Tuesday, February 13, 2018

L*K has BIG news!

Drumroll...let's get right to the scoop...

We are RETIRING!
We will be closing our official Lizzie*Kate "world headquarters" office on March 31.

We will be releasing our final design, #190 Spring Smalls, on March 1.

It is with much gratitude that we share this with you - our loyal cross stitchers everywhere. It's hard to find just the right words, but I'll try.

When I reflect over the past 22 years, the word I associate most often with my job is JOY. Who knew this job would be so fun, continually challenging, and bring pleasure and creativity to talented people around the world?!

When I began Lizzie*Kate I knew that I loved stitching. Most often, it was my favorite end to a long day. I could hardly wait to get the kids into bed and pull out my stitching. Before I finished one project, I was already dreaming of the next one and gathering supplies from my local needlework shop.

What I didn't anticipate when I became a designer, quickly became apparent to me. I could help others enjoy their favorite stitching hobby!! It's been so special to enable cross stitch fanatics to pursue their passion with L*K designs.

Sarah "Lizzie" and Alison "Kate" in our basement storeroom, circa 1996

It's been 22+ years since I made an appointment to chat with my LNS owner. I wanted to discuss a crazy idea I had to design cross stitch patterns. I needed a little extra income so I could continue to "stay home" with the kids. She didn't think I was serious, but she patiently told me about the needlework biz. 

Six months later I was sitting in the Lizzie*Kate booth at Charlotte Needlework Market on Row 14, "conveniently" located at the far back of the convention hall by the snack bar and ladies' room. My mother and a friend traveled with me. We had NO idea what we were doing, but we were there with 20 new "hot off the copier" L*K designs. Before market I hurriedly drew a logo for Lizzie*Kate, fully intending to revise it later - I never did.

For 3 hectic days we were unexpectedly swamped with shops owners eager for something new, placing large orders. We busily wrote orders from the nearby snack bar tables, and promised to ship ASAP. We were grateful for other kind vendors who helped us navigate the market. It was overwhelming.


Boy, were we busy when we returned to Wichita!!! I spent the entire first week tallying quantities, and ordering all the printing and photos we needed. Our basement air hockey table was completely stacked with printing, and I almost filled an entire grocery cart with photos. I remember the photo bill was $1700! 

It was summer so the kids and their friends jumped in to our "emergency" (OK, I coerced them and donated to their clubhouse fund) and helped us glue photos and assemble thousands and thousands of chartpaks. Alan helped me every evening as we attempted to ship 10-12 boxes every day.

We hustled and managed to get those original 250-ish orders out the door in less than a month. Complicating things, though, were the new orders piling in from non-market attendees, and those optimistic re-orders. We were blessed by a pile of orders that just wouldn't seem to disappear.

Standing in front of antique L*K door - leading to the basement office

As we were struggling to ship those original 20 designs, one question kept popping up -  "When are you going to have more designs?". MORE designs, I thought? Yikes! Can I do more?

Fast forward to 22 years later...
The L*K girls grew up and our family grew, along with our Lizzie*Kate business. Our family and L*K will forever have a special connection. 

Linda, Alan, Sarah "Lizzie", Jeff, Ali "Kate" and Barclay

As we close the door on Alan's L*K warehouse/office, he'll miss the day-to-day rhythm of L*K with inventory control, phone calls and emails from shops, and shipping. Our home will undoubtedly be cleaner when I'm not buried in all the stages of product development, designing and publishing. It's pretty hard to keep L*K contained in my home office - it gravitates all over the house!

We are so THANKFUL for the presence of Lizzie*Kate in our lives. In fact, I can't imagine doing life without L*K. I was able to use my creative gifts in a way that enriched the lives of others, and have a ball doing it. Because of L*K I was able to work from home and Ali and Sarah got to experience entrepreneurship first hand - whether they wanted to or not! 

