Monday, 28 May 2007

monkey business

Sock Monkeys, a simple toy made from a single pair of socks, has grown almost into a cult craft following. I agree that it's hard not to love nostalgic appeal and personality, though I do find the red mouth a little creepy, I like 'em stripey.

Where did it all begin? With Swedish immigrant, John Nelson. Nelson arrived in Rockford, Illinois, in 1852. He patented his first sock knitting machine in 1869, incorporated the company in 1890 as The Nelson Knitting Co. which became the first to manufacture socks world wide. The first Red Heel® socks, which the monkeys are made from, began manufacture in 1890.

The sock monkey didn't appear until the 1900's when mothers began making monkeys and other animals from these socks for their children. The popularity of these sock toys grew to such an extent that by 1920 every pair of Red Heel® socks included instructions on how to make a Sock Monkey.

Fox River Mills, which purchased Nelson Knitting Mills in 1992 wisely continues to keep the tradition alive including the original directions in every pair of Red Heel® Socks they manufacture.

Want a Sock Monkey of your very own? A few have been found and are eagerly awaiting to be adopted at www.tactilelover.com.

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