UPDATE: January 15, 2008: Arms are now finished and sewn on ... he's just waiting for me to finish his red-felted fez!
I am not really a perfectionist when it comes to my toys. If you end up with an extra stitch here or there, or one less here or there, it really won't matter in the end.
You will begin by knitting from the bottom of his leg, starting with his foot. Using cream colored double-knitting weight yarn, and knitting back and forth on size US 3 (3.25 mm) double-pointed needles, cast on three stitches, then turn. Or, if you prefer, cast on one stitch and then knit one/purl one/knit one all in the same stitch, then knit the next row. After choosing either of these beginnings, continue as follows:Knit front and back in each
Knit front and back in each again. You now have 12 stitches.
Divide by knitting four stitches onto each of the three double-pointed needles.
Join and knit in the front and back of each again. (24 stitches) Be sure to place a stitch marker at the beginning of the round so you can keep track. I like to use the little colored ones that look like baby safety pins.
Knit 25 rounds with the cream yarn, then cut the cream and join the brownish-marble color (or whatever you choose for the main color) and continue knitting in the round for 50 more rounds. Yes! 50 more!!!
When you finish knitting the 50 rounds, I cut the yarn (having left a good-sized tail, but you will not use this tail for anything again, so you may choose how long to make it) and let that leg rest on its three DPNs. Then, take out another set of size three (3.25 mm) DPNs and repeat this entire process for the second leg. The only difference is, do not cut the yarn when you finish the second leg.
O.K., now comes the leg joining part. Once again, the foot-joining mini-tutorial on MochiMochiland's blog is great. But I will try to explain it a little here.
I took my first leg that I had finished (that was still waiting on the three double-pointed needles) and divided the stitches as best I could onto just two of the double-pointed needles. I did the same with the second leg that still had the ball of yarn attached. Take the first leg that you knit (the one with the cut yarn) and hold it out in front of you. The tail should be hanging down on your right. Divide the stitches onto two dpns and set it down for a moment.
Now, knit across the leg that has the yarn still attached (this is the front of the leg). When you finish knitting all the stitches on the front of that leg, add three more by the backward loop method. You'll need these three to continue his body. The photos of the sock monkeys that I saw did not look very much wider than the two legs, so that's why I only added three stitches in the middle. If you want his body bigger, you could add more stitches here. After you've added the stitches, keep knitting across onto the front of the other leg (the one with the yarn tail). I wound up with a tiny hole where my tail of yarn was. As MochiMochiLand suggests, you may want to wrap this around the needle. I didn't. In fact, I had my leg facing the other way, with the tail of yarn on the left rather than on the right facing his "crotch". That's probably why I got the hole! Alas, it's just a little birthmark on my monkey and I don't mind. I certainly wasn't going to rip it out and start over!!! In any event, keep knitting the stitches. You'll wind up on the back side of this leg and then when you've finished those of his back leg, you'll need to add the three for his body again (or however many you've decided you'd like for his body) ... then continue knitting across, this time knitting the stitches from the backside of the other leg. When you've made it around, you can divide all these stitches back onto just three double-pointed needles again so that you can continue to knit the rest of his body in the round. Yes! It's just that easy! You will end up with quite a big gap between his legs. This is needed later for stuffing him, so please don't sew it up yet!
So now we continue on with his body. Continue to knit for 80 rounds more. YES! 80 rounds!! I decided not to make any decreases for his head because I don't think that a real sock monkey has any decreases there. It is, after all, a sock. At this point, join the cream-colored yarn and cut the brownish one. Knit for 15 rounds more. Before I began the decreases for the top of his head, I stuffed him as much as I could. Stuff his legs using the hole between his legs. Push the stuffing all the way down to his feet. When you've stuffed him adequately, then begin the decreases for the top of his head as follows:
k2, k2tog all the way to the end, then knit one.
knit the next round
knit one round more
decrease again by knitting three, then knitting 2 together all the way around.
knit for two more rounds
decrease again by knitting 2tog, k2 to the end and you will have three left, so knit these.
k2tog all the way around
k2tog all the way around again
k2 tog all the way around yet again
k2 tog all the way and then knit the last one.
