Well, the French Market Bag is finis! I still love the colors, and overall, I'm quite pleased with it. Alison, thanks for your help with my transition to the bag body--couldn't have done it without you!
I did the base on circulars (now I'm an Addi Turbo addict), and I made the body 10" instead of 8". It really wasn't a difficult pattern.
The night before last, I put it through a 10-minute hot water wash and then let it dry, but it didn't seem quite tight enough. I will say, however, that the texture change in the initial wash was cool. I checked it every few minutes and the difference in picking up a mass of wet knitting at 6 minutes and the far-more-solid mass I handled 2 minutes later was amazing.
My dear, non-knitting husband agreed with me that it needed a bit more time in the water, so this evening, I nonchalantly popped it back in for 6 minutes and completely ignored it the whole time. Must be similar to what happens when you have your second child--I became very confident that it'd be fine, and indeed it is.
Take a look, photos are here!