2/27/13

Sock Monkey Business

Here's what's going on at the Three Cats Ranch.  (You've been dying to know, haven't you?)

Monday I made two more blocks for the Yard Art quilt.  Here's what I have so far.


Sadly, I'm going to have to remake the palm tree block I made on Monday because I turned the background piece 90 degrees when I did the applique.  I kept wondering why it wasn't fitting right, and I deluded myself into thinking that I must have cut the background pieces larger, and then trimmed them to size.  It made sense until I went to trim them, and then realized they were already the right size.  And since the applique is fused and top-stitched, there really is no way to fix it without redoing it.  I could try, but it would probably be faster just to redo it.  Bummer.  I hate it when that happens.  Makes me want to chuck the whole project; but then, that seems like overkill.  Almost literally.  I'll save that for another time when I'm not so mad at it.

So, as I said, I wanted to do a "not quilting" project, and yesterday I decided to try my hand at a sock monkey.  So serious am I about sock monkeys that I actually went to the authentic sock monkey website and sprung for the original book


and the original Red Heel socks.  They come in several colors.  I chose blue and brown.


They come two pair to a packet, and it takes two socks to make one monkey.


I found this very reassuring since I'm thinking it will probably take me four socks to make one monkey.  Oh, and here's something you don't see every day:


When I saw that, I dropped everything, jumped up, and sang God Bless America right there in my sewing room.  Really.  I do a great impression of Kate Smith [in my mind].

I'm using the pack of poly-fil that I bought about thirty years ago.  It seems I've used it and used it and used it, and the bag is still full.  Query:  Does "premium" polyester seem like an oxymoron to you?  I wouldn't think polyester would come in grades, let alone "premium".  But there I go being all organic again.


Anyway, I was a little disappointed in the book.  Despite giving instructions, it isn't very instructive.  It sort of gives one sentence per 12 (or so) steps.  Being a dunce, I need a little more than that.  Still, I am muddling through.  Here is his basic body.


I'm going to swap out that red ribbon for some red yarn, but I wanted to see how he was looking.  Then I moved on to the tail, and I had a bit of trouble with that.  The instructions told me to cut a one-inch wide strip from the entire length of the 2nd sock.  Trouble is, one inch is too narrow and the "entire length of the sock" is too long.  It was impossible to turn it the right side out after sewing the seam, let alone stuffing it.  I ended up cutting off half of it, and then it was a lot easier, if a little bit too skinny. 


It was tempting to use one of the emergency back-up socks to make another tail, but I think I'll just leave it the way it is.  I think this might actually be a spider monkey. 


I figure it you mess something up, you can remedy the situation by just deciding to make something different mid-stream.  Now.  Wanna see a monkey butt?


There you go.  Wouldn't it be fun if all our butts looked like that?

Speaking of butts, I checked in with my Curves Coach yesterday.  I've been on the diet for four weeks now, and so it was time to do measurements.  I didn't lose any weight this week, which was moderately disappointing, although not unexpected.  I've been a little lackadaisical on my diet observance this past week.  Time to get back on the horse...or monkey...whichever you prefer.  At least I didn't gain any weight.  Nevertheless, I have lost 8.2 inches from my measurements, which was pretty good.

So that's the way it is at the Three Cats Ranch.  Say that the way Walter Cronkite would have.  (And please tell me you're old enough to remember Walter Cronkite.)  I'm off to get my monthly pedicure, which my soul needs at least as much as my feet do.  And just to ruin the mood, I'm off to the grocery store after that.  Don't know if I'll give sock monkey any attention today or not.

Oh yes, and don't forget!  The linky party starts tomorrow.  Casual attire. Pajamas preferred.

2013NewFO



25 comments from clever and witty friends:

Kate said...

Fun sock monkey!

Shannon Meyer said...

What a cute monkey!! Too bad the instructions weren't super descriptive, but it looks like you're doing good anyway:)

Sher S. said...

You are doing fine with the monkey. consider how old that pattern is, they probably never updated the instructions for us so you are doing fantastic with him. He is kind of cute at that. Sorry about your flamingo block. Been there and done that. And yes, it's time to walk away from that one for a few days. Hope you have a sunny day in Oregon.

carla said...

Hi!!! I think your little monkey is cute!!!

WoolenSails said...

That is so fun and love it in the blue sock.

Debbie

Sherry Wollard said...

You could always use your "planned" mis-sized block on the back. Isn't that what you were planning? LOL Your monkey is soooo cute.

Lee said...

No butt's about it, your humour is showing today ;p

I can remember that my grandmother had a sock monkey that we played with when very young...wonder what ever became of it? And, for a long time I had a sock monkey kit...hmmm, wonder what became of IT? Have fun monkeying around.

