Second favourite

My nephew Hank turns eight today, which I can scarcely believe. (Remember when he was four?) and I decided to knit him somthing. He’s exactly what you would expect from an eight year old who carries McPhee genetics (meaning that he is fast, loud, difficult and opinionated and can talk his way out of anything with his superpower – large measures of charm) so I knew that there was a chance, or even a probability that he wouldn’t like what I made him, no matter what I knit him. I don’t invest much in knitting for children (except babies, who you can force to wear it) just for this reason, but I decided to take a shot and make him the Sock Monkey hat from Knitty.


It was a super quick knit (one evening – extra time allotted for getting the nostrils straight – which seemed to me to be critical to hat acceptance) and I took it along to my Mum’s last week when we celebrated his day.


(I will not say that Hank is cute, because he would hate that, but he can’t stop me from thinking it. )


He started unwrapping his presents, discarding underwear from my mum (which I can totally understand) and moving pretty quickly through the new pants and shirts and stuff (also, I can see how from an eight year old perspective, as much as he is loathe to be nude, this would garner less excitement.) then he opened a Pokemon Wii game (I have never played Wii, but I hear it is big) from Ian and the kid flipped out. Loved it. This shattered all my hopes that a hand knit Monkey hat could compete on any sort of a level, and I praised myself inwardly for not being too invested (which was sort of a lie, but I still think the pretence was valuable.) I held back our other present (another Wii game which the guy at the store told Joe was cool if you were eight) so that if he thought the hat was lame I would have a way to recover my cool factor in Hank’s eyes, and I forked over the hat.


Dudes, not only did he like it, he wore it, and is seen here doing a monkey impression which, while it has certain rabbit influences, is still excellent for a child growing up in Downtown Toronto with very little actual monkey exposure. It’s a little small, which is disappointing, but now that I know it’s acceptable, I’ll maybe knit him a bigger one. (After I knit another 12 or so, since ever person in the family wants one. Including my mother, which is sort of flipping me out. I feel a very odd Christmas coming on.) He got the other Wii game after (which did help with my image) and even with receiving TWO video games, Erin phoned me that night to tell me that Hank was wearing his hat while he played the games, and that he had said that it was his second favourite present. I couldn’t be happier. What a heartening moment for a knitter. An eight year old ranked a hand knit hat ahead of a video game. The child shows great promise…maybe it’s in his name.

Hank shares his birthday with my niece Kamilah (who would point out that technically, she had it first) and I’d offer to make her a hat, but she’s a good enough knitter that she could make her own. Happy Birthday Kamilah! Happy Birthday Hank!

(Kamilah, you can have a hat if you want. All the cool kids are wearing them.)

Note: Sock monkey yarn is Patons Shetland Chunky, 75% acrylic, 25% wool, purchased at The Madrona Retreat from Linda’s Knit ‘n Stitch, where she had it conveniently kitted up (with the permission of the designer) for the impulse driven auntie with a hat fetish. Totally worth it, just to get a monkey impression.

176 thoughts on “Second favourite

  1. First comment! Can’t believe it!
    So you need at least 12 of these hats by Christmas? Better get on with it! Can you swap Hank a larger one for his, so you can knit one less?

  2. Hank is eight?! Holy moly! Time marches on…
    So, are you planning to teach him to knit this year? With any luck, he can knit all those monkey hats by next Christmas, you know.

  3. Not me first??!! What a great hat! My daughter was a “monkey” gal and she now has a 5 month old. That boy is getting one of these, even if he lives in Hawaii! He’ll just have to come visit the mountains, eh? Looking forward to seeing you – NEXT FRIDAY! Yikes! must.knit.socks.

  4. Soo the monkey impression..Also, that’s a lot of books in the previous post..did you ice your hand afterwards?

  5. I have had my eye on that hat forever! I’m so glad Hank liked it. A group family shot of monkey hat wearing McPhee’s would be the ultimate 2008 christmas card πŸ™‚

  6. Hank is SO adorable. I always enjoy posts about him. πŸ™‚
    Also, I’m really excited to see you here in Nashville soon!!

  7. A quick hat for an 8 year old. Lucky woman. I’m having to duplicate stitch the trains on my soon to be 8 year old’s hat (and then on to the mittens)–so many colors to carry that the first two tries on hat just didn’t fit–just not enough stretchiness no matter how loosely I carried the yarn.
    But oh my, Hank has that same gleam in his eyes that my Noah has. Look out, world!
    Great hat!

  8. Ok, what to say I love first. Awesome hat! I will have to make one, quick like!
    That cake looks pretty snazzy too! Are those Jordan Almonds on top?
    And Hank, yes, he is waaaaay cute!!
    You are one awesome aunt!!

