Archive for the “Cowls” Category
… I guess I’d better use this thing! LOL!
Life is trucking on. Since my last post I’ve had a birthday, added 2 more yoga classes to my teaching schedule, lost one and we’ve changed our minds about our future car buying at least three times. There’s nothing quite like making a decision about something only to get an email the VERY next morning that turns that decision on its head! The universe has an interesting sense of humor sometimes so we take a deep breath and roll with it as best we can.
So since you probably came here for fiber related stuff, and all my current knitting is not ready for public consumption, here’s a better-late-than-never showing of the Christmas knitting I did.
My “boss” at the yoga studio is a Hello Kitty fanatic so I dyed up a special “Hi Kitty” colorway for her on superwash merino:
Spun it up:
And knit a quick cowl:
She’s a fan of scarves and neck coverings of various types so it was well received.
Next up was a hat for my grandpa:
It was a last second thought as we had other gifts for him. The strokes he had required draining through surgery to open up his skull in multiple places so I thought a nice soft and warm hat would be welcome to protect him while he was healing. Sadly, he never got to open any of his gifts but this one went in the casket with him.
I also decided to make a hat for my Dad. He likes to be outdoors quite a bit, even in the colder months, so I wanted something heavy and warm that would protect his ears well with an extra layer. Both of these hats loosely followed this pattern and this one was made from leftover handspun from this sweater.
Long time readers may remember that the yarn for that sweater was three ply and the sweater itself weighs about a million pounds so you won’t be surprised to know the hat was definitely heavy and warm. Also a little on the big side but not unwearable at least. I swear I need all my family members to send me measurements for anything that can be covered in knitting…
After finally finishing the socks that were supposed to be a present for Christmas 2011 for my Mom (oye!) I decided on something totally different for her.
These mitts were knit without a pattern and without yarn! I used a technique that I believe the Yarn Harlot made popular recently but only really finally became clear to me when I saw it on the Round the Twist video podcast. Silk hankies (or bells in my case) are separated and drafted into “yarn” without spinning first and knit up into mitts or mittens or probably just about anything else you can imagine. It was fun and interesting and something that I really enjoyed and I hope to do again in the future. I’d encourage you to give it a try if you haven’t done so yet. It’s quite fun!
The final Christmas project was for HWJF and was a complete case of momentary insanity. I saw this pattern posted by someone else on plurk, added it to my wishlist on Ravelry and was literally gifted with it in less than 24 hours. I thought that could only be a sign that HWJF MUST have one and so I set to work knitting it up while he wasn’t home in less than three days. It was impossible to wash and block it without him seeing it so I gave it to him first and blocked it afterward. The miracle of the season was that it actually fit just about perfectly and he loved it!
I still haven’t managed to get a picture of him wearing it himself. At some point I’m going to make another one in the reverse of the colors so I can have one because we are giant dorks like that.
So that was Christmas. I have a few other projects to share since then so just maybe I’ll get back here to post before another month goes by. For now I leave you with bunny cuteness:
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[Sorry for the radio silence. Life has been, in a word, BUSY! I'd bore you with the details but let's suffice to say that the yoga gig is picking up, my Dad had another procedure but he's doing really well and now it's time to prep for show season. So how 'bout we just get back to the fiber stuff and call it day, eh? This post has been written for awhile and I forgot about publishing. Guess that's just par for the course lately! Enjoy!]
It’s been finished for quite some time but I’m just getting around to posting about it now!
Pattern: Dahlia Cowl by Jesh
Yarn: Handspun from Zarzuela’s Fibers polworth in the Flora Colorway
I believe I will maintain until the day I die, no matter your skill at spinning, there is absolutely nothing like knitting with handspun yarn. Especially your own handspun yarn! My skills as a spinner continue to develop but even when I knit with yarns I’ve spun a long time ago, there’s just nothing better! And I do love when I can spin a yarn and immediately know what I’ll be knitting with it as was the case here. You may remember that this was what the roving looked like:
And the final yarn:
And now the cowl!
This was such an enjoyable knit. I was afraid that the p3togs would be difficult but they really weren’t. And Jesh’s patterns are so complete and well written that there was certainly nothing to fear. She even gives hints in the pattern for making those p3togs easier!
