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STITCHES Midwest 2014 Teachers


Lorilee Beltman
This former yarn shop owner's experience providing answers for a steady stream of questioning knitters taught her the value of delivering an honest answer with kindness. Lorilee's continental knitting video has over a million views on Youtube. While she enjoys teaching continental to those who want to learn it, she appreciates all knitting styles. She urges her students to try projects that introduce new techniques. Since 2009, she has enjoyed her students at national events and looks forward to meeting you in class!

Her articles or designs have been published in The Ultimate Hat Book (Vogue/Soho Publishing), Blue Moon Fiber Arts RockinĘĽ Sock Club, Interweave Knits Magazine, Interweave Sockupied eMag, Twist Collective, and Beyond Toes by Judy Becker. She is a Craft Yarn Council certified knitting instructor, a TNNA designer/teacher member, and a member of Cat BordhiĘĽs Visionary Authors group.

Tent-camping with her husband and boys has brought her to over twenty National and Provincial Parks. She grew up in Pittsburgh, spent thirty years in west Michigan, and now calls Seattle home. For more about Lorilee go to http://lorileebeltman.com.


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Anne Berk
Anne Berk was certified by The Knitting Guild of America as a Master Knitter in 2003. She has been a knitting instructor since 1998. She has taught at Sock Summit, Madrona Fiber Arts, and Interweave Knitting Lab. Anne's designs have been published by Blue Moon Fiber Arts, Shibui, and Twist Collective. She has contributed to several publications, including ColorKnits e-mag, Piecework and Interweave Knits. She is the author of 2 instructional DVD's for Interweave, Inside Intarsia and Intarsia InDepth.

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Marly Bird
Marlaina "Marly" Bird fled the world of financial services to launch her Yarn Thing podcast and hasn't looked back since. To Marly, a bi-craftsy girl who both knits and crochets, the yarn is the star not how you work with it. She's creative director for Bijou Basin Ranch Yarns and the co-author of Curvy Crochet. You've seen her designs in Knitter's Magazine, Knit Simple, Interweave Crochet, Interweave Knits, Knitscene, Inside Crochet, Wild Fiber, Crochet Today, Knitting Today and Petite Purls, and in the books: Knitter's Book of Socks, Unexpected Afghans, Simply Crochet, Perfectly Plus and Knitting Plus. In her spare time she is a wife to a very understanding husband, raises three kids and teaches at her local yarn store in suburban Denver.

Enter the world of Marly at www.marlybird.com and www.thepurseworkshop.com.


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Gwen Bortner
Gwen Bortner is a Craft Yarn Council Certified Teacher, teaching at venues throughout the country and is the author of Entree to Entrelac. Her designs can be found in a variety of knitting magazines and through her business, Knitability, LLC. Education is probably the most important component of the Knitability business plan as all efforts focus on the company motto of "Taking Knitters to the Next Level". Whether teaching at a local yarn shop or at a national knitting convention, meeting new people and sharing the love of knitting is one of her greatest joys.

Gwen's teaching philosophy can be summed up in the following quote, "As a teacher, my goal is to help students increase the size of their knitting 'tool box'. Although I may have a preference, experience has shown that my preferred way is rarely the only way. My mantra is 'knitting is fun' and if class isn't fun, then I am not doing my job."


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J C Briar
A self-confessed "technique freak" and "skill junkie," JC dabbles in all kinds of knitting, but has a special fondness for textured knitting and novel construction techniques. If it involves lace, cables, or seamless construction, it's sure to catch her eye. She shares her enthusiasm by teaching at shops and fiber festivals and through her book Charts Made Simple. Her latest venture is Stitch-Maps.com, a website for viewing and creating grid-free charts of unparalleled fluidity, authenticity, and beauty.

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Beth Brown-Reinsel
Beth Brown-Reinsel has been teaching historic knitting workshops nationally and internationally for 25 years. Her book, Knitting Ganseys, has been deemed a classic. She completed her first DVD, Knitting Ganseys with Beth Brown-Reinsel, in 2010 and has

since made two more: Color Stranded Knitting Techniques and Knitting Sanquhar Gloves. Her articles and designs have

appeared in Threads, Cast-On, Interweave Knits, Piecework, Knitting Traditions, Shuttle, Spindle, and Dyepot, Vogue Knitting, and

Knitter's Magazine as well as The Knitter, a UK magazine. She continues to design for her own pattern line Knitting Traditions.

