Wednesday, October 12, 2011

More Sock Monkeys

So I've learned something over the past year: some people LOVE sock monkeys. When my photographer friend, Kara asked me to make her a sock monkey hat she could use with babies that she photographs, I didn't quite "get it". I asked her, "So you want a hat that looks like a sock monkey head on top of the baby's actual head?" She insisted that she has seen pictures on the web and that it was cute, so I trusted her. I wasn't able to find a knitting pattern to make one (all the patterns available at the time were crocheted) so I thought I'd see what I could come up with on my own. I've had the pattern up for sale for a little over a year now and of the 756 sales I have so far in my Etsy shop, I bet the sock monkey hat pattern is at least 400 of those sales. So I'm glad I listened to Kara on this one because I'm 100% sure it never would have occurred to me to design such a thing without her suggestion!

I've been hard at work for the past 6 weeks trying to catch lightening in a bottle again. My sock monkey hat customers are by far my friendliest customers and I have received more e-mails than I can count over the past year from them. Many times, they're just complimenting the hat & saying it's the best one they've seen. Lots of people have told me they like my pattern because it's "not creepy like lots of sock monkeys are". And I've had a hand-full of people ask me to design other patterns to go with the hat, most often a matching sweater.

I thought about the design for a long time because I couldn't quite see it in a way where it wasn't over-the-top gaudy. In the end, I decided to write a pattern that would give the knitter 3 options: first, they could just knit the roll-neck raglan in "sock monkey colors" and be done with it. Option 2 is to do the duplicate-stitch design (shown on the baby) to make a small monkey face on the chest. And option 3 is to make an intarsia square that you then crochet (or sew) onto the sweater front. So, 3 options for varying levels of how much you want your sweater to scream "SOCK MONKEY!" and 3 options for level of difficulty (for the record, this is as easy a sweater pattern as you'll ever find and the only thing I consider remotely difficult is the intarsia square option.) I hope people like it!

Now I'm working on re-writing the hat pattern using the same yarn that I used for the sweater so people can truly make a matching set. I'm also adding 2 adult sizes to the hat pattern because it was previously written for newborn - preteen (I had no idea I'd get so many requests from people to help them modify the pattern for a teen or adult!) I have to have it done by the end of the month because I have a yarn shop owner near Madison, WI waiting for my sock monkey hat & sweater patterns. She is going to package them with yarn and sell the kits at a special event day the shops in her town have planned.

If you're a blog reader who plans to purchase the new sock monkey sweater pattern in October, use the code "11spring" at check-out to get $1 off!

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