  9. Get Hank a Curious George book to improve his monkey impression. I know C. George is a chimp, but looks more monkey than bunny anyway.
    Hmmmmm, is there a jungle Wii game out there?

  10. That’s high praise! Second favorite gift isn’t easy to score. Well done! I keep meaning to make one for my “niece” but keep putting it off. Maybe this Christmas.

  11. I think your cosmetic work was FANTASTIC on the hat, and Hank is very lucky indeed. My sock monkey hat needs a nose job. πŸ˜‰ I don’t envy you cranking out 12 more by December 25, but the pattern is enchanting enough to get you through at least 3 — and just think what the cosmetic work would be like if you left them on the coffee table to finish like you did your mom’s scarf!

  12. Uh, my 40-some year-old husband wants one now. All bow to the power of the Sock Monkey Hat!!

  13. That hat is awesome, but Hank is awesomer! Happy Birthday!
    p.s. Don’t y’all have the biggest zoo known to man – outside of Africa, that is? Get the child there ASAP so he can see a real monkey. πŸ˜€

  14. Must. Make. Hat.
    Hank isn’t just cute, he’s adorable. The girls are gonna go nuts over him (if they don’t just want him for his hat). πŸ˜‰

  15. Dear Steph, lovely hat, and such a cute and practical gift. Much better than the high tech stuff that kids think they want now a days and don’t really love long term. It’s adorable. Love, Kathleen

  16. Oh my, the monkey hat resurfaces! Your nephew is adorably squeezably cute in it πŸ™‚
    I’m glad he likes it, the 8 year old in my house is a fan as well. The pattern does seem to run small. When that came out on knitty I ended up knitting 10 of those suckers, plus a mini one for my own sock monkey. Heck it matches his mini gansey πŸ˜‰
    (You can see my mini hat on my Ravelry profile, I’m Michele on Ravelry.)

  17. That is the cutest hat ever on one of the cutest kids ever. I can’t say he’s the cutest. My granddaughter has a lock on that. πŸ˜‰

  18. Very cute nephew-loved the cake expression and the monkey/rabbit impression. Makes me homesick for my boys when they were little. They would not wear a monkey hat now at ages 21 and 23, but my husband would at age 54.
    Go figure.

  19. SCORE!
    Congratulations on a huge success! I only dare knit for one of my nephews/nieces now, because the others are old enough to not like stuff.
    I really *do* remember when Hank turned four, and he just gets cuter and cuter.

  20. Great hat! And happy birthdays to all!
    I knitted the same hat for my 15-year-old son, and all his friends covet it. Who would have guessed?

  21. Your nephew is ADORABLE – especially in that hat!!
    I knit this hat for my own little guy to wear after he had to have brain surgery last November. Everyone who sees it on him just loves it. What a great gift!! πŸ™‚

  22. That hat is absolutely the boss of me. Nephews can surprise one – my 14 year old nephew insisted on bringing a knitted afghan that I made him to running camp last year (it should be noted that he lives in Florida and it was summer). His exact quote was, “I want to bring this because it comes from the loving hands of my aunt Kathy”. Little boys rock more often than not.

  23. That monkey hat rocks, Hank obviously has very good taste, and I had no idea that I NEEDED a sock monkey hat until just this moment. Fortunately, I am a knitter and can rectify the lack.
    (I wonder what a 12-year-old girl would — nah.)

  24. Of course an 8 year old boy would love a monkey hat. All young boys love monkeys–heck my 24 year old brother STILL loves monkeys. I think I found his Christmas present, thanks Steph!

  25. Oh Goody! I just had a nice dose of “Hank” again. Such a neat kid and you are such a clever aunt to make him that cool hat!!Way to go.

  26. How could you not want a sock monkey hat? It’s super cool. Make that 13 hats you need to knit. I’m going to figure out how to be adopted into the family. πŸ˜‰

  27. That’s a great hat. And obviously intelligence runs in the family, what with an 8 year old choosing a knitted gift over a video game as a favorite. Kudos to you and Hank!

  28. Do you ever realize that you are the starter of trends? Imagine all the Sock Monkey hats that the people of the world will be knitting and wearing now.

  29. I would like this hat, but… I am afraid of sock monkeys. Seriously, I have a phobia that makes me shudder every time I see one.
    But the nephew is as handsome as all get out.

  30. Good thing he can’t stop me from thinking he’s cute, either. I loves me some Hank πŸ™‚
    Cute hat, too.

  31. Too cute! Two of my three boys love to get hand knitted things from me (the teenager is well, a teenager and wouldn’t be caught dead in anything hand knit. He even gave the socks I made for him to his dad). The middle one’s nickname was “Monkey” when he was little due to his propensity to climb everything before he was even old enough to walk. His 11th birthday is a couple of weeks away and while it is starting to get a little warmer out I know he will love that hat. Thanks for the great idea!

