Everyone loves a sock monkey right? Well I’ve been working on one, since about a week before Christmas. This is a kit that I actually sell at my toy store that is for children ages 8-12. I’m 33. To be completely frank, it wasn’t the most simple project I’ve ever conquered, but with some help and some previous knitting experience I definitely think a 12 year old could knit this sweet monkey. I am happy to just “own” the pattern now. Usually in kits you get a whole mess of acrylic yarn and boy did I ever. I’m anxious to sub my wool delights to create a new and improved sock monkey, maybe striped? I’m a sucker for stripes. I’m no master knitter, in fact I still consider myself a beginner, but I’ve been knitting over a year now, in fact today is the 1st birthday of this blog, I’ve come a long way! Thanks for hanging in there with me.
I think I’ve decided this will be for one of my little Valentines. The monkey comes with a heart that can be stitched somewhere…and I think I’ll put it right on the chest. I love knitting toys for my kids.
One thing that did happen while my monkey was under construction is I ran out of the main color yarn. You’d think in a kit like this they’d give you ample yarn to complete your project. Don’t skimp people, it is acrylic and costs next to nothing. The place where I had to make some compromises will be obvious soon.
The construction of the body was simple and fairly quick. I was pleased the opportunity finally arose for me to use my counter. Knitting row upon row of ‘monkey leg’ takes some counting.
So it was the ears – I ran out of yarn to complete the ears and had to use leftover scarf yarn. Colored ears on a sock monkey is nothing to turn your nose up at. A mass of acrylic yarn it might be, but that is one cute sock monkey (patting self on back).
Just chillin’ on the couch.
Signing off so I can get some sleep on my blog birthday! Happy Knitting!
Happy Spring. I did end up getting the chickens done in time for the bunny to stuff a couple in Simon’s and Gussy’s baskets. I mentioned my intentions to do so on the 1st birthday of our five hens back in March. I knitted Fire then, and you can see she made it into some of these photos as well. She’s the only one that got eyes, lucky girl!
This was August’s Easter Basket. He ended up with the white hen (which we don’t even have – so while sorting through his basket he said, “A white one? Huh.”) and the Black Hen who we call Compsognathus.
I again used my ancient acrylic yarn and didn’t even put a dent in it. Oh well at least it has served some purpose. My kids love their hens. Simon ended up getting a couple of the other hens we have.
The black and white hen is Octopus Pie and the brown hen is probably Captain Dan we have two Auracanas so I suppose the brown hen could be either of them but it ended up looking more like Captain Dan than Boingy.
I used size 4 bamboo needles to knit the girls and cast on 16 for each of them. I knitted until I felt like it was nearly square and folded them into triangles and stitched up the sides until I had only a small opening and then stuffed them with just some poly fill. I sewed them closed and crocheted the combs with red acrylic yarn and just sewed beaks on with bright orange acrylic yarn. It was a fairly simple project that I finally finished on Easter Eve. I was cutting it close but still able to hang out and play cards with family that night…so nothing too stressful. And it felt really good to have such healthy goodies in the Easter Basket. I hate Plastic Easter Grass with a passion, I think it an awful product so I lined the baskets with some recycled shredded packaging I’d gotten in something a few days before Easter. I filled the baskets with the homemade hand-knit chickens, a flashlight, some modeling beeswax, a bird whistle, a zipper pull and a few chocolate eggs. Happy Healthy Environmentally Friendly Easter! I’m such a dork Mom.
Today is a special day at our house. Exactly one year ago today we went to the post office and picked up a box filled with 25 peeping chicks. We nurtured our baby chicks to 6 week old gawky weirdos in our bathroom in a refrigerator box and then moved them to their new coop outside in our backyard. We didn’t keep all 25 of them, just 5. Today we are celebrating Compsognathus, Octopus Pie, Fire, Boingy and Captain Dan’s first birthday. They are little egg laying machines and so much fun. In lieu of the celebration I thought I’d knit up a handful of chickens, so I got one done. I have all kinds of yucky old acrylic yarn laying around that I got for like 50 cents a skein a while back, so maybe in 10 years if I keep knitting little stuffed animals I’ll have it all used up. I just have to keep creating one creature a day. My intention was to knit a chicken that resembled each chicken we have but I only got Fire (our yellow chicken) done in time for the celebration.
So I used size 4 double pointed needles, simply because I don’t have just regular size 4 needles. The pattern I was sort of following was in my book Knitted Animals – which has a wide assortment of beautiful little knitted animals in it. Luckily there are three chickens to choose from. I started off with yarn that was too big though so I just went out on a limb. I worked in stockinette stitch, so knitting the entire time. I think I cast on 16 and then knitted until I thought it looked close to square. I folded the creation into a triangle and sewed the two sides together and stuffed the baby bird right from the bottom point and sewed closed.
I then used another piece of this acrylic yarn and sewed it around the body to create the dip in the chicken’s back. I also stitched a bit of beak on using some orange acrylic yarn (I have every color of this stuff you can imagine!).
starting to look chicken-like
Then I crocheted a bit of red acrylic yarn to create the comb. I didn’t really know what I was doing, just “winged” it. It ended up looking enough like a comb that I was happy with it. Oh and I used some black yarn (the really heavy stuff – good for buttons) to make the little eyes. It by no means is a perfect bird but it made my kids happy. Maybe by Easter I’ll have more to fill their little baskets. That’s my goal. It is all about setting little goals for myself, that’s how things get done with five chickens, two kids, a toy store and an oil business (just to mention a few things).
Ooh we even had time to make some corn cake for breakfast for the chickens (they shared with us too). Look at that happy little knitted chicken.
Who knew a knitted chicken could lay so many eggs! Happy Birthday and Happy Knitting!
I was fortunate enough to be present one evening at a friend’s house (only about 1 month after I learned to knit) to help teach an 8 year old to knit. I have attempted to teach Simon (my 5 year old) to crochet and each time it has ended in tears so maybe 8 is a better age to teach such things.
Alice picked it up right away. She was patient and really focused and I feel really lucky that I got to teach her. Her Mama was teaching her 8 year old friend that was spending the night – and it just so happened that I got to help Alice. It was really fun and super pleasing to leave their house that night knowing that she had it (we just did knitting no purling quite yet). She was pretty into it also. The next day (or maybe two days later) when I saw her she had made some serious progress on a project. I lent her my giant size 15 needles and some variegated acrylic yarn I had in my closet and she was proud to show what she’d accomplished. I will definitely be teaching my kids to knit (when they are a little bit older).
A project I’d just completed that I happened to have with me (to show Alice) was this checkerboard scarf. It is almost the same thing that I made for Nicole (posted a couple of days ago). I just used some variegated acrylic yarn I had on hand. This is a close up of the checkered detail. And a photo of how I like to “wrap” a scarf as a gift. It is so pretty just by itself so why not take some of your tail (leftover from casting on) and tie it in a bow around your creation?