Beth's website, blog, and email newsletter can be found at www.KnittingTraditions.com. She lives in Vermont and loves winter!


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Laura Bryant
With a degree in fine arts from the University of Michigan, Laura began Prism Yarns in 1984. She continues as Prism's creative force, specializing in color and hand-dyed yarns and has published over 70 pattern booklets for Prism. Laura has written six books, including The Yarn Stash Workbook, The New Knitter's Template (coauthored with Barry Klein), and recently produced the DVD Knitter's Guide to Color with Laura Bryant and Yarn to Fit with Barry Klein. Her newest book is Artful Color, Mindful Knits from XRX Books. She teaches and designs with a 'no rules' approach, and her classes are designed to bring out the creativity within all of us.

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Christine Bylsma
Chris retired from a career in marketing communications and advertising to pursue her artistic passion, knitting and texture play, at home in Madison, WI. Instead she is having a wonderful time teaching workshops coast to coast – and beyond – for TNNA, shops, guilds and conferences and has her own line of knitting patterns. She has also designed knit garments for the American Girl clothing line.

Chris finds inspiration in nature's colors and combinations, and her knitting designs reflect her pleasure in combining fibers, textures, gauges, and colors in ways that create fun, yet always wearable knits. Her website www.chrisbylsmadesigns.com showcases all of her designs and provides a list of sources for her patterns.


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Lily Chin
Lily M Chin is an internationally famous knitter and crocheter who has worked in the yarn industry for nearly 25 years, as a designer, instructor and author of 8 books on knitting and crochet.  She has created looks for the New York Fashion Week runway collections of designers Ralph Lauren, Vera Wang, Diane von Furstenberg and Isaac Mizrahi; and her work has been on the backs of celebrities and supermodels. She was named a "Master Knitter" by Vogue Knitting. She is regularly cited in media across the U.S., including the Late Show with David Letterman, Martha, CBS Morning News, CNN, HGTV and more. Lily Chin has lived in New York City all her life and has been involved in some aspect of the fashion industry since age 13.

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Cindy Craig
Cindy learned to knit while chaperoning Girl Scouts in Norway. As a self-professed “knitting geek,” she enjoys exploring the technical side of knitting and tinkering with new skills, stitch patterns, knitting patterns, and concepts. She has been teaching professionally in yarn shops, guild events, and knitting shows for more than 10 years. She is the author of The Kids Knitting Notebook and has designs published in Knitter's Magazine, Knitting Today, and Red Heart, in addition to many self-published patterns.



Cindy has been the manager of The Studio Knitting & Needlepoint since 2002. She loves helping students learn to knit or crochet and is very skilled at getting students unstuck. She knits everywhere she goes and is frequently questioned on the sidelines of the soccer field, at PTA meetings, or Scouting events.


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Edie Eckman
Edie Eckman is a designer, author and popular teacher who loves both knitting and crochet. She teaches around the country and is the author of a number of best-selling crochet and knitting titles including The Crochet Answer Book, Beyond the Square Crochet Motifs, and most recently, Christmas Crochet. As a teacher, designer and technical editor, Edie is on a mission to ensure that patterns are as clear as possible to the greatest number of knitters and crocheters as possible. She is a lifelong learner and considers her students the best teachers.

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Candace Eisner Strick
Candace Eisner Strick has immersed herself in music and knitting most of her life. Now retired from 16 years of teaching cello, she concentrates on designing, writing, and teaching knitting. Her book, Strick-ly Socks, features a revolutionary and amazingly simple way of knitting socks. She is the author of 6 other books, has been published in numerous magazines, and has taught nationally and internationally since 1998. She is the creator of her own line of yarn, Merging Colors, and her own line of patterns under the name of Strickwear (www.strickwear.com).

Candace's students say they not only love learning from her classes, but thoroughly enjoy her sense of humor as well. Appropriately, "strick" means to knit.


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Margaret Fisher
Margaret Fisher is a TKGA Master Knitter and nationally known knitting instructor who teaches across the country at conventions, shops and guilds. She loves colorful, textured fabric and well-fitting sweaters with contemporary style. She designs and makes one-of-a-kind garments and accessories. Margaret is a former co-chair of the Master Hand Knitting Committee of The Knitting Guild Association (TKGA) and has written magazine articles on knitting and knitting techniques. She is the author of Seven Things that can "Make or Break" a Sweater®.

