Thursday, 30 March 2017

The Pondoland Square is here!


Hello, Everyone! I'm really so happy to be able to squeeze in this square before April is upon us. I can't believe it has taken me all of the entire month of March to finish this block. Ok, it is quite a few more rounds than I am used to, but I wanted so much to make a piece that was big enough for a cushion cover, that when all was done, only the tails needed working in. Well, let me tell you...it was CHALLENGING alright! Whew!!


My heartfelt deepest thanks go to my Testers, Cindy van der Schee ( Holland ), Judy Stamnes ( US of A ) and Lucia Martins ( Brazil ). I can tell you from hard experience now, that pattern writing is a Lady Dog! If you're a Virgo you'll know then that we are pretty good with the details, and finer print, but make no mistake, pattern-writing tests the limits! Imagine, EVERY single stitch must be accounted for! Anyhow, as you know, I could talk Crochetnease ALL DAY, every day, but I do want to get this square to you before the weekend. 😍





So, let me tell you a bit about the magical Kingdom of Pondoland. To be sure, until recently, I kind of vaguely knew it was in the general eastern area of South Africa. This area is also known as The Wild Coast because of its pristine natural beauty, as well as an awe-inspiring coastline. If you've ever wondered about herds of cattle on the beach, then you have to see the beach loving Bulls! of Pondoland!

No surprise where I got my colourways from! 😄







That coastline, like all the coastlines hugging the southern tip of Africa, is famous, or should I say infamous, for its hundreds of shipwrecks and dozens of Castaways!  Half of all these shipwrecks saw all souls drowned or eaten by sharks ( I mention this in The Birkenhead Square ). However, groups of sailors, officers and civilians sometimes made it to shore. Survival depended on where exactly they found themselves. The shoreline then was dotted along the way with "rest and replenish" stations but considering the distances, as well as the wild terrain between them, even landing halfway between these way-stations drastically reduced your chances of being saved. In many cases, survivors seeking sanctuary sickened and died along the way. If luck was on their side, they were rescued by peaceful tribes living along these shores.There is ample documentation of survivors integrating into local tribes, and of course, legends abound about these pale-faced people and their descendants.



Some years ago I came across a book in our local thrift shop called The Sunburnt Queen. This is a tale based on scatterings of information, about a White, or possibly a Malay girl-child, a survivor and castaway from around the mid-1700's, who was rescued and integrated into one such tribe, later becoming a Queen of Pondoland! This was a fascinating read!



Not so long ago my husband worked for a company that designed and made signage. One of their clients was a large Petroleum group. Anyhow, as luck would have it, just after a new design was implemented they asked if anyone would volunteer to take a road trip into these wild eastern hinterlands! The task: visit ALL related gas stations and check on how well the signage was displayed.

It is truly wild country still, and most people are fairly sane, so no hands went up. At lunchtime, my husband skyped me and in conversation mentioned this. Two days later we were on the road!! He didn't stand a chance! I mean come on, a FREE road trip, all expenses paid, to a part of South Africa neither of us was familiar with!? What's not to volunteer!

I won't go into the entirety of this ofttimes beserk, one-week car trip that covered a few thousand miles, but let me just say that at one point, we crawled along national roads so as not to collide with Cows, Calfs, Bulls, Sheep, Goats, Pigs, Piglets, Chickens with Chicks in tow, Roosters and Geese. At another point we were surrounded by wildfires and once we were stopped to have the car sprayed against Foot and Mouth disease!? Being Vegan ( me ) and Vegetarian ( husband ) we also pretty much starved! Mind you, the Backpackers we mostly stayed at were incredible. Really beautiful, well kitted out, almost luxurious. Our car-sore bodies were most grateful at the end of each day. And if all else failed, the views were worth it all!



South Africa, so wildly diverse, spine-tingling wonderful, full of raw energy, and colour and light... all underpinned by deep, deep soulfulness. 💗 A never-ending well of inspiration 💗

Until next time. Or as we say in Afrikaans, Tot Siens!!



FOLLOW THIS LINK TO PURCHASE THE ENGLISH VERSION PDF PATTERN DOWNLOAD and VIDEOS


With much appreciation to Carmita from Las Labores de Carmita. ❤❤


Take care, have fun!
Jen xxx


91 comments:

  1. OMGosh. This came up on Ravelry this morning! Thank You!!!!!

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  2. My dearest Jen, your stories are just as good as your fantastic designs! Being able to make this pattern feels like a gift. You're awesome, but you already know that, right?