This polworth was a joy to spin too (and I’m not the only one to have said so)! I find it easier to spin than merino but with a similar softness and loft making a yarn that is super cozy next to the skin and something you may just want to sit and squish in your hands for a while before you knit with it! I was lucky enough to find some glass buttons that were a perfect match to the colorway at an LYS too!
I’m looking forward to cooler weather and being able to make a lot of use out of this cowl.
If you’d like some of the Flora colorway (or the original Dahlia colorway) they’ll be coming back to the shop soon so stay tuned!
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I don’t know about where you are, but here in New Hampshire things are getting WARM!! I joked on my usual social networks the other day that I didn’t know NH could get this hot but here we are expecting 80+ in the next couple of days. Not exactly the time that most of us think about knitting things for winter, but with the summer travel season upon us it’s a good time for small projects that come along without much fuss.
Back in early April when I was dealing with my Dad’s stroke I started just such a project. The Amanda Hat! In fact, I just realized I started it the day he had the stroke oddly enough.
Pattern: Amanda Hat by Gina House
Yarn: Handspun angora/merino
Needles: US 8
Actually, I wasn’t the one that started the hat. You see, I queued this pattern back before the move knowing that I need to start expanding my hat wardrobe considering where we’ve just landed. Little did I know that the designer herself would be in my new knitting group! And that the night that I planned to start the hat she would be bored with her own stuff enough to start it for me!
Although Gina started it for me I continued to knit it myself to the end. I really enjoyed it and even in the midst of the craziness that life was throwing me I was able to learn the pattern very quickly and it kept my attention without being boring. I liked it so much that with Gina’s blessing I made two patterns based on the hat pattern and they are available free to you on Ravelry!
First up are the Amanda Mitts:
These use about 200 yards depending on your hand size and are perfect, just like the other patterns for small amounts of handspun. My motivation in making these was that I found that my hands were FREEZING in my parents house while I was sitting around waiting for the next thing I had to do and I thought it would be nice to have angora blend mitts for time just like this. In fact, I wore them to the Clermont festival and I was warm and toasty despite the awful wet conditions that day.
And to complete the set I just had to make a cowl. I love cowls. I love knitting them and I love wearing them. And nothing keeps you warm like a little bit of soft, fuzzy, handspun goodness around your throat. So here’s the Amanda Cowl!
Just like the mitts, the cowl uses a very small amount of yarn. The texture that’s created by the dropped YO and slipped stitches makes it super comfy and super warm.
I hope you’ll enjoy these patterns and might even knit one of them yourself. If you do, please let me know! I would love to see what you’ve done with them!
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I have so many things to share with you right now that I’m just going to have to break it up into several blog posts or y’all will be snoring by the end. So! Let’s start with a couple of big announcements!!
First, Zarzuela’s Fibers is now on Artfire! I’ll be maintaining both the etsy and Artfire shops simultaneously now. Why Artfire? I’ve been hearing very good things about it, especially from Our JessaLu, and decided to take the plunge. What it offers shoppers is more ways to pay (I can now take Amazon payments in addition to PayPal and hope to be adding another option soon) and some interesting features. What it offers me is another venue for exposure, some new options and some great functionality. I hope you’ll head over there and have a look!
Second, I’ve announced the next Zarzuela’s Fibers SAL/KAL! We’ll be spinning up yarn and knitting up the Dahlia cowl by Jesh!
Dahlia is a beautiful little cowl using 4 oz. of Polworth fiber spun up at a worsted-ish gauge to give you a soft and lovely cowl that shows off handspun beautifully! You can reserve the pattern in a digital download as well as the fiber for just $17 + shipping if you do so by May 5th! You have two choices for colorway. There is, of course, Dahlia:
And there’s also Flora:
You’ll find full details and links to order yours from either Artfire or Etsy in the Ravelry group thread. If you aren’t a spinner and would like to join us for the KAL part I have a lovely worsted weight superwash merino yarn that I can dye in either colorway for you. Send me a message or leave me a comment and let me know!
Here’s a peek at my cowl in the Flora colorway:
I hope you’ll join us!
