Recently in Gauntlets Category

Gifted with Cool Yarn

yarn 1yarn 1

I meant to show a photo of these previously and just now remembered to pull the pics off the camera. M bought me this yarn on a shopping trip with my Mom last month. I had just started the Beetons at that point, and she thought this yarn might be a good Beeton kind of yarn - with the integrated sparkles instead of beads. The color is great, too. When I was trying to get pics of it, Spencer kept reaching out and grabbing it. He's still working on learning a full caderie of colors, but "puple" he knows, and he couldn't keep his hands off of it. "Purple," he kept saying, as he'd grab the yarn. So, I thought I'd show a few toddler-hand-in-the-way pics, instead of a single, well-focused shot.

This yarn (below) is the Lorna's Shepherd Worsted I bought with a multi-D scarf in mind. I just LOVE the colors in this one. I could use it for anything, of course, but I would like to make a mindless multi-D. Every time I pick up this yarn, I smile. It feels SO great.


A Beeton


The Beetons are done. I ended up doing the picot cast-off on the second one. It was really easy, and I was kicking myself for not taking time to look up the cable cast on the first time around and doing it right the first time around. That, too, was really easy, and I'm glad to have learned how to do it. So, I need to rip out the bind off row of the first gauntlet and do the picot cast-off there. Then they'll be totally finished.

The pic doesn't do the Mrs. Beeton justice. I had on a red sweater, which is sitting on top of the picot edge, so you can't see it here. Sorry.

(It seems almost as hard to get a good photo of mittens on oneself as it does to get good photos of socks on oneself. Odd angles...)

Also... in non-Beeton-related knitting news... but following the sock thread... my Jaywalkers have bitten the dust. Well, more precisely, they got washed... and they don't fit. I'd only worn them once. I got them out of the drawer today and tried to pull them on only to find them shrunken and slightly felted. I was heartbroken. I don't make that many socks, and to find that a pair I'd only worn once is now unwearable was almost beyond comprehension. Lesson learned.

Mrs. Beeton in the Car

June 3, 2006 – Saturday – 3:44 PM Beachside
We’ve been here a while, so this will likely be a short entry… meaning the little one will probably wake soon. I’ve been working on a number of things… including a bit of knitting… and doing a run-through listen of my first podcast and then listening to Episode 27 of Cast-On. I didn't realize we'd already come to the end (almost) of Series 2. I'll be sad when she, again, takes a break!

My bit of knitting in the car, so as not to waste time while the computer booted and rebooted (my car power source seems to be a bit wonky these days), was on my second Mrs. Beeton. Believe it or not, I cast this second one on over a week ago in the car with my mom. The last day of her trip, in fact. I cast on the entire 108 stitches, placing the 54 beads… well, I didn’t get that far. I cast on 101 and realized I was short on yarn for my long-tail cast on, which never happens to me. (I have a pretty accurate system of holding up my yarn a certain arm’s width apart for every “30” stitches I need…) So, I was short. My mom suggested I just add on the remaining cast-on stitches using the knitted cast on method. Because I just couldn’t cope with the thought that I’d wasted my entire afternoon sit and knit in the car time casting on something only to take it out again, I gave it a try. I cast them on, and then gamely continued with the first/foundation row with my lace weight and then moved on to the next two rows with my DK (Koigu in this case).

By the time I finished those three rows, it was clear that I’d have to start over. Some knitters wouldn’t have, I know. But, to me, the seven extra cast-on stitches stuck out. They bothered me. They didn’t have the same width and definition as the rest of the cast-on row. And, for some reason, my join didn’t hold. I don’t know if it was related to the switch in cast-on technique or not, but I ended up with a gap between the needles that just seemed to get bigger and bigger… I wasn’t sure tucking the ends in later would make it “go away.”

So, the poor Mrs. Beeton has sat in a bag all week, the thought of having to undo the beaded cast on and do it again not high on my list.

Last night, however, it felt “right.” I ripped out the first few rows, moved my slip knot over a good bit, and started again only to realize, can you believe it, when I was almost through the cast on row that I’d cut my yarn (broken it by hand, actually, because I don’t keep scissors in my bags) when working on the mitten last week because I thought I was “done” with the lace weight and had moved on to the Koigu. So, I didn’t have enough to do the cast on row and the first row of the pattern, which uses the same row.