  32. I love knitting for my boys. They are so appreciative (and also very demanding). Since they pretty much dictate, er, I mean request, what I knit, they do like the end result, and they aren’t fickle. The other day at story time my younger son was wearing his Captain Huggy Face sweater, and he told everyone, “Mama MADE me this sweater.”
    I think I’m raising them well…

  33. He’s a cutie! That’s pretty big, ranking above a Wii game, especially since I have a Wii and adore it and the games are AWESOME. So I know how much he must love that hat!

  34. Well, your nephew really is a cutie – and the hat is adorable! Happy Birthday Kamilah and Hank!

  35. Just wanted pipe in with the fact that I bpught the new book yesterday in a small town in the western Upper Peninsula of Michigan – Ironwood for those who are familiar with the area. I was so happy about it that I nearly took a photo with my cell phone to email you, but since I didn’t have a sock in progress with me to photo next to it I didn’t. Great book so far. I haven’t gotten to read much yet – I have a 2 year old who was exhibiting that “terrible” behavior they are known for at that age!

  36. Hank is a cutie pa-tootie! a dear friend of mine made her neice a bright purple sweater for her 9th birthday present and that was the favorite gift (no Wiis in the competition) and she has worn it every where. I have hope in the human race because the short people see the value in handmade gifts.

  37. Too cute Hank—too cute hat! Funny thing about boys…. A couple years ago we were headed out on vacation. In need of a purse, I pulled out my Market Squares bag (Knitter’s), I’d made in purple and turquoise. My son, who was nearly 17 at the time, complimented me on the cool purse! You just can’t beat that kind of admiration! I’ve carried that purse ever since!

  38. He’s 8 already? Wow. Time flies. He’s still a cutie. And underwear is totally not a gift. The hat, yeah, that’s a gift. Cute.

  39. He looks like a cross between my brother Noah (mentioned above!) and Frankie from Dear Frankie.
    Kind of scary…
    The hat is really cute!
    PS my Mom is trying to spread disease to me too (go Meg!) but my teachers keep giving me homework so I don’t have the time πŸ˜› (that’s for you, education! πŸ˜› πŸ˜› :P).

  40. He looks like a cross between my brother Noah (mentioned above!) and Frankie from Dear Frankie.
    Kind of scary…
    The hat is really cute!
    PS my Mom is trying to spread disease to me too (go Meg! I loved that blog!) but my teachers keep giving me homework so I don’t have the time πŸ˜› (that’s for you, education! πŸ˜› πŸ˜› :P).

  41. You could always give your knitting niece some yarn–just a thought. Love the hat and, of course, Hank is adorable. I’m thinking of naming my next boy Hank.

  42. Your little monkey brought tears to my eyes.
    Thank you eternally for continuing to inspire knitters everywhere.

  43. What a cool aunt you are! So, the knitting genes obviously run rampant in your family πŸ™‚ Pretty soon you’ll have him knitting too πŸ™‚
    As always, you are quite the inspiration! Thank you πŸ™‚

  44. I just found your newest book at our local Barnes & Noble. I live in Tomball, Texas which is right by Houston. I was thrilled!

  45. A made the same hat for my youngest daughter (then 12 years old) a year or so ago. It was also an immediate success and still enjoys some use. The only difference…we added a small dollar store hoop earring to one of the monkey’s ears so that it could be a punky monkey.
    This Christmas, the older sister (15yrs ) had hand knit mouse mittens, complete with ears, nose and whiskers, at the top of the list. I think we are working our way through the animal kingdom.
    It’s nice to know the traditional arts can still compete with all of the glitz the world can offer.
    Happy Birthday Hank and Kamilah!

  46. Hank is adorable, don’t tell him, but he is. The hat is so cute and it would solve the Christmas crush. It would also make a very interesting family picture, which of course you’d have to post so we could all laugh and enjoy.
    I can’t believe he is 8!!! Time has flown. Have a great week-end Steph I’ll see you next Sunday.

  47. Hank is such a handsome little guy. Love his monkey impression. I made hats (nothing so cool as a Monkey Hat – just this from Elann: in their favorite colors) for my 2 great nephews for Christmas & they loved them – wore them all around the house & showed them to everyone at the family Christmas party. My niece said that they loved them & wore them all winter (which was fierce this year in Chicago). I have found children to be the most appreciative recipients of hand knitted gifts.

  48. oh that is so darn cute! and hank is getting so big . . sigh. but seriously, i gotta make that hat; my brother has a few kids young enough to appreciate it.

