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Year of the Monkey: learn to knit socks!

February 18, 2016

We’ve asked a big question: what do you want to learn this year, and many knitters have replied that they plan to learn to knit socks.  Well, 2016 is the Year of the Monkey (in the Chinese Zodiac), and if you’re learning socks, we recommend you try Cookie A’s insanely popular (and free) Monkey Sock pattern!

emily’s first socks were monkeys

The very first sock pattern Emily ever knit happened to be Cookie A.’s famous and fabulous Monkey Socks.  Monkeys are an oldie but a goodie (20,000 ravellers couldn’t be wrong, right?!).  She simply followed the clear pattern instructions step-by-step, without over-thinking it, and quite miraculously created beautiful first pair of socks!  Then, because she loved everything about the pattern, and sock knitting in general, she knit another pair in red!

my first socks were nutkins

My first socks were Nutkins by Beth LaPensee (another excellent free pattern). I remember feeling like the heel turn was pure magic! How could such simple steps make something that fits a foot so perfectly?! While I thoroughly enjoyed knitting them, I enjoyed gifting them to my now sister-in-law even more. She wears them often and there is really no greater compliment to a knitter than seeing your work right there on someones feet. When we got to talking about our first socks Emily and a realized we had both knit Nutkins! Emily knit a lovely pinky red pair, pretty eh?

not ready to tackle sock-weight yarn, tiny needles and lace?

Perhaps you want to dip your toes in the water before you commit to a pair of lace socks with 400 yds of sock weight yarn and 2.25mm needles?

Rye Socks by Tin Can Knits

Rye Socks, a free pattern by Tin Can Knits

The free Rye sock pattern from The Simple Collection is knit in worsted weight yarn, and is sized from baby to big, so you can start with a little, quick sock and learn all the techniques without too much time investment.

Rye Socks by Tin Can Knits

Make some quickie socks for the whole family!

Let’s Knit Socks is our complete step-by-step tutorial that will guide you through all the techniques, from casting on and establishing the pattern, to turning a heel, picking up stitches for the gusset, and grafting the toe using Kitchener Stitch.  After you’re comfortable (and have some cozy bed socks), you can forge forward to some more complex sock patterns!

not a sock knitter?

If you already know socks aren’t your bread and butter (or your toast and jam), then maybe you should check out our other in-depth tutorials to help you embark on something new:

Flax Pullover by Tin Can Knits Antler Cardigan by Tin Can Knits

Apple Pie Hat by Tin Can KnitsDogwood Blanket by Tin Can Knits

Vivid Blanket by Tin Can Knits Gothic Lace by Tin Can Knits

For most of us, there’s something new to learn or master in the world of knitting. Even old dogs can learn new tricks!

cast on NOW!

There are still 10 more days to jump in with both feet and participate in our #TCKnewtricksKAL – and learn a new skill in an inspiring and supportive group!  On top of the satisfaction and glory, there are some great prizes…  I’ve challenged myself to learn 2-colour brioche, and experiment with new colour combinations… what will you learn?

Other lovely socks from TCK:

Torrent Socks by Tin Can KnitsSeawall Socks by Tin Can KnitsGranola Socks by Tin Can Knits

16 Comments leave one →
  1. February 24, 2016 3:27 am

    I absolutely love sock knitting! I think Rye is the perfect place for new sock knitters to start!

  2. February 22, 2016 2:40 am

    Really lovely socks! 😻😻😻😻

  3. Eugenia Potter permalink
    February 20, 2016 1:12 am

    FYI: It appears the Monkey pattern is no longer free, at least on Ravelry.

    • February 22, 2016 2:40 pm

      It is still available for free on (check the notes on the Monkey socks on Rav)

  4. February 19, 2016 7:36 am

    Love the article. Thanks for all the great links. Unfortunately, the Monkey Sock pattern is now $6. Alas, we missed the window. Lol. But that’s ok. There are plenty of others to work on!

    • February 22, 2016 2:41 pm

      It is still available for free on (check the notes on the Monkey socks on Rav)

  5. Emma@myfullfatlife permalink
    February 18, 2016 9:04 pm

    Cute socks! I cannot wait til I learn how to make them!

  6. February 18, 2016 5:22 pm

    I’ve knot those fab monkey socks – great pattern.

  7. February 18, 2016 11:58 am

    Is there a discount code for the Monkey Sock Pattern? It is listed on for $6.00

    • February 22, 2016 2:43 pm

      It is still available for free on (check the notes on the Monkey socks on Rav)

      • February 23, 2016 4:42 am

        I guess it would help if I read just a teensy bit more on the pattern page on Rav. Thank you so much for replying. I’ve got my pattern and am anxious to cast on!

  8. February 18, 2016 11:07 am

    I am wearing my recently completed pair of Rye socks as I read this post. Love them, and definitely a great pattern for sock beginners.

  9. February 18, 2016 10:14 am

    Oh man, I love Cookie A’s patterns! I haven’t done the Monkey socks yet, but both that and the Nutkin patterns are in my queue…for someday. Maybe I should try one of them out with my gradient yarn soon. Hmm..
    Ooh! Maybe I’ll join the KAL with the stitch block cowl I’ve been putting off, since the reason I’ve been putting it off is purely because of the new stitch techniques that, while not super difficult, definitely require some attention. My poor knitting-ADD brain has been trying to knit everything at once, so hopefully the KAL will motivate me to get it worked on.

  10. February 18, 2016 7:31 am

    I am taking a class on sock knitting.. that is just one of my goals for the year. I also want to learn at least working with 2 colors of yarn, I can handle the second strand but it is with great effort to keep them from tangling, have no idea how others manage more than 2 colors in their works!
    I love knitting, the calm that it brings to my stressful life, heck I don’t even care if I have to frog it back to the first cast on. The time I spend with yarn and needles in hand is precious, I am caregiver to my basically bed ridden mother, 88 yrs, she is such a sweet soul but I so look forward to nap times and after 8pm, she has her “programs” I have my knitting! On ward to conquer knitting a sock!!!

  11. February 18, 2016 6:56 am

    Good Morning, thank you for the information on sock patterns, this is one of my goals as well. I had a question. Maybe I missed something in the link but the Ravelry page shows that the Monkey sock pattern is $6. Is there another place to get it for free? Thank you, Sara

    • February 22, 2016 2:43 pm

      It is still available for free on (check the notes on the Monkey socks on Rav)

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