I was excited today. I got through the heel turn and began the gusset. I even think I figured out what the pattern meant as I re-knit the stitches I’d already knit that round. The round begins at the side of the leg instead of the back of the leg, so I had to bring it back around once I knit the heel flap and turn, but I made it through the short rows, and made it to the gusset. See?

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I think this periscope look is my favorite part;-).

Alas, I was feeling pretty good. With this done and classes finishing up Wednesday, I can likely get this done as a Christmas gift. I’m not even sure when our Christmas family gathering will be, but I need it done in time, just in case. I also plan to take it to my aunt’s the week after finals to work on it there…I’m hoping to reach the toes there, but I will be basting Jessica’s quilt to take with me to quilt when I cannot sleep until three or four in the morning, or when I am up at five a.m. because I went to bed at midnight or 1AM. Switching schedules will not be easy, but it shall be worth it.

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What a periscope looks like from the inside;-).

I’m also excited to soon get back to sock repairs for myself so I can wear more knit socks. I need to pick up some nylon to reinforce some repairs over the next week(read–after payday). But then the guilt stepped in, tonight. I haven’t knit a stitch on a hat that was for a friend’s grandmother. Her grandma passed on, and I wondered if she’d let me knit it for me, but she planned to pay for it and do the right thing, and even after several hints, she decided to gift it to her daughter. I’m hoping she didn’t plan this for a Christmas gift. I didn’t promise it then, but she’s singing my praises about how cheerful I am to my boyfriend at work tonight(I’m not there), and I’m feeling like I should be making a little more progress on this, so it’s going with me to visit my aunt as well.

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Close up of a periscope knit sock inside view…

Alas, shifting from Finals’ stress to holiday stress…when do I just let go. In the meantime, I plan to have a little fun with the holidays and host a Christmas book exchange party next week. That reminds me, I’d better make some edits and give people a better idea what to expect. More info on that next week, as I’ll be full of a new book I’ve never read, or an old favorite to re-read. There will be a hot cocoa bar and treats.

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Another Round? Why Not?

November 30, 2017

On me…pull up a chair and pour another glass…and keep the yarn on the needles. I thought I was getting close to beginning the heel. I don’t know what I missed or when, but I should be at the heel…I’m not. The pictures even suggest it, but the sock measuring says “Are you kidding me? Keep knitting!” Apparently, these will be December 24th socks…knitting right up until Santa comes…or whenever the visiting the recipient’s deadline arrives.

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It looks so close…but it isn’t…

I knit my tush off this afternoon, after actually working on some homework. I knit my tush off on Thanksgiving last week. I knit again and again, even as I waited for a second poster for my capstone project presentation(I’m not done yet, I just took the capstone class a bit early). I thought I was approaching the heel today as I knit…and I am…but not for seven or eight more rounds…

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At least seven more rows…alas…I’d better get back to it…

In the meantime, there’s only one thing to do…(or two or three…). It’s a knitting blog: perhaps the only thing to do is knit. But I also have to edit poetry, memorize a poem, and have a capstone paper to write. At least it’s not all due tomorrow. However, if I don’t prioritize and get something done each night…I’ll be working towards another meltdown this semester. I’d better get back to editing poetry…and see what my poster presentation pulls off on Tuesday in order to add to my paper.

 

Dropping the Ball…

November 17, 2017

…not the yarn…thankfully…

…not literally, thankfully, as this yarn would likely roll everywhere…But it’s been a heck of a week, missed important appointments, meltdowns over assignments…work for assignments always feels off or late…but has been somehow good enough to get me by. I’m appreciative of my instructor’s flexibility at this point.

However, the knitting continues…although with my crazy week, I got nothing done on the hat and will need to return to it one day…maybe. In the meantime, I’m still finding time to knit between classes, when I’m not memorizing poems for performances…I became a fluid tree for about two seconds today…but none of the trees I represented were truly fluid…though they dance in the winds of a pale sea-green breeze. There are no pictures of this performance, and I’m okay with that…

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Scamp, inspecting my knitting bag for goodies to run off with…

Okay, okay, I performed “For C.W.B.” by Elizabeth Bishop.  There are tree lines, and statements of beginning a life together and mention of a stork. I ensured it was presented rather sensually. Only one person thought it was too much…the instructor did not. In fact, when the tree branches swayed in that pale sea-green breeze I saw their smile…which just encouraged me.

