Sunday, January 26, 2014

An Alien Face-hugger to knit

These are not complete, test-knit, or very good but you are welcome to them!

Alien Facehugger
US 4 DPNs for body, US 3 DPNs for legs
Sewing-up needle
Pipe cleaners (if you want body structure/pose-ability)
contrasting waste yarn
Polyfill or stuffing of choice
1 skein Cascade 220 or other worsted yarn (I did use nearly the whole skein)
2 skeins Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino for legs
BC: slip 2 sts to cable needle, hold in back, K2, K sts from needle
FC: slip 2 sts to cable needle, hold in front, K2, K sts from needle
Body (starts at tail)
With larger needles and worsted yarn, CO 4.
Work 5 “rows” of icord.
Inc 2 over row (I use “make 1” increases where possible), knit 8 rounds (split onto 2 needles).
Inc 2 over row, (K 10 rnds, inc 2) twice. Length approx 5” at this point.
Continue knitting in stockinette, increasing apace, but every 8th or 9th round, insert a purl round, until tail reaches ~14” (26 sts around)
Inc 10 sts spaced over a few rounds, 36 sts. Begin body cable.
Staghorn body cable: (from Field Guide to Knitting)
Knit the wrong side (belly), and even-numbered rows in plain stockinette.
Place marker on either side of 16 st cable repeat
1. (RS) K4, BC, FC, K4
3. K2, BC, K4, FC, K2
5. BC, K8, FC

Execute 9 repeats of staghorn cable AT THE SAME TIME increasing 2 sts for every 2 repeats (I think sometimes I increased 3 per round as it got fatter), length ~21” at this point.
Begin “thorax”:
Should be 46 sts at this point, if not, do a round or two to get to count.
1 rnd plain,
1 rnd inc 4 (on the “back” of the monster only)
2 rnds plain
Repeat in a similar fashion until you have 21 sts on the “belly” and 31 on the “back”.
At this point, you will begin to knit flat, on the “belly” stitches only, to leave a slit between the stomach and back.
Knit 10 rows, break yarn.
Re-join and knit flat on the “back”, inserting 2 rows of reverse stockinette every so often for ridges (I did not note how I spaced these out). Knit 10 rows, join again in the round.

(at this point, or even before, it is a good time to place stabilizing pipe cleaners inside the tail and stuff it).
Knitting in the round, (K 4 rnds, dec 2 from “back”) twice.
Before you get too much farther, knit the “pods” as mentioned below.
Pods (attached to sides of body): make two
I am told these are the air sacs that keep the victim alive whilst being face-hugged; I achieved them thusly:
Pick up 16 sts around each opening on the side of the beast.
K 1 rnd.
Continue knitting, increasing 4 per round at “edges” (if the monster were laying flat, so they will be wide and flat. If it helps, place markers at the “edges” and increase to each side of them) until the “pod” measures 48 sts.
K 4 rnds
Decrease mirroring the pattern of increases (without a plain knit round between after the first set), perhaps decreasing more frequently towards the end, stuff the pod before closing it off.

Back to the body:
Dec 2 from the “back”, Knit ~1”, adding purl ridges to “back” only (if desired), decreasing until body measures 40 sts. *At this time you will prepare to add the legs. 2 sts from “edge” of the body, with contrasting waste yarn, K 5. Place sts back on needles, knit with main yarn. Do this for each side. Knit the body repeating this step 3 more times for 8 legs total, with 5 rnds (or so, you can add more if you don’t want the legs to be so close together) in between each leg. After 2nd leg set, decrease 2 sts per space between legs. Maintain purl rounds on the “back” of the alien only.

* AT THE SAME TIME as you prep the body, the “belly” will have a “sucker” cable on it. I didn’t write down exactly how I did it, but it was similar to the staghorn cable.
1. K4, FC, BC, K4.
Plain rnd
3. K2, FC (purling the sts that will be in the middle of the sucker), P4, BC, K2
Knit the knits, purl the purls
5. K2, P8, K2
Knit the knits, purl the purls
Reverse the steps to close the cable

After all the legs’ waste yarn is in place, K 2 rnds, decreasing 4 sts, place sts on a holder. Knit legs.

Legs: (make 8)
On smaller needles and with smaller yarn, CO 4.
K 2 rnds in icord.
Inc 2, divide on to 2 needles
2 rnds plain.
Inc 2, 2 rnds plain, until it measures 16 sts distributed over 4 needles (or whatever is your preference).
K until tube measures ~4.5”.
Work 2 short rows (there and back) across 12 of the 16 leg stitches for the knee. Insert a pipe cleaner and stuff the lower leg. Continue in the round for 3.5”, switch to larger yarn. First rnd purl.
K 4 rnds, purl a rnd, K 3 rnds, p 1 rnd, K 3 rnds, place stitches on waste yarn. (Leave a long tail for grafting).

Once you have all your legs, open the waste yarn holes on the body one at a time and place them on spare dpns. Put the leg on spare needles as well, and graft to the body as best as you can (making sure the pipe cleaner enters the body and connects to whatever other pipe cleaners you have in there). The leg has more stitches than the body, so some leg stitches will need to be doubled or otherwise distributed (if I did this again, I would change something about this part, my grafting was messy). Make sure the legs are bending in the right direction for the monster. Once you have all the legs attached, finish stuffing the body if need be, and put the body on the needles. Over 3 rnds or so, decrease to a handful of stitches and break yarn, drawing the end through the sts to bind off. (you can tell I stopped taking good notes at the end, huh).

Enjoy your facehugger and scare your friends!

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