Category Archives: sock monkey hair

How-to Make Your Own Pink Sock Monkey

A couple years ago I did a series of posts detailing how I went about making a pair of pink sock monkeys to help cheer up two women who were battling breast cancer.

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That led to me making another pair of pink sock monkeys that were auctioned off to raise funds for a Texas-based breast cancer organization.

Since it’s still Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it seemed like a good time to revisit our Craft-a-Long from 2012.

If you don’t like pink, remember that you can make sock monkeys in other colors, too.

 

Return of the Pink Sock Monkeys!

October is already here, as is breast cancer awareness month. If you didn’t get around to making a pink sock monkey last year, why not make one now?

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The first two pink sock monkeys I made went to women who were undergoing breast cancer treatment. The second set was auctioned to help raise funds for Texas-based breast cancer organizations.

The cool thing about making pink sock monkeys is the special pink Rockford Red Heel socks are sold in 2-pair packages so you can make a sock monkey for yourself and another to give away or donate to a breast cancer charity auction.

Here are step-by-step instructions from last year’s Pink Sock Monkey Craft-along to get you started. It’s as simple as 1-2-3.

  1. Initial Cuts
  2. Assembly
  3. Hair (optional)

If you’re not making a pink sock monkey, what are you doing for breast cancer awareness month?

A Pair of Pink Sock Monkey Sisters for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

I hope you decided to join our pink sock monkey craft-along in honor of breast cancer awareness month. If you haven’t started yet, there’s still time to make your monkey!

You’ve already met Cupcake, but allow me to introduce her slightly younger sister (only three weeks apart in age, go figure!), Endura. She’s the monkey you saw being pieced and constructed through much of the craft-along.

Endura

As a distance runner, the aptly named Endura sports a somewhat shorter ‘do than Cupcake. As a baker, Cupcake prefers her tresses long enough to pull back so they’ll stay out of the batter.

Both girls will soon be in new homes. Cupcake is going to a cupcake-obsessed woman fighting breast cancer for the second time, and Endura is going to a runner who is also battling breast cancer. These pink sock monkeys are more than sisters, they share a common bond as cheerleaders against a loathsome disease.

Family portrait: Endura (left) and Cupcake (right)

How’s your pink sock monkey progressing?

One Pink Sock Monkey’s Hairy Situation

Look at classic sock monkeys and you’ll notice some are bald and some have tufts of hair – usually made of red worsted-weight yarn. I always thought the short red ‘dos made them look like clowns. That’s why I left the brown sock monkeys bald, and let my niece and nephew decide if they wanted their monkeys to have hair or not. They opted for bald monkeys.

When I asked my sister if she wanted hair for the first pink sock monkey — which is going to a friend of hers who’s about to complete chemo for the second time —Lisa said, “Someone undergoing chemo will want a monkey with hair. Long hair.”

I raided my not-so-humble yarn stash looking for a color that would work with the pink monkey’s complexion. Magenta? Pink? Rose? Purple? Nothing seemed quite right until I spotted a bag of yarn I picked up at a neighbor’s garage sale a couple months ago. It’s silky soft and has all those colors and more.

Cupcake modeling her new ‘do.

That’s a sock monkey with attitude!

I don’t want to brag, but I think she turned out pretty cute (still need to trim those eyelashes a bit!). Getting there took some effort.

Initially I tried stitching the strands in by hand, thinking I’d knot them as I did the eyelashes. Only this particular yarn – silky as it is – isn’t very smooth. It has nubs here and there that wouldn’t pull through the sock very easily. I was afraid it would distort poor Cupcake’s head.

Then it hit me: make a wig!

When I told my sister about the wig, she said to make it a long wig, since Cupcake’s soon-to-be-owner has a long, flowing wig of her own.

Then I had to figure out how to make a wig. Or would it be a weave?

I started by mapping out where the hair should go. Then took a piece of muslin (any thin fabric roughly the same color as the “scalp” will do) and sewed sort of a bean-shaped circle just large enough to cover that area, leaving room to turn it inside out.

Don’t sew it all the way closed

It looks odd, but you’ll stitch the left side closed

Once you tuck the open edge in and stitch it closed, it looks sort of like a lopsided heart with the bottom trimmed off. The indented area is to make it look like the hair has a natural part.

Next, I cut at least 30 strands of yarn to start – and made them a bit longer than twice the desired length. Why? 1) They’ll be folded over, and 2) she can have a haircut later.

I set a few strands flat across the “scalp,” positioning the center of the strands near one side.

Notice how the first row is folded over to the right? That makes room for the second row of hair – once the remaining strands are added. Try to sew them all down in one line.

Let’s see that again, with another row:

Just another row or two to go!

Don’t worry if the sewing machine pushes the strands around or misses a strand or two. You can always hand stitch in “hair plugs” later.

Once the wig was made, I used off-white thread to whip stitch it onto the monkey. It may try to shift around on you, so you might want to secure it – with stitches or pins –  on one side, than the other to keep the balance right.

Finally, I used “plugs” to help hide the hair line. I simply cut a strand of yarn, folded it in half, and used two or three little stitches to attach it exactly where it needed to go. If there are any bald spots, you can fill them the same way.

So, which look do you prefer?

Before (not her most flattering angle), or

…after?

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