Sock Monkeys come in all shapes and sizes. They arrive complete with the love and joy of their creator, which only grows when the recipient gives the doll their first hug. These creatures are a favourite of stitchers all over the world and that includes me.
I’ve been busy stitching a whole community of Sock Monkey dolls that will find themselves in loving homes across Canada. Phillip, my original Sock Monkey, travels the prairies (and documents his trips with photos), Egypt is excited to begin her new life in Brooks, Alberta, and Terrance, the baby Sock Monkey, is busy exploring his surroundings before he finds a new home in Regina, Saskatchewan. Before I introduce you to Phillip, the Sock Monkey, and friends, let’s first figure out where and when the Sock Monkey began…
The Sock Monkey is Born:
The sock monkey journey began, we suspect, during the 1950s (although, other sources date them as early as the Great Depression (1930s). Check out SuperSockMonkey.com and the Midway Village Museum’s Sock Monkey Resource Packet for more factoids). No matter the year of their original birth, most sources credit the Sock Monkey’s arrival to the Nelson Knitting Company. They introduced the Rockford Red Heel work sock, the foundation of the original Sock Monkey doll, to American men. This comfortable and hard-working accessory was soon transformed onto the beloved Sock Monkey, with the red heel forming the sock monkey’s signature lips. Soon after receiving a patent in 1955, the Nelson Knitting Company began printing Sock Monkey doll instructions on the packaging of every pair of work socks, a tradition that continues today.
The Sock Monkey Evolves
The Sock Monkey’s popularity declined in the 1960s, but our love for the Sock Monkey did not disappear from our hearts. In recent times his popularity has brought him to the top of every knitter’s queue. We are stitching them up in every size, shape, and colour. We keep them for ourselves and gift them to our loved ones. They continue to bring a smile to everyone’s face. Who can resist hugging a Sock Monkey?
Most major yarn companies have introduced marbled yarn that mimics the look of the original Rockford Red Heel Sock (check out Patons Classic Wool in 77252 Dark Grey Marl or 77251 in LIght Grey Marl) and they are posting patterns to go with them (check out Patons Classic Wool Monkey Business booklet). Yarn lovers everywhere are busy creating everything from a traditional looking Sock Monkey to one with added personality unique to its owner, from cup cozies to baby accessories, and nearly everything in between. All you need are needles, yarn, and a stitcher’s imagination.
The Sock Monkey of Today
Today Sock Monkey patterns are available to all kinds of stitchers. Whether you sew, knit or crochet, you’ll find instructions suited to your craft. All you have to do is use Google to search “sock monkey patterns” and, at the time of this posting, about 1 220 000 results are there for the clicking.
Some of my favourite Sock Monkey patterns are:
Classic Sock Monkey Doll (Patons)
Sock Monkey Cup/Mug Cozy (Ravelry Link)
Sock Monkey Baby Booties (Ravelry Link)
Sock Monkey Ear Flap Hats for the Whole Family (Ravelry Link)
Sock Monkey Dog Sweater (Ravelry Link)
Sock Monkey Lovie Blanket (Pattern available on Etsy)
Not a knitter? No problem. Check out some of these sources:
Sock Monkey and Baby Hat from Red Heart
Sock Monkey Bib Pattern (crochet) (Ravelry Link)
Sock Monkey Key Fob (crochet) from Red Heart
Sock Monkey Ornament (crochet) from Red Heart
Sock Monkey Blanket (crochet) from Red Heart
Let’s Continue the Conversation
- Do you have a favorite Sock Monkey pattern?
- What is your favorite Sock Monkey memory?
- Are you a knitter, crocheter, sewer, or combination of all? Show me your monkey!
Don’t forget to catch the adventures of Phillip and friends by following @stoonstitcher on Twitter. Phillip’s adventures will also appear in future posts.
Today is the day to celebrate south paws across the globe. Left-handers have traditionally overcome a number of challenges presented in a right-handed world. Try using a pair of right-handed scissors with your left hand. Not as easy as it looks, is it?
I’ve found it a challenge, as a right-hander, to teach the craft of knitting to those naturally inclined to left-handed dominance. Check out this fantastic infographic portraying the finer points of knitting to the left-hander.
Give left-handed a go and celebrate the diversity among us!
Part 1: Casting on:
Part 2: The Knit Stitch
More information on International Left-Handers’ Day is available on the official site: http://www.lefthandersday.com/about.html.
Original infographic created by http://trauermei.deviantart.com/
- Do you have a favourite left-handed knitting or needlework tutorial? Share it in the comments.
- Are you left-handed? What challenges do you face while you live, work, and play in a right-handed world?
Social Media Tips for (Newbie) Politicians http://ow.ly/cIMOm
I am in love with my garden and plant loads of colour that provides me with a season of happiness. Occasionally a plant sneaks its way into my garden and I have no idea what it is.
