It’s a “Sock Monkey” winter at our house this year! My almost-two-year-old son received this darling knit hat from his Granny for Christmas. Prior to this, my son refused to wear a hat which limited our time playing in the snow. I tried to coax him in many creative and humorous ways but to no avail. I would act goofy wearing my own hat. I offered to let him wear my hat. I tried bribery. I did all but stand on top of my head to convince him that wearing a hat was fun. He was not interested, period. Then along came the “Sock Monkey” hat!
To say that my son loves this hat would be an understatement. He adores this hat. He puts the hat on all by himself. He even wears the hat indoors! This hat is magical, I declare! His enthusiasm led me to learn more about this crazy looking, red-mouthed monkey, called “Sock Monkey.”
Did you know that the Sock Monkey is considered American folk art? Crafty American began making this unusual creature out of socks over 60 years ago. But not just any sock. They used the now patented Red Heel work sock by the Nelson Knitting Mills in Rockford, Illinois. The town in fact is still known as “The Home of the Sock Monkey.” The town even hosts an annual “Sock Monkey Madness Festival.” This coming March will be their 9th festival.
Although Fox River Mills has taken over the Nelson Knitting Mills, you can still make a classic sock monkey from their patented Rockford Red Heel® socks. Fox River even has the instructions on their website. I’ve caught the fever myself and hope to make my son a classic Rockford Red Heel sock monkey soon. Who would have ever thought that the creation of a simple work sock would lead to so many adorable little toys for children? I’ve read that these sock monkeys were first created during the Great Depression. This confirms what my mother has always told me. “Necessity breeds creativity.”