Thursday, January 22, 2009

WIP Where I Need to Be.

So, for those who arent in the knitting terminology know how, WIP is short for Work In Progress.

It always feels that I have at least half a dozen projects going on and a gazillion things I want to make. (Let alone the fact that my bedroom is slowly being taken over by my yarn stash).

Right now I'm knitting up a hat that was giving me problems. The orig directions seemed a little wonky when I first scanned though them, assuming that the hat, like all the other hats I've knitted from patterns, would be done in the round! I started the pattern, and the changing of the colors were giving me issues of making the change over smoothly.

I had realised that the pattern had you knit the first 3 rows in the round THEN switch to working flat (going back and forth as if on two needles as apposed to continuing in the round). I thought it was a bit poor for the designer to have you start in the round and then switch it up so soon into the pattern. At that rate, it should have been just straight up two needle pattern (non-cicrular needles) and then have you sew the seam up - you'd still have to sew a seam up in any event might as well make it all one seam.

Weird weird weird.

I am also knitting up two pairs of Fetching, fingerless gloves that has cables at the writsts and just below the knuckles (the cables make it snug enough to keep your wrist warm with out cutting off cirulation to your hand). Its more of a wrist warmer than fingerless glovess.

Also, I'm working on pair of socks (just bound on and no other progress).
I'm scheeming about knitting a vest for myself. Something that's professional enough to wear to work but can be a casual dress up vest as well.
Well enough of my ranting for the moment as I go off and print more hat patterns (as if i need more patterns! ha!)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

To Us, With Love

I don't know how many people are aware of this or how many more will know b/c of my blog. But there is legislation being put forth by the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) called the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA for short).

What it is, in short, is that all toys must go through testing to see how dangerous a toy is for children to play with. Granted, it is good to have standards for toys, (like all the cases/issues we've heard about the toys from China that were causing problems for kids (and I'm sure their parents) - dangerously high lead content, toys with unsafe small part, toys with improperly secured and easily swallowed small magnets, and toys made from chemicals that made kids sick)

Here is an article from Handmade Toy Alliance (found here) about it:

Help Save Handmade Toys in the USA from the CPSIA

Who Are We?

We are not some pretend group sponsored by big companies trying to appear grassroots. We are an alliance of toy stores, toy makers and children's product manufacturers from across the country who want to preserve unique handmade toys, clothes, and all manner of children's goods in the USA.

See our faces on facebook.

The issue:
In 2007,
large toy manufacturers who outsource their production to China and other developing countries violated the public's trust. They were selling toys with dangerously high lead content, toys with unsafe small part, toys with improperly secured and easily swallowed small magnets, and toys made from chemicals that made kids sick. Almost every problem toy in 2007 was made in China.

The United States Congress rightly recognized that the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) lacked the authority and staffing to prevent dangerous toys from being imported into the US. So, they passed the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) in August, 2008. Among other things, the CPSIA bans lead and phthalates in toys, mandates third-party testing and certification for all toys and requires toy makers to permanently label each toy with a date and batch number.

All of these changes will be fairly easy for large, multinational toy manufacturers to comply with. Large manufacturers who make thousands of units of each toy have very little incremental cost to pay for testing and update their molds to include batch labels.

For small toy makers and manufacturers of children's products, however, the costs of mandatory testing will likely drive them out of business.

  • A toymaker, for example, who makes wooden cars in his garage in Maine to supplement his income cannot afford the $300 - $4,000 fee per toy that testing labs are charging to assure compliance with the CPSIA.
  • A work at home mom in Minnesota who makes cloth diapers to sell online must choose either to violate the law or cease operations.
  • A small toy retailer in Vermont who imports wooden toys from Europe, which has long had stringent toy safety standards, must now pay for testing on every toy they import.
  • And even the handful of larger toy makers who still employ workers in the United States face increased costs to comply with the CPSIA, even though American-made toys had nothing to do with the toy safety problems of 2007.

The CPSIA simply forgot to exclude the class of children's goods that have earned and kept the public's trust: Toys, clothes, and accessories made by small businesses where the owners are personally involved in the creation of their goods. The result, unless the law is modified, is that handmade children's products will no longer be legal in the US.

If this law had been applied to the food industry, every farmers market in the country would be forced to close while Kraft and Dole prospered.

How You can Help:

Please write to your United States Congress Person and Senator to request changes in the CPSIA to save handmade toys and children's products. Use our sample letter or write your own. You can find your Congress Person here and Senator here.

There is also an excellent blog about this on Mama Is.

Please help! I am sending my representatives a letter as soon as I post this.

What do you think the world needs now?

Today, the USA has sworn in it's 44th president.

Many of the news people on the TV were talking about the palpable feeling of hope and of possible change. They alluded to it being positive change (in not so many words).