    XXX en tot ziens ;-)

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    1. Aw, my dear Cindy! I can't thank you enough for always being so willing to take on my flights of fancy! I want to mention the next one is already off my hook, but I don't want to scare you away!:D xxx

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  3. As usual... another absolutely stunning square. Thank you.

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    1. Thank you, Hope! :D This was really a fun square to make, and also challenging because it's quite a bit bigger than the others. :-) xx

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  4. A lovely story and an even more lovelier square! Prachtig!

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    1. Baie dankie, Simone! Much appreciated! xx

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    2. Baie dankie Jenny. Ek is van Suid-Afrika. I am from South Africa. Some Spirit of the Soil creation. Lovies from South Africa

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  5. I admire your work and creativity. Many many thanks. Echt fantastisch.

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    1. Thank you so much1 It means a lot to me. xox

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  6. I feel in love with this, thank you so much Jen for sharing your wonderful work with us. It was lovely to read the story.

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    1. Thanks so much, Sofie! There is really so much more to the story but I hope all the links I provided will fill out the gaps. :D xx

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  7. I so loved reading your story here...and am in love with The Pondoland Square...it is stunning and reflects all of the creativity and mystery surrounding it...meticulous work and I'm over the moon...thank you for sharing it. I can only hope to have the patience to complete this.

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    1. Thank you for your kind and encouraging words, Bev! MUCH appreciated!! :-) xox I am always available to help and answer any questions concerning the pattern, so GO FOR IT!:D

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  8. Thank you so much for your time and effort designing this gorgeous square - equally stunning colourways! I love the beauteous tale behind it that you wove so artfully!
    Tot siens xx

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    1. Baie dankie, Caro! That is such a mysterious part of the world, as is much of this beloved country. My Ouma used to tell me stories about her life as a child growing up in The Free State, so much inspiration... I could make Squares 'til the cows came home! :D xx

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    1. Muchas gracias, Silvia! :D xx

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  10. Love your story telling and your gorgeous patterns.Thank you for your kind and generous heart Xx

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    1. Thank you so much for your encouraging words, Noelene! :) xox

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  11. Oh it's so beautiful. I hope to start it this weekend. Thank you so much for sharing such a lovely design with us. Wishing you a most lovely day. :)

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    1. Thanks so much, Stitchy! Have a fab weekend and if you do make the square I would love to see the end result. :D No pressure. :D xx

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  12. Jen, this is the most stunning squares I have seen! I am speechless in front of this beauty! Thank you so much for sharing!

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  13. wow. Your talent. Just wow!!!!

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    1. Thank you so much! I am so encouraged by all the kind comments. :D I've been doing a lot of blushing today! :D xx

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  14. Thank you for this gorgeous block. Love it! You are so kind.

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    1. Thanks for your kind words, Joan!Much appreciated1 :D xx

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  15. Thank you so much for sharing the pattern. It's beautiful.

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  16. This is gorgeous 💙 Thank you for sharing this pattern with us.

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    1. Thanks so much,Mary! :-) xx

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  17. Hello thanks for the pattern can you tell me if it's in us or eng terms thanks

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    1. Hi there! All my patterns are in US terms. I'm so used to using US terms that I forget to mention this. :D xx

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    2. Thank you i am in Australia and we use English terms but it's fine I can convert them and by the end I will be used to them also :)

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  18. Hi Jen,
    Many thanks for sharing your gorgeous pattern, as well as the accompanying story with us, I truly loved it. It has taken me back to so many of my wonderful childhood memories of growing up in South Africa (I now live in the UK).
    I definitely will be having a go at this beautiful pattern.
    Tot siens,
    Chezza xx

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    1. Hi Chezza! Thank you for kind words. I'm so glad you like the square and that it has reminded you of happy times! :) xox

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  19. Vanessa anderson2 April 2017 at 01:46

    Jen Tyler... Thank you. Your designs ate indeed aewsome! But this... This is so supremely gorgeougeous... Going to be difficult to beat! I love your designs... This one will go dead center in my blanket of mysteries. And your patterns are free.. So generous! Thank you again kind lady!