And speaking of joining us, the news that I know some of you have been waiting for is finally here. Summer of Socks 2011 will begin on June 21st!
We’ll be keeping it fairly low key again this year as many people seem to have appreciated that (myself included!). One little twist will be that we are hoping to feature a different pattern and designer for each month of the KAL. No one will be required to knit the pattern that we selected, but those that wish to knit all three featured patterns and post pictures of their finished pairs will be entered into a drawing for a prize at the end of the KAL.
If you’d like to join us, want to have your pattern considered for being featured and/or could make a new button and banner for us (the one above is just something I whipped up quickly) please head over to the announcement thread in the Ravelry group for full details. Here’s to another fun summer of sock knitting! And please spread the word!
And now it’s time for me to get ready to go to an alpaca sheering at a local farm! Who wants to place bets on how much fiber I’ll be coming home with?
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Thank you all for your sympathies about Simba. It’s very hard to believe that it’s been nearly 2 weeks since I wrote that post. Each day gets a little better. Her remains came home almost exactly a week later. That was a hard day but everything was handled so well that it was a small comfort. I’ve yet to decide if my initial plans to have her buried at my parent’s house when the weather warms up will be carried through or not, but I have plenty of time to decide.
Unfortunately we’ve only added to our sorrow around here. Last week we discovered that Stitches’ tumor is back. The vet recommended that we wait to see how fast it grows this time before we make any decisions. She’s got another appointment on the 1st of Feb. unless she starts showing discomfort before then. Needless to say, the thought of making any hard decisions again so soon is completely heartbreaking. In the meantime, we’re just taking it one day at a time.
For now, I think it’s time to go back to looking at knitting! Since the holiday gift budget was pretty lean around here this year we decided that cookies and a small hand knit would be the name of the game. Cowls were, of course, one of the go-to projects.
I made three Stacked Eyelet Cowls out of some leftover DIC Smooshy. They went to the people in my life that love pink (a coworker, Sairy & Cookie).
Then there was the Stonehenge Neckwarmer out of some leftover Morehouse Merino for my MIL.
More Morehouse Merino leftovers went into the Candle flame Cowl for HWJF’s grandma. I think this was probably the prettiest of all the cowls I made.
A skein of plymouth baby alpaca grande went into this Guy Next Door cowl for my grandfather. He needs all the warm things he can get at this time of year!
When HWJF saw the name of that pattern he asked who it was for in a very accusing tone. My answer shut him up quick.
I actually knit two of the same pattern for the next one because it’s just so darn fun and interesting to knit for some reason. The drop stitch cowl. The first was for Sharon who just happened to favorite it on Ravelry while I was making it! Always good to know your gift will be well loved in advance!
That was made with some handspun that was made from some of the first fiber I ever dyed myself.
The second one is made from some merino/angora handspun that I made this summer.
It hasn’t quite made it to its owner yet so I can’t tell you who it’s for. They might be reading!
Finally we have the Della Cowl which I made with some Paton’s Classic for another wonderful coworker who was kind enough to model it for me.
I was/am also taken with the small shawls trend. I made a Citron from some Kureyon sock for myself but I haven’t quite been able to get a pic of it in its blocked state yet. I needed a simple put pretty knit for a gift for my yoga teacher so I decided on the Stupidly Easy Triangular Scarf which totally lived up to its name and made a lovely warm gift in some Claudia handpaint.
One of my favorite projects that I made (I really like this one so much I had a hard time giving it away!) was Multnomah in Silk Garden Sock. Coworker and lunch buddy L commented on it several times while I was making it so it naturally had to be hers.
And it looks lovely on her! And was greatly appreciated.
I really need to make another of these for myself at some point.
My Mom’s birthday falls just a few weeks before Christmas so these turned into her birthday socks:
The pattern is Meida’s Socks by Nancy Bush. I knit them in Cascade Fixation since Mom’s allergic to wool. While this is NOT my favorite yarn to knit with by any means, I think it worked out well for these.
Well enough that I even got off my butt and took out the DSLR to photograph them instead of the iPhone even.