  49. Love the Monkey Hat! As an Aunt of now grown Niece and Nephew who more often than not began projects for Nephew but finished only in time for Niece to wear at same age(they are 2 yrs apart if that gives you any window into my stick-to-it-ness skills) HA!…. I salute you for your completion-of-project skills and your choice of patterns.
    Also, I’m a huge fan. Love the post, love your blog, love your book!
    Aunt Melissa

  50. With a name like that he’d be a favourite nephew to any knitting aunt. The fact that he loves the monkey is no harm either; and BOY he’s cute (I can say that, as I’m not his aunt!).

  51. Great story and a great hat. Hank must be truly exceptional to rank a handknit hat in front of – well, anything these days and especially anything remotely videoelectronic. The kid clearly has not only got good genes but his head screwed on straight. He’ll go far.
    Just out of curiosity, what are the green and orange things on his cake? They scared me a little.

  52. Fine-looking lad – I’d have to say, from what I’ve seen Clan McPhee has a corner on the looks department anyway. Oh – and I was SO MAD at my Barnes & Noble a couple of days ago I ordered your book from Amazon (I know, I know….) I’ll buy another for your to sign when you get here. But while I was at it, I ordered the calendar and next book too Would they let me just put in a standing order for anything you’re likely to write for the next 20 years? I’m not fussy — I’ll be happy with, you know, grocery lists….

  53. What a sweet outcome! It made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside! Would love to see the victory dance you did when you got off the phone!

  54. Hey- This is off subject, but I wanted to say that your sock and book (in post below) really go well together! You should give a little nod to Yarnstorm and take a photo of both together. Oh-Oh or perhaps wear them on the tour with book. Just saying…… Anyway the the SOCK MONKEY is very wonderful too.

  55. Hank has got to be the nicest boy I’ll never meet. I saved the picture you posted lo these many years ago, of the Hankster happily hugging a hank of handspun (oy with the alliteration, Jeanne!).
    Happy birthday, Master Hank. May you enjoy many more!

  56. My 12 year old niece recently asked me to knit her a Sock Monkey, so of course I did even though I was a little surprised. She. loves. it. Sleeps with it every night. My knitting friends and I cracked every Monkey joke we could think of as I knit along, so I am going to need my own Monkey HAT for my Intown Knitters group. We’re sick that way! (Okaaaay, I’m sick that way.) See you at Knitch next Sunday…

  57. You’re a braver woman than I–I stop knitting for children about the time they can start talking, and don’t pick up again until they are in high school, and then only if I pick out something I would not be caught dead in.

  58. Hank and Kamilah share my birthday, how cool is that. It’s also my niece N’dya’s birthday, who turned 9 today. Since I’m 44, I’m pretty sure I had the birthday first. I hope they had happy birthdays, just like me. And the hat is way cool.

  59. Oh Mi Gosh! That monkey hat is so cute. At my place of employment we sell those sock monkey kits (you could also construct an elephant if you wanted to) and people are gaa gaa over them. Those sock monkeys are so ugly they are cute but your hat or rather Hank’s hat is just totally cute. Good job Auntie Stephanie πŸ™‚

  60. I have boys, so I’m partial, but he is quite the adorable little guy in that cunning hat. πŸ™‚

  61. Happy Birthday to Hank! he is so very cute and he can’t stop you at all from thinking it. That’s adorable that he loved the hat.

  62. I bought your new book on thursday and absolutly LOVED it. I went yarn shopping with the SIL in St Paul and we stopped at the Yarnery and I got it. Of course I read it all already . I also got the Secret Life of a Knitter and just started it. THe only problem I’m having is You’re books are cutting into my knitting time . Keep ’em comming!!!!

  63. MAN! I am going to a seven year olds birthday tomorrow…a seven year old I have not seen since she was five and have NO IDEA what is cool with the 7 year old girl crowd. The BF’s Nephew is 6 a is way scary hip and is NO help on gift ideas…I should have thought to knit her something!

  64. Fabulous hat, made even more fabulous by the cutie patootie wearing it (he can’t do a darn thing about me saying it πŸ™‚

  65. Happy Birthday, Hank! Happy Birthday, Kamilah! Now, see, I’d say you could call Hank *handsome.* Which he is, very; both with and without hat. Plus awesome. Kind of like…uhm…yeah, a hockey player! There’s no doubt about the total and utter coolness of hockey players, right? Which is only added to by the wearing of a most excellent monkey hat.
    (Hey, sounds like a reasonable career choice to me for someone who’s “…fast, loud, difficult and opinionated.” Those would seem to be required job skills. Now that I think of it, I’m surprised you guys aren’t fielding a family team. Could you knit in the penalty box???)

