I was hanging out with Ben today in his room. With his toybox downstairs taking up space on the dining room table, there’s a pile of miscellaneous toys and stuffies on his bedroom floor. This always prompts new discoveries, and Ben dragged out all the assorted sock monkeys I’ve made and accumulated over the past, well, about ten years that I’ve been making sock monkeys. I think I’ve probably made about 150? Maybe more – I used to go to the Gap, around this time of year, and buy up all the angora socks on sale after Christmas. They make THE BEST sock monkeys EVA. I’d get them all cut out and ready to go by July, and then (now, this was before I had kids) I’d sit down a watch every second of the Tour de France, and sew them up for craft sales in the winter. The reality of having kids has changed my strategy a bit – I still have a giant bag of monkey parts in my closet, and whenever someone needs a monkey, I can deliver – boy, girl, traditional (the grey work sock kind) or a Gap sock. I’ve mailed them all across the country (monkeys travel well!), and personalized them by sewing names on their butts. I don’t use a pattern anymore, but here’s what the one I use looks like.
All you need is a sewing machine to sew up the body parts, and then some thread and a needle to sew the bits together. Stuff ’em with polyester fibre fill, sew some eyes on, and you’re in monkey business. The only addendum I would make, is that I do not, nor have I ever, made a monkey with the big red lips. That just doesn’t seem right to me – I don’t like it, so I’ve never made ’em that way.
And, once you have a line-up of sock monkeys, you can have a little Show and Tell, like Ben did this afternoon when he explained the intricacies of his motorbike to (from Left to Right) Lulu, Little Buddy, RB, Eugene, Green Stripey Monkey with no-real-name-yet, Squirt, and Mr. Fancypants. Why, you might ask, are we a household of more sock monkeys than adults? Because long ago we made up a rule that if you name a monkey, you have to keep it, and my husband has an uncanny knack for coming up with monkey names. And gosh darn it, they are just so cute.