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    1. Ah, thank you so much, Vanessa! I love making these squares and I also love sharing them! I'm always excited to see what comes of them, where they end up...as a cushion cover, or a blanket centre! :D xxx

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  20. Hi thanks for a wonderful pattern. I would just like som clarification on row 21. It says that 1 sc to be made in space before scfp and then a sc2tog over the scfp. Does that mean that there will be 1 sc plus half of a sc2tg in the same space before the scfp?

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    1. Hi there! It was a bit difficult to explain this bit but I think you've got it! :D What you're doing is making a sc2tog over the scfp from the previous round. To do that you will insert your hook into that space before the fp, pull through a loop,two loops on your hook now, do not yarn over,insert your hook in the space on the other side of the fp, three loops on your hook now, yarn over and pull through all three loops. Basically you've worked 2 stitches together OVER the fp. Does that make sense? Let me know? :) xx

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  21. Thank you so much for this pattern. It's beyond my skill level for sure, but it's something to aim for.

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    1. Hi Kriti! You're welcome! :) I'm going to be making a video tutorial for this pattern. Watch this spce! :D XX Have you joined the hooksntales facebook page? I'm there all the time, so you can pop in for a chat. :-)

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  22. This is absolutely STUNNING Jen and I LOVE the pictures of Pondoland!! Thank you so much for this pattern! xx

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    1. Hi Erica! Thank you so much! It's a gorgeous part of the world and still very untouched by development. I would like to live there but it's a bit too off the beaten track...and where would I find a yarn shop! :D xx

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  23. Hello, this is a beautiful square, congratulations, from Argentina, Adriana

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    1. Hi Adriana! I'm happy to meet you! Thank you so much for your kind words. :D xxx

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  24. Bellísima diseño, gracias por compartirlo.Hay alguna posibilidad de encontrar las instrucciones en español? .
    Un saludo desde Málaga (España)

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    1. Hi Maria! Thank you so much!:) xx Unfortunately there is no translation into Spanish. Perhaps someone may offer to translate for you? x

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  25. Thank you for the pattern and the tale of your Pondoland adventure. My (late) husband and I travelled cross-country by Landrover from Natal to Coffee Bay in the early 70's and stayed a while - on the beach. We were young then and it was a magical time, your tale brought back lovely memories x

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    1. Hi Cathie! I'm so glad my little tale brought back some happy memories! :D xx

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  26. What an absolutely wonderful square!
    And the same goes for your entire blog 😊
    I was browsing ravelry, looking for a colorful square or mandala when I stumbled across your designs. At the same time I got totally caught in the stories about your country, which seems, for a Finn, quite exotic!
    Even though it looks complicated enough, I think I will go for the Pondoland square, thanks to your great video tutorial!

    (I will use it, by the way, as a hiking seat pad to protect my bum from dampness and pine needles, of which we have a great deal up here. Also have to make it colorful enough, so it's easier to find when I lose it in the woods 😄)

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    1. Hi Anna! Thank you so much for your kind words! I'm so enjoying all the wonderful Pondo's that people are making in all sorts of gorgeous colourways! I think so far this is my most popular square! :D It's true, South Africa is many countries rolled into one, with so much diversity of languages and cultures making it a real melting-pot of exotic experiences. :D Truly a treasure trove of inspiration. xx Btw, there are some ladies translating this pattern into Finnish. Are you part of this group?

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  27. Thank you for sharing to the world..
    God Bless YOU
    May God give you more as a return.

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, irshinta! xox

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  28. Wow! I've favorited every one of your designs in Ravelry, but I think this is my absolute favorite!!! Gorgeous! Now to decide whether to make the red and blue or the shades of turquoise...I may have to do both! Thank you so much for sharing. I look forward to each new design. <3

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    1. Hi Larry! Thank you! :DI am blown away by all the amazing colourways, and how they change the look of the design. I think I need to sit down one day and make an entire blanket of this square. :D xxx

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  29. Thank you for this great pattern and the lovely story behind it. Guida

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    1. Thank you, Guida! :D xxx Have you seen The Durban Spice Girls yet?