Finally, I went with the potato chip knitting project of last year for my Dad and FIL, the Turn a Square hat:
My Dad’s used leftovers of Cascade 220 from a sweater I made for HWJF and some handspun leftover from something else that was supposed to be a Christmas gift for my Dad but didn’t get finished in time.
My FIL’s was made with leftovers of the same sweater and some leftovers from all the fingerless flip top gloves I made last year.
There’s more (which even *I* find hard to believe now that I’m writing this all out), but let’s save something for another time, shall we?
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It’s just not worth it. You all know how it is.
Since my last blog post I -
- Had another teacher training weekend which involved actually teaching a 20 min. flow for the first time. That went much better than I expected. I almost feel like I could actually do this at some point. We also had our prenatal day which was rather challenging for my delicate psyche. I had to do yoga for an hour with a pillow strapped to my gut. If that wasn’t weird enough we then had to do a mediation which involved imagining being in the middle of an ocean and unable to see the shore. Those that know me know that I wouldn’t call that relaxing. Chest pains ensued, but I managed to survive. All in all though, a really interesting weekend.
- Then proceeded to come down with some weird 3 day stomach thing. Not fun.
- Managed to get through the week and a couple of yoga classes. Then had to get a certain bunny her well overdue haircut.
We even managed to get done before midnight for once!
- Then it was time for a big weekend in NY. Which started with the Subaru not starting. Good times. Luckily we threw everything in my car and still managed to get to our appointment with a wedding photographer in time. Also luckily, since several people don’t seem to be capable of returning an e-mail or a phone call, we liked him enough to book him.
- Went to the jeweler to pick up new sparkly things. More on that another time.
- Went to Red Lobster with my folks for my Mom’s birthday. Happy Birthday Mom!! Finally was able to give my Mom this:
Isn’t it beautiful?! Made especially for my Mom by the ever fantastic Opal over at Opalescentjewels. Go get yourself or someone you love some pretties for the holidays!!
- Got decorations from my parents and acquired Christmas tree that has yet to make its way into the house. I may have upwards of 12 people here for Christmas dinner. I’ve never put up a tree without my parents. This should be interesting.
- Drove back to NJ (or should I say, HWJF drove us back to NJ) in an ice/freezing rain/sleet/snow/godknowswhat storm. It usually takes us 1.5 hrs. to get back from my parent’s house. It took us 4 yesterday. Good times. NOT!
- And oh yeah, lots of knitting!!! Some FO’s will have to wait but here are a couple that I can share..
Grandpa’s Christmas Socks 2009
Pattern: 3×1 rib
Yarn: Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock Multi in Black Watch
Needles: size 1
Simple ribbed socks for my Grandpa. I hope they keep him warm this winter.
Un-purled Cables Cowl
Pattern: Un-purled Cables
Yarn: Baby Alpaca Grande
Needles: Size 11
A one day quicky cowl! Gotta love that when it comes to gift knitting. Hopefully a co-worker of mine will love it too.
Pattern: Swirl Cowl
Yarn: Plymouth Suri Merino
Needles: size 7
Another quick knit for a co-worker gift. I really liked this yarn. The blend of merino and alpaca gives it a nice hand that I think will make a very cozy and warm cowl.
I have one more Christmas gift I’m desperately trying to finish in the next day or two. Wish me luck since it really needs to go in the mail soon!
And now I fear, dear reader that if I do not step away from the computer and start thinking about bed, the time will slip me by and getting up tomorrow will be all the more difficult. Now that the car is fixed ($300 later. Oye.) things this week are looking up a bit but are still busier than heck. I’m trying not to think about everything that needs to be done when it comes to cleaning, decorating, teacher training, an actual paying gig on the bassoon and the regular day job and…
Oh wait. I’m not thinking about that!
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How about some Finished Objects?! Ok then. First up, a yummy cowl!
Pattern: Darkside Cowl
Yarn: Madeline Tosh Worsted, 1 skein in Violin (Ha!)
Needles: US 7
Knit: Sept. 25-Oct.18, 2009
The cowl is super yummy. I did the same thing with this as I did with the cowl I knit last for HWJF, I just knit until I ran out of yarn. The pattern is just knits and purls so it is totally reversible. I loved the yarn and it makes a nice soft warm and squishy cowl that stays nicely in place around my neck. I kind of wish I’d managed to finish it in time for Rhinebeck, but there’s still plenty of cold weather to come.
