of you who are willing to vote your support. If our cause makes it to the top ten (out of hundreds I'm sure) then we will have the opportunity as soon as possible to allow crafters like myself to continue doing what we love. You may not have kids, but if you can support this cause it would mean a great deal to me as well as many others. Thank you for taking a moment to read what I have to say and I hope you will cast your vote.

Hopefully I didn't ramble, I am a little concerned about this because half of our inventory is for children under 12.

Bobbi Padgett

Monday, January 12, 2009

Oh Wow.

2008 taxes are done and now I have a moment to think. That might not be a good thing. It occurred to me this weekend that I only have 6 month until the 2009 Salt Lake City Art And Craft Market, and I don't think I will be able to do all that I want to do. I have many things that I need to focus on this year since it is now the third year that we will (hopefully) be participating. So I decided to do something fun for myself.
Here it is. I spent all weekend playing with my homemade drop spindle and learning how to spin. I definately still need some work but overall, I feel accomplished and I think I can now prepare for the market season with a new outlook. This next year I would like to add crochet sock animal kits, and handpainted rovings. We shall see how it goes.