I finally bit the bullet today and went for it. I've been avoiding the tam all weekend. Yesterday, I went to the farmer's market, cleaned the house, started another batch of bread, did laundry, and knitted on the shawl. (Sweet peas are finally out at the market, and the house smells great.)
So it's not like I wasn't doing things that needed doing, but I must admit that part of the drive to stay busy was that I wasn't quite sure I was ready to commit felting.
This morning, I made cinnamon rolls from the last batch of bread dough.
I also made a loaf from my new batch, which we had for dinner.
All of these are coming from the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day book, which I checked out from the library after someone else tried it, and I'm so glad I did. I will definitely be buying this book for myself. The bread has turned out really well, and the time investment is minimal; to be fair, the commitment of refrigerator space is not minimal, but I can live with that. I like fresh bread, I like knowing what's in my bread, and I like being able to have fresh bread relatively quickly. And the book has all kinds of other things one can do with the bread dough (for example, those cinnamon rolls up there). Yup, I'll be adding that to my library.
I also worked on the shawl.
I've been wanting to get through the first chart, which I did this morning. That felt like a big hurdle, since the stitch count starts going down after that, which makes me feel like I'm on my way. The lace motif around the edge is just gorgeous.
And once that was done, there were no more excuses. It was time to felt. So I wove in all the ends, boiled up some water, dug out a bowl and rubber gloves, and got started. I scrubbed and kneaded, and shocked the wool by alternating between hot and cold water, and after about 12 or so minutes of work (with lots of stops to see how I was doing along the way), I decided that it seemed like I'd shrunk enough (it had gotten to just over the 12-inch-diameter mark), and it was time to stop. So I wrung it out (and can I tell you how weird it feels to do that to a piece of knitting?), and shaped it to dry. And then I asked Older Daughter to try it on again so we'd have a fair comparison. I think it's much better, and I actually like the texture rather better, too; it's weightier, and feels more windproof, which I'm happy with.
And for comparison.
Is it just me, or is that better? The first one looks much more like a hat, and much less like The Blob. I just need to hem up the ribbed edge, and it'll be done. Does this mean I can cast on for something else?