  66. Hank is so adorably cute in that hat!(You don’t have to tell him I said that.) What a great picture. I’m very fortunate to have a son who just thinks it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread whenever I give him anything hand knit. It’s really awesome. I made him a pair of handmade socks for Christmas last year (he has size 15 feet. Those socks truly were a labor of love LOL!) The only thing is, no one warned me that once you give someone a knitted gift, they hope for more. I’m a slow knitter. You can see where this would be a problem! Now the burning question is who made the yummy looking cake and what flavor is it? It definitely looks like a kid’s dream cake with all the candy on it. Mmmmm, now I’m getting hungry!

  67. Kids, so fickle, and yet something makes you want to knit things for them. 😐 I’m doing some knitted dolls for my neice. πŸ˜€

  68. Man, oh man. My first niece/nephew was just born and now I have to start navigating projects for children. I will store this bit of knowledge away for when she turns eight!

  69. My first thought when reading this post was “Hank’s 8?!?!?!” My second thought was, “Crap, now kids I don’t even know are making me feel old.”
    You have some seriously strong mojo to knit a hat that an 8 yo likes!

  70. What a good Auntie you are…as a mom of a similarly aged boy – don’t you just love how they can flip from being a modern kid all about the Wii, to a playful little soul in a monkey hat?

  71. This is my first post on your blog, but I had to comment. Congrats on making such a cool hat. I think I know exactly how you feel. I made sweaters for three two-year olds at Christmas (twin grand-nieces and a grand-nephew), and they all tore open the wrapping paper, put on the sweaters, and wouldn’t take them off for the rest of the evening. Isn’t it the most heart-warming feeling?
    I hope you got everyone’s head sizes for the 12 hats!

  72. Happy Birthday Hank! Happy Birthday Kamilah! Love the hat! Just “ravel it” to my queue. I have 2 nephews who might love it or rather 3 nephews….. Pretty sure DD will want one, too. Great work Auntie Steph! Nice to see you out of your funk = )

  73. The hat is so darn cute I’ve got a feeling A LOT of cool kids are going to be wearing it this coming holiday season! As an aside, I can vicariously feel your pain for the signing. One of my buddies at work has to average about 15-20 a day (for the past few weeks) to keep up with demand for his book. “From my shop to yours!”. If it’s any consolation I have another friend whose hyphenated name reads: Schmalenburg-Westenbarger.

  74. Looking forward in seeing you in Toronto on Tuesday, count us 2 in for the pub.

  75. LOL, Thanks for reminding me why we love our little monkeys at a time that my own littlest monkey has become a BIG GREASE MONKEY who is intent on spreading his filthy paws throughout my house! Too cute!

  76. Yes, I remember when Hank was four-Happy B-day dude!
    I love the hat. I made matching ones for my sister and little guy last year, and the worst part was sewing on that damn face, and making sure it looked the same on both hats.
    Totally worth it, but a pain.

  77. Great Hat, Step. Love it. I’m just wondering if anyone out in the comments can give me an idea of some yarn-related “musts” for someone visiting Albany, Oregon next week.

  78. Cuter than hell!
    That’d be a great extended family photo, all wearing those hats at Christmas. Not that I’m egging you on or anything….

  79. Very very kewl hat. And joining in with the commentary consensus, Hank is cute. I love that excited look children get on their birthdays. My b-day is coming up next month and hell, I’m even getting excited. Just be grateful that every one wants a fairly simple monkey hat instead of a complex sweater. I’ll wear stuff to work and people will ask me for similiar items but it’s always the elaborate stuff, never something simple like a hat or a simple ST ST vest or something. I, of course, can’t say no and I end up cutting into my knitting time to make every once else stuff which I usually can’t even charge for b/c it’s not my pattern…. Grrr…. Of course, on the other hand, when I make something I DONT like I can just leave it in a box on my desk “Knitting free to a good home” and someone will want it so I don’t have to look at the offending item anymore! I guess it goes both ways! =^)

  80. I love this pattern … knit one up for Young’un a year or so ago, only to find out that it was too small for him. So I stuck it into my last Dulaan box.
    I must admit to avid curiousity about what the Mongolian children made of it.

  81. Wow! It looks JUST like the one I made my boyfriend for Christmas last year! I have deep insecurities about my knitting prowess, so it does my heart good to see something you knit look like something I knit!

  82. I love the hat! With a 4 year old grandson and nephews from 3 to 8, I can’t wait to get started. I am using Hank as my permission to knit for the boys.

  83. OMG, I totally have to have one. Although I will never look as cute as Hank in it. Feel free to tell him so if you need to make him squirm.

