Mar 30, 2007

My first hand-carded fiber blend

As mentioned previously, while waiting for my drum carder (::fingertaps::) I blended up some blue mohair with green Merino wool, both fibers gifts from others. Awww, isn't that sweet. ;D I haven't spun it yet, since I wanted to take a picture of it before I did that; but I have to spin it myself to see how it actually came out, since I won't inflict my bizarre mistakes on anyone. Anyway, this is how my first little custom blend looks:

I like it. :D

I gave in...

...and bought Sahara. I've been looking at it for a while, and got rather excited by it when I noticed there was a sleeveless version, never mind that Brian didn't find it very exciting. He may be metro, but he doesn't always have the best mind's eye for clothing combinations and clothing on figures, even mine, which you'd think ... well, never mind. ;)

And the Sexy Knitters Club KAL for Sahara starts tomorrow. Not that I'm going to be ready by tomorrow, but at least I know I'm participating slightly before the thing actually starts. ;)

Stash ... building?

I may acquire, as she puts it, the albatross of someone's yarn stash, if someone else hasn't already claimed it off the Cash for Your Stash blog. Oopsie. Well, I think it's hand-dyed, it's sock-weight yarn (I think), which I don't have a lot of, and it's blue. And it's cheap. I want to rescue it; I have a thing for albatrosses. ;)

I also just consciously realized that my stash is bigger than I thought: I have a bunch of thrifted sweaters waiting to be frogged. I may have to dive into the frogging sweaters for yarn for the Lotus Smock, and if I give in and buy the pattern for Sahara that I've been staring at, which is also (inconveniently for my temptation ;)) the Sexy Knitters Club KAL pattern, the frogging sweater stash may also come to the rescue. Whew. Here I was thinking I might be forced to waver on the yarn exercise program and buy some yarn.

Yay for "invisible" stash. ;)

(The way I'm leaning recently, though, I may be in danger of needing a knitting pattern exercise program next...)

The length of the UFO list is annoying me today, for some reason. Possibly that's related to the fact that I found a random, inexplicable hole knit into the Microspun portion of the Colorful Trade Shawl last night (this after having to untangle three balls of the same Microspun that had decided to make friends), and will have to wield the Crochet Hook of Knitsurgery on it to fix it. I wanted to do it last night, but it would have required a trip to the car to get said crochet hook, and it was late, so I didn't do it. Phooey on me, because now I don't feel like it this morning.

And there are two parties tonight, a cast party for the local FLaRF crew, and one of Christophe's couple of big annual themed parties, for which I was explicitly hunted down and invited, so I can't really bow out on either of them. I'm supposed to bring something foodlike to the first one, too, and I don't know the theme for the second, and goshdarnit, I just want to sit around and be lazy tonight, not go party-hopping. I'm so antisocial. ;)

I'll just have to get over it, won't I. ;D If only I had something awesomely sexy to wear, that I'd knit myself, it might be some consolation. Le sigh. This is why I should do more selfish knitting! ;D

Mar 29, 2007

The Brian Christmas socks

As promised, for once, the photo!

Yay, I say, again. ;D

More secret swapping...

I finally have my partner assignment for the Spring Genie swap at SBS Teas. Cackle. Here's hoping I can come up with something(s) great to send her.

I also have to work on my Secret Bunny package for Eccentric Pastiche. My partner's stuff is kinda difficult for me since she has virtually none of the same theme tastes as I have, and of the stuff she specifically asks for, I don't know what half of it even is. Then there's a lot of it that you can only get online, which is ... interesting for me, to say the least, since I don't have a ton of money to use on paying for shipping. I'd prefer to be able to hunt things down locally and use all the allotted fundage for this swap on actual items. Oh, well. That just means this one is going out a few days late while I hunt down the scrapbooking shops in the area, and search them for things that fit the bill.

I was going to make today an art catchup day, but I'm not feeling the artistic creativity, so I haven't figured out what I'm doing yet. Orange Cat 2 kept doing bizarre (for him) things last night, like knocking my glasses off the nightstand just before drinking out of my water glass, so I kept waking up, and didn't get a whole lot of refreshing sleep, hence this morning's inability to figure out what I feel like doing. Brainmist, laaa.