LindaSchiffer said...

I remember that my favorite aunt made sock monkeys one year for Christmas gifts for a couple of my younger brothers (I guess she either deemed it not a girly toy or maybe that I was too old for one:)

I waver back and forth on the sock monkey fence - actually think they are kinda ugly. On the other hand, using a sock to make something to play with appeals to me (as does that Made in USA sign:) ... and I think the toddler sized kit they sell on that website is adorable. :)

Sad smiles about the yard art block problems! I have so totally been THERE at one time or another.

Speaking of yard art, flamingos are seriously popular here in certain parts of the Baltimore region. I definitely remember a wonderful yard display several years ago near my shop in Catonsville that featured a sleigh pulled by flamingos (eight or nine of them:). Way, way cute!

:) Linda

The Thimblemouse of Country Crossroads said...

OH OH OH..I see Flamingos!!!! I LOVE Flamingos...oh and sock monkeys too - You're doing a good job with yours..now I have to find mine...I've taught classes on sock monkeys for eons...and Yikes...I can't remember putting on a tail...you've got me curious now...hahahaha

JLVerde said...

If you need sock monkey making advice, just let me know. I've been making them for years so I'm well versed in tips/tricks, especially for super long tails (I love super long tails on my monkeys).

The big tip I have for tails is stuff is rolling. Roll the stuffing bits into a thin log before stuffing. The stuffing will bunch as you move it down the tail. Once it gets to the end, then roll the stuffed tail to knead out the lumps. You'll end up with a tightly stuffed tail that will almost seem like it has armature inside.

Oh, and be prepared to blow out a seam in the tail. I still do it with my monkeys even after all this time.

Loretta Thomas said...

Hope you show the rest of the monkey...interested! Thnaks...

Quilting Babcia said...

Hmm, the sock monkey book was tempting when I visited Boersmas the other day, glad I resisted. I'll just need to look online and check out the comments on your post to get the real skinny on their tails!

treadlemusic said...

Yup, those sox are made in Osage, IA, and once a year in that town there is a gigantic sock sale (around Veteran's Day). Great bargains on all sorts of their sox, mitts and gloves EXCEPT the socks needed for sock monkeys!! Interesting! Frustrations, like many other things, come in groups (not necessarily 3, though;-( ). Been there and there is a huge group of us! Blessings, D

Mary said...

Love the flamingo's, but then they are my favorite bird! Put the palm tree on the back as quilt art. Sock monkeys are so cute.

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

I loved listening to Walter Cronkite, especially during all the Apollo missions. People always trusted Walter, unlike today.

Brown Family said...

I bought a kit to make Peejay the sock monkey. It has fairly good directions and pictures. I made a mini monkey once. I have been looking for her to show you! Did you cut your one inch strip on the fold? I think the tail looks good!

Michelle said...

The socks come in blue?! The feed store only had brown and that was the only color I'd ever seen....but I might just need blue for that sock elephant I'm going to make one of these days. :-)

Vroomans' Quilts said...

I remember Walter Cronkite. I think the sock monkeys are ugly - even when they originally came out! How great to see a Made in USA label - unfortunately so few of them.

quiltzyx said...

Yes, I do remember Walter Cronkite - and I did hear his voice when I read that line!
The sock monkey is looking good - and what's wrong with long tails? (I heard Smitty say that.)
OK, I went to the Monday Musings post & looked at the flamingo block there & couldn't see what was wrong. In any case, you could always use it as your label.

Cathy said...

How wonderful you found original Sock Monkey Socks! Those Monkeys last forever. Oh, the memories.

Snoodles said...

Yep, sure do remember ole Walter Cronkite! Love your monkey so far, and the tail looks great! I need to find some of those socks.....

LethargicLass said...

I made a sock monkey... once.

just kidding, I will see if I can find the tutorial I used, because if I can do, you most certainly can...

HUGE congrats on 8.2 inches!!

Rachel said...

I love sock monkeys....I think I have some kind of kit around here. I should dig it out! Good to know about the instructions in the book :-)

Denise :) said...

Again, another stellar post! I *am* wearing my pj's as I read this (hey, it's bedtime *somewhere*, right?!) -- does that count? Sock monkeys have always rather freaked me out. I was a little ... wigged when I found out that one of Sawyer's *other* grandparents had given him one. And he likes it. Ugh. LOL! Congrats on the loss of inches!! Way to go! :)

Kate said...

Guess what? Monkey butt! :D love the flamingoes. They're the only yard art to grace...well, my backyard because my husband won't allow them out front.