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Dear Ann,

I say “our favorite bag”—because I know you love the Knitter’s Tote as much as I do.

But do you really? Is it possible for anyone to love this special bag—so sturdy, stout, and attractive (all qualities to which I aspire as a person)—as much as I do?

Artisan bag maker Julia Hilbrandt designed the Knitter’s Tote to our specifications in her signature material, industrial wool felt.  She has been making these totes in her home studio in Rhinebeck, New York since 2017. Each one is in Julia’s hands every step of the way, from the cutting mat to the sailmaker’s sewing machine to the vaguely steampunk hand press that hammers the rivets into the saddle leather handles—she even needle felts each decorative dot.

Not to be corny—but we are so corny that on our way out of Rhinebeck last week, we drove by Julia’s house to salute.

I boastfully consider the Knitter’s Tote design to be at least partially my intellectual property. Years ago, I had the good sense to fall in love with a Tesco supermarket shopping bag that our late beloved friend Belinda sent me from London. The bag was a special edition using an Orla Kiely print to raise money for a good cause. It cost her 5 pounds, Belinda crowed. She knew I loved Orla prints, so she made sure I got one, although it surely cost her more in postage than the purchase price. I was devoted to that bag. I loved its flat bottom, capaciousness, see-into-it-ness, and cheerful indestructibility. I took it everywhere, including places that lowly reusable shopping bags seldom see. Fancy bag toters of New York gazed upon my Tesco shopper and wept with envy (I think). It was a Good Thing.

Julia took the bones of that carryall and turned it into the bag of our dreams, the Knitter’s Tote, and it has become the favorite reticule of so many knitters.  This year, to celebrate the holiday season, we’re offering it in a limited edition color, vermilion—a rich orange-red that is greater than the sum of orange and red.


A vivid pop to enliven any wardrobe, winter or summer. Julia special ordered bolts of vermilion felt just for MDK, so quantities are limited—if it’s singing your song, now is the time!

I hasten to add that the original gray and charcoal Knitter’s Totes are also very, very nice. You and I have been carrying our original Knitter’s Totes for years and they just keep going, and going…always loaded up with knitting.



PS You asked for it: here’s a reference photo of the battered, beloved Tesco bag from Belinda that inspired the Knitter’s Tote.




  • Beautiful, rich color.

  • Orange-red! I may need another one.

  • Stunning!

  • I resisted for a brief moment, but my is in the mail!

  • Gorgeous color! I’m in love!

    • I love it. I have 4, and 2 of the smaller city bags.
      But I might need another one.

  • But… Where’s the picture of the Tesco tote? I can’t be the only one who wants to see it ;-l

    • I couldn’t put a photo in the comments but I added it to the post above!

      • HOORAAAAYY!!!

        They’re my favorite style too

    • I second that request!

      • I can double that serious envy for sure!

  • Serious bag envy going on right now

  • Mine is arriving Saturday…along with many other goodies from the Holiday Shop. Good job this year MDK!

  • Knitters, if you love this color, don’t hesitate! I so regret not jumping on last year’s special blue color – when finally I could deny my love no longer and went to buy, it was gone.
    (If anyone has a blue one that might be happier in a new home, pls let me know by replying!!!)

    • I love the blue one, too. Maybe it will be offered again!

  • What does it look like inside pockets?

  • Ooh your talking my color!

  • I do love the orange one but to be honest I love the Tesco bag. It is truly lovely

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  • Beautiful new color!

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