Roving Sampler – Reds – 4 Ounces

Roving Sampler 4 Oz Reds

Description: Hand dyed before carding.
50% Mohair, 50% Shetland Wool
Color: 1 oz each of Fuschia, Mahogany, Mulberry, Reddish Brown
Fiber Content: Mohair: DWF’s Roberto and Ingrid
Wool: Shetland, Phoenix Farm’s (WI) Snow White
Type (Processor): Roving (Spinderella, UT)
Quantity (Pounds): 0.25 (4 oz total) – 1 ounce of each color
Price: $2/ounce, $13/8 ounces (63% savings), $23/pound (67% savings) plus shipping. Savings is fiber cost + shipping versus 1 oz. fiber.
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Roving Sampler – Greens – 4 Ounces

Roving Sampler 4Oz Greens

Description: Hand dyed before carding.
50% Mohair, 50% Shetland Wool
Color: 1 oz each of Country Green, Dusky Country Green, Key Lime, and Olive
Fiber Content: Mohair: DWF’s Roberto and Ingrid
Wool: Shetland, Phoenix Farm’s (WI) Cry Baby’s Sister
Type (Processor): Roving (Spinderella, UT)
Quantity (Pounds): 0.25 (4 oz total) – 1 ounce of each color
Price: $2/ounce, $13/8 ounces (63% savings), $23/pound (67% savings) plus shipping. Savings is fiber cost + shipping versus 1 oz. fiber.
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Roving Sampler – Blue Brown Purple Yellow – 4 Ounces

Roving Sampler 4Oz Blue Yellow Brown

Description: Hand dyed before carding.
50% Mohair, 50% Shetland Wool
Color: 1 oz each of Sun Yellow, Toffee, Periwinkle, Turquiose
Fiber Content: Mohair: DWF’s Roberto and Ingrid
Wool: Shetland, Phoenix Farm’s (WI) Cry Baby
Type (Processor): Roving (Spinderella, UT)
Quantity (Pounds): 0.25 (4 oz total)  – 1 ounce of each color
Price: $2/ounce, $13/8 ounces (63% savings), $23/pound (67% savings) plus shipping. Savings is fiber cost + shipping versus 1 oz. fiber.
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Sock Knitting Exploration

I’ve decided to do a project exploring fiber content and construction techniques for socks.  At the rate I knit it could be a lifetime project!

For my first project ….

Used FLK  (Fish Lip Kiss) pattern for sizing and heel. Since it’s my first time using this pattern I used plain knitting for the body of the sock.  This is only the second pair of socks I’ve ever knitted.  I want to work up to Magic Loop for both socks at one time but this pair was done on two circulars, and I did an inch on one sock then an inch on the other sock in order to avoid the dreaded SSS (single sock syndrome).  It worked!

This variation used Wooly Yarn (nylon wool blend, see Halycon yarn for example) held doubled with my yarn in the heel, and the next one will use 100% mohair for the heel.   The yarn used was Rambler’s Way Handpaint Rambouillet DK (100% American wool and spinning) which is spun with a high twist.  Loved the yarn!  It is super springy and knits soooo easily.  I had to watch out for splitting the yarn (my knitting Achilles heel) and accidentally creating yarn overs when increasing.

I used Turkish Cast On (my 1st time – love it!) and kept each sock separate (on it’s own set of circulars).   The Woolly Yarn used for the heels was hard to use as it kept sticking to my fingers and I split the yarn frequently – luckily I didn’t have to do any frogging!.  It took about 40 hours of knitting for the pair.

They fit fairly well initially but stretched lengthwise while wearing.  Due to the size of the yarn they don’t fit in regular shoes but are fine in boots or slippers.  I was surprised to find I did not like the feel of the purl bumps on my feet so am wearing them inside out with the knit side facing in.  So far they are holding up well.

 

 

Learnings:

High twist is needed for 100% wool yarn to wear well, particularly low micron wools such as merino, rambouillet, cormo, etc.  I use 25-50% mohair in all my own yarn blends to ensure good wear performance.  Size (weight) of yarn impacts which shoes the socks will fit into. Soft springy 100% yarn will stretch significantly so this needs to be taken into account for sizing.

