Children and adults have enjoyed Sock Monkeys for over 100 years. The original crafter who created this lasting icon is unknown, but the creativity behind this wonderful doll has brought joy to millions.
The Red Heel Socks were first manufactured in 1890 by The Nelson Knitting Mills in Rockford, Illinois. The Nelson Knitting Co. was the first company world wide to manufacture socks. These sturdy and comfortable work-socks were worn mainly by farmers and factory workers. In 1932, Nelson Knitting Mills first introduced the red heel on the Rockford sock, to distinguish their product from the many imitators.
The making of sock monkeys came about on its own by clever crafters using a humble sock to make a beloved toy. These quality socks were intended and used as work socks, but they became so much more when the Sock Monkey was born. In 1951 Nelson Knitting Mills started to include the directions for the Sock Monkeys with every pair of Rd Heel Socks.
So I thought I would devise a small kit with the sock monkey to help excite children of all ages and inspire them to hook. I'm asked a fair amount if I have kits for children but alas, although I've had a line of funky fish in the past at the moment there was nothing specific to kids. So this is my rendition, a simple square of smiling sock monkey...cute enough to pinch his cheeks!
He is hooked with black herringbone for the hat and outer border. A grey herringbone for one of the border lines and face to look like sock yarn. Heart Red for a border line and mouth and heart red herringbone for the hat pom pom. White for the face and hat stripe and one line of border. The eyes and nostrils are in black and the background is a simple beige.
Somehow my childhood missed this rage and I hadn't heard of the sock monkey until lately. I know my head was in the clouds for the first ten years of my life, but truthfully I've not laid eyes on a sock toy other than a few snake puppets I made out of old socks that my mother sewed button eyes on. Recently, I bought a knitted sock monkey for my pups and they love to tug on their gangly arms and legs. Ah well, no time like the present to experience a bit of history.
I was quite taken by the amount of monkey business on the net. Apparently I'm not the only one capitalizing on this antique child's toy. Everything from shirts to postage stamps are sporting the sock monkey's over zealous smile. I don't get the rage or feel the need to surround myself with paraphernalia but he's cute, I'll give him that, and makes a sweet little kit for the shop.