The First Sock Monkey-A Gift for a Friend

March 14, 2013

Sometimes the best gifts are knit…sometimes, they’re suggested by your boyfriend. As I worked on the dolls, I began enjoying a friend’s sock monkey collection, vicariously. I’d watched Gaylin take her favorite sock monkey, Clarabelle, sock monkey of happiness to the Pennsig Renaissance Festival in Pennsylvania. The greenly jealous side of me wanted to be Clarabelle that week (or two). James, my dear boyfriend, got the idea in his head that I should knit a sock monkey for Gaylin, as a thank you to introducing me to the wild world of sock monkeys. I had purchased one with my Little, Yvonne (through Big Brothers, Big Sisters). Soon, sock monkeys had begun to find me…just a couple have found me so far, but she introduced me to this collecting passion…
Some people get to ask, what next for their projects? I’m usually saying, I have a backlog and can’t get to that until some particular event happens. This imaginary deadline began with a birthday and ended with a Winter Solstice delivery. I knit three sock monkeys before Christmas, but each is getting their own story, even if it becomes a shorter version of the tale. So, James covertly messaged Gaylin’s husband and asked to learn her favorite colors. While James has known Gaylin since college, he does not like to travel much and we have only chatted through facebook. I still felt an affinity towards Gaylin and thought knitting a sock monkey would make a true original. I’ve never had to search too long for a project to find me.
I did have to search out a pattern, but once I have a lead, it’s tough to stop me from following it to see where it might take me. With knitting, the imagination is the limit. For this, I chose to use someone else’s imagination. But I was grateful to those who had blazed this curious trail before me. I found the pattern at: http://www.favecrafts.com/Knitting/Sock-Monkey-Knitting-Pattern-from-Red-Heart# I determined I would need two colors of yarn to make the ‘stripes’ and a third, contrasting color.
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Squib (kitten) and Briannag (“Puppy”) wondering if they can keep “Hairy”

Once we obtained Gaylin’s favorite colors and a pattern, I set to work selecting the yarn I was comfortable with. While I thought of using actual sock yarn, it can get pricey; so I selected my favorite yarn up to that point, Caron Simply Soft. It is an acrylic yarn, but its softened before it goes to market. We picked out a purple and blue color for me to make the stripes. Then I chose a simple Barley brown color by Vanna’s choice. While this yarn was a little coarser than Caron Simply Soft, and I had never worked with it before. I liked the feel of it, and decided to take a chance. After all, I was taking a chance on making the sock monkey in the first place.

The yarns worked, and made a really nice sock monkey, with minimal ladders at that time. I’m hoping I worked most of them out.  This time, I do have my own photos of the creature. I had more time to finish this one, as I began planning ahead this year, somewhat. (Birthdays still caught me by surprise some, but I made it through okay). I even have my own photos of said monkey. And Gaylin enjoyed the surprise just in time for the winter solstice.
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Hairy, Sock Monkey of Crankiness

(named in honor of James, the man who suggested I make him)

I enjoyed making this creature for her. Next week, I’ll tell you about my niece Jessica’s sock monkey for her birthday. I love that I can personalize it.

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