Alan joined the biz full-time about 10 years after I began. From our beginning in 1996, he was always behind the scenes doing accounting and supporting me. He's the voice answering the biz phone and chatting daily with our loyal needlework shops everywhere.

Alan and I celebrating our 60th birthdays (several years ago!) with a Hippie Party 

Now Alan and I are ready for a change. We're not sure what the future holds for us "soon-to-be-retirees", but we are excited to have some time to explore possibilities and opportunities.

THANK YOU for the blessing you have been in our lives...sniffle, sniffle...and allowing us to come into your homes and your hearts...one stitch at a time.

***If you need more L*K designs, no worries. You can contact your favorite needlework supplier. We have a lot of inventory that we will be shipping to them and also their distributors. Just be patient as orders will take longer than order as we are assembling tons of stuff!

If you have a favorite L*K design or memory to share, LEAVE A COMMENT below. We would love to hear from you.

Love and best stitches,
Linda and Alan
Lizzie*Kate























69 comments:

  1. Although sorry to see you go, I wish you the best of everything on your next journey. Retirement ROCKS!
    Your designs are on walls and pillows all over the world. You won’t really be going far from the minds of those of us who have loved every LizzieKate stitch we’ve done.

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  2. As a long-time Silver Needle customer, I’ve been familiar with your work from the beginning of your journey. No telling how many LK designs I have in my stash, WIP pile, finished projects waiting to become FFOs, and that have been displayed in my own home or gifted to friends and family. You’ve been a fixture in the cross stitch community, and you’ll definitely be missed. Many blessings - and enjoy the next chapter of your life.

    Karen Bushyhead

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  3. you were one of the first designers i stitched when i returned to stitching as an adult- and you have always been one of my favorites-- AND i taught my girls to stitch with your patterns. your talent will be so missed-- and i am so excited to meet you in Tulsa this summer at the Silver Needle-- thank you for all you have done and blessings to you for your new exciting future :)

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  4. I'm sad to hear this, although I understand your reasons. Thank you for all the cute ideas and projects over the years. I have loved your designs! Enjoy your retirement!

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  5. Noooooooooooo!!!!! Say it ain't so!!!!! Gosh, this breaks my heart, but you guys deserve every bit of fun and relaxation and family time you can get - you've earned it! I'm so thankful to have been along for the ride for almost the entire journey - as a shopowner and as a stitcher. Your designs are some of my favorites! Stay in touch with all your fans and friends!! Thanks for the memories. ❤😢😁

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  6. I'm so happy for you guys.... but I can not believe what I read... you're my favourite designer... I'm always waiting for the next one.... I've made so many projects... so many memories... so much stitching... I love you guys thank you so much for what you made for me. I will miss you for sure. Love you Alessandra from Italy

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  7. I'm so sad, I love your patterns, especially Christmas patterns! I wish you all the best and I'll continue to stitch your patterns!

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  8. You will surely be missed! Thanks soooooo much for the many happy hours of stitching that you have given me! Best of luck in all you do,enjoy your retirement...it's the best job I have ever had! Sue Dow!

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  9. You were one of the reasons I started stitching again. I can't imagine a holiday season without Tiny Tidings coming. Will your designs still be available or will you be retiring and all designs going out of print?

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  10. Thank you so much for sharing your gifts these many years and many designs. We will miss you, though you will continue to be a presence on our walls and in our stitching baskets.

    Best wishes!!!

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  11. Congratulations on your retirement! I just recently found your designs! I haven’t purchased them all! Will I still be able to find them! I’m sad that I didn’t find you sooner!!!!!!

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  12. Where do I even begin?! I remember your designs as being some of the first I began collecting. They make me feel good and when life and it's stresses begin to get to me, I grab a LizzieKate with its bright colors and end up in a better place! Of course, I wish you and your hubby the best that retirement has to offer and fun times.

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  13. I also was one who started back stitching when I saw your patterns. I have done so many over the years and treasure each and every one of them. I had always hoped to run into you at the Hearts Desire. I am so glad you are going to be able to do other things together with your family. My husband had to retire due to illness and has been gone now 6 years. Thank you for all the wonderful patterns and love I see when I look at them.

