The Great White yet again

I have a feeling that the blog is going to have titles like that for a little while. (I keep wanting to title it “Call me Ishmael” but I worry I’m the only one who’s going to get the joke.) I’m almost embarrassed to show you my progress. Rows are slow now, and I’m feeling triumphant beyond words if I manage my allotted two rows a day. It is seventeen days until shawl deadline, and I have 25 rows (and a really, really long cast-off) to go.

tbigwhite 2016-05-31

I like my odds right now, but how intense the thing is – well, it’s making me a little neurotic. I have a black cat – and while Millie is normally a perfect knitters cat, uninterested in yarn, likes to lie beside me while I knit, rather than on my lap… in recent days she has become a creature possessed. She’s long haired, and it’s spring, so she’s shedding what seems like an amount of black hair that should have long ago left her bald,  and her only mission in life right now (beyond her regular patrol of the front windows, hissing at squirrels) is to get. On. That. Big. White. Thing. Maybe hook a claw in it. Perhaps chew a little at the edge. Anything. Just a taste.

catwatch 2016-05-31

When I leave the room now, if I put down the great white, it has to go in a cat free zone, or go with me, and right this minute it is resting in a largish ziplock bag. Millie is enraged, but vigilant. We both know that eventually I’m going to make a mistake, and that cat is waiting.

I’m just going to have to be more alert than that cat.

153 thoughts on “The Great White yet again

  1. Ah. Animals with dark hair are magically attracted to white yarn, as animals with light hair are attracted to dark yarn. One of the underlying truths of the universe. Bruce/Moby will not be the death of you.

  2. We have a visiting black lab, balls of yarn are fair game. So they are secured in plastic containers and projects are carefully taken with me when I leave the room!

    You are a brave knitter to post such a public project! I like to keep mine hidden until done! Best wishes to all your family as you celebrate this happy occasion!

  3. Moby Dick. I get the joke. I’m literate.
    That said, I get it with the cat. But I have a dog, and she likes to lick things. My daughter’s leg. Her favorite dog toy. The carpet. My knitting. There’s nothing like picking up a project bag and finding that it’s got a soggy spot on it.

  4. “Call me Ishmael”. Very funny. You need to settle on the metaphor, though: ‘Great White’, for us Down Under would really resonate ‘shark’, and not so much whale (at least I think so, and I do not want to talk on behalf of my Aussie friends, who, I am sure, will correct me below if I am wrong). Regardless, I love both references. Lots of thoughts from a rather cold Tasmania. Winter is coming.

  5. Apparently, Millie has been waiting all these years for you to knit her a white beaded cat blanket-and she only wants to take a little nap on it to try it out!
    Good luck with protecting it from her. It is truly gorgeous!

  6. Just keep saying “Just one more row, just one more row” and soon it should be done. I’m sure though that it will be done in plenty of time for the beautiful bride.
    Keep on knitting!

  7. Love ‘Call Me Ishmael’!!!! (Not that I’ve read it — it took my husband about 2 years of bathroom reading to get through it, I just can’t face it).
    We have two black and white cats, so get the best of both colourways on the shedding story (and yes, the long-haired one sheds industrial quantities — if only I could work out a way to spin the stuff….). Mostly I knit dark colours (they do shed more black than white) and hope the recipients don’t have a cat allergy ….

  8. Holy. It looks lovely, but… yeah. I wish I could upload a picture of my cat. She is a demure, oh-so-innocent little girl, and, like yours, a perfect knitter’s cat. Like yours, fluffy and black.

    But. After my baby was born and she was jealous of my attention, well. If I was looking after the baby– fine, she got that. If I sat down for a knit? Oooh, she’d be mad. She’d come over and snip the working yarn with one bite and glare at me. As soon as I started paying her more attention, though, she stopped that and was as perfect as could be again.

    Kitties are odd, temperamental creatures. I love them.

  9. I have a similar situation with my cat, with fur. She does sit in my lap while I knit (and I have to fend off her half-hearted attempts at catching my yarn in her mouth), but the fur is the real problem. If your cat allows brushing, the furminator brush is a miracle sent from heaven. My cat loves the thing, and will (thankfully) allow me to de-fuzz her once a month or so. She looks pretty and my house and yarn benefit!

  10. perhaps bring it with you to the retreat and have the group knit part of the shawl to make it a community knit thing if you get close on time?