Next….Same pattern, same wool, two at a time (TAAT), 100% mohair heels – thinking about a stitch pattern for foot and leg.

Project info

Fish Lips Kiss Heel by Sox Therapist

US 4 – 3.5 mm

: Rambler’s Way Handpainted Rambouillet DK, = 600.0 yards (548.6 meters), 10.58 ounces – I used half a skein;   : Sunglow;: Discontinued Brand Name Yarn

Construction Details:

Toe up, each sock on it’s own circular working one then the other about an inch at a time

Turkish Cast on (4 stitches = 8), wedge toe, increased (inserted a backwards yarn loop) 4 stitches/ row up to 24 stitches then increased every other row up to 40 stitches total

Foot and leg: Stockinette (on circulars so straight knitting)

Heel: Carried Wooly Yarn with Rambouillet yarn

Finish: 2 x 2 rib for an inch and standard loose bind off

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Maine in Short Rug

I was commissioned to hook a 2′ by 3′ rug for the Short Family in Maine as a Christmas gift.  I used my homespun and millspun hand dyed yarns, all of which are wool/ mohair blends  as much as possible but due to the short timeline for producing this rug I also used purchased yarns (details).  Even so I had to spin an extra 2 skeins of Starry Nights yarn for the night sky…can’t imagine how long it would have taken to dye and spin all the yarn colors needed for this size rug!  The backing is 100% cotton 13×13 epi Monk’s Cloth.

The design was created based on royalty free clipart and photos, then enlarged using Ronyasoft Poster Printer.  The Short family lives on a lake (or pond as they are called in Maine) which has loons and they often have bear, coyote and moose visitors near the house.  Additionally one of the family members worked at a state fishery for many years raising rainbow trout.  The rug was designed as a unique reflection of the Short Family.

Maine in Short Rug Back Before Finishing

Back of Rug Before Finishing

 

 

Maine in Short Rug Front Before Finishing

Front of Rug Before Finishing

Moose Side, Back of Rug Before Finishing

 

 

Center Front of Rug Before Finishing

Bear Side of Rug Before Finishing

 Learnings

Even at this large scale details such as eyes and color markings on the loon did not show as well as I would have liked but the use of finer yarns than in other parts of the rug helped.  The paw prints took a long time because of the many color changes needed and because I used finer yarn to get better detail.  For the coyote I used a tweed (white and grey) yarn to better mimic the color variations in their natural coats.

Working the lines of color around the animal outlines is an area I will work to improve on future projects.  I found it easier to get the shapes to hold true if I hooked the objects then worked the colors directly around them while holding back the yarn that formed the outside of the object from underneath.  Horizontal lines of varying color produced a nice impression of moving water.

Yarns Used

Info on the yarns used is given below.  The picture links to the full description and creation details for the yarn where available.

Colorway: Starry Nights roving

Weight: Sport (12 wpi) 2ply Handspun

Fiber Content: 41% DWF Mohair, 59% Shetland wool

Used For: Night sky

Starry Nights Roving

Colorway: Coreopsis

Weight: Sport (12 wpi)

Fiber Content: 50% DWF Mohair – 50% Shetland wool, hand painted (dyed) after mill spinning

Used For: moon, stars, shooting star

Coreopsis Yarn

Colorway: Aquatics

Weight: Sport (12 wpi)

Fiber Content: 50% DWF Mohair 50% Shetland wool

Used For: water and forest

Colorway: Forest Dreams

Weight: Sport (12 wpi)

Fiber Content: 50% mohair 50% shetland wool

Used For: forest and ground

Forest Dreams

Colorway: Green With Envy

Weight: Sport (12 wpi)

Fiber Content: 50% DWF Mohair 50% Shetland wool

Used For: forest and ground

Green With Envy

Colorway: Sky Blue

Weight: Sport (12 wpi)

Fiber Content: 50% DWF Mohair 50% Shetland wool

Used For: water
Sky Blue Millspun Yarn

Sky Blue

Colorway: Dark Grey

Weight: DK 2Ply Millspun

Fiber Content: 68% DWF Mohair 32% Shetland, Blue Faced Leicester Wool

Used For: edging

Yarn Dark Grey DK 2Ply Millspun 68% Mohair 32% Shetland, Blue Faced Leciester Wool - By the Pound