Are you getting the sense these just aren’t to be? I have had that sense, too, but I'm trying to ignore it!

Determined, now, I got up this morning, and after spending 3 hours at my computer before everyone got up (blissful!), I sat and took everything out again, spit on a new end of lace weight, and re-thread my beads, re-spitting, as necessary. (Gross. I know.) Once it was all cast on, I got ready to join my round and realized there were only 3 size 7 DPN’s in my bag. 3 black ebony (beautiful) Noble knitting needles. I poked around everywhere looking for the other one. My youngest has a Harry Potter fixation, and he’s constantly got a “stick” in hand running around pretending it’s a wand. Tinker toys are his most common accoutrements, but he thinks knitting needles are fair game. We struggle to keep them out of his hands, so I’m constantly grabbing one and sticking it up on a shelf or in a container of pens or in a vase or somewhere else out of reach. It’s possible that the black needle is sticking somewhere, but I didn’t find it. I did, however, discover that in my bag of DPN’s I had yet another black needle. When I bought these ever so long ago, it must have been a set of 5. So, I brought the mitten along for the car ride. During the week, I don’t knit during the nap. I work.

But on the weekend, I sometimes mix in a bit of knitting. I’m glad I brought them along. I got several rows done before I switched over to working on a puzzle for an upcoming issue of PuzzleBlast. Now, a few minutes to blog, and… he’s awake…

"Bye bye, Ocean."

Making a list; Checking it twice

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The final countdown has begun. The lists have been checked and double-checked. Clothing debates have been waged, chosen clothes rolled, needles packed, and a 'snacks bag' begun. It is probably only natural that being such a packrat, I have an almost compulsive tendency to overpack. Having children has forced me to curb that tendency a bit when it comes to my own things. The sheer logistics of what we really need to carry outweighs, for example, my desire to tote watercolor paints and paper, a spare journal, an unstarted needlepoint project, or extra yarn 'just in case.'

Now I just overpack for the boys. But, better to be overpacked when taking two small boys on a plane ride than underpacked, for sure!

'Going home' at Christmas is a creative time for me. I have less free time now that we have the boys, and that's okay. Christmas is such a wonderful time with them. Matthew, especially, is old enough now to really be into the magic of it all.

Still, any time my mom, Megan, and I are together, we get a lot done. Our creative energies feed upon each other, which makes it a lot of fun. Plus, we always ensure everyone gets at least one "to do" present. Plus, it's a ritual of mine to start something new on New Year's Day.

So, at 4:40ish Thursday morning, the shuttle will arrive and whisk us away to our Christmas in the mountains. Yes, we hope it will be white. (We live in SF after all! We don't see seasons, much less snow.)

Among the accessories going with me will be, yes, my new gauntlets. Love them.

my gauntlets

100 things

I'm thinking I might work on one of those 100 things lists on the plane. Part of me isn't convinced you all need or want to know 100 things about me, but it might be an interesting exercise to see what 100 make it to the list. In my head, when I contemplate the list, I'm often surprised by the random items that start popping up. I think the experience of making the list might be a bit like freewriting - you may not know where the list is going to take you until it's over. I could be wrong, but sometimes reading the lists (and I've read a number of them recently), there is a lyrical quality to them, a flow despite the staccato nature of the list itself that I find compelling.

This list would, of course, be one of many I'll be making over the next few weeks, and probably not the only one that will make it to my blog!

Too much rib

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No pictures (yet). Sorry. I'd fully planned to have finished gauntlet pictures to show you. And, yes, they are done. Well, 99 1/2 % done. I just have to tuck in all the ends and then snap the photos. So, stay tuned.

They should, would, could have been done earlier, had I not messed up. Yep. That's right. I messed up. I think half of my blogging is dedicated to telling stories about my messing up this or that in my current project. But, this morning, as I was dealing with my "mess up," I was thinking how ironic it is that on some level you can tell a knitter's expertise and experience by how s/he deals with messing up.

The irony, of course, is that a non-knitter might think that a really good knitter simply would not mess up so much! Instead, it seems we all mess up, some maybe more than others, and not because we're bad or new knitters. Sometimes things go awry either because the knitting didn't have our full attention. Or we misread something. Or we just plain miscounted. For whatever reason, knowing how - and not being afraid - to fix the mistake seems to me to be a really telling thing about a knitter.

