Friday, June 28, 2013

Tidy Cats Glade Kitty Litter A Toxic Choice

Tidy Cat is offering a new kitty litter, Tidy Cat Glade Tough Order Solution.  Please don’t ever use this.  Artificial scents are virtually unregulated in this country and are the overwhelming source of scent in commercial products.  95 percent of artificial scent is toxic.  Even natural chemicals can be hazardous.

Women’s Voices for the Earth tested 20 popular cleaners from 5 top companies.  In their words, “We found reproductive toxins, carcinogens, hormone disruptors, and allergens, and none of these chemicals were listed on the product label.

Glade is owned by S.C. Johnson & Son.  In the product Glade Plug In Scented Oil Hawaiian Breeze the organization found limonene, linalool and eugenol.  Limonene and linalook, although natural, are known to provoke allergic reactions. [1]   Eugeneol, the active ingredient in clove oil, is also used in insecticides.[2] 

I would think that the chemicals in the kitty litter would be the same as the ones in the Glade air "freshening" products.  You don’t know if your cat is allergic to limonene or linalool until you expose them to it and you don’t know how allergic the animal is.  If you are unlucky enough, that one exposure may be too much for your cat.  These chemicals are terpenes.  There is no known antidote for them.  The only treatment is supportive.[3]    In the air terpenes combine with ozone to create formaldehyde, a cancer-causing chemical with a low acceptable exposure limit[4] and secondary particles of air pollution whose effects haven’t been determined yet.[5]

It is possible to consume too much eugenol. In fact the National Library of Medicine defines eugenol overdose as "poisoning from swallowing a large amount of eugenol oil (clove oil)." Some of the symptoms are shallow and rapid breathing, coughing up blood, blood in urine, burns in mouth and throat, abdominal pain, nausea, rapid heartbeat, dizziness, seizures, and even coma.[6]  Clumping kitty litter gets stuck on cat fur, especially if they have long hair.  It is not a good idea to let your cats ingest this.  

In addition to these natural occurring ingredients, the National Resources Defense Council discovered that Glade Plug-Ins also contain phthalates, chemicals that can cause endocrine, reproductive, and developmental problems.  Regular use of air fresheners increases asthma 30 to 50 percent.[7]
Another possible ingredient is synthetic musk, a potential hormone disruptor.  Synthetic musk increases the likelihood of breast cancer and liver toxicity.[8]  Stanford University researchers Till Luckenbach and David Epel have also discovered that synthetic musk enhances the effect of other toxic substances.[9]

Not only would your cat be breathing in and ingesting the above chemicals, so would anyone else in the dwelling.  Do you really want to set yourself up for future illness by using Tidy Cat Glade kitty litter, or any Glade products?

[1]Dirty Secrets Test Results,” Women’s Voices for the Earth,, accessed 28 June 2013.
[2][2] The Bug Doctor, “The Darker Side of Eugenol,”, accessed 28 June 2013.
[3] John Said Kashani, DO, Asim Tarabar, MD, Steve Marcus, MD, Terpene Toxicity Medication, Medscape Reference: Drugs, Diseases and Procedures,, accessed 28 June 2013.
[4] Dr. Ben Kim, “Beware of toxic air fresheners,” Chet Day’s Health & Beyond Online,, accessed 28 June 2013.
[5] W. W. Nazaroff, et all, “Final Report:  Contract No. 01-336 Prepared for the California Air Resources Board and the California Environmental Protection Agency, 10 May, 2006,”,, accessed 28 June 2013.
[6] W. J. Rayment, Eugenoll,, accessed 28 June 2013.
[7] Dr. Ben Kim, “Beware of toxic air fresheners,” Chet Day’s Health & Beyond Online,, accessed 28 June 2013.
[8] “Synthetic  Musks,” The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics,, accessed on 28 June 2013.
[9] Cynthia Washam, “A Whiff of Danger:  Synthetic Musks May Encourage Toxic Bioaccumulation,” Environmental Health Perspectives, vol. 113(1), January 2005, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.

Monday, June 24, 2013

A Friend I Wish I Hadn't Lost

This blogger is very sad.  On the night of June 13, I lost one of my most favorite people in the world, Kay Ten Kraft.

Some knitters may know her as the proprietor of Sliver Moon, a company that sold hand-dyed yarn at fiber festivals in the Northeast.   She was a very friendly, compassionate, intelligent woman with a healthy sense of humor.  She was deeply connected to her husband, children, step-children, grandchildren, friend and animals.  I was just beginning to remember who everyone in her life were.  We were not the closest of friends, but she made you feel important when she was talking with you.

I got to know Kay through her yarn.  When I attended the first Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival, my eyes went right to the yarn pictured below and I think I grabbed it almost as quickly.

