Today is the first Tuesday in September, and that means it's the first day of the school year for most students in Canada and the United States. So I thought I'd do a back-to-school type post, and soon settled on the idea of picking out a selection of pencil case knitting patterns for you all. I can hardly think of a more classic going-back-to-school purchase. My father still has the pencil case that was bought for him when he began first grade back in 1944, although his pencil case was not the zippered fabric or plastic envelope that is used today but a narrow wooden box with two compartments and a sliding top. He tells me the cool kids in his class had a three-decker wooden pencil boxes, and that in his day schoolchildren didn't have backpacks to carry their books in but fastened a strap around them and carried them by the end of the strap.
The pencil case above is, of course, quite literally a Pencil Case, and is designed by Katie Startzman. I'd almost feel like making a book-shaped backpack to go with it. The pattern is available as a $4(USD) download, or as part of an eBook.
This Abacus Pouch pattern by Derya Davenport harkens back to an even older educational tradition than wooden pencil boxes and book straps. It's a free pattern.
This plaid pencil case pattern by Debbie Bliss appears in her book, The Knitter's Year: 52 Make-in-a-Week Projects-Quick Gifts and Seasonal Knits.
This Bright Pencil Case, designed by the Lily Sugar n' Cream yarn company designers, seems perfect for holding a selection of coloured pencils. It's a free pattern.
The Daisy Dachshund pencil case might be perfect for a small child who doesn't like leaving the family dog or his or her stuffed toys behind at home during the school day. The pattern is by Mel Clark and appears in Knitting Everyday Finery: Practical Designs for Dressing Up in Little Ways.
Here's a simple yet eye-catching striped pencil case, designed by Stephanie Mrse, from the book 50 Knitted Gifts for Year-Round Giving: Designs for Every Season and Occasion Featuring Universal Yarn Deluxe Worsted.
The Cabled Pencil Case pattern, by Dissolved Girl, is a free pattern.
The Sanquhar Pencil Case pattern, by Tom of Holland, is available as a £2.50 download.
The pattern for this flowered pencil case, made by Ravelry member Cassidy Clark, is not available but would be easy to copy.
For that matter a pencil case would be an easy beginner design project and a good way to use up some odds and ends of yarn. If you're making it for a child, it's a good idea to involve the child in the design process. There's always a schoolyarn social dictum as to what's in or out, and as an adult, you may not have any idea as to what the equivalent of today's three-decker pencil box is.