I think, for example, of the photo of the Yarn Harlot last week trying to rectify a Latvian mitten mistake. Her angst is clear. But did she just ignore the error? Of course not. She tackled the rogue Fair Isle - with a crochet hook and a laddering down strategy that most new knitters wouldn't even begin to attempt.

Being comfortable coping with problems and road blocks in our knitting is something we acquire along the way.

My problem this morning wasn't nearly as complicated as some. Yesterday, in a pre-birthday party lull, Spencer was sleeping in my lap, and I started whizzing around the palm of the second gauntlet. I was whizzing away, and I realized I was at the ribbing. I had about 30 minutes before we'd have to be up and shuffling into coats to go wish the soon-to-be-three friend happy birthday. So, I was on a mission. If I could finish the palm, all I'd have left were two thumbs, and the gauntlets would be finished.

I started baby cabling the ribbing rows. There are 4 rows in the baby cable variation I'm using, and I didn't want to stir Spencer (since that might mean I couldn't finish), so I wasn't making my normal hash marks to signal row completion. Instead, I was just chanting in my head, row 1, row 1, row 1, and so on, lest I forget where I was since these days I seem to lose track too easily.

At the beginning of each gauntlet, there are 8 rows of ribbing. I got busy doing 8 rows to finish up the gauntlet. I got through the first 4. Time still good. Spencer still asleep. So I started on the next 4. I didn't bother to check my pattern. That there are 8 rows at the beginning of the gauntlet is ingrained in my memory.

I finished all 8 rows. Cast off. Started getting ready for the party.

While getting ready, however, I was puzzled by the fact that I was short on yarn. The beauty of my modified gauntlet pattern is that it can be made with 1 skein of Koigu. The small wad of yarn left after casting off gauntlet #2 didn't seem big enough to handle both thumbs. I wasn't seriously worried. I have a second skein of this colorway. But I was confused since I made Megan's with no trouble using one skein.

I had hoped to finish the gauntlets post-party, but I crashed early along with the boys. So, during a morning nap, I did the first thumb. It was when I was looking at the thumb directions that I realized I'd goofed. There should have been just 4 rows of ribbing to end things on the palm - not 8. I looked over at gauntlet #1 and could see that, yes, the palm ribbing was shorter on it.

So, I had to rip down the couple of rows, pick things back up, and cast off again. And I had to do it before I could finish thumb #2 because I ran out of yarn with 4 rows to go. Sigh.

As soon as the ends are tucked, a photo will be on its way.

They're Guinevere-esque


All I can say is wow. The Koigu I'm using for my gauntlets is awesome. I had high hopes for it when I picked it up a few years ago. I don't think it was last year. No, last year at the annual after-Christmas sale at a local yarn store near my mom's, we had caught a felting bug and all three of us bought wool, fuzzy yarns for trim, and needles to make Fiber Trends felted totes. So maybe it was the year before when I picked up two skeins of this unbelievable Koigu colorway.

This year, it has been simmering. I have brought it out several times, trying to decide how to use it. Socks? A hat? Gauntlets?

Unrolled, it was so pretty I knew it had to be something special. Something I would wear frequently. Something people would see.

Gauntlets won out, probably largely because I don't have a pair yet.

I'm using the same modified pattern I used to make M's, but I started things off with baby cables instead of a standard rib.

Here are some in-progress shots - top of hand, underside, and a close-up. I'm still working on gauntlet #1.

guantlets guantlets guantlets

(The photos are disappointing. The first two I took in the kitchen this morning with the lights on. So, the color doesn't seem true. Too warm. The third one I took the other day in another room. You can see how different they look. When they're done, I'll get a good outside photo that captures the true color range.)

Watching the colors unfold has been amazing. The palette is so rich and deep. It almost glows. There is a good bit more green in it than I expected, but the green is balanced by purple and red and even some oranges and yellows. The result is so lush and intensely colored that it has royal overtones.

I have a strong fascination with Arthurian legend, and years ago, I would always be tempted by something if M. deemed it 'very Guinevere-esque.'

