Sock monkeys have been the protagonists of books and have starred in movies. They adorn the chairs and shelves of both adult and child bedrooms. While modern sock monkeys are made of tie-dyed fabric and neon-coloured socks, traditional sock monkeys are constructed of a particular type of sock that features a white heel and top edge, and a brown and white speckled leg and foot. Old school sock monkeys have a shock of red yarn at the crown of their head. Humans wishing to borrow a fashion page from the sock monkeys may construct a hat using the following instructions.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Measuring tape
- 56.7gr of fine red yarn (craft quality)
- 1/4 yard of brown knit fabric
- 1/2 yard of white knit fabric
- Fabric shears
- Thread (machine and heavy duty quilting)
- Sewing machine
- Thimble (optional)
- Traditional sock monkey socks (optional)
Use the tape measure to determine your hat size. Measure 1 1/2 inches down from the crown of the hair. This will give the total inches necessary for the band of the sock monkey hat. Using the pattern paper (or the newsprint) draw a circle using the head measurement. Subdivide the circle into "pie pieces" of approximately 2 inches at the widest part. Cut one pattern piece, but note the number of pieces necessary to make the complete circle.
Purchase the fabric (or socks) and yarn. Bring the circle piece from Step 1 with you to test the overall pattern design. Tiny brown and white patterns will blend well. Large overall patterns will not look like the traditional sock monkey hat. Test the amount of stretch to the fabric. Pull the fabric lightly with both hands. The fabric should stretch approximately 1/4 to 1/2 inch to be suitable to pull over the head.
Lay out the brown/white patterned knit fabric. Place the one pattern piece on the bias (diagonal) and cut. Continue to cut the pieces until reaching the total number necessary to complete the circle, as described in Step 1.
Cut a hat band (on the bias) from the white knit fabric using the head measurement. The width of the band will be up to the wearer's fashion sense. Begin with a 1 1/2-inch band and add 1/2 inch for each increase.
Use a sewing machine to sew the pie piece hat knit fabric together. Use a 3/4-inch seam allowance. Once it is constructed, it should look like a beanie.
Pin the hat band to the main hat piece (the beanie), easing the hat to be sure that any gathering is evenly distributed throughout the band. Sew this piece using the machine and a 3/4-inch seam allowance.
Turn the hat band under and hand sew the border on the inside of the hat for a finished look. Do not use the sewing machine for this, because the seam will show on the exterior of the hat.
Construct the top tassel from the red yarn. Cut 20 3-inch pieces of red yarn. Bunch the yarn together and, using two pieces of red yarn, and tie the group in the centre. Knot the centre yarn.
Attach the tassel to the hat by using the heavy-duty off-white button thread. Knot the thread and, from the inside of the hat, loop the needle and thread through the bottom of the tassel. Continue to pull the thread around and take the needle through the hat, into the interior. Continue 10 to 12 times until the tassel is securely attached to the hat. There should not be any room between the tassel and the hat.
Tips and warnings
- Sock monkey hats may also be constructed from traditional "monkey socks" (see Resources below) by cutting the foot portion from the sock and opening up the portion of the sock that extends around the calf. Use the triangle pattern piece that fits the head and sew a beanie-type pattern from the sock pieces. Attach the band and red yarn "tassel" using the directions listed above.
- Check the fabric remainder bin for knit cloth. Odd-patterned whites and browns are perfect for the main pieces in the monkey hat.
- Do not machine wash the sock monkey hat without first removing the red yarn tassel.
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