Five Little Monkeys

So it’s been awhile, and I feel badly about that, but things haven’t been so great and I’ve been taking the ostrich approach to life meaning I basically moved to my sister’s for a few weeks. The work they’ve been doing on our building made life here unbearable (the drilling noise was off the charts) and absolutely NO ONE is coming to see our house. Forget making offers, no one comes to see it even. At all. Which is super, super depressing. But when I’m not here I don’t think about how in a month we’ll have to pay two mortgages and I’ll basically be eating mac & cheese for the foreseeable future. I know that things could be much, much worse for us and I am thankful every day that we can survive in this situation (although Meli might want to think twice about college) but still it’s very scary and my stomach is in knots the minute I pull up to our parking space.

To combat these feelings of dread, I’ve been knitting. A lot. And I even have proof for you!

The Great Socks That Rock Monkey Experiment of 2009
L to R: My Blue Heaven, Firebird, Love In Idleness, G Rocks and Never On Sunday

Yup. Five Monkey Socks. The Love In Idleness one I started a little while ago but was unsure of it and then I went on this jag where I’d cast on and start a sock and decide the colorway wasn’t working the way I wanted. Then somehow I had the idea that when I hit on a color that was good I’d put it aside until I found another color I liked and I’d start a kind of assembly line. I actually have a sixth sock started somewhere but I lost it (again – I keep losing this sock!) So once I had the five socks on the needles I decided that I would knit the cuff on one and then stop and move onto the next color. To knit the cuff, I do six repeats of the pattern. Once I was finished all five cuffs, I started doing the heel flap. (Basically, I didn’t go any further because I had to consult the pattern to remember the math on turning the heel. It had been awhile.) Heel flaps done. Check. And then I picked up a sock – it was the Love In Idleness one – and turned the heel. Then I knit the gusset. And then I was all like oh my god I’ve knit the gusset the sock is practically finished! So that’s what I did. I finished the sock.

Then I became obsessed. I couldn’t stop knitting and finishing socks. Every time I finished a sock I immediately wove in the ends and then cast on for the second sock. I didn’t do the whole picot cuff, just cast on and knit a row or two. But the needles are full and that’s what counts.

Now that I’ve got five new socks, I’m ready to start all over again. My plan now is to knit the picot edge and one repeat before moving on to the next color and finishing the cuff. Rinse and repeat. I’m not so obsessed anymore, but Meli is getting pretty good at giving me a little bit of time during the day while she plays on her own, so I’m making sure a sock is nearby. And no, I’m not sick of monkey socks. This pattern is absolutely my stockinette sock. Way more than the Jaywalker even (does anyone even remember Jaywalkers anymore?! How crazy were those days!) I have at least three more monkeys in mind. They fit great, are easy to knit, and look fantastic with lots of colorways. What’s not to love?


  1. That’s one reason why I do more knitting than sewing at the moment, it’s easier for me to sit down in the living room and knit while the kiddos play. That way I am at hand to supervise/referee. I keep telling people, knitting keeps me SANE! (Well, that and my kids just look so darn CUTE in handknits!)

  2. Wow, I’ve missed you & your gorgeous photos! Monkeys are on my list of socks I want to knit, and I think it is mostly your fault 🙂

  3. Reminds me of those Little Miss Matched socks that come in odd number sets. Love it!

  4. Beautiful Monkeys! I never thought of doing the Monkey sock with a picot cuff, but I love the way it looks. Must try that for my next pair…

  5. Monkey Mania strikes again! Knit on through all crisis. EZ had that one right (as she did nearly everything to do with knitting).

  6. Great socks. Monkey is definitely my go-to “stockinette” pattern too.

  7. cara! oooh i’m sending vibes to buyers… i’m so sorry for that headache/stomachache/heartache!
    on the other hand, it’s SO good to see knitting! beautiful socks. I hope each stitch is providing some comfort… sending all my love!

  8. Such fun socks. You so need a photo of the finished sets with the 5 little monkeys book.

  9. Meg McG says:

    Glad to have you back!
    When I read the title I was thinking that Meli was going to be showing off some Monkey socks! From experience, get her used to handknit socks now before she can complain “I want my WHITE socks, I don’t want those socks!” (Luckily Ben, at 3.5 developed a love for his handknit socks, but feelings were tense between us for a while. I withheld macaroni and cheese for 18 months…ok that last part’s not true)

  10. These are gorgeous. And I sent the link to Tina in case she missed it. After the day she and Steph had yesterday I think this photo is a good reminder of why they’re doing what they’re doing.
    And now you’ve inspired me to cast on some Monkeys in a rare gem!

  11. What a hoot! Sorry that life and housing is being difficult, but it sounds like you’ve found a good way to distract yourself.
    And I very much remember the Jaywalker days. I think that was when I very first started reading your blog. May have even found it in a Jaywalker search, come to that.
    Monkeys it is!

