Thursday, March 25, 2010

CPSIA and How It Affects You

I don't know how many of you have been worried about the new government regulations imposed by the CPSIA laws that are being applied to items manufactured for children under the age of thirteen, but I have been more than a little panicky about the entire thing.

Today on Etsy, the CPSA held a video/audio presentation and then a (very, unnecessarily) short Q&A session in the Virtual Labs.

At this time, the only products I make and sell intended for the use of children are my knitted items, and as my question pertaining to this was answered, I learned that while yarns, whether synthetic or not (wool, cotton, bamboo, etc) are considered exempt from the imposed rules, they are not exempt from flammability rules. Acrylic and other synthetic materials are not considered flammable, despite the fact that they melt. Personally, I'd rather my kid's clothing caught on fire and could be ripped away from their skin than melted to them on instant heat contact, but I suppose what I think doesn't matter to the government. In fact, I'm sure of it.

Normally, you don't really have to worry about synthetic materials being exposed to a high enough heat source to burn your kids, but I do make sure than when traveling commercially my kids only wear natural fibers that won't melt to them. I learned that this was a smart thing to do when reading about a woman that was in a plane crash: She wasn't actually injured, but her panty hose melted to her legs and caused second and third degree burns. Yeowch.

Other things I learned today are that untreated wood products are also exempt from these rules, but surface treatments, such as paints and stains, must be provably compliant with these new regulations. CMYK paints are also considered exempt, but I'm not sure of this extent.

Getting down to it, I still find most of the language, and even many of the answers we received in the chat (not nearly enough) to be confusing and shrouded in layman mystery.

Through the video presentation, we were directed on how to find this page on the CPSA website. Apparently, it is one of the "secrets" of the site. Why it should be hard enough to find to be considered secret is beyond me in light of the fact that so many people are confused about what these regulations mean for their small business.

Here's that link for you again:

Apparently, the information on this page should address most (or all?) of your questions regarding manufacturing, products, imports, supplies, suppliers, third party testing labs, labeling, etc. I haven't had a chance to really go through it myself, but I'm thinking I should dedicate a little time every day to this in order to be sure that I understand (or at least, am thoroughly confused and question ridden) what it is their trying to punish- I mean tell us.

The Question and Answer chat hosted by Etsy today (March 25, 2010) in the Virtual Labs is supposed to be available for review. I'll be posting a link to that as soon as I know where it is. I just checked the forums and the thread ( for that hasn't been updated with the chat transcript yet. However, if you click on the link I just provided, you should be able to follow along with whatever new information is presented.

Here are some more (potentially) helpful links for you in case you have any more questions, which I'm sure you do if you manufacture and sell items for children at all.

CPSIA: Join CPSC Officials for a Chat With Sellers on The Storque

Official Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act Website

Power Point CPSIA Document for Download

PDF CPSIA Document for Download

You may have to actually download these documents to your computer in order to view them in the appropriate program, as the files are large and may be blocked by your browser or computer security system.

That's really all the information I can think to provide you with at this time. I hope it's helped to answer some of your questions or at least to point you in the right direction.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Mr. Monday, Go Away

And so he has. It's just about eleven in the pm here in beautiful, balmy, spring-time Western Washington, where, I might remind you, we are having the best weather in the country. I'm loving it.

Being in the Puget Sound area, we don't always experience all four seasons. We have variations of rain days and a short summer. We have freezing rain season. We have blooming rain season. We have muggy rain season, and then messy-leafy rain season.

However, the past few years have been surprisingly... well, seasonal. This year we seemed to have skipped a true winter all together (except for a frighteningly cold few weeks where no one's thermometers moved over twenty degrees) and dove straight into spring. I'm really hoping that doesn't mean we skip summer and go straight into fall. We cleared triple digits regularly last summer, and I'm just fine with that.

I love the seasons. I love the shift and change and enjoy every one and am always excited for the next. Right now, I love spring. I can smell it in the air and witness it in the blooms of the trees and the early appearance of flowers. I can go out with nothing more than a light sweater and a scarf in my bag.

To celebrate this glorious coming of rebirth and life, I'd like to share some of my favorite Etsy finds.

Felted slippers by aureliaLT
Felted slippers - Handmade to Order by aureliaLT

So Long, Marianne Mini Dress by iheartfink
So Long, Marianne Mini Dress by iheartfink

Vintage Birds Postcard Garland by VintageScraps
Vintage Birds Postcard Garland by VintageScraps

and a shameless plug...

Snapshot of some new items in my shop...
Front Page of ThorisDesigns on Etsy March 22, 2010

Items pictured include (left to right, top to bottom) Sweetcake Beanie, Tom Kitten Beanie, Rosie Rabbit Beanie, Bonnie Hood, Cabernet Rose Brooch, Victorian Ruffles Scarflette, Franklin Turtle Earflap Beanie, Ladybug Beanie, Sweetcake Beanie (in all greens).

Those are all the items you can see above the fold (advertising speak, darlings) on my front page right now, but there are lots more great items just waiting to go home with you.