Mar 28, 2007

Merry Christmas to Brian ... three months late. ;D

I finally finished Brian's cabled socks, from Handknit Holidays. ::beams:: Pictures tomorrow, when there's better light.

Yayyyy for Brian's socks! They look sterling on him. I need to knit more socks. ;D

Image dump!

After the famine comes a feast: today is the day of photo dumpage, meaning I finally uploaded a bunch of the photos I've been taking. I may not actually dump all the photos I have to dump ... ;) [Note: I did. Ha. ;)]

One of my latest finished projects is -- ta-da! -- the Jamaica bag, from One Skein Wonders:

And that's for me, ladies and gentlemen. Yes, I finally finished something else for me. I'm on a bit of a roll. ;) Going through the UFO list will necessarily make me knit for myself, since I tend to neglect me most, by starting things for me and then rarely finishing, which takes up space and keeps the stash static. Hiss! Now that I'm mentioning stash, though, I should note that all the knit projects in today's photodump were knit from stash. The Jamaica bag is stash left over from yarn I bought for knit Christmas ornaments.

I've also knit another bag lately, this one a semi-angel for the April Fool's Fun swap on Swapbot:

That's a version of Purl McBigBottom that I'm calling Funky Purl McBigBottom, also, as noted, made with stash yarn: some white acrylic and an expensive Fun Fur type yarn for the main body, with some red worsted weight cotton thrown in at the bottom where I ran out of furry stuff, and in the handle for coherence. Yay. ;D That's two yarns that I've had for a while, and some random red scraps I wasn't sure what to do with. Great success!

The other item I made for that same swap is this shawl:

Because I've been wanting to knit a shawl for a while even though Florida is the Land of No Shawls. ;) I haven't woven the tails in on that one still, since it isn't going out till the recipient has an address again (positive vibes to her on her husband -- possibly soon ex-husband? -- situation), at the very least. That's all straight from the stash, including some pink for Faire bunny slippers I never made, some orange left over from Halloween, some random fuzzy stuff from a scarf for my sister and for which I have developed a hatred, and some sparkly pink stuff from a necklace knit as part of a trade. I'm working on another on a similar design, using the same Simple Yet Effective Shawl pattern, for a private trade with the swap coordinator for April Fool's Fun. ;D I'm also making her a pair of matching wristwarmers, which brings me to...

...the items I knit for the Mystery Skein Swap, which were received yesterday, and well appreciated, by the lovely Elabeth (good luck to her on her new knitting shop endeavor :D), who apparently has been thinking of knitting some wristwarmers for herself but hasn't gotten to it yet. Hurrah. :D That yarn, entertainingly enough, is also stash ... just not my stash. Part of the idea of the Mystery Skein Swap was to have someone make something for you out of something you obviously have a bit of a block on ... like everlasting stash yarns. ;)

I've also been arting a bit lately (which is much prettier than it sounds, I hope ;)), including carving a neat stamp based on a mandala. I kind of wanted to keep the stamp, but at least I still have the test sheet to play with:

And I seem to be on a purplish theme lately, too; for the Purple Postcards swap, it's pretty obvious why, but the bookmarks and the wish stones weren't required to be purple, sooo...

...I guess it was just a phase. ;)

And that's your photodump for today, that's your photodump for today-ay-ay-ay-ay-ay ... that's your photodump for today. ;D

Mar 26, 2007

Sewing contests

These might be just the thing for getting me off my butt and making me sew again ... and something for me, no less. ;D Simplicity is having a Creative Contest for patterns with the "Threads" or "Sew Stylish" label, and the grand prize is a trip to Paris, and the other is held in conjunction with the American Sewing Guild. For the first one I'd be vaguely interested in using 4072 to make a beachy cover-up or summery festival dress...

