The Adventures of Amanda's Squatty Sidekick

This is the story of how a pretty little felted bag made its way from a blog to a photo in Interweave Felt magazine, and then to you!

Once upon a time, a knitter named Amanda made an adorable felted bag and put photos of it on her blog. She called it the Squatty Sidekick, because it ended up going everywhere with her, and was small enough to keep her from overpacking! As happens often in knitting blogdom, other knitters started asking for the pattern for the Squatty.

Amanda, who works at Interweave, brought her trusty Sidekick bag to work one day to see if the pattern could be published in an Interweave publication. Everyone agreed the bag was adorable… but a tough truth of the publishing world is that we don't have the budgets or the pages to publish every pattern we love. (One of the hardest jobs I ever had here was writing rejection letters. People really put their hearts and souls into their submissions, and it was heart-breaking to try to explain to designers why we couldn't use their design.) I didn't see the bag until after it had made the rounds of the other editorial offices. At this point, Knitting Daily was still in the early planning stages, and I had just been named its brand-new Editor. The Knitting Daily team knew we wanted to make our online patterns more searchable and accessible, but we had not really tackled the idea of new patterns yet.

When I came into Amanda's office and saw the bag sitting on her desk, all pink and fuzzy and terribly cute-looking, I believe a tiny squeal of delight might have escaped my lips (it may have been a rather loud squeal, actually). I picked up the bag ("grabbed" would no doubt be more accurate) and, like any sensible knitter, immediately asked where I could get the pattern. Amanda told me that none of the publications had room for it. She told me about all the knitters who had already seen the bag and wanted to knit it.

Being one of the knitters who wanted the pattern, I felt a bit sad that it would not be available.

At that moment, I had a little epiphany. I was Knitting Daily's editor, editors choose patterns to publish…I could publish Amanda's bag pattern on Knitting Daily, thereby making lots of knitters very happy. Wow! (Doesn't get much better than that.) And that is how the very first Knitting Daily pattern came into being. It wasn't the first pattern we posted on our site, but it was the first pattern contracted specifically for Knitting Daily.

So, without further ado: Amanda's Squatty Sidekick. (Ta-da!)

We delayed putting the bag on the website so that Amanda's bag could have one more adventure: it starred in an Interweave Felt photoshoot as the model for Sharon Costello's nifty felted buttons. If you have never tried needle-felting, then a custom-made button for a favorite knitted project might be just the thing to start out with. Full instructions for the buttons are included in the Summer 2007 issue of Interweave Felt magazine.

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