You are finished! I went ahead and embroidered his eyes here so that I could have a better idea of where I wanted his mouth.
The arms are exactly the same as the legs above, only make each separately. Before binding off, decrease by knitting two together all the way around. Then, bind off each leg, stuff and sew the open edges of each one. To place on his body, fold the sewn together part down (as if making a little under-arm area) and stitch securely to his body (one on each side) so that they hang down. I'm sure the arms could also be knitted in the round, joining them to his body as for the legs; however, I wanted my monkey to have more floppy arms that hung at his sides rather than those that stick straight out like a gingerbread man's arms.
Cast on 54 using cream.
Divide by knitting 18 stitches onto each of the double-pointed needles.
Knit 4 rounds
First decrease round: knit 2 together, knit 3, knit 2 together, knit 3, knit 2 together, knit 3, knit 2 together, knit 1
Second decrease round: knit 2 together, knit 3, knit 2 together, knit 3, knit 2 together, knit 2
Third decrease round: knit 2 together, knit2, knit 2 together, knit 2, knit 2 together knit 1
Cut cream and join red.
Knit 2 rounds
Decrease: knit 2 together, knit 2, knit 2 together
Knit 2 rounds more
Knit three off the next needle, then slide three onto the other needle (removing a needle) so you are working with only two needles. Graft his mouth together. If you are unsure about grafting, try this video demonstration (with talking!) I discovered. It's wonderful! I used black dk-weight yarn and the straight stitch over the graft to make his mouth. Stuff this piece and sew it securely under his eyes. You might want to look at a photo for proper placement.
Ears (make 4)
Using size 3 (3.25 mm) straight needles, cast on 18 stitches
Beginning with a knit row, stocking stitch two rows
Begin increases by knitting one, increase in next stitch by knitting front and back, then k14, then increase in the next by knitting front and back, then knit one. You will now have 20 stitches.
Next row purl
Next row knit one, increase in next, knit 16, increase in next, knit one (22)
knit one, increase in next, knit 18, increase in next, knit one (24)
Now we will begin our decreases: k2tog, knit 20, k2tog, (22)
k2 tog, knit 18, knit 2 tog (20)
*slip 1, knit one, pass slipped stitch over, knit to last 2, k2 tog
p2tog, purl to the last two and purl these together through the back loop. These rows will help shape his ears in the right direction.*
If you are not sure how to slip one, knit one, pass slipped stitch over, try this video demonstration from the same wonderful person who did the grafting stitch video or how to purl two together through the back loops, there is a nifty little demo from knitting help.com here Both stitches are not that difficult to master and they are really useful when shaping.
Continue with these last two rows (from the first * to the last *), repeating them in that order, until you get down to only one stitch. Run a bit of yarn through that last stitch with a yarn needle and tie off. It wants to be sort of a point, so help pull it into shape so that it is rounded. I had to push my needle through the lumpish part where the last stitch was and try to sew it down, smoothing it out. I then repeated this entire pattern sequence three more times, for a total of four pieces. You will stitch two pieces together (a front and a back) for each ear. Stuff as full or as thin as you like, then run a gathering stitch around the ears, just under the seams and pull tightly to give it a bit of an indentation and a bit more roundness. I ran two gathering stitches, one under the other, on my monkey's ears. Attach the ears securely to each side of his head. Again, you may want to look at a photo for exact placement.
Using brown or main body color, cast on 12, divide by knitting four stitches onto three double-pointed needles (size 3.25 mm)
Knit 50 rounds. At this point, cut the brown and join the cream.
Knit for 1o more rounds, then knit two together all the way around and run a gathering stitch through these and pull tightly and knot off. Stuff tail. I turned it inside out (like when putting on stockings) to help me stuff it more easily. Then sew securely to his backside.
I omitted the red-lip rear end! If you like it and want it; however, make another piece exactly like the mouth and sew it on his rear area before adding the tail.
As always, if you run into any problems, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org ! I hope you enjoy it. Please let me know if you make him. Thank you!