Colorway: White

Weight: Sport (12 wpi) 2 Ply Millspun

Fiber Content: 50% DWF Mohair 50% Shetland wool

 

Used For: loon

Colorway: Tan

Weight:Worsted (9 wpi)
Fiber Contet: 50% DWF Mohair 50% Shetland wool

Used For: moose antlers, bear muzzle

Weight: Sport (12 wpi) 2 Ply Millspun

Colorway: White Grey Tweed

Fiber Content: 68% DWF Mohair 32% Shetland Wool

Used For: coyote

Yarn Tan White Tweed 2Ply Sport

Colorway: Rosado Pink

Used For: Rainbow Trout

Colorway: Aztec Turquoise

Used For: water

Colorway:205 M Grassy Knoll

Used For: forest and ground

Colorway:Forest Shadows

Used For: forest and ground

Colorway: Midnight Green

Used For: forest and ground

Colorway: Turkish olive

Used For: forest and ground

Colorway: 114 Storm

Used For: body of moose and bear

Colorway:Burnt Sienna

Used For: eyes

Saco River Dyeworks (Maine) 6ply rug yarn

Weight: Worsted (9 wpi)

Colorway: Black

Used For: Paw prints, edging around animals, loon, canoe

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Chair Seats – Cats Who’ve Owned Me Series – 4

This chair seat is called “Cleaning Up” and features Sandy taking a bath.  The design is based on my photos of him.  I’m still experimenting with different colors and textures of yarn to find the best for picturing a cat. This time I used white and tan yarn and hooked the stripes explicitly.

I used my homespun and millspun hand dyed yarns, all of which are wool/ mohair blends (details).  The backing is 100% cotton Monk’s Cloth.  I used 13×13 epi cloth.

The wildflower patches are millspun yarns that were hand painted after the yarn was spun.  The background fields were done with yarns that were kettle dyed before spinning.

Back of Chair Seat

Sandy

Front of Chair Seat
Before Finishing

 Learnings

Good contrast in the colors chosen and work with scissors after hooking to arrange the lines as hooked makes the details much clearer.  Sandy’s face shows clearly on the back of the chair seat but still needs some work on the front side.  Since the colors are so close in value, it is hard to see his face details unless the lighting is bright.

I liked the look here of generic blobs of color versus trying to hook detailed flowers or grasses.

Yarns Used

Info on the yarns used is given below.  The picture links to the full description and creation details for the yarn where available.

 Wildflower Patches in Background: Coreopsis Yarn  Coreopsis – hand dyed (after spinning) 2 ply millspun – 50/50 mohair/wool.   This yarn is shades of yellow with sections of yellow and white designed to stripe.
Mardi Gras Millspun Yarn Mardi Gras – hand dyed (after spinning) 2 ply millspun – 50/50 mohair/wool.
Wildflower Meadow Millspun Yarn Wildflower Meadows- hand dyed (after spinning) 2 ply millspun – 50/50 mohair/wool.
Iris Millspun Yarn Iris – hand dyed (after spinning) 2 ply millspun – 50/50 mohair/wool. The same yarn was also used for the edging.
Gravel Path: Yarn Dark Grey DK 2Ply Millspun 68% Mohair 32% Shetland, Blue Faced Leciester Wool - By the Pound Natural Dark Grey  and Light Grey DK 2Ply Millspun 68% Mohair 32% Shetland, Blue Faced Leicester Wool.
Yarn Sport White Millspun 2 Ply 59% Mohair 31% Shetland Wool - Sold by the Pound I used natural DWF white mohair/ wool yarn for the rocks along the gravel path (same yarn as for Sandy’s body). Sport White Millspun 2 Ply 59% Mohair 31% Shetland Wool.
Background Fields: Pearl Green kettle hand dyed (before carding) millspun.
Forest Dreams hand dyed (before carding) millspun. Designed to look like a forest at a distance for use in weaving and rug hooking.
Aquatics hand dyed (before carding) millspun. Designed to look like pond water for use in weaving and rug hooking.
Green with Envy hand dyed (before carding) millspun.
  Sandy: Yarn Sport White Millspun 2 Ply 59% Mohair 31% Shetland Wool - Sold by the Pound I used natural DWF white mohair/ wool yarn for most of Sandy’s body. Sport White Millspun 2 Ply 59% Mohair 31% Shetland Wool.
Yarn Tan 3Ply Millspun 50% Adult Mohair 50% Shetland Wool 2.5 Oz Skeins Tan DWF mohair/ wool millspun was used for Sandy’s stripes.  3Ply Millspun 50% Adult Mohair 50% Shetland Wool 2.5 Oz Skeins
  Edging: Iris Millspun Yarn Iris – Hand Dyed (After Spinning) Millspun.  The same yarn was also used for wildflower patches in the background.
 Lettering:  A small amount of hand spun, turkey baster hand dyed roving (white with small amounts of orange and blue) was used.