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Jean Frost
Years of working in the garment industry sharpened Jean's skills in knits and designs. Her attention to designer fit details and to knitted fabric textures and color delivers garments that have high interest and style. Jean now teaches, knits and designs. She is the author of Jean Frost Jackets, Custom Knit Jackets and her new book, Stitches for Tailored Knits.

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Antje Gillingham
Antje Gillingham grew up in Germany and learned to knit at the age of eight. In 1982 she moved to the central coast of California, where she lived for the next 17 years. When her husband's job relocated the family to Tennessee, she rediscovered her infatuation with fiber and all that is knitting. Antje is the author of three best-selling books and has published patterns in several knitting magazines. Over the years, her travels have taken her all over the country, and along the way she has made many new friends who all share the same passion for knitting. It is these wonderful, like-minded souls who continue to inspire her to design, write and teach. When she isn't traveling or teaching at a variety of knitting workshops, she can be found relaxing at home...with knitting in hand.

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Franklin Habit
Designer, teacher, author and illustrator Franklin Habit is the author of It Itches: A Stash of Knitting Cartoons (Interweave Press, 2008) and proprietor of The Panopticon (the-panopticon.blogspot.com), one of the most popular knitting blogs on the Internet. On an average day upwards of 2,500 readers worldwide drop in for a mix of essays, cartoons, and the continuing adventures of Dolores the Sheep. He recently founded Yarn Shaming (yarnshaming.tumblr.com), because while he loves yarn, yarn does not always love him back.

Franklin’s varied experience in the fiber world includes contributions of writing and design to Vogue Knitting, Yarn Market News, Interweave Knits, Interweave Crochet, PieceWork, Cast On: A Podcast for Knitters, Twist Collective; and regular columns for both Knitty.com and Lion Brand Yarns. Several of his independently published designs are available via Ravelry.com.

He travels constantly to teach knitters at shops and guilds across the country and internationally and has been a popular member of the faculties of such festivals as Vogue Knitting Live!, STITCHES Events, Sock Summit, and the Madrona Fiber Arts Winter Retreat.


View Franklin's Interview

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Betsy Hershberg
Betsy Hershberg is a life-long knitter whose knitting world was turned upside down and inside out when she learned how to bead knit in 2002. As ideas for combining beads and fiber began to take over her knitting brain, she found herself on a completely unexpected journey which has forever altered the way she thinks about her "left-brained" self and the creative process. She is thrilled to be sharing some of these discoveries, along with unique bead-knitting techniques, and lots of fabulous projects and patterns in her book, Betsy Beads: Confessions of a Left-Brained Knitter. Betsy also takes enormous pleasure in teaching, feeling it is especially rewarding to help knitters reach new levels of technical knowledge, confidence and independence that will free them to explore their own individual creativity.

You can view her work at www.studiobknits.com.


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Amy Herzog
Amy Herzog is passionate about sweaters people love to wear. She is the author of Knit to Flatter and designs sweaters that flatter the figure and are easy to modify. She is also a knitting expert on American Public Television’s “Knit and Crochet Now”. She teaches classes across the country and on craftsy.com, and her figure-flattering pattern designs have been published in Twist Collective, Knitscene, Interweave Knits, Knitty, and more.



After several years of teaching knitting classes, she realized that knitters will skip modification math if they can but would really like to wear sweaters that fit them well. So she created CustomFit, a website that produces custom sweater patterns. It can be found at customfit.makewearlove.com.



To learn more about Amy, visit www.amyherzogdesigns.com.


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Deborah Jarchow
After many years of teaching knitting and crochet, Deborah discovered weaving in 1996, and her love of fiber, texture, and color came together. Since then she has worked full time as a weaver and artist, including teaching fiber arts, creating and selling wearable art, giving lectures, and showing in local, regional, and national exhibits. Her work has been exhibited at galleries and museums across the country, and she has won numerous awards and written articles for national publications. Her work has been commissioned by churches and is in many private collections. Since 2004 she has been an artist in residence, teacher, and weaver at Studio Channel Islands Art Center in Camarillo, CA.  Deborah loves helping knitters discover the joy of weaving. Her class Rigid Heddle Weaving Beyond the Basics is now available on Craftsy.

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Jenny King
Jenny King is Australia's most innovative and amazingly diverse crochet designer. Crochet is her passion. She has been extremely lucky to have made her obsession her profession. Her work ranges from glamorous one-off runway fashions to soft felted dreadlock dolls. With bags, jewelry, baby wear, quirky Australian animals and botanically correct crochet native flowers in between.


