...which is usually where the trouble begins.
Before I left for IQF I was rooting around in the trillions of bags (tote/purse/decorative) and determined (like the junky that I am) that I simply didn't have one that I wanted to take along with me to haul all of my junk around.
You see, I am to tote bags what Imelda Marcos was to shoes. (Well, maybe not quite that bad but it could easily get there if I didn't check myself on a regular basis.) I love 'em. Can't get enough. And the tricky part of it is finding one that I can't load down to an unrealistic weight that could cause me to blow out another disk in my back. So there's a challenge there which makes it more like a sport - very appealing.
So my plan - about two weeks before leaving - was to crochet up a bag and felt the heck out of it. Which is not something I normally do. I've always thought the idea of felting odd. You spend hours knitting or crocheting something, taking care to have nice stitches and then - wham! You shrink it like some sadistic maniac and ruin all your stitch definition. See? Weird.
Still, I liked the idea of being able to determine the size myself and pick the colors and thought it would be horribly satisfying to walk around Chicago and the show with something I made.
Didn't get it done in time. I'm sure you're shocked.
So I finished it up last night and decided to toss it into the washer to felt it up.
It doesn't look much different. Yes, its wool recommended for felting (the brand is Galway) and yes, I used low water and soap and the hot/cold cycle. (And before you ask, we have a washer with an agitator so I figured that would be a bonus on my side for felting.) Yes, I threw it in the dryer. (After pulling it out of the washer and realizing there wasn't much change, I chose to do something entirely brilliant. I put it in the dryer on heavy duty high heat. Did you know that wool gets kind of stinky when its on the brink of catching on fire?)
I realized this morning that I tossed it in the washer by itself and that I should have given it a couple of friends (like towels) to help with the friction aspect. If anyone has any advice on what else I could be doing wrong, I'm all ears.
My plans for tonight are to wash the snot out of this damn thing until it felts. I will win, oh yes, I will.