Kay said she had some colors left at the end of the day and dyed this.  She called it "Spring Mist."  I wanted to knit a vest out of it and Kay agreed to dye another hank.  She left it at Wool 'n Word in West Sand Lake.  That hank wasn't close at all.  Stephanie said she could tell Kay it wasn't close, but I didn't think it was nice to keep her in the middle.  I decided to talk to Kay directly.  At about the same time I started going to Heritage Spinners at the Roaster's Whim in West Stephentown.  I remember she brought more than one skein that she had dyed, maybe three, and I could chose what I wanted.  The colors were a very close match.  Then Kay realized that the number of repetitions wasn't the same and she wanted to do it over again.  Having learned more about hand-dyed and similar yarn, I thought it was quite likely I'd have to alternate two balls anyway, so I managed to convince her it was fine.  And it was.  Here's proof:

It's still not finished, but Kay did see it knit.

I was looking through the photos on Kay's Facebook profile.  I wonder how many other people remember people by their knitting projects as well.  Seeing a photo of her wearing her completed purple sweater brought back happy memories of the group at Fred's.  Knitting was only one of the things going on at the time.  Our mutual friend Jackie called me to thank me for telling her about Kay.  We talked about how yarns and projects we had would always help us to remember her.

I'd like to warn people not to let their ambitions or desires become so important to them that they endanger their lives.  I'd much rather that Kay said the hell with it and decided to stay indoors on a rainy night and watch television, instead of going for a walk on a dark, rainy night in hopes of losing a little more weight.  Instead she lost her life.  

Please help honor Kay's life.
Kay ten Kraft Memorial Food Drive

Fri July 12, 4-7pm
Sat July 13, 9am-noon

Freedom Plains United Presbyterian Church
1165 Route 55
LaGrange, NY 12540

The proceeds from this drive will go to Dutchess Outreach to provide items for their Food Pantry and the Lunch Box. Dutchess Outreach strives “to meet the temporary, basic needs of families and individuals when no other resources are readily available to them.” The Food Pantry supplies 3 days worth of nutritious food for those in need. The Lunch Box serves lunches and dinners for thousands of people throughout the year.

This drive will honor the memory of Kay ten Kraft. Kay was an avid knitter and fiber artist. She exhibited and sold her beautiful hand-dyed yarns at the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck as well as other Wool Festivals throughout the Northeast. For many years Kay was actively involved at Freedom Plains Church and a dedicated assistant at Hopewell Animal Hospital, as well as a member and past President of the Hudson Valley Artisans Guild. A few years ago, Kay and her husband Nicholas Adams relocated to a farm in Columbia County, to be near family and tend to her sheep, goats and a menagerie of animals.

Contributions we are seeking for this food drive include:

Pantry Items: Juice boxes (100% juice), powdered tea mix, cases of bottled water, baby food, canned meat/tuna, peanut butter.

Personal Care Products: Toilet paper, tooth paste/brushes, bath soap, shampoo, deodorant, shaving cream, disposable razors.

Monetary Donations: Monetary donations will be used to serve a lunch and dinner, in Kay’s memory, at the Lunch Box. Checks should be made out to Dutchess Outreach Corporation with Kay ten Kraft in the memo. Checks can be dropped off at the drive or sent to Nancy Townsend, 4 Tower Rd, Hopewell Junction, NY 12533.

Further Information: Contact Nancy Townsend, 845-221-9063.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Elfin Booties Updatee

I have no idea how the Yarn Harlot managed to felt booties in her bathtub.  An hour and a half and the surface of mine just ruffled.  I found a couple lingerie bags on sale that I put the booties and the hat in.  My new technique to throw them in the laundry with like colored clothes and eventually everything will get felted.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Maybe This Pattern

A few years ago when a friend was closing her yarn shop, I bought some of her hand-dyed yarn.  Patricia of Eastside Weavers had a way of using colors that made me like colors I didn't usually.

This particular skein of fingering yarn I bought because it looked as though it would go with a summer dress I had.

I bought the dress for $5 at a flea market.  It seems to be a linen-cotton blend.  The background is green with a yellowish tint.  There are flowers splashed across it in an impressionistic print.  I haven't had it out in a few years, but the colors I remember are red, dark pink, purple and orange.  The dress is sleeveless with a scoop top and cut straight and was probably supposed to be mid-calf length on the average height woman (I'm not). I seem to remember it was a hank of merino between 800 and 900 yards.

I have been contemplating different patterns of wraps to wear with this dress when chilly and adding them to my ever increasing collection of favorites as Ravelry as they appeared.  I think I finally found the pattern, the Gwanwyn Shrug pattern by Lesley Jones.

Just something about it seems right.  I like the detail in the sleeves, and I don't think it'll get lost in the hand-dyed yarn.  The sleeves are a good length for summer and they aren't tight.  In summer you don't want wool too close against your skin, even merino.

Here's some more yarn from the Eastside Weavers I forgot I bought.  It's lace weight.  I don't know how many yards, but I hope it will be enough to try out one of the pretty lace shawls I've seen on Ravelry.  It might even go with the flowered dress too.