Knit a monkey: free pattern

knitted monkey

There are 125 different species of monkey. The loudest are howler monkeys, which can be heard more than 3 miles (5km) away. All monkeys love to eat bananas. Some species have cheek pouches, so they can stuff the fruit in on the run for later. Colobus monkeys also see burping as a friendly social gesture.

What you'll need

Measurement

Monkey measures 121⁄2in (32cm) in height

Materials

Any DK yarn: 

● 100g brown (A)
● 50g biscuit (B)
● 25g yellow (C)
● 25g cream (D)
● Oddment of black for features
Note: amounts are generous but approximate

● A pair of 3.25mm (US3:UK10) needles
● Acrylic toy stuffing
● Plastic-headed marker pins
● Tweezers for stuffing small parts (optional)

Tension

26 sts x 34 rows measure 4in (10cm) square over stocking-st using 3.25mm needles before stuffing

How to make monkey

Body (make 2 pieces)

Beg at lower edge using the thumb method and A, cast on 24 sts.

First and next foll 3 alt rows: P.

Inc row: K5, m1, k14, m1, k5 26 sts).

Inc row: K6, m1, k14, m1, k6 (28 sts).

Inc row: K7, m1, k14, m1, k7 (30 sts).

Inc row: K8, m1, k14, m1, k8 (32 sts).

Beg with a p row, stocking-st 19 rows.

Dec row: K2tog, k to last 2 sts, k2tog tbl.

Next row: P.

Rep last 2 rows 8 times more (14 sts).

Cast off.

Base

Using the thumb method and A, cast on 14 sts.

First row: P.

Inc row: K1, m1, k to last st, m1, k1.

Rep first 2 rows 2 more times (20 sts).

Beg with a p row, stocking-st 5 rows.

Dec row: K2tog, k to last 2 sts, k2tog tbl.

P 1 row.

Rep last 2 rows twice more (14 sts).

Cast off.

Head

Beg at lower edge using the thumb method and A, cast on 9 sts.

First and next 4 foll alt rows: P.

Inc row: (Inc) to end (18 sts).

Inc row: (K1, inc) to end (27 sts).

Inc row: (K2, inc) to end (36 sts). Inc row: (K3, inc) to end (45 sts).

Inc row: (K4, inc) to end (54 sts).

Beg with a p row, stocking-st 17 rows.

Shape top of head

Dec row: (K4, k2tog) to end (45 sts).

Beg with a p row, stocking-st 3 rows.

Dec row: (K3, k2tog) to end (36 sts).

Next and next 2 foll alt rows: P.

Dec row: (K2, k2tog) to end (27 sts).

Dec row: (K1, k2tog) to end (18 sts).

Dec row: (K2tog) to end (9 sts).

Thread yarn through rem sts, pull tight and secure.

Muzzle

Using the thumb method and B, cast on 28 sts.

P 1 row.

Inc row: K1, (m1, k2) to last st, m1, k1 (44 sts).

Beg with a p row, stocking-st 3 rows.

Dec row: K2, (k2tog, k2) to end (32 sts).

Beg with a p row, stocking-st 3 rows.

Dec row: K2, (k2tog) 6 times, k4, (k2tog) 6 times, k2, (20 sts).

P 1 row.

Cast off.

Eye piece

Beg at lower edge using the thumb method and B, cast on 12 sts.

P 1 row.

Inc row: K1, m1, k to last st, m1, k1 (14 sts).

Beg with a p row, stocking-st 3 rows.

Next row: K7.

Turn and work on these 7 sts.

P 1 row.

Dec row: K2tog, k to last 2 sts, k2tog tbl (5 sts).

Dec row: P2tog tbl, p1, p2tog (3 sts).

Break yarn and thread through sts, pull tight and secure.

Rejoin yarn to rem sts and k 1 row (7 sts).

Complete to match first side.

Ears (make 2)

Using the thumb method and B, cast on 12 sts.

Beg with a p row, stocking-st 5 rows.

Dec row: (K2tog) to end (6 sts).

Thread yarn through rem sts, pull tight and secure.

Legs (make 2)

Using the thumb method and A, cast on 20 sts.

Beg with a p row, stocking-st 45 rows.

Cast off.

Feet (make 2)

Using the thumb method and B, cast on 18 sts.

P 1 row.

Inc row: K2, (m1, k2) to end (26 sts).

Beg with a p row, stocking-st 5 rows.

Inc row: K1, m1, k to last st, m1, k1 (28 sts).

Beg with a p row, stocking-st 7 rows

Shape big toe

Cast off 4 sts at beg of next 2 rows (20 sts).

Stocking-st 4 rows.

Dec row: (K2tog) to end (10 sts).

P 1 row.

Dec row: (K2tog) to end (5 sts).

Thread yarn through rem sts, pull tight and secure.

Hands and arms (make 2)

Beg at shoulder using the thumb method and A, cast on 12 sts.

Beg with a p row, stocking-st 5 rows.

Inc row: K1, m1, k to last st, m1, k1.

Rep last 6 rows 3 times more (20 sts).

