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The Adventures of Amanda's Squatty Sidekick

Apr 13, 2007

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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KarenJ wrote
on Apr 15, 2008 9:22 AM
Please tell me what M stands for as in M1. I have been knitting for years and have never heard of just "M"
EllenD@2 wrote
on Mar 18, 2008 1:46 PM
so far I have made 2 1/2 squaty sidekicks in manos - this time I am adding rows between increases and decreases to make the bag a little deeper, but I enjoy making it - I also like the use of I cord in the bag on the handle and especially with the button loop.
CorcoranC wrote
on Aug 1, 2007 10:55 PM
Aimee -- what do you mean by thick thin? Also, to anyone, I've been wondering how one strand versus two strands makes a difference. Okay, you get more bulk with less knitting, but can you just use one strand and then let it go through a bunch of cycles to really shrink the wool tight? how does one strand differ from 2 in any other ways?
GeorgiaH wrote
on Jul 13, 2007 10:06 PM
This was my very first bag! I'm a new knitter (March) and I just put my faith in the pattern and voila! It came out perfect! Thank you.
AimeeM wrote
on Jul 4, 2007 7:55 PM
I've made two Squatty Sidekicks, one with Manos and one with Malabrigio. The Malabrigio bag got twisted during felting and is now a wonky bag! argh. I love the pattern, but I'm not sure what I can do to fix this. I'm not sure I would use a thick/thin yarn for this pattern in the future because I think that's where it all went wrong.
MorganW wrote
on Jun 27, 2007 11:06 PM
My blue sidekick (I used lamb's pride worsted) is almost dry and completely adorable. I'm thinking of making a beaded and felted bobble for the closure. I'd make one suggestion -- do a provisional cast on so that there is no seam on either end of the base. Felting almost erases that difference but not quite.
JaniceB wrote
on Jun 25, 2007 9:14 AM
Ok, so I'm not the most brilliant circular needle knitter, I started this bag 2 times but I'm confursed about picking up and knitting, Do I use the needle with the 15 stitiches or the other end? i am confused. Help please
Chris@2 wrote
on Jun 23, 2007 8:05 PM
Thank you so much for publishing this pattern! I've been interested in this bag for quite some time and am thrilled to be able to finally knit it.