We don't do that so much anymore. But I did recently buy a Holly Yashi necklace in greens and purples and blues that struck me as very Guinevere-esque, so maybe the concept has cycled back into my life. (Come to think of it, I had a very strong celtic/Scottish period about a year after Matthew was born, too.)

These are perfect.

Mittens in 05?
I'm toying with the idea of an extended 'mitten along' in 2005, a la the 6 Sox. Anyone interested? It could be a lot of fun. The idea is still brewing...

Hat sighting
We were in Borders the other night, and the young woman working in the children's section ran into us as she rounded an aisle.

"What great hats you all have!" she said.

Spencer was wearing his new red hat. Matthew had on his rainbow hat. I had on my favorite Kim Hargreaves Rowan Big Wool hat.

Pausing to give each of our toppers the once over, she again said how neat they were and asked if someone had made them. I said I had, and she said how much she liked them, especially Matthew's rainbow hat which she termed cute and then quickly amended to 'cool' obviously fearing he might react to the 'cute' word. (He didn't/doesn't.)

It was nice to be noticed. Made my night. That's the great thing about hats though - they're hard to miss!

the gauntlets are golden


In trying to tie up loose ends as I prepare to get out of the house this weekend or early next week to go help my mom, I've been also feeling the pressure of the mess on what might as well be called my knitting table next to what has become "my" chair. I'm having an "All in the Family" moment as I type that in. I never had "a" designated chair before. And, hopefully, this is temporary. But since the baby's birth, the glider (which wasn't really used before) has become my spot for most of my sitting hours (at least the ones that are not spent here in my office on my yellow chool).

So, in trying to get things cleared out and figure out which projects I should take with me, I got busy wrapping up the gauntlets to get them off the table and off my mind.

After finishing the second one over the weekend, I did take out the first gauntlet from the wrist up because I'd done my make-1's backwards, resulting, yes, in unsightly holes. I'm not a new knitter, but I do think in the past that my experiences with m1's have been slightly haphazard. I've never really taken the time to figure out which way the needle needed to go through the stitch from below, and so on. Plus, my typical method of increasing has generally been knitting through the front and the back of the same stitch. But, that does create a bar, so for these I was doing the prescribed m1, and I made a mess.

The good thing that came out of it is that now I've totally absorbed the mechanics of the simple m1 and don't think I'll ever again make holes unless I'm intending to make holes!

M., ironically, didn't mind the holes and was fine with me leaving them. But I couldn't do it. So, I finished #2, ripped back #1, and all that was left to do was pick up the thumb stitches and finish the few rows of that.

I did that last night.

They are shown here on two different hands, so the fit is different. Ironically, we both think they fit us. I guess I like mine looser. She doesn't mind the snug fit.



They turned out pretty good. And, even better, because M. wanted them shorter, I was able to do them with one skein of Koigu KPPM, which really opens things up in terms of making more. We've got lots of random Koigu in the house.

Let me take a minute to say, too, that my secret pal 2 is wonderful. She's great, and I appreciate knowing that she's been popping into my blog every once in a while. She sent me a funny pulp fiction card today, too, which gave me a laugh.

I'm looking forward to finding out who she is. I did spend a bit of time poking around trying to find her Australian knit blog. But, I didn't succeed. Of course, I didn't poke too hard. I do like to be surprised!

(My own pal (the person I have) doesn't blog about her packages or notes, so I've learned a lot about the SP program and the importance of it being a two-way street! If you've received something from your pal and haven't taken a picture or at least blogged the contents, take time to do so!)

You can see, I'm in a bit of a sulky mood. I'll probably delete the above before pal revelations, but for now, I'm letting it stay.

So, I am trying to determine what to take with me. There are too many possibilities, which makes it harder than it should be. And, in good knitterly fashion, my temptation is to run to the yarn store and pick up something new. More yarn is the knitter's version of comfort food, I guess. I sort of need to go to the yarn store to buy the last bit of stuff to round out my final package to my secret pal, which I need to mail before I leave. I'm just afraid that while I'm there, I'll be tempted/swayed/compelled into more than I need.

But, I hate to go without projects in hand, especially since there's not a good yarn store in the area. In the mail last night was a reminder notice that Cottage Yarns, a store south of here (but not far) is having their 15% off everything sale next weekend. My local ImagiKnits is a great store as far as what they offer, but there are things we like to pick up at Cottage Yarns, and they are very friendly (and kid-friendly) there. They even have smiley face buttons that they let the little ones pick from, which is nice. It's too bad I'll miss the sale, but M. thinks it is perfect timing since it means she might be able to pick up some stocking stuffers.

