Sock Monkeys, Free Sewing Patterns

These monkeys are created by The Sock Monkey Ministries of Chelsea, Alabama. Each monkey is given to a member of the US services to show their support.
These monkeys are created by The Sock Monkey Ministries of Chelsea, Alabama. Each monkey is given to a member of the US services to show their support. | Source

Here you will find free sewing patterns for sock monkeys. They have been a favorite with both children and adults for over 100 years. They are created with red heeled socks. I'll include both the history of the sock monkey and some sites to find free patterns that you can use.

My great-grandmother sewed the monkeys for us when I was so young that I wasn't in school yet. She wasn't a young grandmother and didn't live close, so getting something she had sewed herself was special for us. Ever since, they have appealed to me. If you create some for your children or grandchildren, I"m sure you'll become fond of them yourself. .

There are sock monkey collectors and of course children still love them. They are being dressed in all sorts of clothing and each one is prized.

History of the Sock Monkey

No one knows who created the first sock monkey, but it is known that they were created with red heeled socks from the Nelson Knitting Mills in Rockford, Illinois. John Nelson was a Swedish immigrant that invented the first sock knitting machine. The company started in 1890 making socks, but the red heel wasn't included until 1932. The heel was changed so the sock was recognizable from the socks of other companies, because the they became so popular that they were being copied. At that time they were known as Rockfords.

These socks were comfortable and became popular with working men in factories and with farmers, because they were so warm. I can remember my Dad wearing them as he farmed in the fields. The Rockfords were well made and lasted a long time.

At first, many of the stuffed toys were being made from worn-out socks. Later they were created with new ones as they gained popularity.

.When adding the red heel, the company never realized that they would make the sock popular for making stuffed toys. In 1951, the company started including the instructions for the toys with every pair of socks purchased.

The Fox River Mills purchased the sock company in 1992. Instructions for the red heeled sock monkey are still included. These are now a little harder to find, but if you have problems finding them, the company sells them online.

Free Sock Monkey Patterns

Just click on the blue titles to go to the pattern and instruction pages.

Rockford Socks

Fox River Original Rockford Red Heel Lightweight Monkey Socks (2 Pack), BROWN HEATHER, X-Large
Fox River Original Rockford Red Heel Lightweight Monkey Socks (2 Pack), BROWN HEATHER, X-Large

These socks are heavy duty and warm. They'll work fine for making sock monkeys or to wear. When I was a young girl, my Dad wore these in the winter.

 

If you know how to crochet, Red Heart yarn offers free instructions for a sock monkey crocheted with yarn and a matching child's hat.

Included here are instructions for a vintage and modern and monkey. You'll find the elephant pattern for socks too.

The site has good step-by-step instructions with illustrations on how to make a sock monkey.

Rockin' Sock Monkey Video from Youtube

This monkey is created just like the red heeled monkey, but it is made from striped socks. The heel on the sock is solid, so it still works well for the mouth of the monkey.

If you're a real sock monkey fan, you might want to crochet this hat. It fits a size newborn to 3 month baby. It uses worsted weight yarn and a size G hook.

If you are having any problems finding the socks, Fox River Mills has an online site. I searched for these socks for years. I'm happy to have found the site myself. They also offer kits that are pre-cut. It is still less expensive to cut-out your own.

Did you have a sock monkey as a child?

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Comments 18 comments

Arlene V. Poma 4 years ago

I love sock monkeys, but whether or not I have the skills to make them is something else. I was just looking at some over the weekend. They came in different sizes, and the retail prices alone was enough to make me want to give it a try. Thanks! Bookmarked, voted up and everything else.


Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 4 years ago from USA Author

Arlene, These are really easy to make. You just need very basic sewing skills and you could sew by hand unless you are giving it to a child. The socks are expensive too. About 7-8 dollars a pair. A lot of people are making them out of different socks now though. Thanks for reading and commenting.


Pannonica profile image

Pannonica 4 years ago

Barbara this is a wonderful hub, a real trip down memory lane. My Nana made 2 for me, I loved them far more than anything shop bought. I may try to find some time at Easter but you keep giving patterns I desperately want to use. However keep them coming please I love your hubs. Thank you.


Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 4 years ago from USA Author

Pannonica, I appreciate your nice comments. It makes collecting the pattern links seem well worthwhile. I'm happy to hear you can use the patterns.


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

My hubby loves sock monkeys! Thanks for the history lesson. I love the idea that these are given to soldiers as gifts. They do look adorable (both the soldiers and monkeys). Thanks for sharing.


Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 4 years ago from USA Author

teaches12345, Thanks for commenting. Yes, giving them to soldiers is a wonderful idea.


lucybell21 profile image

lucybell21 4 years ago from Troy, N.Y.

These sock monkeys are so cute,my 3 year old and 19 month old grandkids would these little guys.


Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 4 years ago from USA Author

lucybell21, You'll have to get busy and make them some. I've got a couple little ones too that would love them. Too bad there isn't more time. Thanks for commenting.


susanm23b 4 years ago

I love sock monkeys! My mother made some for my children. They are very cute. I enjoyed learning about their interesting history in your hub :) Voted up!


Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 4 years ago from USA Author

Susan, Thanks. I'm happy to hear that you enjoyed the history of the sock monkey. Thanks for reading and voting up.


Mary Stuart profile image

Mary Stuart 4 years ago from Washington

Very, very cute. I have always loved sock monkeys!


Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 4 years ago from USA Author

Mary, Thanks for reading and commenting.


Kites n Sky profile image

Kites n Sky 4 years ago

I like sock monkeys a lot and after reading so many good things about them i would like to buy a few more.


Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 4 years ago from USA Author

Kites, Thanks for commenting and I'm happy you found it inspiring.


Jen Card profile image

Jen Card 4 years ago

This is a wonderful hub. I have a new grandson who loves the sock monkey his Great-Grandmother (My Mom) got him. It plays music so its not an original sock monkey, but I wanted to make him one for Christmas this year. This information is just what I needed. Informative and very helpful. Thank you!~


Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 4 years ago from USA Author

Jen, My great grandmother made these for us when I was just a little girl. Getting one is a memory I won't forget. Thanks for commenting and I'm happy I could help you.


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 2 years ago from the short journey

Thanks for posting this info for us and also for highlighting the work of The Sock Monkey Ministries of Chelsea, Alabama, and their support of the U.S. Armed Forces.


Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 2 years ago from USA Author

RTalloni, I'm happy you enjoyed the posting. One of my grandmothers gave these at Christmas one year and I've love them ever since.

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