The Cutest Monkeys

Photography by Sara Parker

That would be these babes. For the purposes of my new pattern, they can be referred to as Jimmy & Millie.  However, in real life, their names are actually even cuter, twins Lucy & Molly.

Jimmy and Millie are two of my favorite movie characters!  If you haven’t seen Thoroughly Modern Millie, you are missing out.  Great clothes, and an even better MOLE…

Lucy was feeling ultra girly so she rocked Millie’s hot lips. I think this hat loved her a lot more than she loved it :)  We had a hard time getting a non-screaming-baby pic.

Molly knew she could pull of the spectacles so volunteered to wear Jimmy (so she stuck her tongue out at us a little).

I’ve been thinking about a sockmonkey hat design for a while but knew I wanted to put an original spin on it before I went through with it.  I chewed over the boy/girl angle for a while but then when I conceptualized the lips & glasses I was set to go.  I used Cascade 220 which is just the perfect yarn for this project.  The tweed is just what I pictured, and of course there are no end to the color choices for the embellishments (exact colorways are at the bottom of this post). If you’re substituting yarn, just keep in mind that you’re going to want a wool that can holds shape–otherwise your ears are going to be droopy.  I don’t recommend yarns with high cotton, linen, or bamboo content.  I also don’t recommend using scraps that are heavier than the worsted gauge for the embellishments because that will add extra weight to your project.

These projects are so much fun!  They do have their finicky moments–not going to lie, most of the work is in the finishing but by then if you’re like me, you’ll be so excited about how its turning out that you won’t even care and you’ll press on.

The ears are worked by picking up stitches directly from the side of the hat, so you don’t have to stitch those on.  But the mouth pieces, glasses, eyes and lips are knit separately. I considered adding intarsia to the hat instead, but I think that the 3D effect of the embellishments is well worth the extra knitting. I’m also finishing up a video that demonstrates how to use kitchener stitch to graft closed stitches on double pointed needles (which is what you have to do for Millie’s lips). It should be ready this week.

I also love projects that allow the knitter flexibility and there are endless options of how to customize each one of these hats you knit!  If you leave of Jimmy’s glasses, you’re left with a more classic looking sockmonkey.  You could add eyebrows, a moustache…or use buttons for eyes.  You can knit bigger ears or smaller ears…or even give Millie glasses.  I have already loved seeing my test knitter’s projects!  They were required to stick to the pattern just to make sure it was written properly–and even so each hat is quite unique.  Click here to see the projects currently up on Ravelry.

Knitter’s Information
Inspired by Thoroughly Modern Millie, these sockmonkey caps feature Jimmy’s glasses and Millie’s hot lips. Ear flaps are knit first, then worked into cast on round. Ears are picked up and knit once hat is complete, and embellishments are knit separately and stitched on. Sized for monkeys of any age! Shown in Newborn.

Size: Newborn(6 months, Infant, Toddler, Child, Adult Small, Adult Large)
Finished Circumference: 11.25(12.75, 14.5, 16, 17.5, 19.25, 20.75) inches
To Fit: 13.75(15.25, 17, 18.5, 20.25, 21.75, 23.5) inches
Gauge: 20 sts and 28 rows per 4 inches in stockinette
Yarn: Cascade Yarns 220 Wool 100% Wool; 220 yards/201 meters per 3.8 ounce/100 gram skein 1(1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 2) skeins 9403 (A), 1 skein each 8414 (B) and 8010 (C), scraps of 8555 (D) and 9469 (E) or 75(100, 130, 150, 190, 240, 300) yards A, and scraps of B, C, D, E
Tools: Size 7(4.5 mm) 16” circular needles, and set of DPNs, size G or H crochet hook, stitch marker

(I call this final photo “My Turn”)

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