Meet Nora Bellows of Noni: Nora was taught to knit by her mom when she was 12 but did not discover the world of felted bags until 2000. Her first bag was made from a simple pattern, but she immediately began to innovate. Soon, her unusual creations attracted the attention of customers in the Baltimore knit shop (Woolworks) where she worked (like so many of us) to support her knitting habit. In addition, she began making bags exclusively for private commission and for sale in a very few small boutiques around the East Coast.
While at Woolworks, Nora also taught literature and composition at the University of Maryland, where she earned a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and a PhD in Renaissance English Literature. After the completion of her degree in 2004, she moved (for love!) to Austin, Texas, where interest in her bags came more from other knitters than those seeking to purchase them. Her extensive background in teaching came in handy as she developed classes of all sorts: one on continental knitting, another on fixing mistakes, a third on making a felted bag, several on felted flowers, and, her personal favorite, an intense multi-day workshop that focused on designing one's own felted bag.
It wasn't until 2005 that she, after much pestering from her knitting students and Pat Rohmer (owner of Bluebonnet Yarn Shoppe in Cedar Park Texas), began to make her designs available to the intrepid knitter. During the Fall/Winter 2005 season she founded Noni Designs and launched a line of eight fashionable, innovative bag and embellishment patterns that are as beautiful as the designs they feature.
All Noni patterns are sold as PDFs that are emailed to you after purchase, which means no shipping fees. View Noni's entire Collection: