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BookClubEditor
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Introduce Yourselves

Reply to this thread to introduce yourself to the group! Let us know what you love (or hate) about the fiber arts, and share some of your favorite ideas, as well.
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TerriH
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Re: Introduce Yourselves

Hi, I’m Terri. I never post things like this on the internet, but since this bookclub seems so perfect for me, I am making an exception.

My mother taught me to knit and purl when I was 8, and I knitted until I was in college. Then, I stopped until last year, when I was “drafted” to knit a really easy shrug for the Christmas Bazaar for my church. I remembered how I loved to knit-the feel of the yarn sliding over the needles, the coziness of the project on your lap, the calming aspect of it, the way your hands have something to do while you chat or watch Lost on TV. So, I am knitting again, and I want to get progressively better. So, here is how I am learning:

After the shrug, I bought some cheap yarn at a local Crafts store, a copy of The Big Book of Knitting, and a copy of Adorable Knits for Tots. I knitted the striped vest for my tot, and it came out OK, although I wasn’t thrilled with the ribbing on the V-neck. I decided I was ready for a real project.

I used to sew a lot, and Vogue Sewing was my bible, so I bought Vogue Knitting. Actually, it has a lot of the same info as the Big Book of Knitting, but it’s hard-backed, so better for a knitting library. I decided to knit a cabled cardigan for my husband, so I went to a local knitting store, and bought Cascade Tweed in a gorgeous burgundy color. I couldn’t find a pattern I liked, so the owner recommended The Knitters Handy Book of Sweater Patterns, and I think this book is pretty essential for anyone who wants to make their own sweater patterns. I carefully knit my test swatches, and calculated the number of stitches for each cable, and I made the pattern on graph paper (I felt like a geek!), and the sweater came out great, I even did an enclosed cable, and once I “got” it, it was fun. The only problem with the sweater is that the sleeves are too long! But, I didn’t find that out until it was all put together, and my husband tried it on. I really don’t feel like re-knitting both sleeves! Someone told me I could pick up some stitches in the lower part of the sleeve, and then cut the yarn, and re-knit it, but I cannot picture this! Oh, well, maybe he’ll just have to fold the cuffs up!

I volunteered to knit something else for the next Christmas Bazaar, and I was given some very scratchy purplish gray yarn, and it just proves the point that it’s no fun to knit with yarn you don’t like. I’m making a vest with it, and the only good thing I can say is that I used it to learn how to bind on with kichener stitch. That looks great! The instructions for binding off in kichener looked complicated, so I just bound off normally, and once again I am not happy with the V-neck. I guess I will now teach myself how to bind off in kichener.

I knitted a shrug for my 10 year old niece in a really fluffy, pretty yarn, to make up for my distaste for the previous project, and that was fun!

My next project will be for myself. The local knitting store was closing, so I bought up a bunch of different colored Rowan 4-ply Soft, in all different shades of blues, pinks, and lavenders. I want to knit a striped pullover or cardigan.

So, I can knit and purl, cable, bind on in kichener, and knit stripes. It looks like now I need to learn to knit in the round. I really love sticks, so I am thinking of mittens, to learn double pointed needles. And then, I REALLY want to knit patterned sweaters. I saw a kids sweater with a dinosaur on it, and the scales of the dinosaur went down the outside of the sleeve! I figure I only have a couple of years to dress my son in a sweater like that, before he is too worried about being cool, and refuses to wear it!

Do you have any advice on a good book of patterns that are progressively harder?
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cseelman
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Re: Introduce Yourselves

Hi Teri,

Welcome to the book club! You are amazing - you've learned so much working on your own. In many cases, I need classes to get over some hurdles, because I am a much more "beginner" knitter than you are.

For those who are interested, there is information on knitty.com on the kitchener stitch.

I also think we'll be discussing a lot about designing our own patterns - so we'll look forward to your insights.

I'm off to a beginner lace class at my local yarn shop right now. I'll check there on any good books that have easy to hard patterns. Did you have any particular garment in mind - like sweaters?

Thanks for posting and I'll be in touch later today.
Carol Seelman
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caroline88
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Re: Introduce Yourselves

Hi Carol,

How nice to see you again - it is a SMALL world :smileywink:

My knitting experience started in primary school and the first project was to knit a rectangular shape, then sew it together and stuff it. A sausage pretending to be a snake. My knitting was too tight or when I tried to let go a bit more, it became quite irregular.
In school, I was more into music so I did not spend much time. Did some cross stitches but usually those projects failed to complete because the producers had been stingy on the thread and it was too hard to find the same colour to finish it off. Good thing there is a new Christmas each year, one time I might actually get these completed.

