Many years ago, I took part in a toy swap. Basically, the participants got a little info on their swap partner, then had to create a toy to send them. In return, you got a toy made just for you. My partner liked space and science fiction, but at the time, I had no designs that fit those requirements. So I created some mini alien friends, who had a little knitted rocket ship. I forgot to write down the instructions for the rocket (as sometimes happens when you're inspired and just want to knit), but the aliens were so cute I had to share! There are instructions to knit them both flat and in the round, but both look pretty much the same. I made them with sport weight yarn on 3 mm needles, and they turned out about 4 cm (1.5") tall. You could try making them with thicker yarn and larger needles, just to see what size you'll get. These knit up really fast, so you could make a pocketful in just one evening!
Materials: 5 g of sport weight or DK yarn, set of four 3 mm (US size 2.5) double pointed needles (dpns) or straight needles, pair of 8 mm safety eyes or buttons, yarn to embroider face, stuffing, tapestry needle.
Cast on 20 sts with dpns. Divide as evening as possible between 3 needles.
Rnd 1: Join in the round. Knit.
Rnd 2: [ssk, k2, m1, k2, m1, k2, k2tog] x 2.
Rnd 3: Knit.
Rnd 4-5: Repeat Rnds 2-3.
Rnd 6: [k3, m1, k4, m1, k3] x 2. (24 sts)
Rnd 7: Knit.
Rnd 8: k1, mb, k8, mb, k13.
Rnd 9-11: Knit 3 rounds.
Rnd 12: [k2, k2tog] x 6. (18 sts)
Rnd 13: Knit.
Rnd 14: [k1, k2tog] x 6. (12 sts)
Rnd 15: Knit.
Rnd 16: [k2tog] x 6. (6 sts)
Cut yarn, thread end through remaining sts, and pull tight to gather. Thread yarn end to wrong side. Turn toy inside out, and secure this yarn end. Now follow finishing instructions given below.
Knit Flat Version
Cast on 22 sts with straight needles.
Row 1: Purl.
Row 2: k2, m1, k2, k2tog, ssk, k2, m1, k2, m1, k2, k2tog, ssk, k2, m1, k2.
Row 3: Purl.
Row 4-5: Repeat Rows 2-3.
Row 6: k3, m1, k6, m1, k4, m1, k6, m1, k3. (26 sts)
Row 7: Purl.
Row 8: k8, mb, k8, mb, k8.
Row 9-11: Work 3 rows in st st.
Row 12: k1, [k2, k2tog] x 6, k1. (20 sts)
Row 13: Purl.
Row 14: k1, [k1, k2tog] x 6, k1. (14 sts)
Row 15: Purl.
Row 16: k1, [k2tog] x 6, k1. (8 sts)
Cut yarn, thread end through remaining sts, and pull tight to gather. Sew back seam to cast-on edge, then follow finishing directions given below.
Making antennae: With toy inside out, thread a 10 cm (4") length of yarn under a couple of stitches on the top of the head and knot securely in the middle, then thread the yarn ends to the right side. Turn alien right side out. Adjust position of antennae if necessary, then knot yarn at 2.5 cm (1") above head and trim excess yarn.
Attach the eyes. Stuff the body. Sew the bottom edge of the body, adding a bit of stuffing to legs before closing the seam. You may need to make a couple small stitches around the bobble arms to close any holes. Embroider a short line for the mouth.
K = knit
k2tog = decrease 1 stitch by knitting 2 stitches together
k3tog = decrease 2 stitches by knitting 3 stitches together
m1 = make one by picking up the loop between stitch just worked and next stitch, and knit into the back of this loop
mb = make bobble: kfbf, turn, p3, turn, k3, turn p3, turn, k3tog.
kfbf = knit into front of next st, then knit into back of the st, then into front again. Makes 3 stitches from 1.
P = purl
ssk = decrease 1 stitch by slipping 2 stitches purl-wise, slip them back to your left-hand needle, then knit these two stitches together
st or sts = stitch or stitches
st st = stockinette stitch