More UFObusting

I've re-picked up Branching Out, and have done two lace pattern repeats so far. Woo. I really am going crazy on the UFObusting lately. ;) It's just as well, since I have a couple of Uberlate Swaps that need to go out in the next month, that being my Personal Challenge on UFObusting is in the same spirit as finally finishing and sending those swaps, and hey, some of my UFOs are for Uberlate Swaps. ;D


Things I'd Like to Make

The Grand List of Things I'd Like to Make:

(And for reference,'s "10 Healthy Actions to Get Out of a Funk")

Largish projects:

*Beachy Unmentionables pants sans lace
*Pinwheel sweater from
*Cable Cardigan for my mom?
*Sasha skirt
*SweaterBabe's Romantic Cable and Lace vest?
*Bella Paquita sweater?
*The Gerda stole
*The Print O' the Wave stole
*The stole from the Mystery Stole 2 knitalong, that I can't remember the name of right now ;)
*Moiraine stockings
*An Adamas shawl
*Lace Zenlike sweater thing from some Vogue Knitting, or one of those magazines ;)
*Some knit summer tops
*Pillow covers for the apartment floor pillows
*Coachella top

Mediumesque projects:

*Dark Mark illusion scarf
*Crescent Handy Hobo Handbag from Stitch Diva
*Triangular bag from the Wool Peddler
*Socks of Doom for me
*Bunny slippers for Brian
*Knit boxers (Sweetheart boxers from KnitPicks) for Brian
*Another pair of socks for Ben, cotton?
*A felted tricorn that actually is a tricorn ;)
*A gardening hat for Brian's mom?
*A knit bra for me, probably from one of the Knitty patterns (like 1930)
*A felted bag/basket for Ben's bicycle?
*Allusion - maybe?
*Socks for Shari?
*One or more of the shrugs from the Yarn Council web site
*The Lotus smock (possibly tunic length) from Stitch Diva
*Some pillows for the porch chairs
*Beaded wristlets from Susan's Spinning Bunny
*La Plage Seaside Espadrilles

Smallish projects

*Unbiased bag
*Lacy round washcloth
*A snood for myself
*Some kind of summer hat for myself
*A fingertip towel for the apartment
*More washcloths/hangy kitchen towels for Brian's
*A face towel for Brian's
*A summer head scarf for me that isn't ridiculously loud ;)
*Corkscrew scarf for myself?
*Water bottle carrier for the Florida festival season
*Woven belt with the funny small loom thing
*Knit marzipan decorations!

Random projects:

*Needle felting tool
*Something crewel ;)
*A Furoshiki?
*Handspun yarn based on book characters

To sew:

*A hakama for me
*Double wrap pants for me
*A comfy beachy shirt for Ben

Really arbitrary ideas that might or might not get done:

*Knit trash can
*Arbitrary green cropped sweater thing I originally started to use up some of the Wool-Ease leftovers stash
*Baby present for Liliana
*fingerless gloves in olivey green with long shaped seed stitch cuffs?

Yarn exercise program update

According to my Yarn Exercise Program Guidelines for 2007, I have to finish at least two UFOs during the program ... and hey! Surprise for me: I've done that with the eyelet skirt from Knitty and the Jamaica bag! Yayyy! ;)

I haven't really been paying much attention to my yarn-buying habits, but I think that's partly because I haven't been buying yarn. I've been thinking about buying yarn, but I haven't actually done it, even as is permissible under the guidelines. I've been stashbusting pretty decently so far this year. :D At the same time, I've managed to acquire more yarn just from swap gifts, so the stashbusting rate is still a little slow ... ha, ha. ;)

Remaining goals:

*Knit at least four Warm Up America squares
*Start a new knitting project that's for me, and not a gift

I don't think I'll have a problem doing that last one, and the first one I just have to remember I'm supposed to do as part of the Exercise Program. The next yarn exercise program could be even more stringent and it probably wouldn't be a problem: you know, I could require myself to knit at least two chemo caps, or at least two charity knitting projects, etc., particularly from stash, or maybe some from stash and some not from stash, to give myself the opportunity to use new yarn without needing to restrict myself to stuff I'd buy for myself ... and eventually, I might even require myself to design something. Heh. This is the most fun exercise program ever. ;D

Blog cleanup

Removing a couple of old buttons from the left sidebar, including the Swapmeet one, the Skeinalong one, Knitters' Tea Swap, Sock Wars, and Socktoberfest. I also nixed the "UFOs ... wooeeeooo" page element from the same sidebar, since I wasn't really using it. I can always put it back if I miss it. ;)