Then my grandmother taught me how to knit my own socks. We used a thread that was far too thick and the result were v-shaped toes. And she lived too far away to try another pair. But it was fun, and I might try again.

My mother taught me how to crochet. I made pan holders, some kind of waffle pattern which makes for very safe things to hold hot pans with. The ones you can buy in the store, usually look great only the first week, and are too thin so you end up burning yourself. Mine are great, can be washed, and it was a very relaxing thing to do while watching tv. I crocheted a really COOL shirt which looked great and fabulous only it shrank in the first wash and I could not put it on again. I had to put it on over my head and I thought, maybe I should try again but I lacked the courage to think that I could pull it off to make it into something with button holes.
I also crocheted a cover for a double bed. All in white cotton and it looks real special.

One day I would like to:
- knit or crochet a really large blanket which is light weight but warm and can wrap all around my cold feet and ears. I do not have a pattern yet, I think, and my main concern is lack of know how about materials. Wool is often itching and cotton is far too heavy.
- copy my most favoritest sweater. It is in red, white and blue, and it should not be too hard. Only it is "double knitting" (or so my mother called it) and I think it is made of knitting cotton but I am not sure. The material is very high quality because cotton often bleeds colours (especially on my skin) but this one does not do that at all. I love it but it now starts to show wear and that is why I am thinking of maybe copying it one day.

I have not done either in ages because those cotton pan holders last a lifetime :smileysad:

Caroline
Belief in your mission, greet life with a cheer
There's big work to do, and that's why you are here
~ Caroline
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cseelman
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Re: Introduce Yourselves

Hi Caroline,

It's so good to see you here!! I loved your stories of knitting and crochetting. The situation that you encountered with your sweater is now all of the rage! If your sweater was made of wool, you probably felted it. So, now folks are creating large size bags and hats and other items, and then putting them in the wash with hot water and letting them shrink. The results are just beautiful. We will be talking a lot about felting!!

The yarns today are just fantastic. You can get a very soft feeling yarn that has wool in it combined with other fibers. We will be talking about yarns as well.

So, stay tuned!! This is the place you will want to be. I know there will be lots of folks to give you suggestions on easy projects with great yarns to get you into the "swing" again. And then, there will be no stopping you! One warning - knitting and crochetting can be addicting :-0
Carol Seelman
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cseelman
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Book on projects that are progressively harder

Hi Teri,

I don't have a title of a book yet, but I will continue to do research.

Does anyone out there have a good pattern book that offers progressively harder work?

Here's Teri's orginal post:



TerriH wrote:
Hi, I’m Terri. I never post things like this on the internet, but since this bookclub seems so perfect for me, I am making an exception.

My mother taught me to knit and purl when I was 8, and I knitted until I was in college. Then, I stopped until last year, when I was “drafted” to knit a really easy shrug for the Christmas Bazaar for my church. I remembered how I loved to knit-the feel of the yarn sliding over the needles, the coziness of the project on your lap, the calming aspect of it, the way your hands have something to do while you chat or watch Lost on TV. So, I am knitting again, and I want to get progressively better. So, here is how I am learning:

After the shrug, I bought some cheap yarn at a local Crafts store, a copy of The Big Book of Knitting, and a copy of Adorable Knits for Tots. I knitted the striped vest for my tot, and it came out OK, although I wasn’t thrilled with the ribbing on the V-neck. I decided I was ready for a real project.

I used to sew a lot, and Vogue Sewing was my bible, so I bought Vogue Knitting. Actually, it has a lot of the same info as the Big Book of Knitting, but it’s hard-backed, so better for a knitting library. I decided to knit a cabled cardigan for my husband, so I went to a local knitting store, and bought Cascade Tweed in a gorgeous burgundy color. I couldn’t find a pattern I liked, so the owner recommended The Knitters Handy Book of Sweater Patterns, and I think this book is pretty essential for anyone who wants to make their own sweater patterns. I carefully knit my test swatches, and calculated the number of stitches for each cable, and I made the pattern on graph paper (I felt like a geek!), and the sweater came out great, I even did an enclosed cable, and once I “got” it, it was fun. The only problem with the sweater is that the sleeves are too long! But, I didn’t find that out until it was all put together, and my husband tried it on. I really don’t feel like re-knitting both sleeves! Someone told me I could pick up some stitches in the lower part of the sleeve, and then cut the yarn, and re-knit it, but I cannot picture this! Oh, well, maybe he’ll just have to fold the cuffs up!