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Backside of current sock with first sock for comparison….I was getting more color play on the second sock for a bit…

Now, let me get back to the knitting. There was some…I mentioned on a sock knitting facebook post that I just about had my pattern memorized, but still carried it with me just in case. So, I looked at my pattern and said, “Oh, I’m knitting row 12, it goes like this…” and proceeded to knit it half wrong. I simply worked my bridge stitch early. It is supposed to be in row 13.  Previously, I think I worked it late…so now I have slightly wonky bridge stitches…see if you can find them.

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Front side of the second socks…with back side for comparison…enjoy… 

Yes, I know the stripes are off..I’m going with it. Sometimes, socks get to be wonky. I hope you enjoy them…as well as the recipient, so I’d better get back to knitting. I will say, to some extent, I can knit and rehearse lines if I do so carefully, but then I will end up with socks that veer off course more than I do.

Simple, but effective…

November 10, 2017

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Sock progress this week…it’s been considerable…

It’s been quite a week, and I’m skipping the details, as they’re not mine to tell. I’m not sure how much I got done on the hat this week, but I think there may have been progress. However, the proud moments involve the sock. I’ve been taking it to classes and for studies…and a musical. Spring Awakening is quite a musical…my favorite moment involved a fellow theater-goer. We got to a risque scene in the play and the lights abruptly go on for what I recognize as intermission…and the young man next to me says, “What?!” I looked at him and assured him, “There’s more.”

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Scamp thinks this is her knitting bag…or there are treasures in here she can run off with…I caught her in time…

In the meantime, I need to get back to knitting, quilting and schoolwork…ugh…If you want to know what a psychological study looks like, send me a message. Otherwise, I need to get to bed, and compile data and…never mind…my brain needs a rest. Enjoy my baby kitten(not so much anymore) Scamp, trying to claim the knitting bag…I think she wants to learn to knit.

Knitting While Scheduling…

November 3, 2017

…in my world almost means less time for knitting. Unless you schedule that in too. How do I explain? Two weeks ago, my instructor said, “You seem stressed. Why don’t your turn your study into an online study?” I said, “I’ve already prepared for the traditional method.” Him: “Look into making it an online study.” I felt my stress(which was high,) go through the roof. I didn’t know how to tell him changing this in the middle of class was not a good idea. I tried, I really tried. He wasn’t having it. So, I went on one of those newfangled survey websites and set up an online survey. I put it in the system…I went live…and nothing. No data, though I had a subject. Maybe it takes time I thought? So I looked into it…How long should it take? Finally, I contacted said participant through email. She couldn’t get to the survey.

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Current progress on the Grayfields hat…part of me cannot wait to see how it knits up.

I contacted the instructor, who thought I should visit him in class (while I still believed things were going well and I was collecting data, like he told us to do). Long story short…study was reverted to traditional method, and now I’m playing the timeslots/book a room game. The rooms get booked for an hour or two at a time. The students show up for a ten to twenty minute experiment…a simple one…no real cruelty here, promise…except the frightful weather they sometimes have to traipse across campus through. Scheduling fun…and I can only carry so many books. So, what’s lightweight and simple to carry: Knitting! Can you believe it? .All that to tell you I was knitting before my study tonight…but the second sock is cast on and the first two rows are knit.

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Second sock cast on…we up and running…these are probably a Christmas gift…

I’m calling that progress…because I also made progress on the winter Gray Fields hat …at least I think I have…If you know any Russian knitters, send them my way (via internet, of course). Otherwise, I’m continuing with this pattern as I interpret it. But I have made pretty good progress on the hat as well…the pattern rows cover 126 stitches, feel like they take forever and are complicated…but the knit rows work up pretty quickly…after I note my progress…it’s almost like knitting two socks at once, but that was 144 stitches….I’m going to need an attention grabber if ever I attempt an afghan or a shawl…or some tricks….In the meantime…feast your eyes on these and hope my scheduling goes better this week.

 

So, I hear there’s a concept called balance. I’ve yet to come close to mastering it. This week is seeming like a roller coaster ride, and I have more to come. The challenge is not taking everyone with me, and knowing when to tell my friends I need them to jump on.

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One of my favorite knitting helpers, deciding I should snuggle her rather than read poetry.

Let me explain the low, slow climb to the top. My cat was diagnosed with bone cancer this week. I thought it was an abscess or tooth infection. A couple of shots…a vet bill, and it would be fine. I missed class, bought a scale and soft food instead…and came home to snuggle my cat. She is my snuggle kitty too…She’d let me knit her a sling and attach herself to me permanently, so long as I didn’t jump around or up and down too much. Beware the knitting ideas we knitter’s come up with when the going gets tough.