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  14. Sad to hear this news but I can understand, hope you will have a long retirement with lots of new adventures.

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  15. I've been stitching since I was a senior in HS (1982) and when I discovered LK I fell in love...I've done mystery samplers, santa clauses, smalls and all kinds of designs in between. I have quite a few in the queue to be stitched later also...some even kitted already...so, while you retire, I will keep on stitching away!

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  16. I know you're breaking a lot of people's hearts with this news, and I understand why! But so happy for you guys to begin the next exciting leg of this wonderful life's journey! Wishing you and Alan all the best, and may God continue to bless you richly!

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  17. Your designs always seem to have come along when I have needed the right words for the someone...
    All the best for your future...
    Sharon - Australia

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  18. Bittersweet! Sad that you're retiring; but what a great career option for a passionate mom/wife/entrepreneur!! So happy that you are ending on your own terms instead of being pushed out by "cyber" pitfalls. Always been impressed that you held firm to only selling to Needlework stores. Loved meeting you in person at TNNA in Charlotte when I went to market with my mom. Your designs where some of the first ones I stitched. Enjoy the next chapter, and thanks for the lasting memories❤

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  19. Yes, I love your design much, sad to hear this news, but, all the best! ❤️

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  20. Congratulations on your retirement. I too will certainly miss your designs. I have to say Promise Me is my favorite design. I stitched it for a friend who has loved Winnie The Pooh since a very small child. I wish you all God's blessings for your future.

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  21. Wait, wait! Will your already-released designs continue to be available?! Or is it a situation of, when they run out they run out? I’m panicking over here.

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  22. I have enjoyed all your samplers and special series of sayings, Christmas, Halloween and many others. When our local needlework store closed, we checked your website to locate stores who carried LK, so could continue enjoying your designs. I enjoyed your class at Myrtle Beach with Sarah Haynes and still have it. Take care and enjoy your retirement.

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  23. Happy Trails....enjoy your future...

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  24. So sad to hear this. But happy retirement to you both. God bless

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  25. Thank you so much for all the many hours of joy you have given us stitchers. On a more personal note I want to thank you for your help when I decided to start designing. I have closed shop this year also. Best of luck to you and Alan.

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  26. You have been a favorite from the beginning and I will miss your sweet designs. Happy retirement....

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  27. I've loved your work for years, so this is definitely bittersweet, but I'm so happy for you! Maybe someday there will be a book of all your patterns in one place! (that would be AMAZING, btw!)

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  28. So happy for you, so sad to lose a faithful stitching companion. You have left your mark on this specialized community and you will be missed. Enjoy your well deserved retirement!

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  29. Congratulations on your retirement! You've helped me make mine so much fun. I've loved your designs for years and have some more to do. Go and see the world my other pleasure you guys will love it!! Good luck and God Bless!!

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  30. Congratulations on your retirement....great news for you but such sad news for stitchers. Wishing you all the best for the future. You'll be missed in the stitching community.

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  31. Your designs cover my walls. Enjoy your retirement; my retirement has been filled with stitching your designs and every day I enjoy the results of those patterns. Thank you.

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  32. I have so many of your patterns on my walls. I will miss the anticipation of new wonderful designs, but will have all those completed pieces to enjoy. Enjoy your retirement; but how I'll miss you.

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  33. I have loved stitching your designs and will continue to do so with what's in my stash and whatever else I can pick up. Congratulations on your success with the business and I wish you both every happiness in your retirement.

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  34. I am so sad to hear this news. I love all the inspirational quotes. I'm am currently working on Time for God. It will be hard not seeing new designs in the future. Happy retirement and thank you for making my stitching that much more enjoyable and meaningful. God bless.

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  35. Happy for you but sad for me. I just started cross stitching and have so many of your designs on my wish list. You have so many cute designs and I hate the thought of them being hard to find.Enjoy your retirement!

