Felted the messenger bag today. It's drying, and I think we've made peace with each other, but I'm going on record now as saying that I will not be using Cascade Pastaza ever again, for anything, ever. At the height of the battle, I told it that I was going to finish it and sell it on Etsy, but I'm going to let it dry and reassess.
(last photo pre-felting)
Pastaza wasn't terrible to knit with -- a bit sheddy, and so prickly that when I was holding the work on my lap, it would poke me through one or two layers of clothes -- but felting it was just awful. I did it by hand, partly to have more control over the process and partly to not spend money on wash cycles, which cost $1.50 a pop in this building. It didn't shed so much at first, but once it started shrinking, it just shed and shed and shed. Brown and red fibers sticking to my wet hands, over and over again. I came upstairs and grabbed the drain protector we'd gotten for giving the dogs baths, and that seemed to work pretty well overall to collect the fibers. I think that sucker could have easily clogged up the pipes of a washing machine about three times over.
I'm pretty optimistic, and it takes a lot for me to go from thinking that something (a person, kind of yarn, particular experience, etc.) is great to thinking that it really sucks, so if all the awfulness of the felting experience yielded a perfect bag, then hey, whatever, it's good. But I couldn't get the damn bag to the point where all the stitch definition was gone. That's supposed to be possible, right? That's the point of felting?
Maybe it will look better when it's dry. That's going to be awhile, probably, so I'll have time to cool off and go over my options of what to do. Thoughts of a nice felted messenger bag in Wool of the Andes were dancing in my head, though, as I took my best shot at felting the bejezus out of this one.
Now it's time to try to figure out how to proceed with the Ziggy socks I'm casting on next. Actually, I've already got a solid black short row toe all ready. I'm planning on knitting both of them at the same time, as I normally do, on separate sets of DPNs, so I was going to split the skein into four equal-sized balls, but then while I was winding it, I found a break that leaves 40g on one side and 70g on the other. And it's not one of those breaks that continues the color progression. So, I've been waiting for some clever way of dividing up the balls for minimum joining and maximum color awesomeness. Hasn't come to me yet, but something's hovering out there, I just have to find it.