Crochet Mitts, Handmade Selling, and the CPSIA

I’m in my house with my Friday night tv.  In two days I made two pairs of fingerless mitts for myself-the first one, from pink/purple/gray Kimono Angora, the second from Colinette Zanziba pale pink/gray/tan/teeny green.  They are both crocheted.  I also made a hairband or ear warmer from the Zanziba, complete with bow.  I am frustrated that camera troubles prevent me showing you.  I’m working on it.


As I’ve tried to expand my Etsy store, several issues have arisen.  Excuse me while I list them, but it makes them more orderly in my mind.  Actually, disorderliness of thoughts isn’t something that has bothered me in months.   I think all my lupus cerebritis symptoms have subsided-extra wonderful.  (Many thanks to the gods of B cell killing.)  Anyway, here goes:

1.  After the discovery of tainted toys made in China and sold by large U.S. manufacturers, Congress made an embarrassed knee-jerk reaction.  They passed a bill requiring testing of all children’s products in a particularly aggressive and expensive way.  As it is written, the bill (CPSIA) could put an abrupt end to small businesses that produce handmade childrens items-toys, clothing, bedding, anything that could be construed as made for use by a child under the age of 13.  There has been a rapid and intense response mounted by folks like me, and already concessions are being predicted.  You can read about it here, on
Hopefully, my still has a future. 

2.  I’ve joined two Etsy street teams, Etsy knitters and Etsy fiber arts, and I’m making acquaintances and enjoying the interplay of the two groups.  It could be a full-time job, just networking and communicating.  I have to figure out how to schedule this activity and make it an adjunct instead of a destination.  I’m enjoying the opportunity to help other members, I’m learning from members, and I have received a small increase in exposure, including two Treasury postings. 

3.  I must work on local exposure, and revival of the Chattanooga Etsy street team could be a large part of that.  Discussions in progress.

4.  I’ve gotta start my application for the Chattanooga Market.  March will be here before I can turn around.  I’ve already started making spring/summer scarves, and I want my other main item to be shells in natural fabrics.  By that, I mean womens sleeveless tops.  Probably tops for kids, too.  This will be fun.  I love going to the market, and I’m so much healthier that I know I can handle it alone this spring. 


Okay, now that we’ve said that, let’s get to today’s dinner.  Couple of days ago I read a recipe from with African-style beans and peanutbutter.  I know it sounds weird, but it’s a wonderful combination.  I cooked pintos and diced onion in my crockpot until tender, then added a can of diced tomatoes.  I didn’t have any peanutbutter so I used a half-cup of tahini (sesame butter), mixing it in well and letting the whole thing simmer a little longer.  I seasoned it with salt and Neo Masala seasoning from Alchemy Spice (see  I had a little avocado on the side, and some whole grain bread.  Utterly heavenly. 


There’s a blog I’ve been keeping from you, but I cannot hide it any longer.  The young student who writes  Everything Up Close ( has an uncanny ability to select great products for review.  Most of the companies that give her items for review also let her conduct a drawing for one of their products.  She has introduced me to some fabulous products.  Last week, she presented something that made me say “Hallelujah!”  If you are tired of looking at young (and occasionally old) women whose rear view consists of a shirt tail and low-rise jeans that do not touch, you will love the “Hip-T”.  Check it out here:  Everything Up Close: Hip-T Review & Giveaway!   If you go quickly, you might get in on the giveaway.  I couldn’t wait that long.  My daughter is getting one for Valentine’s Day.  I wish I could stand on the street corner and distribute them.  President Obama needs to give serious thought to requiring them before his daughter’s reach That Age.  You know, the age of the reveal.  The age of the exposed thong.  The Bare Age. 


Okay, time to go.  Getting obsessive. 

Peace.  Big ol’ sweet, smooshy peace.


3 Responses

  1. Enjoying your blog and I think your etsy store is cute as pie! I’m sure it’s very successful.

    I’ve done a little research on the CPSIA and what other crafters and etsy-store owners can and are doing about this Very Bad Law. I thought maybe you and your readers would enjoy the info in my post about it.

    Us little guys sure have to stick together! Best wishes and much success to you. I’ll keep peeking back at your blog. Take care!

    Shannon Smith
    What the Craft?!

    What Matters Most

    • Shannonsays, I certainly hope my store will be more successful. I can almost buy dogfood on what I’m making, although I could pay some bills if I stopped buying yarn. Thanks for the references.

  2. There is a fundamental problem with the Hip-T. The women whose parts you don’t want to see, deliberately want it out there, so won’t cover it up. Not to mention the women whose parts you kind of want to see, who also won’t cover it up. So who is the market for this? Probably the same women who don’t have it out there in the first place. Or those looking for the belly slimming effect that wearing a public girdle might induce.

    One suspects that many mom’s might buy this for daughters, and the daughters will use it for some other purpose, like cleaning up spills or something. 🙂

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