Yes, the size of the final version makes it more usable, but it is the firmness of the thicker fabric that really does the trick. Here are the final Squatty stats:
Prefelted measurements: 19" wide; 13 1/2" tall; 21" long strap
Measured after 2 long washer cycles to felt: 12 1/2" wide; 6 1/2" tall; 15" strapThe construction of the Squatty is so clever. The bottom of the bag is made first as a back and forth-knitted rectangle on a circular needle. The live stitches along one side of the rectangle are kept on the needle and stitches are picked up along the other three sides to start the body. The body (with its careful sequence of increases and decreases) is knit in the round in one piece. At the top of the body, some stitches are bound off and some are kept on a holder for the flap. Others are kept on another holder for the base of the handle. A group of stitches on one side is worked on for the handle. When the handle is long enough, the handle stitches are grafted to the reserved stitches on the other side of the bag. In other words, the bag is made in all one piece. Much more elegant to knit than to describe.