This beauty is one such plant. It is lovingly referred to as the mystery plant. Its colour is brilliant. It has centres that look like tny bumble bees. The leaves are broad and it is very tall.
I know many knitters are in love with their gardens too. Are you able to help me out? What is this flower called?
I like to learn and I love to glean insights from my Twitter feed. Every day brings a new nugget of knowledge into my stream. Today was particularly wonderful!
- @SchoolmarmDE hits it right when she announces her intent to “sit in air-conditioning & #knit.” Nothing wrong with that at all. (July 3, 2012)
- @SagefemmeSB reminds us that “midwives use to #knit when caring for women in labour.” A knowledge nugget heard via BBC – Radio 2. (July 3, 2012)
- @SalamanderDream finished a sweater. Read all about it here: http://salamanderdreams.blogspot.ca/2012/07/finished-knit-azami.html?spref=tw Gorgeous workwomanship! (July 3, 2012)
- @wildflowerwool shared what we were all thinking, “Thank goodness it is #knitting time!!” (July 3, 2012)
- @druchunas just created “the Arctic Lace Luxury yarn Club on @ruzuku. Wanna know more?” Then, visit http://sheeptoshawl.com/arctic-lace-luxury-yarn-club/ (July 3, 2012) And, she shared the word of the day on July 2, 2012: paracosm. Can you define it?
- @Lahongrais will be guest blogging on @QuixoticKatie ‘s blog. Watch for it here: http://www.katiesalidas.com/2012/05/minnie-lahongrais-my-journey-in-world.html (July 3, 2012)
- @YarnHarlot notified her 25, 422 followers that, on June 30, 2012, she was “Spinning and drinking wine in the backyard. Yeah. It’s pretty lovely. pic.twitter.com/tzk8uSEM“
- @BlackTrillium added a new lovely to her offerings “Sock Yarn Blackberry Pebble Sock by BlackTrilliumetsy.me/LWES9Q” (July 3, 2012)
- @yarnmarketnews announced that “Vogue Knitting reports that there are only 400 copies of Vogue Knitting Crochet left in the warehouse! fb.me/PFGRFOKT.” Be quick to get yours! (July 2, 2012)
- @AllFreeKnitting “Blog: Brand New Pattern: Dainty Lace Tank Top http://bit.ly/P7VCfO
#knitting #craft” How pretty is that? (July 3, 2012)
What did you learn from your Twitter feed today?
What I learned from Twitter this week:
Twitter is a learning tool. It is where I turn when I need an important question answered. It is where I go when I’m having trouble figuring out a stitch pattern. It is where I head when I’m in need of inspiration. Yes, Twitter is a valuable resource in my learning journey and knitterly lifestyle.
This is what I learned from my Tweoples this week:
Rachael E. Stephen (@mythicflux) showed me the value of graphics that are already pixelated and ready for knitting. (http://pinterest.com/pin/110267890846889639/)
Sharon Burton (@sharonburton) reminded me that a “world of possibilities” exist in a small box of yarn. We can truly knit anything.
Johnny Vasquez (@newstitaday) shared a tutorial on the three needle bind off. Tutorials are always appreciated. (http://newstitchaday.com/how-to-knit-the-three-needle-bind-off/)
Simplicity Creative (@TweetSimplicity) is always ready with a great idea on how to amuse children. Have you checked out the paper dolls, http://www.simplicity.com/t-paper-dolls.aspx?
WoollyBoully (@woollyboully) tweeted about her latest pair of socks. “These aren’t the throw in your bag and work on anywhere socks.” (June 1, 2012) Life is all about challenges and interesting journeys. What challenges has the knitting lifestyle presented to you lately?
Sarah B. Hood (@SarahBHood) got me thinking about the latest trends in baking. Check out these cakes: http://www.21stcenturyhousewife.com/index/Blog/Entries/2012/6/21_Baking_Trends_2012.html
Steph Pearl-McPhee (@YarnHarlot) made me laugh and more appreciative that I live on the prairies where the humidity is low and the temperatures are reasonable and the need for a fan has not hit us yes. “Joe just put a fan in the living room. I love him so much right now that I can scarcely express it without maintaining a G rating.” (June 20, 2012)
AlishaGoesAround (@alishagaround) solved her conundrum of a lack of shawl pins by heading off to buy wire and create her own. “How I own only 1 shawl pin? Off to hobby lobby for wire.” (June 21, 2012)
Melanie (@BlackTrillium) observed the absurdity of Thirty Something and asked “Did those writers even have kids? Apparently not.” (June 21, 2012)
Rachel (@FromEwe2You) joined knitters everywhere in sharing outrage in her June 21, 2012 tweet: “Knitters outraged after U.S. Olympic Committee Squashes knitting Olympics – and Disses Knitters – http://gawker.com/5920036/us-olympics-committee-is-mad-at-knitting-olympics-for-denigrating-real-athletes”
That’s my top ten insights from my Twitter feed, @stoonstitcher. What are your top learning moments?