It seems the world, at least the US (well, mainly my feelings), wants a change for the better, more peaceful world. A smoothing of feathers to enable the first steps towards peace.

That's what I think the world needs now. A reality, an existence, that is a bit more peaceful.

Granted, that doesn't mean we have to agree with each other 100% of the time. Just something where we can live our lives with out hurting others or having ourselves or our loved ones hurt (emotionally, mentally, or physically). Life with out fear.

Yes, contrast allows us to know what we like, milkshakes vs black coffee, hot summer days vs cold winter nights, so on and so forth. Without contrast, we wouldn't be able to evolve and grow as humans, regardless what path we walk.

With the swearing in of Barack Obama as our 44th president, the feeling of things being righted has been renewed in me. That things are back on the right track, at least for this country. But we will see how things pan out. Sometimes things or events don't pan out the way we want them, initially at least, or as quickly as we would like them to. It is a bit of an uphill battle for President Obama to efficiently execute the changes we need, but I feel things will unfold as they are needed.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A Second Christmas!!!!

Ok. Today I came home to a package of stuff that I had bought trough ebay. I was so excited! Like a second x-mas. The package contained 22 circular knitting needles (1 pair of 11 different sizes - this makes things easier/simpler for me to knit - like socks or mittens, things that usually require pair of something - so they are the same tension and i can make the same changes in the exact same spot on each item).

My dad didnt know what I had gotten and from the way they were packaged, he kept ranting and hooting that I had gotten a dildo in the mail. (Granted it did come in a simular shape to what a dildo may look like packaged).

My mom was giving him dirty looks from the phone call she was on with one of my dad's good friends from childhood.

But part of the reason why I was so happy about the needles, I figured out that I had spent less that $1/needle ($.91/needle to be exact), INCLUDING shipping (shipping was free, but still....)

*does a happy butt dance*

Thursday, January 15, 2009

And the Winner is.....


I'll be contacting you via e-mail soon

All the stories were good ones! Thank goodness for Random.Org!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Deadline Tomorrow!

Ok. The last day to enter for my blog contest is TOMORROW!!!

Yep. Wednesday, Jan 14th is the last day to enter my contest (to get specific - 11:59:59pm EST on Jan 14th is the latest latest one can enter).

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Contest Reminder!

Remember the contest ends on Jan 15th! You have a week left to enter!!!!

Contest can be found here!!!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Current Projects

Ug. I guess this goes hand in hand with the "Ambition" post.

But it always feels like I have at least 10 projects going on (as in actually on knitting needles) and at least double that of what I have planned/want to do!

Right now I have:
  1. An endless granny square afghan (purple hues - an on again, off again love affair)
  2. A seemingly endless wool sweater (which has been hibernating in the closet since forever)
  3. A smattering of small projects (including chap stick cozies)
  4. Fingerless gloves for a belated x-mas gift
  5. Fingerless gloves for a birthday gift
  6. Hat for belated x-mas gift
And that's just the short list


Why is it that I always want to do more than what I can do? AND that I still think I can do it all?

I dont know. It baffles me.


I was researching blog topics one day (included in that search was writing and journal topics as well), and this was one of the topics: What kind of animal would you like to be and why? It made me think of the Harry Potter series and a select few in that reality that could change themselves into another animal/creature.

In the past I gave this topic some thought and came up with a short list of different animals I might enjoy being - real and possibly imaginary.

Here's my short list:
  1. Ladybug
  2. Bear (either Grizzly or Brown - mood depending)
  3. Otter
  4. Griffin
  5. Phoenix
  6. Fox
  7. Giraffe
  8. Hippogriff
  9. Jaguar
  10. Kangaroo
Some of them (those beyond #5) were some that I have thought about in more of a fleeting thought than anything else (the top 5 are the top 5 simply b/c they're the ones I think about the most).

I would say that the Ladybug and Bear are almost interchangeable in terms of personal preference. I've sort of had a fascination with ladybugs pretty steadily for ages (it would be apart of a tattoo if I was going to get one) and the bear - but a little less.

I dont know if its possible for someone in Harry Potter's world to be able to change into more than one animal (from what I understand, it's hard enough to be able to change oneself into ONE thing to begin with). But heres to wishful thinking.

Worldly Travels

I wish I had the chance to go back to Greece again and to see more of England. While I'm in England, it would be nice to see Ireland and Scotland to boot.

It would be fun to spend at least a month in each place I go (roughly 5 months including travel time). Getting to explore a specific region more in detail.

I hear is a website to find inexpensive lodging. Granted, I've never tried this website nor do I know how "safe" it is. Though a couple people (indirectly) greatly recommended using this site for one reason or another. Also, I dont know if it's limited to one continent or if its international.