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  30. This looks absolutely inspiring!
    Thank you,
    Maite

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  31. I've just finished the Pondoland square, have ordered a pillow form for it, but wondering what you did for the back. I'm trying to finish it for birthday gift on the 16 of July, so don't have time for something this time consuming, to put on other side also, as I made it with H, 5.00mm hook, an it's 21 inches . Wondered if you have any easy suggestions for the back side? Love how it turned out, Thanks for all your hard work in making the patterns and videos!Thanks again! Sharon

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  32. Querida Jen, recién he conocido tu página,tus trabajos, tus viajes y tu maravillosa narración, he quedado completamente maravillada, enamorada de tus mandalas, qué preciosos diseños, es un arte,una bendición haberte conocido .... Gracias por compartir, te dejo no solo un gran abrazo, si no, mis respeto y admiración. Hasta prontito.

    Alicia ( Hicha)

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    1. Querida Alicia, muchas gracias por sus amables palabras! xxx ¡Calientan mi corazón! Enviando un gran abrazo en gratitud. :D xox

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  33. grazie infinite cara ....ho ricevuto un gran bel regalo semplicemente favoloso!!!!!

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    1. Aww, Maria, muchas gracias! :D XOX

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  34. I love this square!!! But, alas, I am unable to open the .pdf file once I've saved it. Help!!!! I really would like to make this one.

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    1. Hi, Arla! I think in this case it might have something to do with the program you have that opens PDF files on your computer or device? Adobe? Or any other PDF Viewer? I've checked the link and PDF several times and all is in order from my side. Let me know? xxx

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    2. Sorry that I took so long to respond...things have been busy...
      I have tried everything I can think of, and the problem persists...I even re-downloaded Adobe Reader, and am still unable to open this lovely pattern... :(

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  35. I don't know which I like better, the magnificent square or the wonderful story which left me wanting more. The fact that you designed the pattern, took the time to write it for us and to share your story and inspiration for color choices is above and beyond being helpful. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Judy! :D Much appreciated! XOX

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  36. Maureen Humphreys19 July 2017 at 18:00

    I can't believe how beautiful your square is. Totally awe inspiring.

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    1. Hello, Maureen! I'm so glad you like it! I think it's turning out to be my most loved square to date! :D xxx

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  37. Hi Jen, I am also having trouble downloading your stunning pattern. It is all blacked out when downloaded.

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    1. Hello, Maureen! I have just checked the link several times and it seems to be in good working order? Possibly check your computer/device just to make sure you have a PDF Viewer of some sort? Adobe etc? Let me know? xxx

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  38. Iám in ♥♥♥ love white this pattern. thank you so much for scharing. Greetings from the Netherlands.

    Dinah

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    1. Hello, Dinah! Greetings from Kaap Stad! :D I'm so glad you like it! :D Thank you. XXX

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  39. Thank you so much for this gorgeous pattern. I am newish to crochet but cannot resist having a go, it's irresistible!your tales are just as intriguing too.Do you know how much of each colour I would need to make the square please? Oh and how many colours please? Thank you again for sharing your wonderful gift

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    1. Hello there! :-) I used about 10 colours. It was a stash buster project so exact yarn usage not so easy to specify. The square measures approximately 18" x 18". The rounds are not very long, so you will need way less than a 100g ball for each colour? With lots left to make another one, or crochet a back for it. If you make a cushion cover. XXX

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    2. Thanks very much Jen. I'll give it a go Angela xxx

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  40. Thank you - ευχαριστώ πολύ - not only for the pattern but also for the post and book suggestion!!!!

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    1. Hi, Ginger! Thank you, and you're welcome! :-) xxx

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  41. I heared about your wonerful designs from a friend. Youe Pondoland Square is amazing. Thanks for this pattern and for the clear explanation in the video's.

    In Dutch, dank je voor het patroon en tot ziens, Margaret

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    1. Thank you so much, Margaret! :-) xxx

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  42. Thank you so much or the beautiful pattern. I am going to make 2 small lap blankets for my granddaughters, I was wondering if there is a guide for the colour changes for the cool colours. It might be my PC but I can only make out 2 of the blues in the finished picture?

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    1. Hello there! Sorry no alternative colour guide! I should work on that. Thank you for the reminder! xxx

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  43. Hello Jen, I made your beatiful Pondo square and wrote about it on my blog. Thank you so muche for the lovely pattern.

    Greetings dinah.

    https://dinahcreatief.blogspot.nl/2017/09/pondoland-square-kussen.html

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  44. Daar Jen, what a beautiful patterns, Thanks you for my new hobby, greets Chantal de bont. Can i post a photo , i made the Pondoland

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    1. Hi, Chantal! Yes, please post a pic to the FB page ( sorry, only saw your comment now! ). XXX

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