  11. Rename the cat Ishmael? Make her a bow out of something white?
    But remember- you are doing this for your daughter! Heirloom! Memory! Knitted with love.

  12. By my calculations, at 2 rows a day knitting +1 day and a half to cast off =. 13+ days with 4 days to spare for blocking and drying. You got thiis in the bag Stephanie, barring any unforeseen cat intervention, this shawl will be a work of art.

    • I was just going to chime in, “Don’t forget about blocking and drying!” Because it’s lace, and blocking is not optional.

  13. Isn’t it a good thing that zip-lock bags come in really big sizes–up to 2 ft. x 2 ft.? That ought to hold a really big piece of knitting. [No. The bags aren’t safe for really furry cats?]

  14. Watch out when you block it. A kitty free Zone. My cat is fine about the knitting. It’s the cockatoo I have problems with. I found her in my closet. Chewing beads off my mohair silk lace shawl. 2 big holes. It’s wrapped up in a drawer for now till I get the courage to do the repair. Good thing I love her.

  15. And you said there wouldn’t be any adventure as you slogged through. A heavily armed attacker waiting in ambush isn’t an adventure? Of course, you do have higher standards than many, like nupps and beads and bike rallies from Toronto to Montréal. I, for one, am checking in constantly for the next hair-raising (oops) chapter.

  16. I would have gotten “Call me Ishmael” — my 11th grade English teacher would never have forgiven me if I hadn’t!

    I do not have a cat (or any pet, for that matter), but it seems that anything that could wreak havoc on a project is always drawn to it, be it pets, children, or husbands.

    In a funny twist, the anti-spam asked me to click on the cat!

  17. I too am currently knitting a big white beaded wedding-related thing on a tight deadline so I feel your pain. Take heart however, that unlike my white beast, yours doesn’t have a picot bind-off. I started binding off mine on the weekend. Six hours of binding off later and I’m still not done. There is a real chance that I’ll still be binding off those damned picots while the shawl is on the bride. It will make for memorable wedding photos- the bride, the groom, and the crazed knitter standing behind the bride waving knitting needles around and swearing at a shawl.

  18. I had to cat-spit splice yesterday. Damned animal severed my swans island ikat shawl yarn during the three minutes I left the room. Ceaseless vigilance is key, but no joke, it adds stress to a “relaxing” hobby.

  19. Oh my, the cat would worry me more than the timeline. The knitting looks absolutely gorgeous and it hasn’t even been blocked. You go, girl!

  20. Dear kitten,
    There is a responsibility I’ve been meaning to tell you about. It’s the forbidden great white thing. I learned as a kitten it’s our responsibility to guard the thing made out of string whenever the human puts it down. It’s best to sit on top of the thing but lately the human has been putting it inside this clear container. Never fear kitten, that is what we have claws and teeth for.
    Sincerely,
    Millie

  21. It’s beautiful and I don’t mind daily mentions of the Great White! However – I’d up that to 3 rows a day. Yes it’s painful now – but I think you are severely underestimating how busy is the week before a wedding. You are MOB (mother of the bride) and even with a small wedding there are a million things to do. Even all the beauty stuff (manicure etc.) sucks up time. You don’t want to miss the joy of that week while you are knitting like crazy trying to get it done. Kill yourself now with 3 rows a day and then if everything goes wrong you’ll be on time. I hate to be Debbie Downer, but I’ve been there.

    Meanwhile – it’s stunning. An heirloom for sure.

  22. Good luck with out doing the cat. Mine always lured me into complacency.

    Re: titles, I’m partial to White Fang and the White Album myself. You could amuse yourself bu continuing to adapt titles of things to suit your purpose. Sadly, it won’t help the knitting speed up. I do have my fingers crossed for you!

  23. Hard to tell if Millie wants to model the (to her) big white flat thing. or if she wants attention, or if she thinks it needs more seasoning (cat hair, as you call it).

    To partially solve the problem, try knitting on the shawl while a hair dryer or vacuum cleaner is running nearby. Millie should head for the hills, as long as she’s not deaf — cats hate the sound of those things! If Joe has an electric beard/moustache trimmer, that might also do the trick.

    However, that won’t help with the problem of loose cat hair getting on or in the shawl. My cats passed away years ago, and I’m still finding loose cat hair everywhere!

