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Project

Eli the Owl Backpack

This adorable owl backpack is an ideal handmade holiday gift.

Materials

  • Owl template
  • 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. Step 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. Step 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. Step 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. Step 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. Step 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. Step 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. Step 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. Step 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. Step 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. Step 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. Step 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. Step 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. Step 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. Step 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.

Source
The Martha Stewart Show, November 2007

Reviews (23)

  • marilyn1947 2 Sep, 2009

    Very cute for the very young. I can tell you tho as a retired teacher, the older child above grade one would get teased unless it was just for Halloween.

  • jackie_d302 31 Aug, 2009

    oh this would be so cute for halloween bag, lunch bag, over night bag, even stocking...how cute would an owl be pirched on the mantle? CUTE!!!

  • phillieannie 4 Jul, 2008

    You can buy felted wool material at Jo Ann Fabrics by the yard. Go check it out.

  • elephant108 3 Dec, 2007

    Joann.com has 100% wool felt in 36" width. Wash the wool with a pair of jeans in hot water and a woolite-type product on regular cycle (in washing machine). Block the felt upon removal from the washing machine If you want the felt even thicker put it in the hot dryer.

  • hangthisup 3 Dec, 2007

    Where can we just buy the felt to make it....thank you

  • jamieirene 3 Dec, 2007

    Jamie Irene here. I'm sorry they didn't post the type of yarn I use. I prefer Cascade 220. It's 100% wool and has a nice "fuzz free" finish when felted. You should be able to buy Cascade 220 at most yarn shops. You definitely need wool, synthetic won't felt. You can buy the Ultimate Sweater knitting machine at www.bond-america.com. Enjoy!

  • AlanaT76 1 Dec, 2007

    specifying the yardage

  • juliebug 30 Nov, 2007

    Jamie Irene and her designs are adorable. I checked her website and she has handbags and hats as well. All of her designs are so creative. I'm ordering for Xmas. You definetly need wool yarn to felt. The felt that you buy in the stores is not the same quality. Felted wool yarn is almost like a boiled wool - very sturdy.

  • Syri 30 Nov, 2007

    The instructions are somewhat misleading. Not just any yarn will do, you have to use animal fibres (100% wool) to be able to felt at all. Synthetics -Will Not Felt- also superwash wool will not felt.

  • allcraftygirl 30 Nov, 2007

    You can buy felt at any fabric store buy the yard or they also sell felt by 9x11 sheets at the craft store.

  • hangthisup 30 Nov, 2007

    also does anyone know once i purchase the felt...what are the sizes of the cut ..thanks

  • hangthisup 30 Nov, 2007

    Any advice on where to get the felt to make this..im not good at the knitting thing..thank you...

  • Knitwitch 30 Nov, 2007

    I would really like to know what kind of Knitting Machine Jamie Irene used on your show. I love this pattern and as a hand knitter who has never ventured into machine anything..she's peaked my interest!

  • sli 30 Nov, 2007

    I would like to know what yarn was used. Not all yarns felt. I assume it was wool.

  • sli 30 Nov, 2007

    I would like to know what yarn was used. Not all yarns felt. I assume it was wool.

  • pamcramer 30 Nov, 2007

    Adorable, I am so glad I have the Bond!!!

  • FoodSurgeon 30 Nov, 2007

    It appears to be American Bond DELUXE 130 Needle Ultimate Sweater Knitting Machine USM 30 Needle Ext Kit = 40"W, 1500SPM*, Intarsia Keyplate, Row Counter, Yarn

  • FoodSurgeon 30 Nov, 2007

    It appears to be American Bond DELUXE 130 Needle Ultimate Sweater Knitting Machine USM 30 Needle Ext Kit = 40"W, 1500SPM*, Intarsia Keyplate, Row Counter, Yarn

  • katierae81 30 Nov, 2007

    Michael's sells the knitting machine in their yarn department.

  • janiejam 30 Nov, 2007

    I would also like to know the make and model of the knitting machine used in this segment.
    janiejam

  • jannhole 30 Nov, 2007

    can you please post the vendor that carries the knitting machine?????

  • charlenemcbride 30 Nov, 2007

    But isn't gaining knowledge and skill the point of trying projects like these? This was definitely no more complicated than a sweater. I just want to know what kind of knitting machine she showed.

  • misshoney 30 Nov, 2007

    This was a cute segment, and it required knowledge and skill, but I think that it appealled to a very limited audience. On the other hand, it would be great if Martha showed some great sweater patterns (Aran Isle, Long cardigans, Lopi) for children and adults. Muffler scarf patterns would be well-appreciated this time of year too.