There. That makes more room for things I'm actually doing right now. :D

Taking out those UFOs

I finished the Jamaica bag from One Skein Wonders last night, unless you count that the cast-on tail is still dangling inside, which I'm not, since technically the bag is usable and you can't see that part unless you turn the bag inside-out to examine it. (As in the Costumers' Mantra of Olde: No One Can See It But Me; No One Cares But Me.) Brian and I discovered that the bag makes a curiously cute hat on both of us, though it looks rather Cat In the Hat-ish if presented as a hat not on someone's head. I may be forced to make a hat for him based on this pattern, though, just because it was so entertaining. No photos, though, and I'm not sure I'll manage to take any of anything today, since the camera batteries are currently whinging their last, and I'm not entirely sure what I did with the charger. I suspect it's in a duffel bag at Brian's, or elsewhere Not Here. Oops. ;D

I also like the circular spiral stitch enough that I was thinking of possibly making a sweater out of it, with maybe two stripes of color across the breastesses area, and then a lighter color for the main body and sleeves, so that you can see just the texture of the pattern stitch. Dunno. It would also make a good knit hat pattern in general, so I may do a hat based on it and send that out to Caps for a Cure.

And I finally figured out what on earth was wrong with the Moonlight Mohair capelet from knit.1 of something like two years ago: for one thing, I wasn't knitting to gauge, and even though it's a capelet and gauge isn't really crucial, it should still at least be gaugey enough to more than cover the tops of my shoulders; and for another thing, I was trying to actually follow the directions to make the "picot" rib thingie, which is a bad idea if the instructions are crap, which they are. ;) (Gosh, I feel like I'm trying to follow the instructions that come with sewing patterns again! ;)) With my since-acquired knitting experience, I figured out what the directions meant to say, but didn't, and tried it that way, and voila! even at too tight a gauge, I no longer feel like I'm going to break a knitting needle attempting to get faux suede yarn to stretch enough to fit two needles inside a stitch made ten rows ago. So now I just have to unravel the entire thing and start over, and once I do that, it should go fairly quickly. ;)

Next up on the list of UFOs to take out will be Brian's socks. I've been working on them on and off for the past week and a half or so, but I'm at a point where I need to pay enough attention to pick up stitches, which is why they aren't done already. And then after that there shall be new projectage, of summer tops, charity socks, and more charity caps. Oh, and a shawl and fingerless gloves.

I also just finished Funky Purl McBigBottom, and I'm crossing my fingers for the camera to stay alive long enough for me to take a photo, because I reeeaaallly want to take a picture and package this up and send it on its way today, so it isn't late. I mean, what's an April Fool's Fun swap package if it doesn't get there reasonably around April first? ;)

Mar 23, 2007

Getting into trouble: of swaps and trades :D

Never mind the drama on Swap-bot lately; it seems to happen everywhere, as soon as enough people decide a thing is important in their lives. The culture of the modern times (and probably of many times) seems to make the fearful rulemongers among the loudest voices in any group ... and even if they drive other people away, that doesn't mean we don't exist, nor does it mean we don't have power. It just means we aren't hanging out with the fearful rulemongers. ;) Are the rule-bending freaks more frightening to control freaks as an unseen underground, or as visible annoyances under their control? Rule freaks ought to think about that before they drive people away ... but alas. Thinking is sometimes at premium.

Anyway, I said never mind that. ;) I had to say my piece, and it's said. One of my latest frivolous, crafty troubles is that I've gotten myself into another trade; in this one I'm knitting a shawl and some wristwarmers for someone in exchange for a beachy bag full o' goodies. Another is that I'm about to embark on knitting Purl McBigBottom (with its annoyingly Stitch 'N' Bitch name ;)) as a semi-angel for the April Fool's Fun swap. I'm not sure I'm really needed to angel, since the person who's supposed to send the swap is still in communication, if in a bit of a strange spot, but if semi-angeling will get rid of some of my stash and let me knit a purse (which I haven't done before but have been wanting to), then why not? More goodies for all, and more stashbusting for me!

First I have to find some suitable needles, though. I don't know that I have any in the proper size, but whatevs. Adaptation is the name of the game for this dealie, and it's a purse, after all.

