Sock monkey history

This summer I made my first sock monkey from a pack of children’s socks I bought at a market. I used one pink and one yellow for this one. I don’t think I posted about it back then, so here she is in all her cuteness.

My first sock monkey by Hanna Andersson of

I like sock monkeys because they are adorably cute and extremely ugly and strange at the same time. Right? They are classic American softies and not at all common in Sweden, since the original Red-Heel socks are not for sale in stores here. I had only seen them online before I went to my friend Charlotte’s house and met her homemade friends. In the beginning of the year I interviewed Charlotte about her doll-making for the zine I made in school (called Kreativt liv; Creative Life). She has made several sock monkeys, both with red-heal and other kinds. I just fell in love with hers and wanted to make my own (of course).

The sock monkeys emerged at the earliest in 1932, the year the Nelson Knitting Company of Rockford, Illinois added the trademarked red heel to its product. These socks are knitted seamless socks in brown and white with the red heal that makes the mouth on a sock monkey – and the cute butt!

Here is a sketch from my diary that I scanned;


The pink sockmonkey was kind of a trial softie, I really really wanted a “real” one made of the original red heal sock from America. I ordered a package with XXL socks from Ebay and I’ve been sewing and stuffing it last week to make myself a writing buddy, a Nanowrimo-friend in the shape of a sock monkey? Why not.

Sock monkey being made

Have you had/made a sock monkey? Or will you?

Mine #2 will be finished soon.

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12 Responses to Sock monkey history

  1. naomi says:

    ….yes! Sock Monkeys are completely original, strange, odd, charming, whimsical and full of unique character. A pink one would add the adorable-ness to the S.M. equation. I like her!

  2. I haven’t and I won’t because… I don’t like monkeys. I don’t know why but I’m just not fond of them, I love other animals but not monkeys. I could always make a sock cat though! *^v^*

  3. ?shild says:

    ?h, n? fikk jeg skikkelig lyst til ? lage s?nn ape, (eller kanskje en hund eller katt),jeg ogs?; ut og shoppe sokker :D

    Takk for inspirasjon, bloggen din er herlig!!

  4. Thanks for the links. I’ve wanted to make a sock monkey for years, and never thought to look up the instructions on the net. Duh! How is your writing coming along? So, far, I’m on schedule. Fingers crossed to stay on track here.

  5. myra says:

    I love your pink sock monkey and your diary sketch too! I’ve never made or owned a sock monkey but it’s definitely on my craft to do list. Thanks for the inspiration!

  6. Lila Rey says:

    Thank you for the ho-to, because I would like to make one of these nice monkeys…

  7. Cre8Tiva says:

    love it…love em…can’t wait to see the pink one installed…blessings, rebecca

  8. Bridgit says:

    Sock monkeys and monkeys in general freak me out, but I love your sketch! This summer at the Minnesota state fair my sister saw a long “formal” gown and an upholstered chair made of sock monkeys. Definitely concept pieces.

  9. gina says:

    yaay Hanna! Thank you for the link, someday I will make my own monkey, just wish me luck! :D

  10. Dawn says:

    I really can’t wait to make one, ive been reading a book about them called ‘sock monkey syndrome’ that’s what started my interest in sock monkeys.
    thanks for this site, its been a great help in my search to make one
    luv Dawn x x

  11. TigerLily says:

    The pink & yellow sock monkey is a bit cuter then the traditional one. Yet I still find them creepy & disturbing. Think its because as a child I only saw photos of them in knitting magazines and had contact with a couple of real little monkeys who were really mean creatures. When I was pre-schooler my gr. grandmother had a mean little monkey and you stayed away from his cage if you knew what was good for you. Then when I was a bit older one of the neighborhood teens had one and it used to escape all the time and we would see it swinging in the trees. And we were warned not to let it near us because it would bite. So sock monkeys remind me of these scary little creatures I grew up staying away from. Then I married a man whose neices and nephews had sock monkeys which they thought was so adorable. I kept my fear to myself so they couldn’t terrorize me with their oh so cute sock monkeys. lol To each their own.

  12. kali3104 says:

    I love sock monkeys too. I have a purple striped one with white legs and hands with a little hat to wear in the snow with a little purple pom-pom.

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