I would definitely knit with this yarn again. It’s soft and nicely plied and the color has a lot of depth. So much so that as I knit it I kept thinking, “How’d she do that?!?”. Pretty stuff.
Next up, the Rhinebeck sweater that no one saw until after Rhinebeck!
February Lady Sweater
Pattern: February Lady Sweater
Yarn: Tess’ Designer Yarns Superwash Merino
Needles: US 8
Knit: Sept. 26-Oct.15, 2009
Knit in just over two weeks this is a lovely quick knit sweater on reasonable needles and yarn. Since I knit this in a rush of “OMG What the hell am I going to wear to Rhinebeck since Sirdal isn’t going to be done” and didn’t swatch (bad knitter!) I had to monkey with the numbers quite a bit. I probably lost a bit of knitting time to that, but in the end it really came down to finding the appropriate number of stitches to fit my body and then modifying that to fit the number of stitches needed for the lace repeats. Not too difficult.
I found three lovely buttons at M&J Trimming in NYC for this. They cost a bit more then I really wanted to spend, but I needed a finished sweater! I was afraid they’d be too heavy for the sweater since they are metal and a bit on the large side, but I think they worked out well.
One thing I might have done differently would have been to knit the body a little shorter and take that extra yarn and add it to the arms. I’m not usually a 3/4 sleeve kind of gal, so I would have liked a longer sleeve. If I ever do this again I’ll keep that in mind, although it hasn’t been bothering me as much as I thought it would.
One warning about the yarn. While lovely and dyed in a magnificent mix of colors and beautiful and soft and generally wonderful, it grows. A lot. When I blocked this thing it was kind of huge. Luckily I stay with my parents during Rhinebeck and they have a functioning dryer. About 10 min. of tumbling and the sweater was good as new. I did notice that it also stretches with wear however. I’ve affectionately knick named this the “Sweater that needs a dryer”. But I really don’t want one so we won’t be buying one any time soon (andpleasedon’tbuyusoneasaweddingpresentMOM!!).
I have one more FO to show you but I’ve apparently failed to upload the pictures. Guess we’ll just have to save that for another day! Who knows, maybe I’ll even shock you all with 3 posts in one week!
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Once again I’ve found myself far too busy to blog until now. I had another weekend of YTT this past weekend and all my good intentions to do something with the blog on the Columbus Day holiday were eaten by my need to sleep late, go to yoga, relax and oh yeah! Knit! It’s been a mad dash to the finish line in between everything else, but I’m almost there!
Cruddy 11pm iPhone shot. Sorry!
The February Lady Sweater is blocking! I cast off last night during a quick dinner at Whole Foods before my meditation class and threw it in the washer for a quick soak before going to bed. Hopefully it will be dry tonight and hopefully the body didn’t grow as much as I think it did. I used just about every last inch of yarn and the sleeves are a bit shorter than I would normally like, but I still think it’s a cute sweater. I hope to get proper modeled shots this weekend at Rhinebeck, but from the look of the forecast this baby may spend most of the day hidden from view under a very warm coat!
Speaking of Rhinebeck, I’m having a little contest for Zarzuela’s Fibers. Go over to the shop to get the full details on how you could win some yarn or spinning fiber!
And if that isn’t enough, how about another contest too!! Be the first person to find me AT THE FESTIVAL and tell me what HWJF stands for and you’ll win a Morehouse Merino shawl pattern AND the yarn to knit it. (Edited for clarity.) Not bad, eh? And yes, my travel companions are excluded from the contests. You know who y’all are!
In the meantime I’m going to be working on this:
The Darkside Cowl in Madeline Tosh worsted. I think HWJF and I are going to need all the warm wooly stuff I can muster this weekend!
I’m very much looking forward to meeting old and new friends this year! Safe travels to all! Full report on Rhinebeck and maybe even some wedding planning stuff next week.
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Is that an actual Finished Object I see?!?! I believe it is!!
