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Eli the Owl Backpack

This adorable owl backpack is an ideal handmade holiday gift.

Eli the Owl Backpack

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, November 2007

materials

  • One 9-inch brown zipper

  • 2 black buttons for eyes

  • 6 yellow buttons for backpack straps

  • 3 balls of brown yarn

  • 1 ball of cream yarn

  • 1 ball of orange yarn

  • 1 ball of antique yellow yarn

  • Scissors

  • Yarn needle

  • Size 10 USA, 6.5 mm 12-inch knitting needles, or a knitting machine

  • Fabric glue

  • Brown thread

  • Sewing machine

steps

  1. Begin by knitting. If using the knitting machine, use the size 4 key plate. All pieces are done in a stockinette stitch.

    Body Pieces
    -
    Knit one cream and one brown.
    -Cast on 55 stitches and knit 85 rows, then bind off.

    Flap for Face
    -
    Knit one in brown yarn.
    -Cast on 55 stitches and knit 55 rows, then bind off.

    Wing Pieces
    -
    Knit two in brown yarn.
    -Cast on 50 stitches and knit 45 rows, then bind off.

    Tail Piece
    -
    Knit one in brown yarn.
    -Cast on 25 stitches and knit 35 rows, then bind off.

    Feet Pieces
    -
    Knit two in orange yarn.
    -Cast on 18 stitches and knit 39 rows, then bind off.

    Ear Pieces
    -
    Knit two in brown yarn.
    -Cast on 12 stitches and knit 19 rows, then bind off.

    Top Strap Pieces
    -
    Knit two in brown yarn.
    -Cast on 14 stitches and knit 69 rows, then bind off.

    Bottom Strap Pieces
    -
    Knit two in brown yarn.
    -Cast on 14 stitches and knit 45 rows, then bind off.

    Hanging Loop Piece
    -
    Knit one in brown yarn.
    -Cast on 6 stitches and knit 25 rows, then bind off.

    Accessory Pieces
    -
    Knit one piece in orange and antique yellow yarns.
    -Cast on 25 stitches and knit 39 rows, then bind off.

  2. Attach all pieces using the brown yarn and a yarn needle, using whatever stitch you feel comfortable with. Right side (RS) is the knit side. Wrong side (WS) is the purl side.

  3. Get the brown main body piece, the two feet pieces, and the two bottom strap pieces. On the cast-on edge of the body piece, with the RS facing you, attach the bottom strap pieces so that the WS is facing the right side of the body, one at each corner of the body piece. Attach the tail piece in the middle of the cast-on edge of the body piece so that the WS of the tail is facing the RS of the body piece, on the bound-off edge. Attach the feet on either side of the tail so that the WS is facing the RS of the body on the bound-off edge. You'll have to go in every other stitch on the foot side because it's the only way to make it fit. When you've finished these steps, you should have the main body square with the strap, tail, and feet pieces attached all on one end of the square. With the pieces lying down on the square, all right sides should be facing you.

  4. Keeping the piece in the same position just stated, attach the cream body piece with the WS facing you on the cast-on edge. On the left side of the cream body piece, when the RS is facing you, attach a wing piece at the top corner with the WS facing you on the bound-off edge.

  5. On the right side of the cream body piece, when the RS is facing you, attach the other wing piece at the top corner with the WS facing you on the bound-off edge.

  6. With the wrong sides facing out of the main body pieces and all the attached pieces tucked between the body pieces, attach the body sides together on both sides. Turn the body right side out.

  7. With the RS of the back side of the backpack facing you, attach the ear pieces 5 stitches in from either side of the top-ear pieces; attach with the RS facing you.

  8. With the RS of the backside facing you, attach both ends of the loop piece to the top middle, with the RS facing you.

  9. With the RS of the backside facing you, attach the top strap pieces on either side of the loop piece with the RS facing you on the cast-on edge.

  10. With the RS of the backside facing you, attach the face piece to the top with the WS facing you on the bound-off edge.

  11. Throw the completely stitched-together project and the knit orange and yellow pieces into the washing machine with your next colored load on the hottest, roughest cycle. It's good to wash with other items for a better felting effect. Use any kind of detergent. If the felt seems too loose still, wash it again. When finished washing, let it air dry.

  12. Download, print, and cut out the owl template. Pin the template onto the appropriate coordinating parts of the body: Pin the beak template to the orange piece; pin the eye circles on to the yellow piece. Cut around the templates.

  13. Attach the zipper on your sewing machine. Sew the black buttons to the yellow eye pieces. Sew six yellow buttons evenly spaced apart to either side of the bottom strap pieces three on each side.

  14. Lay the top strap pieces over the bottom straps with buttons and snip a hole for the buttons to go through. Lay the assembled eyes and beak in place and glue down. Place something heavy on the places you used glue while it's drying.

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