BitterSweet

An Obsession with All Things Handmade and Home-Cooked

Foreign Exchange Students

50 Comments

Diversity is something of a buzz word here at my university, a feature that guidebooks, staff, and peers alike take great pride in extolling at any semi-appropriate opportunity. Even from someone jaded like myself, coming from a high school composed of classmates from very different backgrounds, the sheer number of countries represented in my dorm alone is awe-inspiring – 20, to be exact! Even so, I wouldn’t necessarily consider any student more unusual than the other, as I can tell you with great certainty that everyone here is extremely unique, even those that grew up mere miles from campus. Having seen so much of this… “uniqueness” on display since my arrival over a week ago, I didn’t think that much would come as a shock anymore. That, of course, was before I ventured into the library and happened upon a student from the most exotic locale imaginable…

Pouring over his books and appearing to be quite absorbed by the text, I didn’t dare break the silence that hung in the air like a damp blanket, muffling out all other sensory distractions. No, shyness not withstanding, I wouldn’t even have known what to say, as startled to see his brilliant green skin practically glowing in the midday sun that filtered through dirty library windows. Exactly where this unusual guy came from…? I couldn’t tell you if my life depended on it, to be honest!

Knowing how out of place I had felt early on, I could only imagine his angst, as it might seem as though he was in fact from an entirely different world! Undoubtedly we’ve all felt like aliens in new, uncomfortable settings, so I think I understand his quiet reserve, studying alone and out of the way.

Next time I see this little guy by himself, I will definitely pluck up my courage and reach out to him, as I wish someone else had for me.

To make your own alien, you just need a little scrap of black felt, #7 (US) DPNs, neon green worsted weight yarn and all you need to do is…

CO3 sts and distribute along your needles
Kfb into each st (6 sts)
Kfb into each st (12 sts)
K1, kfb* around (18 sts)
K2, kfb* around (24 sts)
K3, kfb* around (30 sts)
K even for 10 rounds
K3, k2tog* around (24 sts)
K2, k2tog* around (18 sts)
K1, k2tog* around (12 sts)
-stuff head lightly-
K even for 3 rounds
K1, kfb* around (18 sts)
K even
K2, kfb* around (24 sts)
K even for 8 rounds
K2, k2tog* around (18 sts)
K1, k2tog* around (12 sts)
K2tog* around (6 sts)
Stuff, gather remaining sts and tie tightly

Feet (Make 2):

CO3 and distribute amongst your nedles
Kfb into each st (6 sts)
Kfb into each st (12 sts)
K even for 2 rounds
K2, k2tog* around (9 st)
BO and leave a long tail to sew with

To assemble, simply sew the feet at the bottom of the body as desired, cut out little eyes from the black felt and glue them to the head. Embroider or glue on a little smile, because your alien should be happy to fit into its new home!

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Author: Hannah Kaminsky

Author of My Sweet Vegan, Vegan Desserts, Vegan a la Mode, and Easy as Vegan Pie.

50 thoughts on “Foreign Exchange Students

  1. That is adorable, thanks so much for sharing with us!

    • I agree. May I please introduce myself? I found your blog online while searching for knitting patterns. It is wonderful to stumble into your creative world, I hope it’s o.k if I join in. :0) Lyn

  2. I knew there had to be a reason I bought some neon green acrylic last Saturday.

    I just didn’t realise it would be this. Awesome!

  3. I found your adorable alien through ravelry. S/he is just too cute for words.

    I don’t have any neon green yarn so I’ll be making a few girly versions in pink first :)

  4. Awww! How cute! Thanks for sharing!

  5. hahaha, you are fantastic, Hannah.

    • um what does knit even for ten rounds mean

      • i think it knit normally for ten rows… at least thats what i did, and mine turned out fine! they look dead cute in midnight blue, makes his silver mouth pop! great pattern, easy for a first time pattern follower! Thanks!

  6. That is incredible that in your dorm alone, there are so many countries and ethnicities represented!! There are quite a few countries represented at my college as well, most notably Rwanda, Nigeria, Ireland, England, Mexico, Jamaica, Japan, China, Armenia, and Italy (I’m sure there are more, but these are the countries I found out about through fellow classmates who are from these places – it’s quite interesting!). I too know what it feels like to be an “alien” in a new environment (such as my new school), but trust me, the feeling will pass; and as for the alien that was in the library, he is lucky to have been found by you :0)

  7. I think I’m in love…must find some green wool! :)

  8. I can’t believe you just keep on amazing me. Love the alien, love the story, love the photography. You must have other students wondering what you are up to with the camera and the little woolly creatures! LOL. I hope you are finding nice people in your dorm to interact with! Hugs to you and thanks for the smiles you’ve brought yet again!

  9. awww I am glad that you are sympathetic to the great diversity evidenced there!
    Especially those of the alien race!
    TOO cute!

  10. Hi,

    I love the story & the alien is pretty cute. I’m in an international graduate residence, and I’d like your permission to print out this blog entry (including photos & knitting pattern & URL) to advertise our first knitting meeting of the year. Please let me know via email if that’s okay.

    Thank you!
    Mika

  11. Oh that is sooooo cute! I am totally making one!

    You have so many great toy patterns on your site.