Scattered Threads

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Scattered indeed. I look over at my table, and what a mess. The second gauntlet is sitting on top, yarn hanging over the edge of the Vera Bradley case it's being housed in. I had to take out 8 rows this morning to correct a problem I noticed last night, so all the extra yarn is now hanging there. To the side of that is the first of the third sock for the Six Sox Knitalong which I've started in one of the Regia Jubilee colorways I ordered this summer. This is cool yarn, folks. I don't have much done, but I'll get a picture posted soon so you can see the fabulous colorway develop. For one reason or another, yesterday was a day of foiled knitting, and I had to frog some rows of the sock, too. So, there's a lot of that yarn excess hanging around, but it's cool to look at with its lengths of solid color flanked by almost candy-striped sections, so that's okay.

In a larger red Vera B bag on the floor next to my chair, I've got my Charlotte. She's finished except for the fringe, which I started cutting this morning. I won't be able to block her though until the weekend probably.

Here are some photos I took before I did the crochet edging this weekend. As long as you're not my mom, you can take a look.

mom don't click mom don't click mom don't click

And, right now in my chair is a needlepoint project I pulled back out. I've got a number of them started and stashed throughout the house. Most of them are "big" projects - several large Mary Engelbreit canvases, for instance. And when I say "large," I mean poster-hang-over-the-mantle size. They've taken a serious back burner to my knitting this year. But, this smaller project has been on my brain lately for gifty reasons, and so I got it out the other day, laid it on my table, and let it simmer as I knit. Today, I actually picked up some thread and did a bit, and that cinched the deal. I got out several color-coordinated bags of Silk and Ivory thread, one of my favorite needlepoint fibers, and have been picking colors.

So, nothing to show, but a lot going on in my head and all over my table.

As soon as I wrap up Charlotte and finish the gauntlets (fingerless mittens) [and I may do gauntlet number 1 over again because I'm unhappy with the appearance of my increases], I want to start on a Koigu sweater I'm planning based on a Kim Hargreaves sweater. I'm going to do it in various colors, integrated in the manner of Charlotte's Web. I have the yarn already. I just need to swatch and determine the order of the colors and the number of rows per color and per color integration set so that I can get started. I'm hoping to carry the same color progression up the arms, so it's going to be a tricky process to manage to the colors, especially since I'm working with single skeins of most of them. But, I think it'll work. I considered doing the arms solid to avoid potential issues with quantity, but I think with careful preplanning, things should be fine. Plus, the whole variegated, color-washed look of the sweater wouldn't really "work" if the sleeves were solid. That would be to color-blocky for what I have in my head. As you can see, I've been thinking a lot about this one, just haven't gotten started.

Will post pics soon, including needlepoint colors - though I won't be able to show the project itself. [I'm going to have a serious backlog of photos to show after the holidays! Ah, well, on my ever-present to-do list is add a gallery of finished objects to my blog, so maybe post-holiday will be the perfect time for that.]

As an aside... M. and I were laughing the other day that I've finished two pairs of socks from the knitalong but haven't worn either yet. So, today I pulled out a pair [the Clover Leaf socks] and put them on. It's chilly, gray, and wintery-feeling here, so I was in the mood for socks and closed-toe Birks. As I put them on, I was thinking, "the problem with socks is that no one ever sees/notices them."

So, I drop Matthew off at school, and one of the moms mentions our cute hats. He had on his rainbow hat, and I had on my favorite Rowan hat out of the greatest pink Big Wool [which I made on my 33 birthday, by the way]. I sort of shrugged it off with a thanks, and 'yeah, we love to knit' when asked if we'd made them. Other moms chimed in with the "you're so crafty" type comments [which my readers know I hate].

The one mom persisted though. As she looked at my hat, she asked, "what stitch is that on the top? Purl?" Baby in one arm, I tugged the hat off to see for sure what I was wearing and said "It's seed."

"That's knit one, purl one and then purl one knit one on the other side, right?" she asked.

My brain flared as I realized she was asking knitterly [not crafty] questions.