  12. How cool is it that I just put down my first monkey to read blogs, I am following the pattern with the twisted rib, love the look of the picot edge, I need how to figure out how to do it.

  13. Pooh on the house and yay on the socks. I will be sending good house-selling thoughts your way!

  14. Welcome back! You’ve been missed. But your absence is certainly understandable. I couldn’t stand that noise either. I’m so hoping that your house will sell. Can’t your realtor give you any hints, offer incentives, anything? Thanks for posting. We all like to know what’s happening! And I’m sending my best wishes for everything to turn out exactly the way you want (including the Monkeys!).

  15. Ooh, I think I have the monkey in the middle!! I’ll be thinking good house thoughts for you.

  16. I LOVE your Monkeys! And I’m glad you are back on your blog today! I sure understand the house blues, but I know it will not last forever. Enjoy your family and your knitting.

  17. Thank goodness for your sister!!
    I do hope the drilling will stop soon and people will come to see your house.
    All the best! Those socks are so cool!

  18. I’m pretty sure you are to blame (in the very best way) for my own Monkey sock obsession – yours have always been so gorgeous, and these are no exception. I’m with you on the ‘Monkey-is-my-plain-vanilla’ sock, too – whenever I have a yarn that I don’t know what to do with, I turn it into a pair of Monkeys.

  19. So happy you have surfaced again! My sister is trying to sell her home right now in northern Indiana to relocate to another state, and she’s getting the same response you are. NO ONE is looking. Take heart, you are not alone. The socks look GREAT!!!

  20. So happy you have surfaced again! My sister is trying to sell her home right now in northern Indiana to relocate to another state, and she’s getting the same response you are. NO ONE is looking. Take heart, you are not alone. The socks look GREAT!!!

  21. Gorgeous Socks!!
    And I sure do remember the Jaywalker. I might even put a monkey on the needles!

  22. Gorgeous Socks!!
    And I sure do remember the Jaywalker. I might even put a monkey on the needles!

  23. So glad to hear from you – the socks are gorgeous! I’m not much of a sock knitter, but those might even inspire me to give it a go… Sorry to hear things are tough. Sending good vibes your way ~~~~~~~

  24. I love that all five are different colors.

  25. Angelia says:

    Thank you, I love your blog. Your knitting is incredible. It’s good to know I’m not the only person with serious anxiety issues. When things start getting bad I come read your blog and remember that it will pass.
    Thank you.

  26. I cannot ever hear anything about The Boss without thinking of you. So of course when my friend sent me a link to this video, the first thing I wanted to do was share it. 🙂

  27. You have to love that pattern!!!! They look great!

  28. glad sock mojo found you!

  29. I love your Monkeys! This has become my stockinette, go-to pattern as well. The pattern repeats seem to fly by. This post is inspiring me to get moving again on a long-neglected Monkey in STR Thistle. I’ve been going through a knitting funk lately, and one finished sock would feel good right now!
    Sending you good wishes for someone to snatch up your condo soon! Have a great Sunday!

  30. I bow to you 😉 I finished my first pair of monkeys, after they’ve been languishing on my needles for the past 2 years. Love the design and finished socks but could not get into the groove of the pattern. I do have to say this pattern looks good in every yarn I’ve seen it knit up in.
    Good luck with your house sale. I know markets are slow now but I bet things pick up once school is out.

  31. Adorable! And yes, we remember Jaywalkers… how could anyone possibly forget? : )

  32. ruthann says:

    ok…we were where you are with the 2 places to live and 2 mortgages. TRY to rent one….it might not be your favorite option – but at least it can be helpful in the short term.
    The socks are beautiful….
    I always love your photos!!

  33. Carolyn says:

    Hi Cara, Do you have instructions for the socks – I think I need the therapy. Any new pictures of Meli?

  34. jmcmjoan says:

    I remember Jaywalkers!!!! They are MY current obsession! Purple Rain is on the needles, G Rocks is over there just waiting, and I’ve an emergency order in to Blue Moon so I can have Pop Rocks to knit on vacation!
    The Monkeys look terrific, and maybe when I get tired of Jaywalkers, I’ll move on to Monkeys again! Glad you have your knitting mojo on!

  35. Celainea says:

    I am so with you on the darned Monkeys! Besides all the reasons you gave they are just plain fun and addicting and not boring in the least to knit. So thats why you have 5 Monkeys in a row. Have you knit the Monkey pattern for Meli? It’s hard to imagine Meli without a draw full of little Monkeys. And about the double mortgage deal. We did it too back at the end of 2006 when the real estate market first took the plunge. I was a nervous wreck but eventually we sold the blasted house and got on with life. I never want to be in the real estate market again. NEVER. I am home. Love your monkeys. Blog more. 🙂