Thank you all for your suggestions. I finished the backpack at the movies last night (Kinky Boots, well worth seeing) and came to some conclusions there. I came home to read your comments and hearing Davina of the enviable haircut offer the same conclusion I reached myself makes me sure it's the way to go,
I'm going to felt the backpack as it is, then cut out the details and sew them on afterwards. The question now
is do I try to find craft store felt or do I knit up swatches, felt them, and cut out shapes from my swatches?
I've also decided (i think) that instead of a drawstring, I'm going to add a velcro closure. She is, after all, three, and I don't think the whole drawstring thing is within her realm of stuff she'll even think about wanting to do when she's throwing all manner of things in her backpack as I stand at the door bellowing "come ON! let's GO! please!!!
I fear the velcro and the felted backpack is a recipe for disaster, but what's the worse that happens? it pulls and pills? I can shave it, right? or not care because she is, after all, three?
I'll also knit a swatch and cut out a star, sewing along the bottom and velcroing the top so it doesn't get flaccid points. Nothing worse that a flaccidy pointed star.
Here's the flap I "designed" in the dark without counting during the movie. Luckily it turned out ok. I did
mark the back before i started so the flap is not rounding a corner or something. I think the extra random purl row might be a nice touch when felted. but maybe it won't matter at all. I find the flap curls in a bit, because i cast off on the wrong, so i'm contemplating flipping the whole thing inside out before felting. Should look the same either way, right?
I'm hoping this felts solidly because there are a few flaws in the knitting, as evidenced in this photo. A few extra-saggy stitches and a couple of spots where i knit into the stitch itself as well as the one below. I seem to do that a lot in the dark.
I got into a brief discussion about the bag with the 70-something woman leaning on her cane who was waiting for admission with me. She cursed like a sailor and wondered why the hell I was making a backpack "out of that stuff." She wasn't really granny material, I have to say. Except for when she leaned over to her friend during the movie and said "Want some chocolate covered Matzoh? Help me finish this or I'll eat the whole box."
"When did Passover end?" her friend asked, equally loudly.
Un-Granny snorted "That's why it cost 10 cents a box. Eat it."
Back to the Divine Miss M and her birthday for a moment. We received a gift from someone who I considered a close friend until the moment I saw what was inside the box. A set of 56 wooden stamps and an ink pad.
You'll note that before anything even touched the paper she had stamped the back of both hands, just like at storytime. help me.
See this look of innocence? see the ink all over her hand as she holds it up precariously over the table?