  24. I can’t wait to see this blocked. It will get finished in time and it will be beautiful! Banish the cat from all knitting locations.
    Also, I totally got the references.

  25. Your “she-ro” status is intact; cemented even. Thank you for the update. Even if you kept showing the same picture, I wouldn’t notice (I’m not checking). Your cat looks very intentional but my bet is on you.

  26. Do not leave cat with knitting in a bag. Plastic bags are fascinating to cats and you wouldn’t want an emergency trip to the vet to interfere with knitting time. GWT (Great White Thing) is utterly gorgeous.

  27. Many years ago I worked for a small non-profit organization that could only afford a small, “personal” sized photocopier that was asked to do the job for a whole lot more than a person or two! The copier had a label on the top of it that read: “WARNING: this machine can sense the urgency of your job, and will jam in direct correlation to your request”. Perhaps that copier was part cat…..?

  28. Some years ago–never mind how long precisely….

    I wonder if he would have suffered as much ennui and been driven to the sea had he been a knitter.

  29. Our current cat has an obsession with biting rows into plastic bags, most particularly ziplock bags with yarn/knitting in them. Her second favorite are ones holding electronic parts, just to make sure she has both people covered.
    Our previous dog figured out how to unzip backpacks and knitting bags so she could get to woolly knitting projects or winter wear. Just my woolly knitting, never my MIL’s acrylic projects.

  30. Remember the low bar of keeping the house clean enough so that the cat doesn’t stick to the floor? Sounds like a ‘two birds, one stone’ opportunity to me: if the cat’s stuck you don’t have to look over your shoulder and think of all the extra knitting time when you skip the house work 🙂

  31. You know, someone wrote an alternative finish for the Aeolian – much shorter and easier, but you’re probably too far along at this point to change. It’s on Ravelry , on the Aeolian group. I made it many years ago, and I haven’t been back to check whether the alternate ending is still there. I remember exactly how many stitches there are in those rows, and this pattern turned me right off large lacy shawls for all time. But yours will be beautiful!

  32. Darn those cats and their psychic abilities! She JUST KNOWS she would have ALL the attention of the GWT was to meet with a “millification”…her version of a creative collaboration….OR…she knows the GWT causes her source of adoration and food many sighs and leaky eyes and anxiousness and Millie knows she can Fix That.
    It truly is A GREAT white thing and is coming along wonderfully. You’ve done a beautiful job.
    Catnip for Millie. You get some when you cast off ….which is soon. Sooner than you expected because you have The Power Of The Blog behind you.

  33. When you are past the wedding celebration, check out “Ahab’s Wife” a big thick book, probably on audio by now. Beautifully written story of devotion and love. I even read Moby Dick again after this book and discovered greater depth and meaning. A great summer read.

  34. Buy the silly thing a new catnip toy & she’ll be too spaced out to care what you’re holding in your lap. You will never outwit a cat but you sure can get one high on catnip. Hehehehehe

  35. May I suggest looking at the new cast off Lucy Neatby just published on her blog? It is genious and can even be used if you need to do a picot edge. She says it is much much faster and gives a looser edge which you will definitely need for this. You know that of course. How can anyone think you wouldn’t know that. I rarely post any comments but since I am now, let me know I love your writing style, your lifestyle and your personal style!! And best of all possible wishes coming your way for a happy wedding with few pitfalls. They will happen. They always happen and I know you can go with the flow

  36. Thanks so much for taking time off from knitting to post. We are all cheering you on and just know that Megan will be a beautiful bride in her stunning shawl. Truly a moment to remember that knitting is love.

  37. It will be beautiful when it’s done, this great white whale of a shawl! When you see your lovely daughter wearing it then you will know it was all worth it!

  38. Dear Strphanie, my dear, dear, dear favorite knitter and blogger. May I gently introduce a note of cautuon, coming from a person who made a wedding dress that was finished the night before. You are thinking two rows a day, but you need to think that there will be a lot more pressure toward the end and those last rows and bind off will be d-mned long, longer thst the rows you’re working on now. I suggest you take some preventive measures now, (preventing your hospitalization, or worse, the loss of a friend — or is it a daughter’s good will?)