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  36. I remember meeting you at that first market 22 years ago and thought at the time that your style was so fresh and different. I immediately asked for the chart about Kansas as I had just moved from Topeka. I've been stitching LK since then. I'll miss seeing your new designs but wish you a well deserved retirement. Enjoy and know that we will still be stitching LK long after you retire.

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  37. I hate to see you go - yours were the first designs my daughter, Laurel, carried! Whenever I needed a design that said something special, yours were the ones I knew would say what I needed! Enjoy your retirement! I'll keep stitching your designs! Some mentioned a book with all your designs! SUPER IDEA! Author upcoming????? Thanks for all you've done for the stitching world!

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  38. Congratulations, Alan and Linda! You were my role models. I requested and got a booth near you for my first trade show, and ran into your booth several times to ask questions. You were both generous mentors. Thank you!

    You also changed the industry with your style and creative business vision. You were pioneers of Independent Designing. Many have followed your lead. Cheers to you for that!

    I hope whatever comes next for you is exciting and fulfilling. You've earned it!

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  39. I love your designs sooooo much ! I'm so sorry to read that, times goes on sooo fast ! but you have to take time for you, really, now !! You'll be missed us, really, but your designs will be for ever on our walls ! Thank you for all these wonderful moment of cross stitch you've given us ! Happy retirement, much love from Paris -France

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  40. Sad to see you go but hope you have a fabulous time in your retirement with each other!

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  41. Sad to see you go but hope you have a fabulous retirement together!

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  42. Love your designs, small or large. They have provided many hours and years of stitching. I think you should enjoy retiring. I know that I sure do! Love to you!

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  43. So very sad to hear you will no longer be designing but happy that you get to start the next phase of your life. Enjoy your free time, live life to its fullest and remember the fun times. I love the Snowmen series you made and hope to get the last few things I had on my wish list before they disappear!

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  44. Happy for you! I don't think I could possibly pick a favorite design, but anything with snowmen has always caught my eye!

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  45. I am so happy for you and your husband being able to retire and relax. However, I will miss you new creativity of designs. I have a stock pile of your designs! I just finished you new Christmas mystery design that I LOVE and will stitch it again - Like the mystery Christmas design from two years ago (I have stitched twice and may do it AGAIN). Love you all!

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  46. I wish you the best with your next adventure in life. I so enjoy your patterns. Thank you for sharing your talent!

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  47. You will be missed! But I'm so thrilled that you and Alan are able to retire and start the next phase of life. Congratulations on your L*K success and best wishes for the future. Thank you for sharing your talents and abilities with us.

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  48. Oh, this is a sad day for me. Your designs have been so charming and delightful, colorful and magical. I have especially enjoyed those created for holiday seasons - Tiny Tidings, Spring and Easter, and beautiful patriotic ones as well. I loved reading your blog, and following you on family bike rides and travel. I found it so interesting when you shared how you design on your computer, your friends and neighbors who came to assemble packets, a visit to see how your EEK! fabric was made and other behind the scenes stories. I'm sure you have many adventures ahead, and possibly grandchildren! You will be missed by so many, but we wish you well.

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  49. Wow, I'm sad to hear of your retirement, but also very happy for you both. This business has kept you hopping for many years, and you deserve some rest. :) My favourite memories would be winning the Snow Belles naming contest and finishing Dog Lessons in memory of a beloved basset hound we lost suddenly.

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  50. If I had the cash, I would buy every single chart before they are out of print! :) I found your daughter's Gimme Some Oven blog through yours and both of you never disappoint me! Good luck in your retirement, you will be missed!

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  51. Congratulations on your retirement! Now I'm going off to cry for a bit.

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  52. Oh, my goodness! Say it ain't so! What will we do without Lizzie Kate? I have so enjoyed stitching your designs over the years and selling them in my shop. My customers loved them.I retired two years ago, and I highly recommend it! I wish you and your sweet Alan all the happiness in the world!

