There’s something undeniably creepy about old clockwork toys. Who’s to say you won’t wake to hear the faint chk chk chk of an ancient and rusty mechanism, working away in the dead of night. No such fears with this plush monkey, whose cymbals are made from yarn. All the better for sneaking up on you in the dark with!
This unsettling toy is featured in Stephen King’s chilling short story,?The Monkey, in which the seemingly harmless novelty is possessed by an evil spirit. The cymbal-playing chimp has come to signify approaching doom, as well as a slow descent into madness. Many cult-classic horror and science fiction films – from Close Encounters of the Third Kind to The Devil’s Gift, Phantom of the Opera and even a popular modern video game, Call of Duty, showcase the disquieting wide-eyed monkey. It’s even recognized worldwide, not least because the chimp’s first incarnations came from a Japanese toy manufacturer in the 1950s. You’ll find this fiendish primate in manga, anime and comics from across the globe... and soon, terrorizing your very own home.
The base of this manic monkey is weighted, so he will sit pleasingly ?on your desk at work – a welcome reminder that however monotonous your job gets, there’s always someone worse off than you.
All images copyright of ‘Quintet 2012’.
© 2023 Hannah Simpson / Bloomsbury · Reproduced with permission.
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You Will Need
Body:? 1. ?On 3.5mm (size 4) needles, cast on 4 stitches in red, for the base of the body. Increase to 8 by knitting into the front and back of each stitch (kfb). Divide between 3 needles and place marker.
2. Knit 1 round.
3. Kfb into every stitch (16 st).
4. Knit 1 round.
5. *K1, kfb* repeat around (24 st).
6. Knit 1 round.
7. *K2, kfb* repeat around (32 st).
8. Knit 1 round.
9. *K3, kfb* repeat around (40 st).
10. Knit 3 rounds.
11. *K8, k2tog* repeat around (36 st).
12. Knit 1 round.
13. *K7, k2tog* repeat around (32 st).
14. Knit 1 round.
15. *K6, k2tog* repeat around (28 st).
16. Knit 1 round.
17. *K5, k2tog* repeat around (24 st).
18. Knit 3 rounds.
19. Change to the mid-brown yarn and knit 10 rounds. ?Leave on needles and weave in loose ends.
To weight the base of the monkey, cut the toe off a pair of old tights and fill with dried peas or poly pellets. Tie the top closed with a piece of yarn. Stuff this into the bottom of the body piece and fill the rest of the body with polyester stuffing up ?to the neck. Head:? 1.*K1, k2tog* repeat around (16 st).? 2. K2tog around (8 st).? 3. Kfb, repeat around (16 st).? 4. Kfb, repeat around (32 st).? 5. Knit 6 rounds.? 6. *K7, kfb* repeat around (36 st).? 7. Knit 5 rounds.? 8. Stuff head up to top.? 9. K2tog, repeat around (18 st).?Leave on needles until face is attached.
Face:? 1. On 3.5mm (size 4) needles, cast on 4 st in light brown.
2. Pfb, P2, pfb (6 st).
3. Kfb, k4, kfb (8 st).
4. Pfb, P6, pfb (10 st).
5. Kfb, k8, kfb (12 st).
6. Pfb, p10, pfb (14 st).
7. ?Add short row – knit to final 3 stitches, wrap and turn, purl to final 3 st, wrap and turn, knit across to end.
8. Purl 1 row.
9. K2tog, k10, k2tog (12 st).
10. Purl 1 row.
11. K2tog, k2tog, k4, k2tog, k2tog (8 st).
12. Cast off in purl.
To attach the face to the head, sew the bottom edge of the face (cast-on edge) to the bottom of head, then sew the top edge of the face (bound-off edge) to the top of the head. While sewing the top edge, stitch a furrow into the brow to give a deranged appearance. Attach safety eyes, pushing through face patch and head before affixing backs. Stuff bottom half of face patch, then stitch down the sides of the face.
To create the mouth, using red yarn, sew five vertical ?stitches in the mouth position, then one long horizontal ?stitch over the top. Close the head:
1. K2tog around (9 st).
2. Add more stuffing if needed.
3. K1, then k2tog around (5 st).
4. ?Cut yarn, thread onto tapestry needle and run through remaining stitches. Pull firmly to close.
Arms and legs ?(make 2 of each):
1. ?On 3.5mm (size 4) needles, cast on 6 st in red (legs) or?mid brown (arms) and divide between three needles.
2. Place marker.
3. Knit 12 rounds.
4. K2, kfb, k2, kfb (8 st).
5. Knit 8 rounds (arms) or 6 rounds (legs).
1. ?Divide stitches on 2 needles, work on 4 st one side ?at a time.
2. In light brown kfb, k2, kfb (6 st).
3. Purl 1 row.
4. Knit 1 row.
5. P2tog, p2, p2tog (4 st).
6. ?Cast off by knitting 2 together twice and passing stitch over. Cut yarn and run thread through last stitch. Repeat for other side of paw.
Assemble the arms/legs:
Cut four lengths of 9cm (3½in) pipe cleaner and bend over the ends so that they fit inside the limbs, right up to the edge of the paws. Sew the paws together with the pipe cleaner inside.
Ears (make 2):
1. ?On 3.5mm (size 4) needles, cast on 11 stitches in ?light brown.
2. Knit 1 row.
3. Purl 1 row.
4. K1 *sl1, k2tog, psso* repeat * to last stitch, k1 (5 st).
5. Cast off in purl.
Fold in half along bound-off edge and sew together to make the ear shape. Attach to sides of head, and oversew around the rims of the ears once attached.
1. On 3.5mm (size 4) needles, cast on 18 stitches in red.
2. Knit 3 rows.
3. Purl 1 row.
4. *K1, k2tog* across (12 st).
5. Purl 1 row.
6. Knit 3 rows.
7. *P1, p2tog* across (8 st).
Cut yarn, run through remaining stitches and pull to close. Seam up edges. Using a pair of compasses, draw and cut a 2cm (¾in) diameter disc of thin card. Apply a thin layer of glue and stick to inside top of hat.
Step 1 Wrap a length of gold thread around a ruler four or five times. Thread a needle with a shorter length of gold thread and slip the thread under one edge of the ruler.
Step 2 Tie at top of loops and slip off ruler. With another length of gold thread, tie around the entire bundle about 5mm (¼in) from the top. Cut through bottom loops and trim to 25mm (1in) long. Sew to the centre top of the fez. Stuff the fez firmly, then, using gold yarn, sew a line of decorative chain stitch about 5mm (¼in) from the base. Stitch the fez to the top of the head at a jaunty angle.
Step 1 Bend the feet and legs and stitch them to the base of the body. Using gold yarn, sew a decorative chain stitch around the top of the pants.
Step 2 Bend the paws and arms into position and stitch them securely to the sides of the body.
Step 3 Sew the cymbals to the inside of the paws.