  12. I wanted to let you know that I made this! kinda…
    Many mistakes along the way transformed alien into a snowman. You still got full credit, thanks for sharing a fantastic pattern that I could work with.
    http://knittingnoob.wordpress.com/2007/09/04/babys-layette/

  13. He is so cute! Thanks for sharing the pattern, I can’t wait to try it out :)

    I hope things are getting better for you at school!

  14. Hannah, I am writing this post to ask permission to use your images to post a link to your little alien on http://www.buststashpatterns.blogspot.com

    I would love to feature this little guy he is so dang cute.

    Hanane

  15. I love this pattern! Thanks for posting it–I must make this!

  16. Thanks so much for posting this pattern…it’s adorable! I loved the story too! I’m just sitting down to make one of these little guys (and maybe some friends for him :) )

  17. YAY! mostly alien! love it!

  18. You really make me wish I could knit better… I’ve not gotten past scarf making yet. Though I am trying to find a group to join so I can learn how to do cool stuff like this. You rock. :D The tofu pin cushion is still my favorite, though.

  19. Ack! That little guy is soooooo cute!!! Love the simple little pattern, I’ll have to make a bunch of those for all my friends. Your random stories about the little critters that show up are so funny. Plus I’m totally jealous of you being able to write a pattern like that; my repertoire consists mostly of scarf and intarsia. :D And I understand about being an “alien” in my own right. My school (that I’ve attended since third grade) closed this last year, and I’m at a totally new school for my junior and senior years. Except for a small group of friends, I’ve felt like a complete interloper the whole year. Keep trying to make friends, it’s well worth the effort! And I love your patterns.

  20. Just wanted to let you know that I used my very first handspun to make my own little Foreign Exchange Student…I’ve named him George and if you go to my blog you can see him.
    Thank you so much for this adorable pattern, I love it!

  21. Hi,

    My little girl loves this, and she wanted it ! I will try to knit it out. Will show u once it is done or rather if i can knit it right !

    Tks for the pattern.

  22. Oh, I found this last night & I am starting my fifth one right this very minute. Very easy to follow pattern with such a great result. I love them, my kids love them, my spousal unit thinks they’re cute, too

  23. oh these are awesome i gonna make a bunch of them an send em to college

  24. cute, but hard to do

  25. That is so kawaii and I want to make one, but starting with 3 sts on 3 needles is very difficult. Any tips? I was making a cabbage stuffed toy named chou from a knitting magazine and my aunt had to help me with the co3 and kf/b each st. She had a hard time herself. how do u do it?

  26. What a cute alien!

    Being an immigrant myself I love the irony of it.

    If you or anyone else is involved in international studies and is confused by the visa project I have an amazing resource that was recommended to me by Dr. Richard Swart at Utah State University.

    http://www.cpvisa.com/academics_guide.html.

  27. aww he is fab! ♥

  28. verrrrrry cute! And your writing style is very nice. Thanks for sharing this little guy :)

  29. He is sooo adorable!!! What does kfb mean though?

  30. Your alien is so cute, I am going to make one as I am starting Uni next year, and he will be my good luck charm. Thanks for sharing your talents with us.

  31. Luuuuuuuuuvvvvvv him i am going 2 mk 100 of him he is tht cute.I luv th clr grn 2 so i wll have all of him green. Maybe purple.

  32. That alien is soooo cute!I have many colors of yarn to make many familys of them! I have an idea if anyone wants to hear,make a small blanket for them!Oh yeah btw, id like to say this proudly, im am 11 years old and i think this is not very hard, just big words….

  33. I finished makeing them and i think it acme out very well

  34. I can unfortunetaly only knit scraves. I would love to make this guy, though! He is adorable and would make a great small present for my friends who are going of to college. I’m going to try to crochet an alien version of this guy.

  35. Pingback: FOs From UFOs « Knitting & Kitties

  36. Hi :0) What does kfb* mean please?

  37. I find the story and description of your alien as awesome as the pattern itself. Thanks for sharing!

  38. So cute! I can’t wait to make one. Unfortunately I don’t have dpn’s and I can’t knit in the round, however I should be able to adapt it for flat knitting. Thank you so much for sharing!

  39. I’ve made a couple of these aliens. One black, one turquoise and one in pink. The black one is mine, sitting in the window looking for his spaceship. The turquoise one was a gift for a newborn, boy, and the pink (with a rattle inside) was for a baby girl. I love this pattern, the shape is nice, and can be used for many things (monster-dolls and stuff like that). I used brodiery for the face, and it turned out just as cute :)
    Thanks for sharing this :)

  40. I love the Alien but donot know kfb means.
    Can anyone help?

    • “kfb” means “knit front and back.” It’s a method of increasing by one stitch. You can also use “m1″ instead if you’re more comfortable, but I’ve found that this is more likely to create holes in the finished fabric.

  41. I just made this!!! I dont have DPNs or circulars so i had to convert it to flat which was a first for me! Instead of felt I just embrodered on eyes and a mouth. I also game him hair and arms ^_^

  42. I just found someone selling your pattern on ebay. Item number 130805893456
    She was selling my patterns too and I noticed she was also selling yours.

  43. How do I get it in a circle to knit around?!? I’m confused :/

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