Of Knitted Felted Bags (And A Pair Of Red Boots)

I’m lucky enough that I get to see the originals of the lovely felted bags published in our Interweave publications: Nicky Epstein’s Floral Felted Bag is a knockout “in person” (Knits, Fall 2004);
Floral Felted Bag
Leigh Radford’s gorgeous embellished backpack (Piecework, Jan/Feb 05) was a delight to examine up close.

My personal favorite is Marta McCall’s Weekend Getaway Satchel (Knits, Fall 05), perhaps because I was the first one to unpack the swatch she sent us as the submission for that bag. I still remember gasping as I unwrapped that huge, colorful, beautifully made square of felted intarsia. It was stunning, and I knew right away that it was something special. I was assistant editor of Knits at that point, and my job was to open all the submissions and lay them out on the big conference room table, with the best submissions on one end and the submissions we were least likely to use at the other end. I moved several sweaters and submission folders out of the way to put Marta’s swatch at the very far end of the “best” end of the table, nearest the door, so it would be the first one that the senior editors saw when they came in the room.

As it turned out, we weren’t the only ones who loved that bag. Many, many of you wrote to tell us how much you loved it, too.

I have a big poster hanging in my cubicle of the magazine photo of that bag—the famous shot with the infamous Red Boots.
Weekend Getaway Satchel
Infamous, because when that issue came out, we were flooded with calls and emails from literally dozens of people, not about the bag, but about the boots! Everyone wanted to know where they could get those gorgeous red boots. It turned out that the photostylist had gotten them from a small European company (www.svenbeach.com), and I often wondered what the employees at that company thought when they started getting dozens of orders from America for their little red boots.

Not all felted bags have to be as fancy as Marta’s, of course. If you are looking for something a little less time-consuming, but with all the good clean fun of tossing your knitting into the washing machine, give Amanda’s Squatty Sidekick a try.

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