Pattern: Basalt from the latest Knotions
Yarn: Farmhouse Yarns Andy’s Merino II, 1 skein
Needles: US 10
I needed an instant gratification project and Basalt totally fit the bill. A simple cowl in a simple knit and purl combination that wasn’t too much for my brain and knit up quick. The yarn I used is completely yummy! So much so that I couldn’t stop at the required 6+ inches. (And, well, the STASH Kal was also good motivation to use it up.)
I decided to just keep going until I ran out of yarn, then folded it over for extra warmth and cushy-ness.
Obviously, this is definitely not my color. I made this for HWJF who tried it on and did approve, but since I don’t see him much during daylight hours these days (is it Oct. 15th yet?!?!) I had to be the model.
It’s definitely going to be a warm cozy cowl. And if the weather at Rhinebeck is anything like it was last year, I may be trying to steal it from him!
In other news I participated in Global Mala 2009 yesterday in Newark NJ.
The alter constructed for the event.
What an amazing experience! We did 108 Sun Salutations for World Peace. A huge school gym full of people doing yoga to live music was quite an energetic experience. I didn’t quite make it through all 108, but I did pretty well. I have the sore hamstrings and shoulders to prove it too, although I’m in much better shape today than I expected. There was some amazing Kirtan during the even too and I’m very happy that I got to experience it.
Unfortunately, I think the last couple of weeks have started to catch up with me. I appear to be coming down with a head cold. Here’s hoping it’s nothing more than that. I think tonight will find me parked on the couch with a warm beverage and perhaps catching up on some homework instead of taking the two classes I had planned for tonight. I sometimes wonder what the heck I’m thinking when I make my schedule…
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If you didn’t see it in my last post, a big thank you to all that had been sending good vibes this way. We found out last Thursday that what we feared might be was not and I am very grateful for all your help toward that end. I made a donation to an appropriate charity to thank the universe as well.
Moving forward now this past weekend at the NJ Sheep and Wool festival was a great success! Thank you to everyone who stopped by the booth. And the biggest, hugest and most enormous thank you of all to Sharon and Sairy for running the booth in my absence!! A giant thank you to HWJF as well, who got up before the crack of dawn and ran down to the fairgrounds with me to set everything up only to run back and have to deal with what was probably the busiest day of his year at work. Despite the argument that may have made the paint on the barn peel, I thank you darling!
I have a few pics courtesy of Sharon to share.
Here’s the full view of the booth. When we started unpacking I realized, much to my dismay that I had completely forgotten part of my set up. We managed to work it out anyway.
There was definitely fiber galore. And my dear friend Eklectika sent spindles again this year (check out her etsy shop here!)
Carolyn and Tina shared the booth along with me this year.
Since we literally set up and ran, I basically didn’t see any of the festival. I had just a few min. to say hello to some friends that I haven’t seen in way too long and that was it for me. The thing I am most sad to have missed was this:
That would be Mary Beth Temple and her daughter who apparently ran up to the booth to find me and show me what they had spun with the previous year’s purchases! How amazingly sweet is that?!?! Thank you both for stopping by and I’m so sorry that I missed you!!
Apparently there were other people who did the same but weren’t identified. If you came to show me things you’d spun with my stuff, please get in touch! I would love to see and I’m sorry that I missed you too!
Another fantastic thing that I missed?
Sharon won spinning ribbons!! One of them was even with some of my fiber!
How cool is that?! So very proud of you my friend!!
While I’m definitely sad about missing out on these beautiful things I’m still happy with what I did instead. The first weekend of teacher training was beautiful, intense, mind blowing, scary and amazing. I’m happy to admit that I’m a little overwhelmed with everything I need to accomplish in the next nine months while still trying to work full time and run a small business, but I’m in it for the long haul. It’s going to be an amazing journey. I can already tell. And if I just break things down and take one day at a time, it will all be ok.
I wish my Yoga Mat Sweater would hurry up and be done though. I could use the bag to free up my hands from some of the extra stuff that has to go with me to the studio now!
It’s gotten too big to go on the train, so I’m not sure when it will be finished.
Too big to go on the train means I needed a new project!
Meet Basalt. At least the boy will have a new cowl by Rhinebeck. With only about 30 days to go, I’m not so sure I’ll have a new sweater…
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