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Full length view…isn’t there a magic knitting formula…that whatever one knits, it works?

In the meantime, I’ve been making short headway on the socks while I’m waiting for circular knitting needles to arrive in the mail. Then I get to knit a kickin’ hat pattern(that’s written in Russian, of course…because I can, and it’s kickin’). I’m getting excited to start it.

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So close, yet so far…

Unfortunately…I know, I promised we were done with those sorts of words…but I just tried to try on this sock…it’s too small…I’m not sure it will fit over my heel. I’m wondering if it will fit my niece, and if I can get it done in time for Christmas (or if it will be a birthday gift). The good news is I wasn’t in love with this yarn. I think Lizzie will like it better. The bad news is, I finally got the pattern close to what I wanted it to be…only I need it on bigger needles if it’s to be for me.

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Backside of the too small sock…

I’m debating If I will knit this pair of socks for myself again, or if I will simply gift these and move on…part of this decision will depend on how much yarn I have left and how excited I get to knit other patterns…for now, I will be finishing this sock, and repairing the cuff…Drat!

Alas, one sock almost down, one classmate encouraged to knit (I hope she listens…1 poem equals 1 row of knitting), and we move on to the next pattern which i hope is big enough…but it starts out toe-up, which will be a bit easier to work with…though I love my dpns still.

One is done…

October 6, 2017

..but the pattern was in English and one I’ve knit before. That’s not cheating, is it?

I had grand plans. I was going to make a sufficient dent in the homework and get my knitting blog written. I stayed home tonight as the homework workload started to feel heavy. Then there was the cat…who either does not like poetry homework or she is attempting to learn by osmosis. One of my poems was about the cat sitting upon my homework. I think I have to do a total tongue-in-cheek poem about a cat sitting upon my homework in place of the dog eating my homework. The first poem was almost in letter form. We’ll see how the next draft comes out. It wants to be there.

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But I got so caught up in writing about the cat sitting upon my homework, and Project Runway drama(and they are spooning in extra drama this season, and frustrating me once again), that I almost forgot I had to update my progress on this blog. I will admit, there has been much walking and knitting lately…I’m not taking photos of that, as it’s one more thing I’d have to take to class. However, I have been working on the cabled headband as much as possible. I even got it finished and did the three needle bind-off on it. It is done!

 

It is not Ta-da because as I knit at the Renaissance Festival this weekend, I noticed some errors. However, I gave it the boyfriend test–he only noticed the dent where the cables are supposed to be. I’m calling the ridges grips. It’s done. This one is for free and a kindness gift brought on because I respect a friend and it is for a mutual friend’s grandmother. There is a small part of me saying “Frog it and start again.” Tonight, I am employing the “Done is better than perfect philosophy.” Forgive my imperfections…if it’s an issue, I’ll tell you all about the poem next week.

 

 

 

I had grand plans. I was going to make a sufficient dent in the homework and get my knitting blog written. I stayed home tonight as the homework workload started to feel heavy. Then there was the cat…who either does not like poetry homework or she is attempting to learn by osmosis. One of my poems was about the cat sitting upon my homework. I think I have to do a total tongue-in-cheek poem about a cat sitting upon my homework in place of the dog eating my homework. The first poem was almost in letter form. We’ll see how the next draft comes out. It wants to be there.

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Still showing the good side of the headband…

But I got so caught up in writing about the cat sitting upon my homework, and Project Runway drama(and they are spooning in extra drama this season, and frustrating me once again), that I almost forgot I had to update my progress on this blog. I will admit, there has been much walking and knitting lately…I’m not taking photos of that, as it’s one more thing I’d have to take to class. However, I have been working on the cabled headband as much as possible. I even got it finished and did the three needle bind-off on it. It is done!

 

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In case you ever wanted to see the wrong side of the cables…

It is not Ta-da because as I knit at the Renaissance Festival this weekend, I noticed some errors. However, I gave it the boyfriend test–he only noticed the dent where the cables are supposed to be. I’m calling the ridges grips. It’s done. This one is for free and a kindness gift brought on because I respect a friend and it is for a mutual friend’s grandmother. There is a small part of me saying “Frog it and start again.” Tonight, I am employing the “Done is better than perfect philosophy.” Forgive my imperfections…if it’s an issue, I’ll tell you all about the poem next week.