    Put a couple of these shorter rows in the bank today and tomorrow, lessen the load and the panic at the end. Yes, even knit in your sleep, whatever it takes. Hold back the impending June avalanche. A little more pain today, a lot less trauma and drama at the end. With love and admiration, you never fail to entertain and be a great inspiration!

  39. Ah Millie, I knew she couldn’t be perfect forever, but what a time to pick!

    Welcome to my knitting life.
    Have I mentioned the time that Hildegard the tortie chewed a hole in a newly finished cabled sweater back and I had to reknit 6,780 (I counted) stitches? And that she got it out of a *closed drawer* to do it? I feel like I have probably mentioned that.

  40. Cat repellant spray? A few drops of lavender and orange or lemon essential oils, diluted in water, sprayed on the shawl may help. Just don’t use mint; my cat loves all things mint, not just catnip.

  41. While I get the reference, the great white resonates shark with me as well and I’m in Pennsylvania.

    Before our other dog died, we had a black/brown beagle and we still have a mostly white dalmation. We also have a grey cat. It never failed to amaze me that at least one of them would find something to maul, either gently or viciously, in a color of diametric proportions to their own coloring.

    Good luck with the 2 rows a day. I’m in your corner.

  42. OMG – I LOVE the comments about Millie and can so relate. I used to have The Perfect Knitter’s Cat but sadly, he passed away. Now I have 2 cats that are “more like puppies than cats” my sister says and they chew/destroy EVERYTHING. I learned early to protect my knitting but ONE TIME I set the knitting down because one cat was having a bad asthma attack and needed her inhaler treatment so I hastily set the knitting aside to go take care of her. When I went back to the knitting the working yarn had been chewed in half with other damage done as well. Good luck remaining alert. Cats are patient, cunning, and they know when you are vulnerable. Constant Vigilance!

  43. my 2 cats thankfully leave my knitting alone, but when lap sitting, one of them waves her tail in my face every time the working yarn touches her. So I spend the time pffting out hairs from my mouth which probably then end up in my project. A small white whale of a problem compared to Millie!

  44. I feel your pain, I just finished a shawl, the bo took forever. It is sitting in a heap waiting to be blocked, but I caant face it for awhile. forgett the beads if they are slowing you down, no one will care.

  45. More alert than a cat. What could go wrong. (We will not speak of how enraged English majors can be by the suggestion that they might not recognize Call me Ishmael. Go Millie.)

  46. Grew up in New Bedford, Massachusetts where the book begins.

    In my day, they made every high schooler read the whole thing. They don’t anymore.

    There is a yearly read-a-thion of the whole book where it is read end to end non-stop passing it off to different readers.

    • My boys had to read it in high school 4, 2, and 1 year ago. I started it with them but didn’t finish…I am a non-stop reader but that is a lot of book! So Of course we know the reference, and now think of the Wedding Shawl as Moby Dick 🙂

  47. Oh dear. Cats are so patient that I fear you are right. It is only a matter of time. I think you should safety pin the shawl to your shirt so you take it with you everywhere.

  48. I like the suggestion of naming each successive blog title with some “white” allusion. Lots to work with.

    Good luck with the cat issue. I would up my security to a box or basket with a lid. I am sure said cat senses the intensity with which you are working…and just wants to ease your stress.

  49. Have you considered offering Millie a sacrifice/distraction like a yard of cheap store-bought lace that she may shed on?

  50. Moby Dick. HATED it. Dreadful slog. Probably a perfect metaphor.

    My sister’s Schnauzer lurked around the coffee table waiting for the exact opportunity. The second I put my knitting down, he snatched it and ran under the dining room table (perfect defensive position amongst the chair legs). He wouldn’t even trade it for a treat. We had to gather a group of people and force him into a corner, then pry the knitting from his jaws. Sneaky little beast.

  51. Thanks to the comments, I now get the joke! (And I knew it was Moby Dick.) I have a solid black cat who doesn’t care what color the knitting is; she justs wants to chew it.

  52. Remember, cats and deadlines alike can smell fear. The important thing is to appear as carefree as possible while knitting on the great white shawl/whale/shark. This will convince both cat and deadline that the project is not very important and therefore they do not need to complicate it, and both will go on to more appropriate activities.