Beg with a p row, stocking-st 9 rows.

Inc row: K1, m1, k to last st, m1, k1.

Rep last 10 rows once (24 sts).

P 1 row.

Change to B for hand.

Stocking-st 2 rows.

Inc row: K1, m1, k to last st, m1, k1 (26 sts).

Beg with a p row, stocking-st 5 rows.

Shape thumb

Cast off 4 sts at beg of next 2 rows (18 sts).

Stocking-st 4 rows.

Dec row: (K1, k2tog) to end (12 sts).

Dec row: (P2tog) to end (6 sts).

Thread yarn through rem sts, pull tight and secure.

Tail

Using B, cast on 8 sts.

Work in stocking-st until tail measures 91⁄2in (24cm).

Thread yarn through sts, pull tight and secure.

Banana

Beg at lower edge using the thumb method and C, cast on 6 sts.

First and next 2 foll alt rows: P.

Inc row: (K1, inc) to end (9 sts).

Inc row: (K2, inc) to end (12 sts).

Inc row: (K3, inc) to end (15 sts).

Beg with a p row, stocking-st 7 rows.

Change to D and stocking-st 6 rows.

Dec row: (K3, k2tog) to end (12 sts).

Next and next foll alt row: P.

Dec row: (K2, k2tog) to end (9 sts).

Dec row: (K1, k2tog) to end (6 sts).

Thread yarn through rem sts, pull tight and secure.

Skins (make 3)

Using the thumb method and C, cast on 8 sts.

Beg with a p row, stocking-st 3 rows.

Dec row: K2, (k2tog) twice, k2 (6 sts).

Next and next foll alt row: P.

Dec row: K1, (k2tog) twice, k1 (4 sts).

Dec row: K2tog, k2tog tbl (2 sts).

Thread yarn through rem sts, pull tight and secure.

Skin linings (make 3)

Using the thumb method and D, cast on 6 sts.

Beg with a p row, stocking-st 3 rows.

Dec row: K1, (k2tog) twice, k1 (4 sts).

P 1 row.

Dec row: K2tog, k2tog tbl (2 sts).

Thread yarn through rem sts, pull tight and secure.

Making up

Body

Place the two halves of body together matching all edges and join row-ends. Stuff body leaving neck and lower edge open.

Base

Pin base to lower edge of body and sew base to body all the way round, adding more stuffing to base if needed.

Head

Gather round cast-on sts of head, pull tight and secure. Join row-ends leaving a gap, stuff and close gap. Pin head to body, adding more stuffing to neck if needed, and stitch head in place by taking a small horizontal st from head and then a small horizontal st from body and doing this alternately all the way round.

Legs and feet

Join row ends of legs and stuff. Fold feet in half and join row-ends and stuff. Over-sew cast-on sts of feet and sew feet to legs with both big toes pointing inwards. Sew legs to body.

Hands and arms

Fold cast-off sts of hands in half and join row-ends of hands and sew round thumb. Stuff hands. Fold cast-on sts of arms in half and over-sew. Join row-ends of arms, starting at shoulder using mattress-stitch, stuffing as you go. With thumbs pointing forwards, sew top of arms to 4th row below neck at either side.

Muzzle

Join row-ends of muzzle and with this seam at centre of underneath, join cast-off sts. Stuff, then pin and sew muzzle to lower half of head at centre front.

Eye piece

Sew eye piece to head, sitting it on top of muzzle, using back-stitch around outside edge.

Ears

Join row-ends of ears and with seam at centre back. Sew ears to head halfway down.

Tail

Join row-ends of tail on right side using mattress-stitch. Sew tail to body.

Banana

Gather round cast-on sts of banana and join row-ends, leaving a gap in the middle. Stuff, pushing stuffing into both ends with tweezers or the tip of scissors. Close gap and sew a running st along seam and pull tight and secure to make bend in banana.

Banana skins and skin linings

With wrong sides together, place a  skin and a lining together matching  all the edges and slip-stitch row-ends together. Do this for 3 skins. Place  skins in a row and join row-ends of  cast-on sts to form a ring around the banana. Position skins halfway  up banana and sew cast-on sts of skin linings and skins to banana all the way round.

Embroidering the features

To make eyes, tie a knot in two lengths  of black yarn winding the yarn round 6 times to make each knot. Check that the knots are the same size. Tie eyes to head, with 5 clear knitted sts in between and run ends into head. Embroider nose in black taking a straight st over 2 sts and for mouth, a curved line in back-stitch with a straight st at each end. To begin and fasten off invisibly for the embroidery, tie a knot in end of yarn and take a big st through work, coming up to start embroidery. Allow knot to disappear through knitting and be caught in stuffing. To fasten off, take a few sts back and forth through work, inserting the needle where yarn comes out.

Did you know?
Monkeying around: There is plenty of evidence to show that monkeys have a mischievous sense of humour.

This pattern is taken from 'Knitted Wild Animals' by Sarah Keen (GMC Publications, £14.99). Click here to buy 'Knitted Wild Animals' 

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