I did get some knitting done on my socks…but not much, as the headband took over. I’m curious though how many more repeats I have to the toes. I like toes. It means I’m almost done with a sock. Unless I’m knitting on circulars…but those aren’t just on the back-burner, they’re shelved, or dropped behind the stove somewhere until I get these hats done. I may even have to get some Christmas gifts in there somewhere. (I swear I’m starting the next set of Christmas gifts in January–crap, did I say that last year, too?)

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Sock progress…at least this pair is for me…

Alas, back to studying psychology and writing bad poetry…though the prof seemed to enjoy the poem about meter I wrote that begins “I hate meter.” Perhaps I’ll put some up for you guys. But for now, I’m fixing the title for that one and submitting it to the Central Review and any and all poetry contests to obtain money for school.  Wish me luck. In the meantime, happy knitting!

 

 

I Love A Challenge…

September 21, 2017

…and if a project isn’t challenging enough, apparently I can make it a challenge without too much effort. Imagine that. Let me explain…or in American-ese: Hold my beer and watch this…no drinking it…I’m gonna need it.

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Those first weeks when your sock is a tiny dream of a toe…

Someone I highly respect at work asked me about knitting a hat for a co-worker’s grandmother to keep her head warm. I knit with wool and will not knit with acrylic. My first question: Is she okay with wools/animal danders? If she has allergies, I need to find a new fiber-I was thinking bamboo or silk blends, which I may still look into. Apparently, Judy’s grandma is not allergic as the ONLY answer I get to this question is, “She likes soft stuff.” Who doesn’t? I asked if she had allergies.

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The knit side doesn’t want to show off yet… These will be the Stealth Argyle socks by Eunny Jang in Ann Budd’s Sock Knitting: Master Class

Alas, an overly easy client is tougher than a picky one sometimes. The next question: what colors does she like? I got the answer of pinks and purples. Sounds easy enough…but it’s not, because I don’t know if she means carnation, fuchsia or heathered or if she means indigo, lavender, or heathered…I’m probably going with what’s available as I’m buying the yarn…but…I’d like to know she likes it before I buy the yarn. I’m considering sending pictures and links and hope they do the yarn justice.

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Current Progress on Slip-N-Slide socks by Chrissy Gardiner in Ann Budd’s Sock Knitting: Master Class

In the meantime, if pleasing an overly-easy client is tough enough, I was searching for patterns on ravelry.com. I found a gorgeous hat that I won’t get bored with. Let me get a sip of my beer. Now hang on, while I go over how fun this is…Hold my beer again please;-). The pattern, by Tatyana Rovenskaya is called Hat-Gray Fields. If the name doesn’t give it away, perhaps the link will…Okay, okay, I’ll tell you: The pattern is in Russian.

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Current back progress on class knitting…

A sane knitter, not asking you to hold her beer (while checking over her shoulder that you haven’t taken too large a sip tax), would find another hat, right? What does a not so sane knitter do at 2:30AM when she should be reading psychology articles about gender differences in anger? She says, “Ooh…Russian…I can translate this…” thinking darn it Mrs. Ovenhouse and Mr. Toodzio…How dare you teach me not to fear Russian translations. It’s only a page or two. It’s only a knitting chart…Right. (it’s okay to stop laughing now, wouldn’t want you to spill my beer).

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Beer was not really involved at 2:30AM(though that’s not how you’ll re-tell the story), but lack of sleep and homework procrastination are just as powerful of motivators…and now…I’m going to need a sip…Please return it. I know it’s good.

Two hours later between a google translator and a Russian dictionary, I haven’t made much headway…about a quarter of the pattern. In my defense, I was not writing things down. Once I went towards bed with a Russian dictionary I had suddenly relocated, I began writing things down. I made some headway…but only about half. As I put the tools of translation away, and set the pattern aside for the night, I thought, my school has Russian classes…perhaps I’ll find a Russian teacher who knits…perhaps I can tutor Russian for a student and they can help me translate this…Checked today, I don’t see any Russian classes this year. I’m going to have to brush up on my Russian and bring it to this school.

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Terpander socks by Melissa Morgan-Oakes in Ann Budd’s Sock Knitting: Master Class for those that missed it last week. Why knit vanilla socks when one can complicate matters and add an adult beverage?

Sure, I could find another pattern, but where is the fun in that? Besides, I might not have met the Vogue International Knitting Terms page. It’s worth a look, and I must research needle sizes to make sure I guess right. Now, I must start memorizing a performance of literature, and writing an Introduction for Psychology…thank goodness the poetry comes easy. Anyone think there’s a poem in there? In the meantime, I hope you enjoyed the post and the photos of my current works in progress.