"You knit," I asked, daring to hope.

"I know enough to knit a hat," she said.

And we were off. There we sat on the edge of the play yard talking knitting.

And, then, irony of all ironies, she looked down and asked, "Did you make your socks?"


Going for Gauntlets

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While I think they are cute, I'm not much of a gloves person. They always make my fingers feel clumsy and encumbered. Mittens are almost worse because I feel lost without the ability to use my fingers as separate entities. Of course, when visiting in the winter, I break down and wear one or the other. But for a while now (years), I've thought that fingerless gloves would be a good choice for me. There was always something else to make though.

This year, Savannah Chic Knits pointed out (and then made) the Hooray For Me Gloves which are interesting from a technique standpoint as well as because they use cool self-patterning yarn.

Inspired, fingerless gloves moved from a tiny itch in the back of my brain to the to-make "this year" list.

So, the idea has been simmering when

Out of the blue, M. says that she'd really like fingerless fingerless gloves. That took me a minute. So, she wants fingerless gloves, but ones with no finger holes other than for the thumb.

Fingerless mittens, I believe she called them, which threw me because mittens are fingerless.

(I now know that what she wants are gauntlets.)

To confirm that was what she was talking about, I grabbed Knit Mittens!: 15 Cool Patterns to Keep You Warm off the shelf (it was the first mittens book I spotted) to see if there were any fingerless gloves or fingerless mittens in it. To my surprise, there are. I don't like the execution of the ones in that book, but I figured the pattern would give me a sense of the shaping and so on.

(At that point, I didn't realize gauntlets are a really hot commodity these days, so I was figuring I'd have to "figure" out/modify/adapt an existing pattern to match up to what she wants.)


A few days later, I was flipping through The Purl Stitch and, lo and behold, there were super cool (and elegant) gauntlets staring up at me from the page.

In Koigu no less!


That's exactly what she was talking about - just shorter. She really does want them to be similar to mittens, just with the fingers cut off.

I sat down and looked over the pattern last night. It will be easy to pick up the pattern at a lower (closer to the wrist) point and start from there. Now we're just waiting for a box of sock yarns to arrive (it's been a LONG time since I ordered, and I'm doing major toe tapping now since it was the first time I'd ordered from this retailer) so she can decide if she wants the gauntlets in a self-patterning sock yarn she had me order or if she wants Koigu (of which we have many to choose from).

I'm excited about starting them - and hope she chooses Koigu.

Not that it really matters. I've got several Koigu projects coming up anyway.

I ordered a selection of Koigu colors over the weekend so I can finally get started on my first Charlotte's Web shawl. I picked up a few other skeins Saturday at Knitting Arts in Saratoga after seeing on Sequin K's blog that they'd received a large shipment of Koigu.

They did have a pretty good supply. Could you have found five skeins for a Charlotte's Web along a common color theme/scheme? Maybe. I didn't. But then I was looking for something specific in terms of colorways, and I also knew I could log on and order specific colors from an online retailer (at a better price even). So, it wasn't like I "had" to choose from what they had.

Still, I picked up a few skeins. I've been gathering skeins in a pink/red theme for the last few weeks as we've ventured from one yarn store to another to make a cardigan modeled off of one from an old Rowan magazine I have. Once what I ordered over the weekend arrives, I should have enough to finally plot it out and get it started. I'm really excited about that project. More detail once I get the final shipment.

At Knitting Arts, M. bought a bag of various yarns and made a really wonderful scarf over the weekend. I was good and stuck to my Koigu - since my to-make list over-runneth (especially with the major yarn shopping we did while Mom was in town). But the one thing I did pick up that is super cool is a set of gray handles. One of the projects I'm preparing to start is a felted bag (with many pockets - I am, after all, a mother of two) in gray and pink wools and a grey and pink novelty mix. I tend to be a long strap person, but I couldn't pass these handles up, and I think they'll work great on a the tote.


They also had a pair in a chartreuse that I loved, but the gray ones really do go with the yarns I was already planning to use. A perfect match, and a lucky find.

(Speaking of inventory I am much more likely to order from an online retailer if I can see what they have, know that the colors I choose are in stock, and know that what I've ordered will be shipped out quickly. I wish, wish, wish more online sources offered up-to-date inventory.)

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