A ball of roving was soaked in water for an hour, then injected with colors using a turkey baster, heated to boiling for 30 minutes to set the colors, then washed before hand spinning.

 

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Chair Seats – Cats Who’ve Owned Me Series – 3

This chair seat is called “Rori Shows Her Belly” and shows Rori on a rug in a typical “scratch my belly” pose.  The design is based on one of my photos of her.

I used my homespun and millspun hand dyed yarns, all of which are wool/ mohair blends (details).  The backing is 100% cotton 13×13 epi Monk’s Cloth.

The rug Rori is laying on is made of 4 different green millspun yarns.

Back of Chair Seat

Rori and Sandy

Front of Chair Seat
Before Finishing

 Learnings

Details came out better with the more enlarged size of the cat.  Also, contrast is key to making small details visible.  The 13×13 epi Monk’s cloth worked much better than the looser version designed for embroidery.

Yarns Used

Info on the yarns used is given below.  The picture links to the full description and creation details for the yarn where available.

Rug: Pearl Green kettle hand dyed (before carding) millspun.
Forest Dreams hand dyed (before carding) millspun. Designed to look like a forest at a distance for use in weaving and rug hooking.
Aquatics hand dyed (before carding) millspun. Designed to look like pond water for use in weaving and rug hooking.
Green with Envy hand dyed (before carding) millspun.
 Rori:   Since natural black isn’t readily available in mohair (black mohair is  dark grey at best) I bought a skein of  Brown Sheep’s Lamb’s Pride Worsted Onyx from Alpaca Direct as they had the best price when I was shopping.  It is a USA made 15% mohair/ 85% wool single ply yarn.
Yarn Sport White Millspun 2 Ply 59% Mohair 31% Shetland Wool - Sold by the Pound I also used mill spun natural DWF white mohair/ wool yarn for Rori’s tummy patches. Sport White Millspun 2 Ply 59% Mohair 31% Shetland Wool.
Coreopsis Yarn Eyes: Coreopsis hand dyed (after spinning) millspun. This yarn is shades of yellow with sections of yellow and white designed to stripe. I used a small amount from a section of yellows.
Yarn Dark Grey DK 2Ply Millspun 68% Mohair 32% Shetland, Blue Faced Leciester Wool - By the Pound A small amount of  Natural Dark Grey DK 2Ply Millspun 68% Mohair 32% Shetland, Blue Faced Leicester Wool was used to create depth around the chin line and between the toes.
  Edging: Iris Millspun Yarn Iris – Hand Dyed (After Spinning) Millspun
 Lettering:  Ooops!  Forgot it on this one so  embroidered on the back.

 

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Chair Seats – Cats Who’ve Owned Me Series – 2

This chair seat is called “Nap Time” and features Sandy and Rori napping against the night sky.  The design is based on my photos of the two napping on my bed.  I’m experimenting with different colors and textures of yarn to find the best for picturing the cats.

I used my homespun and millspun hand dyed yarns, all of which are wool/ mohair blends (details).  The backing is 100% cotton Monk’s Cloth.  I used 8×8 epi cloth since I’d already washed the fabric and drawn the design on this cloth found in my stash.  The next chair seat will use the new 13 epi cloth I ordered as it is designed for rug hooking and should make the hooking go more quickly and efficiently.