  53. Give her your swatch so she has something of her own to get fur all over and will leave you and the shawl alone.

  54. Great White is shark to me too. Call Me Ishmael, is hilarious, and a whale without a doubt. You should totally go with Ishmael. LOL I have heard that Moby Dick is a tedious read, but wouldn’t know myself. I have a remarkably hard time getting into many of the classics in literature. I firmly believe in a strong editor. I don’t think they had those way back when.

    Good luck out-witting that cat. Maybe threaten her with becoming slipper lining? Doesn’t work for me, but might for you.

  55. I’m the negative of your cat vs knitting picture: mine is all-white, and nearly none of my clothing or knitting is. Best of luck to you. I think Millie has good taste–even the glimpses of your WIP are tantalizing!

    Oh yeah: English degree here – dig the literary reference!

  56. The shawl looks wonderful! Thanks for the glimpse of the progress. Love the beads. I don’t have beading experience but I admire the results. Seems like you are making good progress – but must be hard with the organizing work for The Ride and training too. The cast off will be Epic!

  57. I am worried. If we allow June 3 to travel to the retreat, the retreat going though the evening of June 6, and optimistically travel home June 7, that timing is very tight. We know that TGW is not airplane knitting, and somewhere YH needs to organize her own attire … Well, let’s just say, I am worried.

  58. I would get “Call me Ismael.” I have a Lit minor. I had to read Moby Dick. Twice.

    I’m also making a large white whale. My deadline isn’t until Sept tho. I keep thinking I’m going to pull it back because while it’s turning out exactly like I planned it would… I find I don’t like the plan and it should be … well… wool.
    I have very good reasons for not doing wool, it’s a very nice cotton acrylic blend for perfectly good reasons… but I don’t like cotton or acrylic but the bride is actually allergic to wool and doesn’t know how to take care of it and would never be able to wear it. But it would be so much nicer if it were wool.

  59. Good luck with that. A friend says, her cats’ philosophy is that cat hair (in her case black or white, she has one of each) ‘is the perfect accent for sny ensemble.”

  60. My cat was tuxedo – hair would show on *everything*. (I still find cathairs on stuff, and cat has been gone for four years, and wasn’t close to most of the stuff for several years before that.)

    Ziplock bags are good for projects. I mostly use gallon (~4L) bags – they’ll hold a pair of socks.

  61. Think positively. If the shawl does end up covered in cat hair, that’s Megan’s something new, old and borrowed all in one.

  62. So you have a big white thing being hunted by someone who is obsessed with it? Not only should you call the blog post, Call Me Ishmael, I think you should consider renaming the cat Ahab (at least until after the wedding).

  63. Great White made me immediately think of this beautiful country of Canada as in the Great White North

    The wedding shawl is so beautiful I cannot wait to see pictures of the bride!

    You can do it Stephanie!

  64. Millie is certainly giving the bag The. Look. Great White is brilliant…tee hee. Well, I’m inspired, proud to know you and can’t wait to see the finished pix (the snippet pix are gorgeous).

  65. I did the short version of that shawl a few years back, intending to wear it to a friend’s wedding. I remember when I first got going I thought “I LOVE this pattern! I think when I’m done with this one, I’m going to make the large version out of the dusky pink laceweight! With some pink pearl beads! It’s going to be MARVELOUS!”

    One week later, when I’d gotten to the edging section and things had slowed to the pace of a snail on quaaludes? Those “I should totes knit this again! SMILES AND RAINBOWS AND SUGAR CUBES” feelings were out the window.

    Since I don’t want to be *that* jerk, I will note: the finished product is GORGEOUS and is one of those shawls that gets glowing compliments even from non-knitters.

  66. I just saw the white knit work and got impressed with the quality of woolen. Is this kind of brand i must say its awesome and very fashionable.

  67. I’m older than dirt, so when I read “Call Me Ishmael” I immediately thought of Richard Basehart; then I laughed out loud in the library. I am currently involved in a Great Ecru, but I’m positive that has no literary references. And when I’m done with that, the Great Dark Brown Cheviot is leering at me from another project bag. No current literary references there; but I’m sure there is a book in it somewhere – either a horror story involving northern mountains and demented sheep, or a kids’ book where it all turns out to be mysterious but totally benign.

  68. My cat loves to tear apart plastic bags (and bubble wrap) and spit out the pieces. I’d sleep better waiting for further progress posts if you put that ziplock bag somewhere the cat can’t get at it.

