Late teens c. 1916-1917 knitting bag of turquoise blue silk with a lovely jonquil print in marigold, cream, and green features elliptical wooden handles covered in bronze lamé brocade. It is lined in cream silk and has no formal closure, other than that created by holding the handles together.
The fashion articles of the day recommended that knitting bags be used to stash everything from a toothbrush and nightgown for overnight travel to needlework and a pocket camera for the woman summering at a hotel. The styles changed rapidly and constantly—from the type of handles and material used for the bags to their overall size—with women carefully matching which knitting bag they carried to their dresses and hats. Ultimately, the trend evolved into a vogue for knitting purses created specifically to accompany a single ensemble.
The purse measures 13” x 16” across the middle, both crosswise and from top to bottom, with the handles adding another 5” in height.
Though the attached museum inventory tag circa dates it very broadly (to from 1900-1925), I believe a June 1917 newspaper reference to a bag much like this helps to narrow the span quite a bit:
“Last season, bags had elliptical wooden handles, the bag shirred to the lower half of the ellipse. In September, this style was entirely passe..."
Further, photo #8 shows illustrations of similar knitting bags from the Spring/Summer 1916 Montgomery Ward catalog.
Excellent condition, with no stains or tears and the lining intact.
Proud Member of the VFG Vintage Fashion Guild