Happy Spring!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Bad Dejah: No Time Like The Present

I could make a number of excuses about why I haven't blogged in (gasp!) over a month, but I won't. Life happened. Blah blah blah. You don't care and shouldn't. So let's just get down to business!

Spring is in the air, and I don't know how it's going in your state, but Western Washington is all about it and has been for a while. An early spring has inspired me to try working with some new materials, namely cotton.

Perfect for all weather and all ages, I've started working with this awesome fiber and the results are very pleasing. Here's a few examples of what I've been making:

Trek - Cotton Knit Beanie in Sunshine and Clouds
Trek - Cotton Knit Beanie in Sunshine and Clouds by ThorisDesigns

Trek - Cotton Knit Beanie in Olives and Clouds
Trek - Cotton Knit Beanie in Olives and Clouds by Thoris Designs

I also knitted up some adorable 0-9 months sized ear flap beanies that would make great baby shower gifts or just something sweet for your own little one. Light weight yet warm, these cotton caps are perfect for spring showers and those slightly chillier summer days that are sure to come.

Napal - Cotton Knit Ear Flap Beanies
Napal - Cotton Knit Ear Flap Beanie Infant/Baby by Thoris Designs

The only colors I'm showing right now are Sunshine Yellow, Clouds Cream, and Olive Green, but I have other yarn colors and can knit these hats in just about any color you'd like.

Stay tuned for more cotton hats. I have a few that I need to photograph and get listed and they'll be coming soon. Next on my list of things-to-do is hair clips that reflect the coming spring and summer seasons. Hurrah!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Featured in an Etsy Treasury Again ;)

I love it. Makes me feel like a kid in a candy store every time. All warm and fuzzy inside.

Go ahead; take a look at Called In Sick... And..., a lovely treasury by eliwill, a truly talented jewelry designer with a shop full of beautiful items.

Just look at this beautiful necklace. I love pearls and keys and this brings those two elements together gorgeously.

ana necklace - pale pink pearls

ana necklace pale pink pearl by eliwill on Etsy

I hope you'll take a peak at the treasury and that you'll stop by eliwill's shop on Etsy.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Galactic Awesomeness

My kids, my son especially, are Star Wars fans, as am I, and as were my parents before me. Third generation Star Wars fans = pretty cool.

In honor of that love of all things spacey, robotic, and flying through the cosmos, I designed this hat:

Leia - Princess Buns Knit Hat in Cream

Leia Princess Buns Beanie Hat in Cream by Thoris Designs on Etsy

I tried making the buns modular by affixing them to the hat with large silver-tone safety pins the way I did the heart on the Napal Ear Flap Hat, but they were too droopy, even when you were wearing it, so I decided to stitch them to the body of the hat with yarn. I think it turned out nicely and I like that the shape of the buns isn't so much like Leia's hair from the movie, but you can definitely tell what it's supposed to be.

The Princess loves hers and I'll bet your princess would too (or even you;).

This hat, in this size and color, is currently in stock and ready to ship. But if you'd like it in a smaller or larger size or a different color, please contact me and I'll be happy to knit one up just for you.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Featured on Etsy's Front Page

Just wanted to share that my Red and Pink Teddy Bear Beanie was just featured on Etsy's Front Page!

Red and Pink Teddy Bear Beanie by Thoris Designs on Etsy

My shop got lots of lovely traffic and I even got a sale.

For posterity, because I'm just that much of an excited nerd:

Yep, that's my little princess, making a cutie smoochie face. Sure, the hat is cute, but I know and you know that it's the little girl that made it front page worthy.

Up On Deck: New Items & Some News

Okay, I'm terrible. I was supposed to blog about my lovely time with the ladies of Little Birdie Secrets and haven't gotten around to it, but I will. I swear. But for right now...

I posted a few new items this past week and have a number of other things I still have to photograph (the light is looking great outside, so I'll be doing that after this). So, here's an update on my shop. I hope you'll stop by and take a look.

Napal - Ear Flap Hat in Taupe with Red Heart Brooch

Napal - Knit Ear Flap Beanie in Taupe with Red Heart Brooch by Thoris Designs on Etsy

This hat has a classic and simple shape, modeled after the aviator helmets of old and knit from the softest lambs wool and acrylic blend yarn. The red heart attaches with a large silver-toned safety pin and can be placed wherever you'd like, removed, or used as a brooch on your coat or scarf or whatever. I can knit this hat in a variety of lovely colors and also have a listing for it without the brooch.

Napal - Ear Flap Hat in Taupe

Napal - Knit Ear Flap Beanie in Taupe by Thoris Designs on Etsy

This is the same style of hat and in the same size, so you can see that this hat really fits a wide variety of sizes. A tad big for my two-year-old, so it'll fit him for years and years.

That's all the new stuff I've listed lately, but I've got a lot of other items to photograph, including my newest design, a Princess Leia inspired hat, complete with hair buns. I think it turned out adorable and I'll be posting it in a listing, and here, soon.

Thanks for checking in!
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