Imagine a giant sock monkey. Rockford city did and they named him Nelson. He is 5'8" tall without his hat; 6'2" with his hat and 7'2" including his tail. Nelson, named after John Nelson (the man patented the first sock knitting machines in 1869, 1876 and 1879) is made out of 44 Rockford Red Heeled socks. He is the original giant sock monkey and you can visit him at the Midway Village and Museum Center.
Now take a few more minutes and then imagine another giant sock monkey, but this time imagine an anatomically correct sock monkey. Having a little trouble? Don't worry, you're not the only one, but Monika Lidman, a professional artist, imagined it for all of us and now we can see him standing 6 feet tall, proud and in all his recycled body glory.
Monika Lidman, has crafted anatomically correct sock monkeys for years, but something had her dreaming about a life sized one. Instead of just dreaming about it she took action and used all the knitting skills her grandmother taught her.
It took her less than a month and 16 woolen recycled sweaters purchased from Goodwill to make this giant 6 foot tall sock monkey. Want to guess what his name is? That's right! Mr. Johnson.
It makes me wonder, what does one do with a life sized anatomically correct monkey like this other than have him take pictures with people? Does he drink tea with your guests? Is he placed in the front porch to ward of solicitors or perhaps near the front door at night to scare away intruders? Maybe he goes on tour like MOMO did. Momo is Monika Lidman's life-sized 18lb female doll. Take a look at Monika Lidman's website to see what I mean. There you will also see other creations she's made with found items.
While you're there I'll sit here and the kid in me will imagine giant Nelson and giant (dressed) Johnson stepping over landfills reclaiming all the lost socks and recyclable fabrics of the world. Then together with sock monkey fans they will come together and make tiny multicolored socks monkeys for children all over the world.
Just in case you don't know what a sock monkey is, a sock monkey is originally a stuffed toy made out of recycled socks (usually red heel socks) and other recyclable material. Today there are all kinds of sock monkey in many different colors and sizes. If you are a sock monkey fan go to Monkey of Sock. This website will provide links to sock monkey things like sock monkey books, sock monkey dresses, sock monkey merchandise, sock monkey gangs, sock monkey message boards and so on. Have fun.
Also, if you are interested, there is more on Nelson, the original giant sock monkey, and his history on at the Midway Village and Museum Center.