  84. Fabulous hat!! My 46 yo (going on 8) husband walked by the computer, saw the hat, and now he wants one.
    I made him a three star jester hat, complete with tassles last Christmas when we lived in WI. All the neighborhood “boys” wanted one.
    I wonder what kind of fashion trend we will all be creating as we knit 100s of monkey hats.
    See you in two weeks!! I’m taking the afternoon off work to drive down. πŸ™‚ Can’t wait!!

  85. Stephanie – that hat rocks!
    Also, the cake looks so incredibly tasty I might have to come up there and get some.
    Hank is a cutie patootie, and has the McPhee gene. I love how everyone in your extended family shares birthdays; literally and figuratively.

  86. Great hat, Steph… even greater nephew!! I understand about boys not wanting to be cute, but too bad, he is!! Here’s a teenage boy/knitting story… My son and I were up in Walla Walla, WA to look at colleges, and of course checked out the lys. He went with me and really enjoyed himself! He found some beautiful Noro yarn and asked to have a hat with ear flaps!!! And he wears it all the time!! Even to school!! Go figure. Oh btw, he’s 16…

  87. I cannot wait to see the Christmas photos this year!!! A group shot full of monkey hat wearers! Wouldn’t that be the best! I hope you do knit them for everyone. It would be so much fun to see the pictures!

  88. I love the hat–I’m glad Hank did, too. I have a son who turned 8 not too long ago, and it’s amazing how fast they skip over the little-kid stuff.
    (One note on Linda’s Knit & Stitch and the Sock Monkey Hat. I think it’s really courteous that Linda asked how the pattern author felt about her knitting up the hat and putting it in her shop–but just to help keep courtesy and US law clear, that’s not necessary in the United States, where apparel isn’t covered under copyright.)
    Best of luck on the sock-that-biffed-it, and I do like that Lion sock-ease. I wonder if/when it’s coming out?

  89. I’ve been thinking of making one of those for a while now. For my friend Jim, who is a cowboy in real life.

  90. Happy Birthday Hank! My son just turned 8 as well – you captured their personality perfectly – loud, fast, difficult, charming, cute, etc. I’ve always said I would never want to teach 3rd graders – quite the challenge! The Monkey Hat is tres cute as well!
    By the way – Wii is way fun! My kids have the Pokemon Wii game & it’s a big hit. It’s nice to have a video system that encourages activity. Perhaps Wii knitting isn’t too far off, however – I can’t see how it would measure up to the real thing.

  91. i knit that exact same hat for katie at xmas.. she’s 13, and she is just cool enough to love it. so, YAY hank! what a great hat/auntie you have!

  92. Aaw, that’s cute. πŸ˜› I love the sock monkey hat, and props to you for getting a kid to wear something you knit! I was so picky when I was a child (“no grandma, this year the colour is red. RED.”)…
    I did knit my brother a hat almost two years ago, a simple brown one with light blue stripes. He still wears it, inside, while he plays Fifa on his Playstation II. He’s 17 years old now.
    Good luck with the book tour – ever think about coming to Denmark?? We have good beer. We have Carlsberg and Tuborg! We also have… hmm. Danish? πŸ˜› Was that one too easy?
    Anyway, hope you have fun at the pub too. Cheers!

  93. It’s definitely safe to say Hank is cute — just out of ear-shot of an 8 year old. Happy B-day!
    Good luck on the launch and tour!

  94. I still consider Linda’s to be my LYS even though I’ve since moved to Montana. When I’m in town on business my most relaxing night is the one I get to spend knitting (and shopping) at Linda’s.

  95. I made a Sock Monkey Hat for my daughter for her 18th birthday and she loved it. It was such a fast, cute gift and she looked so cute in it. Everyone else in my family wanted one, too, but I decided not to make them. I wanted Kate to be special. I might break down and make them this year, though.

  96. I can see an odd Christmas in your future too – you must go for it!! And post photos!

  97. 8 year old boys are the best, they still think moms (and aunts) are amazing and they can dress themselves.
    My 17 year old ‘lost’ the hat I knit for him and while he was looking for it, and I had promised to knit another, he said ‘but I really liked that hat!’ (I had also knit one as a gift for his friend only to find out he wore it all winter skiing, you just never know)

  98. Sock monkey hat is a hit as well in my household. I made one for DGS who is four and DD who is 23 and DS who is 16 HAD to have one as well. The pattern works up quick but I have issues with the way the chart for the mouth works out.

  99. What a cute hat, I can just imagine the family picture this Christmas. Are they all expecting Monkey Socks to match their monkey hats?
    Who is going to knit your hat? We can’t have you going about not matching the rest of the family.

  100. Totally, totally adorable. I still remember his pink dragon mitts with googley eyes!

  101. Ahh wait until Hank (and the girls) are twenty-one. My son, who loves all things Mario and Sonic (that Sonic the Hedgehog costume was tough to make) turned 21 last October–I thought I would fly off the Earth because of the spin.