I volunteered to knit something else for the next Christmas Bazaar, and I was given some very scratchy purplish gray yarn, and it just proves the point that it’s no fun to knit with yarn you don’t like. I’m making a vest with it, and the only good thing I can say is that I used it to learn how to bind on with kichener stitch. That looks great! The instructions for binding off in kichener looked complicated, so I just bound off normally, and once again I am not happy with the V-neck. I guess I will now teach myself how to bind off in kichener.

I knitted a shrug for my 10 year old niece in a really fluffy, pretty yarn, to make up for my distaste for the previous project, and that was fun!

My next project will be for myself. The local knitting store was closing, so I bought up a bunch of different colored Rowan 4-ply Soft, in all different shades of blues, pinks, and lavenders. I want to knit a striped pullover or cardigan.

So, I can knit and purl, cable, bind on in kichener, and knit stripes. It looks like now I need to learn to knit in the round. I really love sticks, so I am thinking of mittens, to learn double pointed needles. And then, I REALLY want to knit patterned sweaters. I saw a kids sweater with a dinosaur on it, and the scales of the dinosaur went down the outside of the sleeve! I figure I only have a couple of years to dress my son in a sweater like that, before he is too worried about being cool, and refuses to wear it!

Do you have any advice on a good book of patterns that are progressively harder?


Carol Seelman
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caroline88
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Yarns, felting and other addictions

Hi Carol,

I am glad that you enjoyed my stories, I thought it best to come out clean with all my failed projects, that is the best way to learn. My sweater was maybe a mixture of wool and cotton? Thank you for teaching me the correct word: felting. In Dutch we call this "pilling" - around the sweater, especially under the arms, little balls of yarn fiber start "growing" after a while. But the colours were so great and the design, I think it was already like 12 years old when someone complimented me "What a great sweater!" Red brings out the best in my complexion so I want to wear more of it. And with this pattern, there is enough red to do that but also not so much red that it has the flag-association.

Making huge items and letting them shrink? Eww. Sounds complicated. How large should it be and how would you know to end up with the correct size?

I am not too worried about addictions. This seems to be a far healthier addiction than a few others I could think of :smileywink:

Caroline
Belief in your mission, greet life with a cheer
There's big work to do, and that's why you are here
~ Caroline
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cseelman
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Re: Yarns, felting and other addictions

Caroline,

I'm not sure how to answer your questions yet! I'm getting ready to take a felting class at my local yarn shop. We make a felted bag. Here's a link to the shop so you can see the bag.

But I'm sure there are folks who will be joining us who can answer your questions.

Anyone out there done felting before? Can you give us a quick overview?
Carol Seelman
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donyskiw
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Re: Introduce Yourselves

I am Denise and I live in Colorado. I gave up on the literature discussions after I became too overwhelmed reading two hours of messages everyday and I just hang out on this board now. Two of my passions are literature and creating beauty. Knitting is one of the ways that I create beauty in my life. I've been a fiber artist even before I knew what a fiber artist was. As a child, I learned to embroider and sew and knit (I actually forgot how to knit and had to relearn from a book as an adult). I always pushed the envelope (the pattern envelope??!!) on what fabrics I could use to make what garments and still, to this day, do not understand the phenomenon where people make projects in the same colors as the finished projects are depicted. I'm learning a lot from the others on this board and also from the February featured book The Ultimate Knitting Book. I really want to make the sweaters in the back!

Denise
Melissa_W
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Re: Introduce Yourselves

Melissa W. here - I started the original fiber arts thread on the Home and Hobbies group. Never thought it would morph into a knitting group. Go us! :smileyhappy:

I knit primarily, will crochet when neccessary (I'm not very fast with it) and I can sew although since my sewing machine is far less portable than my knitting so I don't get much practice beyond doing the mending. I've been making lots of baby things lately for my two nieces (who turn 1 at the end of March) but I did recently finish a shawl that's all for me. I'll have a picture up on my blog soon!