Knitting Show-and-Tell…

September 8, 2017

This week, for my Oral Interpretation of Literature class…we were tasked with bringing something to class that defines ourselves in three ways. We had some interesting presentations, such as a Minnie Mouse chapstick with a surprise inside, and some jealousy inspired presentations with soft and comfy blankets we were hoping the ladies that brought them would pass them around and let us huddle under. I was jealous wishing I had remembered to bring my own double fleece cape to keep warm, especially on this gloomy, rainy day.

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Terpander Socks by Melissa Morgan-Oakes in Sock Knitting: Master Class by Ann Budd

I went first. I find it easier to simply get it over with. Then I don’t have to worry about it. I don’t mind setting the standard. I don’t even mind talking in front of people anymore. I will sometimes mind the memorization that will be required. However, you’re probably curious about which of the many tenets of knitting I used to define myself, even if I do tend to fidget with the yarn as I present. I always have cards or chips in my hands anyways. The yarn is softer and more comforting to feel. Let’s get back to petting our yarn.

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I was almost wishing I had brought this knit 1, purl 1 rib with me today…It would have made my day more cheerful.

I had just finished the heel flap before I began the presentation as well. First, the yarn is soft and pliable, as I can be…after a good massage. Yes, some days I require a good massage to be pliable. Don’t we all?

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The yarn is already pliable, and thankfully, I haven’t tangled this yarn too much…

Secondly, if you push in too many needles or other things into the yarn ball, it can get tangled up. I also get tangled up if you put too much into my day or week. Sometimes, I get tangled up without much seeming provocation.

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Scamp is curious about where the bag has been…she’d be more curious about the contents if I let her(but she’s half the reason the bag has a zipper.

Thirdly, if you are patient with it and work with the yarn, you can knit it up into a beautiful pattern and yarn comes in a variety of styles of looks, so one never knows quite what they are going to get. This little blurb is not verbatim, but it’s pretty close to what I said…if you do use my words,  I simply ask  that you mention you find them here, provided you have to present a 30 second show and tell about a fun object that defines you…or you have to explain some yarn inspiration.

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I’ve forgotten how tough kitten selfies can be…and yes, Maeve got a summer hair cut this year…Putzer just likes to snuggle in…and it’s a matter of time before Briannag joins us.

Once I got home from the play Love/Sick, which was an interesting take on the lifecycle of love, marriage, divorce and death (of humans and love)…there’s poem line…I wrote the first draft of the paper due for the play, caught up on Project Runway (which I missed for the play), and finally sat down to knit the heel turn. I did not knit the heel turn earlier as I like to do so all at once, instead of leaving my knitting mid-row and figuring out where I left off later. However, as noted above, knitting does bring out the kitties…then again, two of them are demanding attention as I write.

Until next week, Happy Knitting!

 

Knitting at Quilt Week

August 17, 2017

It was here again…and I love it.I learned some secrets and showed off my knitting, to smiles, grins and compliments…and perhaps a few who wished they’d thought to bring theirs. I love Quilt Week. I look forward to it all year and begin making plans six months in advance. As soon as I know the dates, and six months prior comes along, I ask for the dates off if I need them. I got to be there for two days this year. I may aim for longer next year, or a closer hotel and taking a class(it might hurt my pocket book less…okay, it won’t, but I can dream until the tuition bill is due, right)?

DSCN2500Making decent re-progress on the Slip-N-Slide sock by Chrissy Gardiner found in Ann Budd’s Sock Knitting: Master Class

Alas, I told you there was knitting. There was knitting in Flannagan’s Pub on Wednesday night as I waited for Fish and Chips and chose a Mountain Town Brewing Company Train Wreck to drink. (I like my beers tall, dark and rich, just like my men–yes, there’s a bad joke in there). After I ordered the beer, and didn’t hand it off to someone else (yes, another waitress tried to give it away…perhaps they don’t think knitters are in need of libation)…I thought I should have ordered a Guinness. The Train Wreck was good, and just might be symbolic…(thankfully, not of this week’s knitting). I made some progress.

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Then while I was waiting on demonstrations and listening to them, more to rest my feet(though you learn some interesting things about the quilt world this way), I knit. I knit my socks like an old pro. There are few, if any mistakes, there are no glaring pattern issues (hopefully) to be discovered next week. There are simply four and a half out of six repeats of the cuff in which these socks are knitting up better than before. (The Terpander has to wait a week, but I should be able to make a little more progress soon).

If you wish to know more about Quilt Week, pop over to the Quilting Journeys page and enjoy my post there.