  102. Happy Birthday, Hank! Your Aunt Stephanie made you a really COOOOOOL hat! Maybe next year she’ll get you your own ball winder & teach you how to knit.
    On a more somber note — a moment of silence for a LYS that just bit the dust. Simpatico Yarn Shop in Bedford, Texas, closed its doors Friday. It was a great little store with some of the nicest people I’ve ever met. I heard about it after I got home from work Friday and found out that their closing sale was still going on at that time. I was waffling about going since I don’t tend to buy stash unless I have a project in mind. Then my husband called on his way home. He asked, “Well, are you going?” When I kinda hemmed & hawwed, he said only one word, “GO!” So I did, & I did him proud — I spent every bit of cash I had with me! So long, Simpatico! You’ll be missed!

  103. I love Hank escapades and stories. He is full of energy just like my little nephew, Jack. The monkey hat is great and definitely a keeper!
    Nothing is better than when a child LOVES a knitted gift! They tell you exactly what they think (no holding back) and when you get it right, it feels awesome.
    Congrats to you Steph for the great monkey hat gift!

  104. agree on the long name issue. my married name involved 4 names, three of which are hard to pronounce and/or spell… after six years of marriage it’s now a shortened vr. of my first name and hubby’s last name, go figure)
    hope your hand isn’t too crippled from the experience. Congrats on the new book!
    could always shorten your name to to Steph McP πŸ˜‰

  105. Where’s mine? Don’t I get one too? My birthday is in April. I’ve been good this year, PLUS I can do a monkey impression too.
    I really can.
    I will never live long enough to be a good enough knitter to make one of these hats.
    Hank, I am jealous. You have a really great aunt.
    Happy birthday, young man.

  106. I made this hat too, it’s on my blog. Made mine to trade with someone else for a Katrina tiki mug.
    My mother wants one too. Plan to make this hat as Christmas gifts for her, my sister and brother.
    See you in Atlanta!

  107. Even if the hat barely fits him I predict that he’ll still get more use out of it than the Wii game (if it’s Battle Revolution). My son is one week older than Hank, we had the game for Christmas and it reigned about a week.
    I only popped in to get another copy of the unoriginal hat, the original unoriginal vanished without trace.

  108. That monkey hat totally saves the day for my soon to be 10 yr old son. He carries around his sock monkey Gordon everywhere, and will LOVE looking like his best buddy.
    Your nephew Hank is growing up too fast!

  109. Love the sock monkey hat. Hank’s a very lucky boy to have such a great Aunt. And he’s also very handsome. I made one of those hat’s for my sister for her birthday in January, she loved it, and she’s 54.

  110. I’m interested in boy-friendly knits. I have a baby girl who I’m dying to knit for and a 5-year-old who won’t wear sweaters but feels he still merits as much knitting attention as the baby. So far he’s gotten a volcano hat, something I made up as I went along (he’s into volcanoes). But now that I see how happy Hank was, I have another chance of pleasing my son in knitterly ways! Thanks for sharing (as always).

  111. This past Christmas I knit scarves for all of my aunts and uncles and cousins and all their children. There were four little boys under 10 and I expected that they wouldn’t even look at the scarves, much less like them. They played with those scarves all Christmas Eve–loved them and appreciated them far more than the adults!

  112. Hank is just adorable — happy belated birthday!
    The hat is just too cool, must go to knitty to get it. Two co-workers just decided they must make them for their kids. But, if the hats only take an evening to make, and you only have to make 12 for gifts, does this mean we miss out reading about holiday knitting insanity this year!

  113. Band Wagons pass me by all the time, but this one I will jump on with delight. There are several sock monkey lovers in the family. How did I miss the pattern the first time around? Hmmm, must review Knitty patterns for the gold nuggets. Thanks, Steph.

  114. I can’t believe Iris thinks you have to start knitting hats now. If one hat took you one evening, you don’t need to start until 12 days before Christmas, less if you also knit during the day.
    No, I don’t finish all the knitted gifts I plan for Christmas either.

  115. A belated Happy B-day to the Hankster!
    Looking good in the new cap, ladies love the sharp dressed man!

  116. Does anyone know if the Patons Shetland chunky yarn (or Patons Decor) has a tendency to pill? I heard that Encore does but am wondering about the Patons yarns… I made 2 sweaters with Patons Decor before I found out about the pilling tendency of Encores, so would love to hear from folks about this!
    That hat looks great, I showed it to one of my boys (I have 4 of them!) and his eyes lit up when he saw the hat… now I’m thinking “hmm… how hard will it be to convert that hat into a worsted weight hat since 1: that’s what we have on hand and 2: it doesn’t get THAT cold in Texas to warrant a chunky weight hat… at least not that often… πŸ™‚
    But I COULD get some Shetland chunky…

  117. So, (and this is totally unrelated to Hank–although he is extremely dashing both with and without the hat) I just noticed your “new” blog award buttons on the right. VERY NICE. The Canadian blog buttons are really cute. Congrats on your most recent accolades.
    PS: Can’t wait to see you in Madison.