Jenny is surrounded by vibrant color as she lives in Tropical Queensland, and this color inspires her designs.
Specializing in crochet only, Jenny is a passionate teacher with 30 years experience. Jenny is a yarn store owner and has 16 books to her name. Her classes are a real treat because she delights in teaching the rules and how to break them to get the best results. Jenny is forever pushing the boundaries of crochet. She has diversified to publish leaflets with individual patterns and a huge range of innovative PDFs. In the last 12 months Jenny’s books include Fashions to Flaunt in Noro, Bavarian-to-go, Figure Flattering Plus Sized Fashions, and a new DVD on Bavarian crochet. There will be 3 more titles released before August. Jenny has been working with Annie’s to present up to the minute crochet fashions since 2000.


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Barry Klein
Trendsetter Yarns company owner/designer Barry Klein has been knitting for 40 years. He started knitting by working in his family knitting store where all patterns were designed for the knitter's body. He has worked as an Industry Teacher doing knitting classes all over the world for the past 25 years. Barry has designed knitwear for all industry magazines along with knitwear for television shows, ice skaters and movie stars. He has authored 5 knitting books and worked as a spokesman on Knitting Daily and other television knitting shows. He loves to share his love of yarn and everything that can be done with yarn. Barry has been voted one of the Top 10 Men who Knit/Design throughout history. Learn why "Let the yarn do the work" is his favorite motto.

View Barry's Interview

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Melissa Leapman
A popular teacher and prolific designer, Melissa Leapman is the author of several bestselling knitting and crocheting books. Her most recent titles are Knitting the Perfect Fit and The Knit Stitch Pattern Handbook, as well as numerous publications and DVD's from Leisure Arts. 

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Patty Lyons
PATTY LYONS (http://pattylyons.com/) is a nationally recognized knitting teacher and technique expert who is known for teaching the “why” not just the “how” in her pursuit of training the “mindful knitter”. She specializes in sweater design and sharing her love of the much-maligned subjects of gauge and blocking.

After deciding to leave her previous life as a Broadway stage manager to follow her passion and work in the knitting world, Patty managed a New York yarn store, and then in 2008 she joined Lion Brand Yarn to create the Lion Brand Yarn Studio in New York City, where she served as the Studio Director for five years.

Patty now teaches nationally at guilds & knitting shows around the country such as Vogue Knitting LIVE, STITCHES, and the Knit and Crochet Show, Patty’s popular classes can also be found online at Knitting Daily and Craftsy, and her Improve Your Knitting class was named Craftsy’s most popular class of 2013!

Patty designs for yarn companies like Cascade and Takhi Stacy Charles, and her designs and knitting skill articles have been published in Vogue Knitting, Creative Knitting, Knit 1,2,3, and Knit 'n Style magazines


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Dawn McCormick
Knitting since the age of 6 (thanks to mom's, Jean Frost, and grandma's patience), Dawn has been privileged to experiment with all types of knitting traditions and projects. Attending STITCHES for many years and learning from the best teachers in the field further enriched her knitting repertoire. Growing up with the adage "I don't need patterns" has given Dawn the freedom to acquire fiber first and then create something beautiful when inspired. She strives to instill this knitting confidence in all the people she works with.

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Brooke Nico
Brooke began her designing activities by sewing her own wardrobe, inspired by drape and color. She brought her talents to knitting almost 10 years ago, first exploring modular construct, then lace. In 2006 Brooke became part owner of Kirkwood Knittery. As a dedicated teacher, Brooke guides knitters through the intricacies of techniques to make their projects as polished as possible.

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Kellie Nuss
Kellie is a self-taught knitter with a keen interest in the success of her students. A proud knitting 'geek,' she loves to teach the principles and practices that are the foundation to every knitting technique and that allow any knitter to become confident enough to try anything they want. She is from Maryland and has been teaching professionally for 15 years. Kellie goes by kellamina on Ravelry.com and blogs at thesamestitch.com.

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Judy Pascale
Judy Pascale, a native of Connecticut and a life-long knitter, launched her career as a professional knitting instructor and designer in the early 1990's. She has professionally sold her unique knitwear under the name The Judith Collection both privately and at juried shows. For several years she was employed at a yarn shop where she taught knitting classes and assisted numerous customers with their knitting and finishing problems. She is now exclusively teaching knitting and design classes with the emphasis on customizing desired fit.

