Thursday, September 9, 2010


There and back again!  We are home from our cross country college drop-off...a little bit worse for the wear {sooo tired} but feeling really positive about our daughter's new home away from home...I can see her thriving there. There is so much that I want to share about this experience and this time but I am still very much in the midst of processing it all, and to be honest I can't talk about it quite yet without getting misty {actually I'm moving between mild humidity and monsoon depending on the moment}.  So we'll save that for another day and instead go for a little {drum roll please}...tahdah!...
 This is my latest published design—The Birdie Backpack appearing in the new issue of Petite Purls!...
There are so many cute patterns in the 2010 Fall Issue.  I'm honored to be in such good company.  Last year my Ladybug Coat was a part of their premier fall issue, and I feel so fortunate to have another design included in this terrific online magazine. 
All about Birdie...
I had such fun making this backpack.  It was quick, no stress, and just plain fun to of those whimsical projects that just makes you smile while you're working on it.  I love that!  Plus, it has pockets!...
...secret pockets!  I really, really love that!  There is a pocket on the underside of each wing.  You can omit this detail and just make your birdie without pockets, but why-oh-why would you? 
The details...
The bag is worked from the bottom-up, in the round with Blue Sky Alpacas Organic Skinny Cotton.
Note: If you haven't used this yarn before {I hadn't}, let me tell you, it is fantastic.  I have always used Tahki's Cotton Classic when making cotton knits.  Cotton Classic a lovely yarn and will forever be one of my faves {so many great colors to choose from}, but I am so happy to have another great go-to cotton yarn.  The Blue Sky Alpacas Skinny Cotton has a little less sheen than the Cotton Classic and it washes to a soft, oh so yummy texture...ideal for making that favorite weekend sweater—you know the one—it's more old friend than sweater.  This yarn is strong and durable enough for a backpack and soft enough to be right next to the skin—pretty great, right?

The backpack opens and closes with a zipper along the back of the bag.  I-cord feet, a knitted beak, layered button eyes, and knitted top-feather tufts finish off the bag design.  I lined my bag to give it a little more structure and make it a bit more rugged {we are hard on our knits}, but you could make yours without the lining if you wanted.
It's perfect for short outings, just the right size for a sketch book, a pencil box, a snack and some light reading.  Our Birdie will be busy keeping us company on outings to the local nature park this fall...can't wait!


ps~Thanks so much for the love this week.  I can't tell you how much your wishes and thoughtfulness meant to me...knowing you were out there really helped prop me'll never know how much.  You guys are the best!


  1. Alison! It's so cute! When I got an email that the newest edition was up, looked thru the pattern pics and recognized your model! The secret pockets are crucial, I agree. Congratulations! love ~ A (oh, and the feet kill me!)

  2. I love it - so much in fact I want one for myself! I am sure it would be just the thing to carry my lunch to my new job! :D

  3. When I got notice that the new issue was up, I immediately went to check it out. I also recognized your model! At that moment, my 3yo daughter (who loves birds, especially knitted owls) walked up to the computer and went hysterical. She started screaming that it was her owl and she wanted me to knit it for her now and that he should be orange. Wow! I wish she would learn to express herself. ;o)

    The next day she asked where her owl was and informed me that he should be blue. The day after that she demanded to see "her owl" on the computer again!

    I have no yarn shop in my town. The closest one is over an hour from here. However, it was clear to me at this point that she was not going to wait for yarn in the mail. So we went to Hobby Lobby for soft cotton and I cast on her owl. She is so happy!

    I have finished the bag base and one wing. I have worked about 18 rounds of the next wing.

    I have a question for you. Whenever I work openings by binding off and then casting on again on the next row (like the wing pockets in this pattern), I get a loose stretchy section at the point where the knitting ended and I began to bind off. Any suggestions how I can avoid this?

  4. Awww...thanks you guys! I have to admit it was really fun watching this one come together. That's the great thing about toys and and the like. At some point they just seem to have a life of their own and the maker is just along for the that!
    Connie, thanks for your question—I am always happy to field queries about my patterns. I tried to email you, but it has bounced back so I thought I'd try to catch you here and on Ravelry...You might want to try using a smaller needle for the bind off and cast on sections. Another trick that I use when I have a loose or gappy stitch at transition points is to knit into the back of the stitch and/or knit the stitch together with the stitch directly below it. I've found that this little trick fixes a multitude of little issues. Let me know if either of these work (or don't) and if you need any more help.