  118. Hank is totally adorable as a chittering monkey. I’ve thought about making that hat before (but haven’t), so it is great to see what it looks like outside of the Knitty shots. So many monkeys, so little time!

  119. Lord, can you imagine the McPhee clan in Monkey Hats? Happy birthday to trendsetting Hank and Kamilah!

  120. Man, now *I* want a hat like that. Hank’s superpowers of charm come through even photographically– he makes the best rabbit/monkey I’ve ever seen!

  121. Adorable hat. I polled the audience here, two boys 8 and 11, and they would rather have hats with their favorite NHL team logos. Like that is going to happen.
    I was just curious if Hank’s mom got her completed bday gift?

  122. Love the hat. Definitely worth making a larger one just for his cuteness in it. Got the book today too. Woo Hoo! Its cute! My darling 4 yo son opened it for me and said, Mom, You got another knitting book! Since he can’t read, he must have figured it out from the vague yarn reference on the cover. Smart one. Can’t wait to have a good read today. Good luck on the tour.

  123. Hank is just too cute for words! And he makes a darling monkey to boot. Isn’t that hat the cutest thing to make? I made one for my 13 month old niece and now she will wear no other. She runs around the house yelling something that resembles monkey. can’t wait to get the new book and hoping your wonder publicist sends you back through Memphis soon. we miss you here!:)

  124. Love the hat!! Thanks for info so I can make one too. I subjected my 8 month old nephew to a bunny hat for Easter. It took him a couple days to warm up to it, but my sister said the kids at his play group loved it. My 6 year old son’s reaction was “Where’s my bunny hat?” Looks like he’s getting a monkey hat when he turns 7. Even if his birthday is in July.

  125. Wow. I’ll have to show that to the kid who asked me to make him a ‘hat with a phat (or fat…I’m not sure) cable on it’–it might save me some serious knitting time!!!

  126. He is seriously cute, whether he like it or not! And, so, of course, is the hat (-:
    I recently bought my first audio book – your Meditations. I have and have read the book several times, but I listened to the audio as I drove home from visiting my parents – my dad is in the hospital and very weak. I’m not coping very well, but listening to you read was very soothing and got me smiling and laughing again. So, thank you very very much
    PS so I bought Cast Off too! Your new book is in the mail to me; LYSs are sparse around here

  127. Happy Birthday Hank! Happy Birthday Kamilah! (Lovely name, Kamilah, though it lacks the yarn-y goodness of “Hank.”) The monkey impression is just priceless. Now excuse me–I need to go make some monkey hats to see if I can get my friends & relations to act silly for the camera.

  128. Cute?? Nay, he is adorable. And, I totally commiserate, feel your joy that the 8-year old liked/loved your knitted gift! You did good!

  129. I have the book!!! I have read the book!!! and found it wonderful. Of course, I also have the other books and they are wonderful too. Thanks for a great afternoon entertainment. As with all your books, I will be rereading parts of them until I run out of stash. (HA – that will never happen)

  130. quick question: what size hat did you make for hank (that turned out a little snug)? i would lobe to make a bunch for my nieces, and want to figure out size… thanks so much!

  131. I knit one of those for my nephew when he turned 17 – he loved it as much as yours did! Monkey hats are universal.

  132. Hey! As the designer of the Sock Monkey Hat, I am so thrilled to have the honour of the Yarn Harlot knitting my humble little hat, and blogging about it!! I have often dreamed about an army of sock monkey hats roaming the world. Perhaps my dreams are closer to being realized now that it has had such broad exposure!! Thank You..thank you..thank you!!

  133. As a good friend of the designer of the Sock Monkey Hat, I will say that Sheryl (The Knitchique) is too modest … she has also designed a baby-size version as well as many other fantastic items! i happen to work at the shop that distributes her patterns (and kits) and it is always fantastic to see so many knitters excited about her work!!

  134. I made that same hat for my 22 year old daughter. It took me much longer than one night as I’m still kind of challenged at knitting. She too loved it as much as your nephew and it too was a bit small. I knit the largest size. After that I knit her a plain green toque and I think it got a lot of wear over this cold winter. I guess as much as her heart belonged to the sockey monkey hat part of her has grown up and she ended up wearing the more conservative hat. So if you ever see a small blonde girl with long super curly hair in Toronto with the same monkey hat it may be my kid!!

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