Modifying the Monkey

I wanted to show how I am changing my Monkey. I enjoy seeing how other people make modifications or when they show tutorials as I usually learn something new or get ideas. It is much easier (and more helpful) to show someone then just tell them how you did it or only mention that you made a modification. Since it doesn’t seem like this pattern is going anywhere, then maybe this will help someone who wants to alter this pattern. Plus, I do the math, so you wouldn’t have to. (Unless you need a different size sock.) If you are a metric person, I will try to add metric measurements to my calculations as well. I will not repeat directions mentioned in the pattern unless necessary for describing my modifications. I also use the same abbreviations and chart symbols as the original pattern.

Monkey, modified.


The original pattern says that the sock, knit on size 2 US (2.75mm) dpn needles with a St st gauge of 32 sts = 4 in (10 cm) will give you a sock that is 8 in (20.3 cm) around, unstretched. Now, I need to fit a foot that is 8.75 in (22.2 cm) in circumference, so I thought that even stretched I would not make 8.75 in. So I went down a needle size (1 US or 2.25 cm), added a 16 st repeat around the foot, ending up with a St st gauge of 10.5 sts per inch (10.5 sts per 2.5 cm), unstretched on my sock. The length of the leg and foot are still up to you, you may need more or less repeats of the lace pattern depending on your taste or size needed.

Cuff and Leg:

I cast on 80 sts, which would give me 5 lace pattern repeats around the sock. I split the stitches over 4 needles as follows; Needle 1,2, and 3 – 16 sts. Needle 4 – 32 sts. You could split it differently, just be sure not to lose any YO’s that might occur between needles. I worked in twisted rib until I had the length I wanted (approx 1 inch) however you could do more if you like a longer cuff. Follow directions in the pattern for the leg until you reach desired length.

Heel Flap:   

First set-up row: K12 sts. Turn work so WS facing.

Second set-up row: S1, p39 sts. There should now be 4 pattern stitches on either side of the heel flap that were not worked from the patterned charts. This is so that the pattern is centered over the foot. Since the original had 4 pattern repeats around the leg, and this has 5, I had to make adjustments to keep the pattern centered.

4 stitches at end of needle not included in heel flap

Continue with heel flap directions if desired, except over 40 sts instead of 32. I made my heel flap different because I like this heel flap and I liked the texture.

Row 1 [RS]: *S1, k1 *repeat to end, turn

Row 2 [WS]: S1, p39, turn

Textured heel flap

End on WS row. I made my heel flap 2 1/4 inches (5.8 cm) long. You may want to make it longer if you have a high arch. Remember you will have to pick up more stitches then I did for the gusset if you make your heel flap longer.

Turn Heel:

I changed to size 0 US needles (2mm) for the short-row turn I did, since the larger needles made the gauge look very different, and I wanted the knitting to be tighter to prevent wear better. You can decide if you want to stay with the larger needles or not, it will not change the way you work the heel turn, only the look of it.

Row 1 [RS]: S1, K 21, K2tog, K1, turn

Row 2 [WS]: S1, P5, P2tog, P1, turn

Row 3 [RS]: S1, K to 1 stitch before gap, K2tog, K1, turn

Row 4 [WS]: S1, P to 1 stitch before gap, P2tog, P1, turn

Repeat rows 3 and 4 until all stitches from heel flap have been worked. On my last two row repeats, I finished with the K2tog/P2tog (one stitch short) but it didn’t make a difference in the finished results.


Knit across heel flap. Pick up 16 sts along left side of heel. Knit all stitches across top of foot, pick up 16 sts along right side of heel, then knit 11 sts of heel flap. This will count as row one of the pattern for the foot. Next row, start with row two of the pattern. There should be the following stitches on each needle: N1 – 27 sts, N2 and 3 – 20 sts, N4 – 27 sts. The first 4 stitches of needle 2 and the last 4 stitches of needle 3 need to be worked as the charts below.  The row number matches the row number on the original pattern. Following this pattern will give you a row of purled triangles down the sides of the foot, as shown on the modified picture at the start of this post. If you choose not to work the charts, you can just knit those 4 sts every row, then you will have half a triangle down the side of the foot. You will decrease every other round on needles 1 and 4 as described in original directions (rounds 3 and 4) until there are 20 stitches remaining on those needles)


first 4 sts of needle 2


last 4 sts of needle 3 


Continue to work pattern for the foot until you reach the desired length. Follow original pattern directions for the toes.

Ok, there’s my mods. Instead of adding a repeat around the leg, you could also add a small section of some lace that would run down the back of the leg in order to adjust the sizing easier. Since the pattern is 16 stitches, it is harder to adjust than say a 4 stitch pattern.

Hope this helps!

0 thoughts on “Modifying the Monkey

  1. Shouldn’t you still be unpacking instead of knitting? 😉

    Deb and i are headed over to the Community College tomorrow to bask in the air conditioning. Ahhh! I’ll be knitting, i have no idea what she’ll be doing?


  2. Thank you so much! I did think of adding a pattern repeat, then realised it would put everything off centre, and promptly cast the monkey aside for “later”. This will be really helpful!


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