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  53. No es un adiós si no un hasta luego, es el inicio de otra etapa, pero lo que se ama, lo que se lleva en la sangre, es difícil dejar, desear los mejores éxitos en esta nueva vida... y A eso a VIVIR esta etapa... It is not a goodbye but a good one, it is the beginning of another stage, but what is loved, what is carried in the blood, it is difficult to leave, to wish the best successes in this new life ... and To that to LIVE this stage ...

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  54. I have only JUST discovered Lizzie Kate designs via instagram and wished we had access to them here in New Zealand. Is there ANY chance the range of designs could be either sold to someone as a going concern OR they be made available for sale online as PDF downloads? I realise it would be a lot of work initially (I am an Independent Knitting Designer and sell my designs this way), but it would also be easier to maintain long term, whilst still providing an income. I would be very interested to know if there are any plans in this regard. All the very best to you, I shall watch with interest to see if there are any further developments along this line.
    Kind regards,
    Bronwyn Carroll
    https://goodtogoknits.wixsite.com/goodtogoknits

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  55. I’m sure this hasn’t been an easy or quick decision but will bring new adventures and happiness your way. I will be so sad to see you stop designing, I have stitched many of your designs and have a few more in my to stitch pile (& a whole pile on my wish list!). Will you be allowing a company to reprint your designs when current stocks run out or will they just become unavailable?

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  56. I remember ordering from you at that first market- your booth was all the buzz among attendees. You and Alan were such a big hit with all of the ladies one March as we gathered in Myrtle Beach. Many of my stitched pieces and stash are your designs. You will be missed but as Bob Hope always said Thanks for the memories.

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  57. Enjoyed stitching your designs over the years- stitched the 4 seasons baskets (hanging on my wall), and to all a good night, we've got cookies, tinsel in a tangle & a few others. Your designs will be missed. Congratulations on your retirement!

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  58. I am so sad that there will be no more new L*K designs😢 but I know that you will absolutely love being retired! I retired 3 years ago and love it😊 Best wishes to you and Alan as you begin this wonderful new chapter in your lives ❤

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  59. Sadly, but with respect for your long-lasting beautiful works and the gift of your talent, I wave good-bye to you from Germany.
    I'm glad, I deceided to stitch (and having finished in time) your last year's ChristmasMystery - and now this will remind me of you in the future... :-)
    Thank you for everything, that came from your hands, stay healthy and enjoy your life.

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  60. I am SO sorry to hear these news, but I want to thank you for the awesome moments I have while stitching your designs. My friends and I will miss you a lot, but we still have some designs to do. Have fun on this new journey and be sure you made many friends all oover the world! i am from Brasil and the first LK design I made was Peace on Eaarth (046) and I still do it. Thank you! Hugs and best wishes from Brasil. Myrian Camargo

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  61. Congratulations on your retirement and on having such a successful business, I’ve loved, bought, and stitched so many of your patterns, so the art of Lizzie Kate will be around my house (and probably passed down to my kids) for many years. I will miss seeing your new designs, but wish you all the best in your retirement!

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  62. I started stitching about 3 years ago and fell in love with your designs. I wish you guys all the best in your futures and thank you for the wonderful designs. Not only were they fun to stitch, but were inspirational and cute as well.

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  63. When we opened our shop in 1995 I could recognize a designer by the pattern. When Lizzie Kate came out, the whole design world changed. Thanks for helping to make a wonderful change in stitching, making it so much more fun and interesting. You must know you started something new and fun. Blessings on your future adventures. When we closed our shop, I made sure I had enough LK stash to last me for a while.

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  64. I love all your designs. Thank you!

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  65. After a 15 year absence from cross stitch, I picked up a cute Lizzie Kate design in 2012 for my newly married daughter. Cross stitch then went back into the closet, but recently I decided to get back into it and rediscovered LK! Hopefully, I can get a few patterns before the supply runs out. Happy Retirement!

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