I designed Starry Nights roving with various blues, purple and black with bits of yellow to look like the night sky in weaving and rug hooking.  This “rug” used a lot of it as I went with a fairly simple background so the one skein I had spun was not enough!  Had to stop and spin another skein when I was nearly finished.  Oh well, it means I’ll have some ready for another fiber project.

Nap Time - Chair Seat

“Nap Time” in progress. Moon, sky and part of Sandy shown.

 

Starry Nights Roving

Starry Nights roving and 1 ply on bobbin.

 

“Nap Time” Completed

Back Side Showing Closeup of Modified Cat Faces

Sandy and Rori

Sandy and Rori – the cats being depicted

Closeup of Cat Faces on Right Side Before Re-hooking

Learnings

For this size “rug” (roughly 16″ x 14″), the subjects need to fill the space as much as possible for any detail to show and look right.  I’m trying to find an easier way to enlarge my drawings than redrawing from scratch based on a grid.  I looked at buying on overhead projector or enlarger but they are fairly expensive and my scanner/ copier doesn’t enlarge.  Still working on this.

Cats aren’t brown, but orange isn’t right either.  I may have to design a roving or yarn that will give me the greyed orange with cream stripes that says tiger cat to me. In the first chair seat I used tweed yarn and it gave a nice random tan and white color to the cat.  In this one I used a hand spun with random brown and white color changes.  The way the colors fell gave a stripe to Sandy’s back and mostly brown elsewhere.  With some planning I could create stripes where they are wanted but it would take a bit of work.

Black is also tough to re-create as mohair isn’t really black except in new born kids, it turns to grey, so it would have to be dyed to get that color.  Additionally, shades of black would be needed to allow any details of the cat to be seen.  The size of the rug makes the addition of whiskers pointless – they would either not be visible or take up a disproportional amount of space versus the rest of the body.  The eyes were an issue too because of their proper size in relation to the entire body.  Since the smallest object that can be hooked is 3 punches with the needle, that fixes the eye size in relation to the rest of the design.  In this case the eyes seem too big for the body.

On to Chair Seat number 3!

Yarns Used

Info on the yarns used is given below.  The picture links to the full description and creation details for the yarn where available.

Sky: Starry Nights Roving Starry Nights hand dyed (before carding) roving. Designed to look like the night sky (variegated blues, purples, black and bits of yellow) for use in weaving and rug hooking.
 Moon: Coreopsis Yarn  Coreopsis hand dyed (after spinning) millspun.  This yarn is shades of yellow with sections of yellow and white designed to stripe.  I used a small amount from a section of yellows.
 Cats: Brown and white random color hand spun skein from a (stash) roving grab bag for Sandy.

Since natural black isn’t readily available in mohair, I bought a skein of  Brown Sheep’s Lamb’s Pride Worsted Onyx from Alpaca Direct as they had the best price when I was shopping.  It is a USA made 15% mohair/ 85% wool single ply yarn.  I used this yarn for the black cat (Rori).

Yarn Sport White Millspun 2 Ply 59% Mohair 31% Shetland Wool - Sold by the Pound I also used a mall amount hand spun natural DWF white mohair/ wool yarn for Rori’s white paws and stomach patches. Sport White Millspun 2 Ply 59% Mohair 31% Shetland Wool.
Yarn Dark Grey DK 2Ply Millspun 68% Mohair 32% Shetland, Blue Faced Leciester Wool - By the Pound A small amount of  Natural Dark Grey DK 2Ply Millspun 68% Mohair 32% Shetland, Blue Faced Leicester Wool was used to create depth in Rori, around the chin line and the inside of the ears.
  Edging: Iris Millspun Yarn Iris – Hand Dyed (After Spinning) Millspun
 Lettering:  A small amount of hand spun, turkey baster hand dyed roving (white with small amounts of orange and blue) was used.

A ball of roving was soaked in water for an hour, then injected with colors using a turkey baster, heated to boiling for 30 minutes to set the colors, then washed before hand spinning.