Oh, and I'm also hoping to join the Create-Along soon, which is a community blog for knitters who want to design their own patterns. I'm a Rank Beginner at that, but I'm hoping to learn a lot from that blog, and to be one of those people the blog owners are hoping to free from their uncertainty about designing. 'Twould be awesome. :D

Mar 16, 2007

Blending with cards

As per the nice article on Knitty, and because I'm a spastic freak who just picked something random to do ;), I'm going to try blending some blue mohair I picked up on a whim with some kindly donated forest/hunter green Merino roving. I couldn't quite bring myself to dip into the white llama stash to add a bit of extra color to this batch of the experiment, but I may be able to convince myself later. ;)

First batch notes:

Used .3 oz of blue mohair locks and .3 oz of green Merino roving. Divided each color/type of fiber into four approximately equal parts, to card in four bits. For the first carderful, I tried putting the green layer on, then a blue layer, which wasn't the easiest to blend; then I tried alternating green "stripes" with blue ones, which also wasn't that easy. So for the last two carderfuls, I carded the mohair first, and pulled it into a pseudoroving, which did make the blending easier. I think I may like the not-quite-completely-blended look slightly better than the heathered colors look, at least as far as unspun fiber goes.

Success! I now have .6 ounces of blue-green heathery Merino/mohair roving. Exciting!

Not that I'm going to take a picture, or anything. ;) At least not right now. Laaazy. ;D

Mar 13, 2007

I really want to put this on a shirt.

Mar 12, 2007

Stoles I would like to make

For me, not because they necessarily look fun to make. ;) Lace and I don't always get along, but sometimes it's too pretty for me to pass up. Stoles!

The Gerda stole
The Print O' the Wave stole

There's one I linked to in my Livejournal, like seventeen years ago when I first started writing there, but I'm faaaar too lazy to go back and find it at the moment. Someday I will ... someday.

Also: finished Mystery Skein Swap item 2 Friday evening before we left for our last weekend of Faire. Woo! Tails shall be woven in this week, and objects shall be sent, and there shall be much rejoicing. Hopefully. ;)

Mar 9, 2007

Refreshing things to do

Not that this is directly craft-related, but frequently I feel like I need a change in what I'm doing, to refresh my day and get me moving again afterward. So's "10 Healthy Actions to Get Out of a Funk" are good ideas for me for when I'm putzing around trying to figure out what to do next, or when I'm not inspired with what I'm doing any more.

In other news, barely a photo around here lately, but I've been taking a few that I'm too lazy to get put up. I'll probably photodump early next week after I get back from my last weekend of FLaRF.

Also, I'm very nearly done with Mystery Skein Swap item 2. I got a bunch of it done yesterday while messing about with Brian's car and such. A couple more inches and woven-in tails, and VOILA! I shall be done with that swap. Yay. ;D

Mar 8, 2007

Fantasy travel agent swap open

I've started a swap called "Fantasy travel agent" on Swapbot. Details:

Summer's coming (or at least spring break ;)), and who's ready for a little vacation? In this swap you'll exercise your imagination, visit far away places (in your head, at least), and send a little souvenir of your travels on to others! This swap is geared toward artistic/altered artist types, and "wannabe" or newbie artists are welcome, 'cause we all have to start somewhere. :D

For this swap, invent an exotic locale. You can make it up entirely, base it on a real place, use a real place but give it an "alternate universe" sort of twist, or even use a historical nonmodern place. A magical Hawaii, maybe? A Caribbean where pirates still exist? A far-off planet with friendly alien natives?

For your chosen locale, you'll send to one partner:

* A brochure advertising this place. The brochure should be hand-made in some way, but you can make it on your computer and print it out, or draw the entire thing by hand, collage it, or any other form of creation you choose, as long as you make it. And make it attractive, with pictures and colors and interesting text -- after all, you're trying to get people to visit. :D
* A postcard from your imaginary place, with an anecdote on the back about your vacation there: tell people about the natives, the food, the shopping, the weather, a bizarre local incident, local history, etc. You may send the postcard inside the swap package (with a fake postage and postmark stamp?), or maybe send it "naked" through the mail so it gets a real postmark and a stamp. If you send it before or after the rest of your swap, you can use it to "tease" your partner. ;) Oh, and obviously, you'll have to make the postcard, unless your imagination has a gift shop. ;)
* A souvenir from your location. It can be touristy, like a refrigerator magnet or t-shirt for your fantasy place, or it can be cultural-feeling, like a hand-woven basket or hand-painted coconut bowl, but it must be a unique item with some hand-made aspect -- so buy something and alter it to make it more appropriate to your fantasy location, or you can completely hand-make it, whatever you choose. The value of your souvenir should be at least $5, but there's no top limit, in case you get terribly inspired to make something super-impressive. ;) Other souvenir ideas: a book of local recipes, "native" mask, landscape painting or framed "photo" (digital altered art, anyone?), or even some local candy or treat, if you're a creative foodie type.