The second phase of Judy's design career combined knitting with beads. Using a non-prestringing technique and textured stitches, she has designed classes from small projects to garments. Her most recent phase is wet felting. This ancient textile process remains vibrant and fascinating today. Besides teaching for STITCHES, her experience includes The National Needle Art Association (TNNA), Vogue Knitting Live (VK Live), The Knitting Guild of America (TKGA) and yarn shops and guilds all over the country.

Most importantly, Judy has joined the ranks of other talented members of the knitting community whose explosive interest is creating a renaissance for the ageless art of knitting.


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Sarah Peasley
Sarah's passion is making knitting accessible to everyone. She is known for the patience and humor with which she teaches, for the relevance and detail of her class notes, and for her ability to instill confidence and provide her students with a wide range of lasting skills.

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Merike Saarniit
Merike Saarniit has been teaching workshops in knitting, spinning, weaving, and dyeing for over 20 years, and at most STITCHES events since 2000. The combination of her traditional Estonian heritage (including serious research of Estonian knitting) and her contemporary degree in Studio Art contribute to her unique designs and workshop presentations.
A more complete bio is available at www.Liisu.com.


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Judith Shangold
Judith Shangold was a weaver when she opened a yarn shop in Brooklyn, NY called the Weaver's Studio in 1975. She taught weaving and knitting classes and had designs published in leading knitting magazines. In 1985, she moved to Boston and she became the New England sales rep for yarn companies, including Rowan, Colinette, Crystal Palace, and Manos del Uruguay. During this time, she developed her pattern lines: A Bear in Sheep's Clothing for bears and dolls and Designs by Judith, multi-gauge patterns for men and women. She distributed Manos yarn and produced the Design Source Collections of patterns for 8 years. Having sold the business in 2007, she has returned to her first love, now weaving on a rigid-heddle loom. The garments in her book, Weave•Knit•Wear (available August 2014, XRX Books), combine her knitting and weaving skills, flair for textiles, and interest in fashion.

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Karin Skacel
Karin is the leading authority on artfelt® in North America. She was the first to experiment with the paper and through trial and error has discovered many amazing possibilities using the paper as a base for felting. She is currently working on an artfelt® book and has been teaching classes and doing demonstrations throughout the United States. Prior to working with artfelt®, Karin taught classes in glass fusing and lampwork, clothing design, sewing, knitting, crochet, and pottery painting. She has been involved in the artistic crafts industry her entire life and is currently president of Skacel Collection, Inc.


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Leslye Solomon
Having taught at all of the STITCHES events for more than 20 years and at a numerous variety of knitting seminars from England to Alaska, Leslye Solomon is an enthusiastic, energetic, and empathetic teacher with extensive knitwear training.

She presently owns Woolstock Yarn Shop in Glyndon, Maryland which, through the daily activities, delivers a huge variety of knowledge and experience she wants to share with you. From her extensive training and understanding the experience of hundreds of other knitter's projects, she has shared her experience and knowledge through the production of beautifully photographed instructional videos/dvds. DVD's and book subjects cover expert sweater finishing, making socks using double points and a single circular needle, expert techniques in buttonholes and bands, a wonderful method of continental knitting, exciting and beautiful bead knitting, various titles on the subject of machine knitting, as well as a book entitled, The Uncomplicated Knitting Machine.

Leslye has created KnitSpeaker, a new iPhone, iPad, iPod touch timed audio pattern repeating app for knitters. A class with Leslye is an experience that will arm students with valuable knowledge. Their only concern is whether they will remember it all.


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Beth Whiteside
A software professional as well as knitting teacher, designer and technical editor, Beth's curiosity has led her to visit many countries (stranded color, EPS, k1b, lace, ...) on the knitting world map. Originally from New England, she now lives in San Francisco, where mountains, ocean and Haight Street are always good sources of inspiration. What she loves most about teaching is finding ways to make light bulbs pop on in her student's head and helping them grow as knitters.

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Myra Wood
Myra is a fiber artist, designer and author of Crazy Lace,  Creative Crochet Lace and her new book, Knit in New Directions (XRX Books). She's appeared on tv shows including Knitty Gritty, Knit and Crochet Now, Uncommon Threads and online classes. Specializing in all things creative with a background in fine and graphic arts, Myra teaches a wide range of inspiring classes.

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Anna Zilboorg
Now an Anglican Solitary living in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Anna has expanded Magnificent Mittens to include Socks. Her other books include Fancy Feet, 45 Fine & Fanciful Hats to Knit, Knitting for Anarchists, and Socks for Sandals and Clogs.

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