 

 

 

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Chair Seats – Cats Who’ve Owned Me Series – 1

Since I can’t take the afternoon heat lately, I’ve been working (finally) on a set of chair seats in honor of cats who have owned me.  The first one (described in this post) is Sandy and Rori looking out the window.  I used my homespun and millspun hand dyed yarns, all of which are wool/ mohair blends (details).  The backing is 100% cotton Monk’s Cloth.

I designed Blue Skies yarn with variegated blues and a bit of white here and there to look like the sky in weaving and rug hooking.  Similarly I designed Forest Dreams with primarily greens and a bit of blue to be used in weaving and rug hooking for broad expanses of trees or a forest with just a hint of sky poking through.  Here it is used for carpeting or a reflection of the outside grass.

 

View from the House Chair Seat

“View from the House” Chair Seat

View From the House Chair Seat - Closeup of Sky, Clouds and Bird

Closeup of Sky, Clouds and Bird

View from the House Chair Seat - Closeup of Grass and Edging

Closeup of Grass and Edging

 Learnings

For this size “rug” (roughly 16″ x 14″), not much detail will show.  Next in the series will  be designed with less detail and the lettering will be made larger to show more clearly.

The Monk’s Cloth used was found hiding in my fabric stash (price was right!), but since it was 8×8 epi it was difficult to use for rug hooking.  The design came out but it took more time and yarn than it should have because the yarn did not always stick into the fabric evenly.  It was also hard to get the tension correct.  After some searching I located 12-13 epi cotton Monk’s Cloth and ordered some for the rest of the series.  The best price I found was from Earth Guild at $14/ yard (60 inch wide).  The 8epi cloth was $4/ yard!  It was not easy to find the right epi cloth because most web sites don’t list epi in the description.

Yarns Used

Info on the yarns used is given below.  The picture links to the full description and creation details for the yarn where available.

Sky: Sky Blue Millspun Yarn  Sky Blue Hand Dyed (After Spinning) Millspun. Designed to look like sky with variegated blues for use in weaving and rug hooking.
 Grass:  Forest Dreams  Forest Dreams Hand Dyed (Before Spinning) Millspun. Designed to look like trees/ forest with variegated green and a touch of blue for use in weaving and rug hooking.
 Cats:  Yarn Worsted Tan White Tweed 2Ply Millspun 68% Mohair 32% Wool - Sold by the Pound Tan White Tweed (for Sandy) Natural Color Millspun.
Since natural black isn’t readily available in mohair (black mohair is  dark grey at best) I bought a skein of  Brown Sheep’s Lamb’s Pride Worsted Onyx from Alpaca Direct as they had the best price when I was shopping.  It is a USA made 15% mohair/ 85% wool single ply yarn.  I used this yarn for the black cat (Rori).
Clouds: Yarn Sport White Millspun 2 Ply 59% Mohair 31% Shetland Wool - Sold by the Pound Small amount hand spun natural DWF white mohair/ wool yarn. Sport White Millspun 2 Ply 59% Mohair 31% Shetland Wool.
 Edging: Iris Millspun Yarn  Iris – Hand Dyed (After Spinning) Millspun
 Birds: Yarn Dark Grey DK 2Ply Millspun 68% Mohair 32% Shetland, Blue Faced Leciester Wool - By the Pound  Natural Dark Grey DK 2Ply Millspun 68% Mohair 32% Shetland, Blue Faced Leicester Wool
 Lettering and Cloud Outlining:  Small amount of hand spun, turkey baster hand dyed roving (white with small amounts of orange and blue).  A ball of roving was soaked in water for an hour, then injected with colors using a turkey baster, heated to boiling for 30 minutes to set the colors, then washed before hand spinning.

 

 

 

 

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Fleeces – Romney

Romney 2014 Yearling Ram Fleece

Romney 2014 Yearling Ram Fleece

 

Description: This is a yearling ram fleece with nice lock structure and 4inches in length. This is a washed fleece, with very little VM.  It is not super soft but has a nice medium crimp and is springy.
Color: Medium Brown
Sheep:
Breed: Romney
Weight (pounds):  3.9
Price: $1/ounce or $15/pound for full fleece plus shipping. $12/pound raw fleece is equivalent to $17/pound washed due to average 30% washing loss.
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