I learned to knit from my grandmother and I made a doll blanket years ago, but I wasn't able to sit still very long at the age of 9 and didn't keep up with the knitting. I started knitting again about 2 years ago after realising I could make the scarves and hats I wanted with better yarns and colors, but with a much smaller price tag. I retrospect, I wish I had kept knitting because I could have made my own leg warmers and wraps for dance class, but I just didn't know anyone who made gorgeous knitted things (my own mother does cross-stitch).
Melissa W.
I read and knit and dance. Compulsively feel yarn. Consume books. Darn tights. Drink too much caffiene. All that good stuff.
balletbookworm.blogspot.com
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cseelman
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Re: Introduce Yourselves

Hi Denise,

I think The Ultimate Knitting Book is invaluable. There is so much great information there. I just got my copy and I am drooling!
Carol Seelman
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cseelman
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Re: Introduce Yourselves

So glad you got this started, Melissa. We're all going to have fun and learn much!
Carol Seelman
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gwenn
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Re: Introduce Yourselves

I just discovered this club - what a find!! I knit and crochet. Right now I am knitting scarves for everyone in my family for Christmas next year. I am using argil sock yarn and doing the seed stitch, that is; knit purl knit purl knit every row. I can only do this stitch and the rib stitch. I want to learn cable and more stitch patterns like the shell.

I bought the Vogue Knitting Book just a week ago and love it. I also have the Big Book of Knitting but it is in storage.

People mention taking out stitches - if I find a mistake I don't mind ripping it all out if I have to to do it over. It has to be perfect or why bother at all. I knit while the tv is on and go into an alpha state or something it is so theraputic. Wounded veterans from WWI were taught knitting as a way to help stabilize mentally and emotionally. I can see why.

I taught myself to knit and crochet as a teenager (I am in my 50's now). I gave it up for many years but last year got back into it again with knitting easy scarves in fancy yarns. In crochet I can design my own patterns and copy garments. It is so rewarding. I plan to crochet a throw soon but am looking for a pattern like a shell stitch.

Well I am so happy to have found this club!
Praise ignorance, for what man has not encountered he has not destroyed. -Wendell Berry
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caroline88
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Re: Introduce Yourselves

Hi Gwenn,

Nice to meet you! And thanks to your introduction, I know now, why this hobby is so addictive: it must be an alpha state thing :smileywink:
(I have crocheted everything in front of the television)

Caroline
Belief in your mission, greet life with a cheer
There's big work to do, and that's why you are here
~ Caroline
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cseelman
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Re: Introduce Yourselves

Welcome Gwenn!

I could relate to every part of your introduction. I, too, go into the alpha state while knitting. I can only watch TV after I have memorized my knitting pattern by heart. Then I can go into the "auto zone" without making too many mistakes -- at least I catch them before I go onto the next row.

My favorite stitch is the seed stitch! I bet your scarves are beautiful. And you are smart to get those Christmas presents started now rather than starting the day after Thanksgiving!

So, welcome aboard - glad you are here!!
Carol Seelman
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chana56
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Re: Introduce Yourselves

Hi.

My name is Chana, I'm so glad to find this group!

My mother taught me to knit when I was quite small, she knit alot as well, which I sometimes regretted, as she would knit these stockings that were sooo itchy, and since she could mend them whenver necessary they never wore out!!!!! But most things I loved doing.

I stopped knitting for many years, then began working at a place where all the women would sit together on breaks with their knitting projects....and so I started again.
I love new projects, and usually knit things for people whenever there's a gift opportunity....and sometimes when there isn't. I haven't bought pattern books in a long time, I have old pattern magazines which I use as inspiration for new projects, and there are so many patterns now online, I hate to spend my very hard-earned cash on books when I spend so much on yarn.

I use some of my old guides to remember old tricks or to teach myself new ones. I discovered KnittingHelp.com , which is a fabulous reference, and has mini-videos to show how to do almost all the stitches/patterns, both for continental and English knitters (check out the glossary). I've learned alot from this site.

I've just finished a lapghan for a friend who was in a car accident and will have to spend a great deal of time in a wheelchair. I used a feather/fan pattern with wavy lines in a contrasting color. Next project is a poncho for my daughter, and I'm reworking a sweater for a friend who wants a different neckline.

I'm so looking forward to sharing and learning in this forum!
Chana

"We don't stop laughing when we get old, we get old when we stop laughing - Anonymous
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cseelman
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Re: Introduce Yourselves

Welcome, Chana!

