The Ultimate Sock Doll

Several years ago I first came across sock monkeys, they were crudely made animals made from left over socks and a great recycling use of those odd socks we find in the washing machine.

Then the explosion happened and suddenly they were everywhere.

What originally began as an upcycling project became ‘trendy’ and we had an explosion of sock creatures which moved away from upcycling and into money making. 

A quick search of sock monkeys brings up crocheted and knitted monkeys, clay sculpted monkeys, inspired hats and gloves, and even sock monkey make up. The sock monkey above is made, not out of old socks, but machine knitted as a product in its own right.

If you’ve not noticed, one of my loves are dolls, so when I first arrived at the knitting and crochet archives this little beauty was the first thing I noticed.


What a gorgeous looking doll, bit Greek looking? 40s, 50s era? 

Well the following week I just had to have a closer look. We decided he was certainly machine knitted, but that’s where our information ended. Where others will spend time with a garment working out the makings, I do the same with toys. I sat down and tried to work out how this good looking boy was created.

Knitted in the round, ribbing in places, then it dawned on me. He is the most amazing sock doll I’ve ever seen.

He’s made from 2 socks, probably men sized long socks with long ribbed tops. One sock is grey and the other brown.

Sock 1, the grey sock.

The top of both socks is ribbed, and you can see where the ribbing of the sock becomes the dolls stockings with the start of the grey knit his trousers/shorts. 

You can see a bump around the waist, which I suspect is where the 2 socks are joined, the grey ends and brown begins.

Sock 2 (brown) starts here at the waist band, but the ribbing is folded over to create a skirt or apron (he looks like a boy to me, so I think he’s wearing an apron) This sock continues up to create the jumper/body and the white heal of the brown sock becomes the face.

 The embroidery on the doll is fantastic and really creates a characterful face. It also creates a nice sock top and front button down shirt feature.


You can see from the side view where the brown sock ends and is hidden by the hat. 

The hat of course is the heal of the grey sock, folded over to make an interesting brim.

   The foot of the brown sock is cut in half to make arms and hands which are stitched to the side of the body.

Even the little hands are stitched to show fingers.

The doll is finished with Pom Poms which I think makes him just the sweetest little fellow in the archive.

Out of 2 odd socks only the foot of one sock is left unused (maybe it could make him a little bag) but what an amazing upcycle project, much better than buying a ready made sock money any day.

Published by bettyvirago

Betty Virago is an award winning textile designer. Based in Yorkshire, England, and known for her Northern Folk dolls and the Quilts of Hope project.

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