Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Great Sock Monkey Challenge

Our dream is that every special kid with a
critical or long term illness around NZ
 receives their own special sock monkey.
I have a friend and his name is Elijah ("E"). He is eight years old. He has had leukemia since he was three.
I ran into E and his mama in hospital recently. I had the privilege to follow them around to various check ups. Its something else to witness the kinds of things kids like E have to go through. He is one of my super heros.

I had in my bag that day a sock monkey that I had finished sewing and E spied it. Of course that monkey went home with his new owner. According to Elijah's mama, that little monkey has become his constant companion and is much loved. I was moved by what I saw that day in hospital as I always am when I hear of sick kids. That I had made a big difference with something handmade flicked the light switch on in me. Its two things I love: helping people and making.

His mama, being the clever creative that she is, had started making sock monkeys for other kids in hospital too. All of this marinating led to us establishing a new project that we are excited to share with you.

The Great Sock Monkey Challenge was born. Our aim is that every child who has a critical or long term illness will receive a a sock monkey.  Olivia (Elijah's mum) and I will be co-ordinating this project together. We would love for every special kid to get their own hospital companion throughout the country, to be their treatment buddy.

Simply take a new pair of socks and some new fibre fill and create a sock monkey for a child. There are plenty of tutorials online too. We recommend this great tutorial HERE at ''.

If you live in Wellington, we are doing free workshops to teach people how to dissect a pair of socks and create one of these. In return you make a child (or several), a sock monkey.

Thanks to the lovely Tash at Holland Road Yarn Company for sponsoring our first workshop which will be held at her shop in Petone, 16 June from 1pm-3.30pm. Please contact the shop directly and ask to be placed on the workshop list. Basic sewing skills are useful.  Numbers are limited but we will create a list and hold more workshops in the near future. Please bleave your email and phone number. Bring your girlfriends and make a day of it. Petone is full of op shops, specialty shops and great cafe's. Its an awesome day out. x

If you have a group of crafty friends and want to host a sock monkey party at your place, let us know. You need a minimum of six friends and we can come to you. (Sorry, this offer is only for Wellington and as needs demand).

Just a note. Please use new socks and new fibre fill. Children's size socks are great too and a bit quicker to sew up. You may omit buttons and embroider eyes if you would like your monkey to go to a young child. You are welcome to hand sew or machine sew your monkey. Create clothes for it or knit it some accessories. I like mine to have a bit of character and so play with different colour buttons, different kinds of thread, different socks. Make sure to stuff them well and sew those seams with smaller stitches so everything stays in place.

If you don't sew but would like to contribute, we are happy to accept donations of new socks, new fibrefill, and sewing materials like thread and buttons. 

Feel free to contact me at my email address:

Drop off's in Wellington can be to: Holland Road Yarn Company, 281 Jackson Street, Petone or Lazule, 151 Cuba Street in Wellington. Let's do this!

My youngest kiddo was a bit unwell last week but
happy to demonstrate this monkey's super powers. :)
I will be at Handmade 2012 teaching. You can drop your sock monkey to the knit lounge at Te Papa during the Handmade 2012 weekend next month.

You can also join our Facebook page "The Great Sock Monkey Challenge" HERE and post photos of your monkeys, and join in discussions. I'm so excited I could bust. Its great to be able to use our skills to bless others. I am happy to be part of meaningful work that makes a difference in someone else's life while getting to do something I love, which is make cool stuff.

Beware, these monkeys are addictive. Happy crafting. xxx