Glad you are here! I love feather-and-fan. I want to make a lace scarf in that pattern. Something light and airy for summer.

Have you made any socks lately? Some of the yarns are so soft - there would be no itching - like baby alpaca or a silk blend! I can't work with mohair because of the "itch" factor. And if I make anything wool, there needs to be something between it and me :-0
Carol Seelman
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chana56
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Re: Introduce Yourselves

I haven't ever been much of a sock knitter, for some reason.....I do remember my mother knitting the most amazing argyle socks for my dad...but last month I made my daughter some leg warmers in the softest yarn I've ever found, in a hot pink that made my eyes water (but she loved it).

I like playing with the feather-n-fan, different thicknesses of yarn with different size needles, each time it's like a new pattern. Haven't tried it in a scarf yet, tho. The lapghan I just finished is an alpaca blend, it was sooo nice to work with.
It did tend to "shed" alot while I was knitting, I walked around looking like I work in a zoo...
Chana

"We don't stop laughing when we get old, we get old when we stop laughing - Anonymous
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ciproano
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Re: Introduce Yourselves

Hello, knitters! How fun to read your knitting histories and what you're all working on. Like many, my mother taught me to knit and purl, and I made a pair of Quaker stitch booties. I started something else in red yarn, might have been a vest or something, and remember being overwhelmed by the project. I knitted a sweater for a boyfriend in college, and other than it being a bit ugly, I remember that it was enormous (he wasn't), and that the arms were long enough for a Neanderthal. He was very sweet about it. I didn't knit again until a couple years ago when scarves became the rage. A few fuzzies and then that got boring. My sons wanted Harry Potter scarves, and I found a website with "authentic" HP patterns knitted in the round. I absolutely fell in love with circular needles, and I use them so much that straight needles feel weird. I use big circs when I have something large like a blanket, and just knit back and forth.

When I came back to knitting, somehow I stumbled across a set of videos in the local library from Elizabeth Zimmermann's PBS show from the 70's, and just loved those tapes. Watched them several times (so that my sons would say, "Oh, no, not the knitting lady again!"). The only knitting books I've ever bought were several of hers (Knitting without Tears and the book that was the companion to the TV show). The latter was wonderful and I learned much from it. The former is great too, and written with Elizabeth's unique point of view and sense of humor (like her description of knitting a ribbed turtle neck, which was something like, "knit 1, purl 1 until you are sick of it."). She also made a video with her daughter Meg Swanson that was a video version of a glossary. On VHS, it would be hard to look things up, so to speak, but I believe that her company (Schoolhouse Press, now run by her daughter) sells the videos in DVD format. I find it easier to learn watching her do things than looking at pictures in books.

I work full time and have two busy adolescent sons, so knitting time is precious. The last few months, I've mostly done socks (I do those on circs all the way to toes, then Kichener with two dpns) for family, and also have done dozens of infant hats which I took over to a local hospital NICU for preemies etc. (found them through Carewear.org). Made some shawlettes and prayer shawls for holiday gifts, but stay away from any project that is too big as I know I won't finish it. I have not tried many "fancy" stitches and have not yet done cables. I knitted a sweater in the round from Zimmermann's first book with a multicolor yoke that was fun. I've done some hats also in Fair Isle patterns and love the two-color knitting since I prefer to knit "continental" style even though I learned "American", so it's easy to switch back and forth.

I also live in the Rochester area, Carol. I've heard a lot about Spirit Works but have not visited that shop yet. I work downtown so usually go to Village Yarn shop in Midtown Mall. It's fun to have this forum to chat about knitting. I recently joined a knitting ministry group at church but can't often attend as they meet afternoons (when I'm working). I never watch TV, but I love to listen to books on tape as I knit...sometimes I will look at a particular item I've knitted and it brings to mind a certain book, very funny.

Look forward to chatting more...

Cindy
"It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are far more than our abilities."
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cseelman
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Re: Introduce Yourselves

Hi Cindy,

A fellow Rochesterian - YES! I do know of the Village Yarn Shop in Midtown. I bought my yarn there for my latest sweater project (only one sleeve to go :-)

I have heard so much about Elizebeth Zimmermann and that her daughter is continuing her legacy. I will have to go to my library to check out the videos.

Welcome to this knitting forum. We all look forward to hearing more about your current projects, favorite yarns, etc. It would be interesting to hear about where you get your current inspirations. Do you have a favorite magazine, website...?
Carol Seelman
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