You have a month from the sign-up deadline to create your fantasy travel swap package, which technically gives you almost two months if you start as soon as you sign up. If that doesn't sound long enough, and enough people mention it, I'll happily change it. :D

One recommendation: take a picture of your swap before you send it. You might wish you had later if you don't. ;)

Newbies with filled-out profiles are welcome! Perpetual flakes aren't ;), but a couple of bad ratings in an otherwise fine record won't get you booted. If you want to be a swap angel for those who get flaked on, let me know, since I want everyone to get something.

Come and play, and if you have questions, ask 'em!

Mar 7, 2007


Again! I made two bookmarks, scanned those and the purple postcards, stuffed a couple envelopes for the I (heart) books swap, and wrote the survey-letter for a getting to know you letter swap on Swapbot, and now I'm a little brainfogged and would like to take a break from slogging through the list of things to do for other people and potentially do something for myself.

Last week (was it last week?) I worked on my experimental knitted, felted tricorn. I felted something on purpose for the first time a couple of days ago, first attempting to do it by hand, but that was too slow, so I finished it in Brian's washing machine, which worked quite nicely, except that the dish soap I was instructed to use didn't seem to want to go away in the rinse cycle. ;) I like felting, so now I have something to do with scritchy wool that I don't want to wear on my skin. Yay. So that was my thing to do for myself the last time I had this question.

Today I still ought to package up my Old Box ATCs for that swap. It isn't required for the swap that I embellish them any further than they are embellished by their own surface design, so I refuse to allow myself to feel pressured into embellishment. If it occurs to me while putting contact info stickers on the back that I should embellish them somehow, then cheers. But if I just put them into envelopes the way they are, then that's fine, too, because it explicitly gives me that permission in the swap info.

Mar 5, 2007

Knit Off, shot down ;)

Well, I've been soundly beaten without even knowing what the pattern was till it was over. ;) The first round pattern for the Knit Off was Uniscarfity, and someone in group J is already done, so I'm out. As Paisley says, "Eek!" But that's all right. I don't need another scarf, anyway, being in Florida, and all, and doing Uniscarfity feels a little contrary to my Knitter's Guidelines for this year, since I don't really fancy the pattern all that much, and I'm technically not permitted to start knitting new projects, especially for myself, that I don't reeaaallly like.

In other news, Brian was thinking of learning to spin so he can help me make stuff to sell on Etsy. He works at a call center, and says there are people who do non-work-related stuff there all the time, so he could totally get away with spinning yarn at work. I find this pretty funny. Brian so cuuute. ;D

And in more other news, I managed to get my right pointer finger whacked with a spear this weekend in my fight with Troy, so I'm not in the best crafty production shape. Oops! It should be fine in a few days, but until then, I'll probably be slightly impaired in the crafting sector. Mumble. Oh, well. At least it's an interesting excuse. ;)

Mar 2, 2007

Knit Off rules

For my own personal reference, so I don't have to keep looking them up from the group. ;)

Patterns are posted at the beginning of each round. When you complete your project, take a photo and post it in the photos section of the Yahoogroup. Also email (I'm assuming this is the address that got Yahoo-cut to "yarnie@..." in this post) so there's an international email time stamp to reference. Whoever posts their photo of finished object first wins that round.

Round One materials requirements:

*set of US size 6 (or 5, for me?) dpns
*2 skeins of contrasting colors of double-knit weight yarn (with skeins 170m long, there's still some left over)
*gauge not crucial

I'm actually a little excited about this, since it's faster than Sock Wars and I get to make something for myself ... but I lose two days of knitting time thanks to FLaRF. Yarr. Wasn't Sock Wars during Pirate Fair? Why am I always doing a show when Yarn Monkey's knitting tournaments start? ;)

Knit Off!

I am officially in Group J of the Knit Off knitters' tournament, run by Yarn Monkey, the creator of Sock Wars. ;D

There's a theory going around that the pattern will be posted tomorrow, which, of course, is rather inconvenient for me, since I'll be doing FLaRF. Oops. Oh, well...
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