  69. One night when I was making dinner, my husband yelled, “The cat has your yarn!” I ran into our family room as our cat ran past me into the kitchen. My Aeolian shawl-in-progress was wrapped around her, with circular needles clicking on the ground as she darted up the stairs into my daughter’s bedroom and under her bed. The yarn trailed behind her all the way back to our family room, where the gray ball of silk mohair sat. I grabbed the ball of yarn, sprinted upstairs, somehow managed to extract her from under the bed, and unwound the finest yarn I’ve ever used from the mess that encased her body. Miraculously, the shawl remained on the needles, and the yarn did not break. We were both so traumatized that the shawl has been in hibernation since that night!

  70. The shawl is really lovely! I’m not generally a huge bead fan, but those are perfect. I can’t wait to see it in all its finished glory!

  71. It is so,hard beings not MOB ( mother of the bride). You want this wedding to be the best that it can be because we love our daughters so much!

  72. I love these posts about the big shawl. Dedication to big projects filled with lots of time and love is an important part of our knitting experience! Slow progress is beautiful, too. Thanks for keeping us in the loop :-). God bless you and Megan and her marriage!

  73. The shawl is just lovely, and I hope you don’t mind me suggesting this, but I keep thinking that since you are pressed for time, maybe you need four hands. Not that you would grow an extra pair, (but just think how fast you could knit!) but perhaps a knitter friend could help you out when the rows start getting really long, and free you up for some of the other things you have to do in the next few weeks. The mother of the bride should be able to enjoy this very special time and not get too stressed out.

  74. I think more people would “get” the Ishmael than you think. Also, having lived with Millie, I’m sure your daughter would be touched to have her be a part of her wedding.

  75. It is so beautiful..can’t wait to see it finished…you are very brave to do such a larger project on a time limit that you were given….I am cheering you on..I know you can make it…goodluck

  76. We knitters are a pretty well read/educated group. We would and do get the joke.

    Keep going Ishmael. You will get your whale and defeat the evil black kraken.

  77. firstly – hey, Ismael: Stop. Knitting. Socks. !!!
    (just until June 20th, obviously… they’ll only weigh you down in the water…)

    secondly – you’ve Got this. you’re almost done, and way before the deadline! We (the Blog) are cheering you on!

    also – thank you, so much, for sharing this with us…

    and finally – any daughter would be “verklempt” (complete with flapping hand motions) to find her mother writing about her impending marriage the way that you have. Breathe. Knit. and Enjoy the Main Event – it’s going to be fun!! 🙂

    P.S. Lock the black cat out of the Great White room… just… it will make everyone less stressed. …and it’s not even our wedding 😉 …you will show us at least a few photos of the Big Day, right…??

  78. Not that I believe everything I read on the net, but for what it is worth, here it goes…I read an article that says cats like to chew on plastic because it is a petroleum product and they may be attracted to the bags we carry food home in as well for obvious reasons. I have too many cats and they lick, chew, and get tangled in plastic bags I leave out. I have learned to NOT put knitting in bags! I am a bit concerned that Millie’s previously benign relationship with plastic may change due to her apparent interest in the Great White….I hope this caution is unwarranted.

  79. The shawl is going to be gorgeous.

    My cat, Isabella, has a tendency to investigate my yarn but usually leaves it alone if I scold her. If I leave a skein unattended she will bat it onto the floor so the dog can grab it. Sometimes, she will try to pilfer fiber if I’m spinning. The one thing she does without fail is come running when I’m trying on a sock in progress. My husband usually puts it on me so I can keep that strand of yarn out of her reach.

    Everything has to be put out of her reach on my desk and the chair is loaded with a pillow and blanket to baracade the desk from her jumping on it for a fibery treasure.

  80. When I am having a hard day, I tend to check your blog many times until you post something. And yes it is one of those days

    • Perhaps you could go back and reread some of your favorites from the past. I love using the “search” feature on this blog — “Luis”, “birthdays”, “Christmas” and my person favorite “Mr. Washie”! So many years of wonderful posts, you never need to leave this site uncheered.

      • Thanks what a great idea. I have started at the beginning and am enjoying reading about her knitting life, and getting the blog up and running. Also I love to hear about snow too. Makes me want to put on wool things and knit more.

  81. Me too. Then i realize you are on retreat, a well deserved retreat. Enjoy. Looking forward to the post-retreat posts.

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