Yes, you can buy ragg wool socks, in these traditional colors, and sew up a sock monkey, if you are sew-inclined. And they are cute as a bug’s ear. But why spend $12 and a few hours of time, when you can pay a lot more for good wool, a pattern, Perendale loose batting stuffing from Frankenmuth Woolen Mill, knit for a zillion hours and STILL have to sew the sock monkey together?
This guy is big! He is knit in sportweight wool kitted up by Blackberry Ridge. He measures in at a 19 inch body with 15 inch legs and arms. His sturdy long tail creates a perfect tripod for the erect posture so essential to a primate. The pattern is Mr. Ben by Two Old Bags a/k/a Ann Swanson and Katie Nagorney. For reasons historical, this sock monkey is named Poodie.
From the moment Poodie was assembled on Christmas Eve, 2010, he proved a voracious reader. First it was Darwin’s Voyage of the Beagle. He was asking to read Darwin’s On The Origins of Species next, but it’s not part of our library. He had to settle for Richard Leakey’s tome instead.
Knitting hats is pretty much instant gratification. If you make a mitten, you have to make another. If you make a sock, same thing. A bored knitter, or for that matter an adventurous one, can create mismatched pairs. Still, such things must happen in twos. But not hats.
It also helps, paraphrasing Elizabeth Zimmermann, that people will put almost anything on their head. And since heads come in all sizes, a knitter with a bunch of humans in her vicinity can forget about stitch gauge.
This hat is “Amanda,” a free pattern by Gina House of Londonderry, New Hampshire. (Ravelry’s Sleepy Eyes). Ravelers have already knitted it 1570 times. Mine is knitted of Malabrigo merino worsted, in the Snowbird colorway.
Next, is Kate Atherly‘s Spider Hat. It’s a cute creepy knit.
Below, from left to right, is a seeded stitch hat using Debbie New‘s cellular automaton technique where you apply a bit of math to create a pattern. Maybe Debbie’s degree in microbiology and raising eight children is the necessity that influenced her inventiveness. Next is Wendy Keele’s Tassled Pull On Cap, minus the tassles. And Mary Dominski’s Celtic Braid Hat in yarn from Blackberry Ridge Woolen Mill.