Mary Ann Stephens

traditional knitting with a colorful twist

Sleepy Monkey Blanket

6.00
sleepy monkey blanket twist collective.JPG
sleepy monkey blanket on stairs.jpg

Sleepy Monkey Blanket

6.00

A reversible, Fair Isle technique baby blanket knitting pattern with silly monkeys making silly faces…or not - your choice. This sweet, steeked little stroller blanket is knit circularly; the steeks are machine-reinforced and cut open; the borders are picked up and joined; simple garter stitch completes the edging. Sound complicated? Not at all, if you take it step-by-step…as long as those steps are crystal clear. This little pattern has become well-known for very friendly instructions with plenty of photos to light your way to becoming an expert on machine-sewn steeks.

Don’t miss the coordinating Monkey Hat, chock full of twenty more silly monkey face charts, so that you can build your own, special set of monkeys.

GAUGE: 21 sts and 21 rows = 4” / 10cm in stranded stockinette stitch

NEEDLES: Size 8 US/5 mm circular needle, 16 ”/40 cm long for central squares; three size 8 US/5 mm circular needles, 40”/100 cm long required for borders; four point protectors (rubber bands will do); stitch markers (scrap yarn will do); sewing machine (for circular version, described in pattern; unnecessary if blanket is knit flat).

YARN: To make the size shown, you’ll want a total of sixteen 50g balls of a soft, smooth, washable, worsted weight yarn. See the “Additional Info” tab, above, for more details. If you’re using the typical 50g, 95 -100 yds per ball worsted weight yarn, you’ll need a total of 16 balls, split into colors as follows:

A (monkeys) = 5 balls

B (garter stitch border) = 4 balls

C (background) = 3 balls

D (border triangles) = 2 balls

E (border triangles) = 2 balls

Mary Ann’s Sleepy Monkey Blanket design was originally published in Twist Collective in 2009. Copyright Mary Ann Stephens, photography by Geneviève de la Plante.

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A reversible, Fair Isle technique baby blanket knitting pattern with silly monkeys making silly faces…or not - your choice. This sweet, steeked little stroller blanket is knit circularly; the steeks are machine-reinforced and cut open; the borders are picked up and joined; simple garter stitch completes the edging. Sound complicated? Not at all, if you take it step-by-step…as long as those steps are crystal clear. This little pattern has become well-known for very friendly instructions with plenty of photos to light your way to becoming an expert on machine-sewn steeks.

Don’t miss the coordinating Monkey Hat, chock full of twenty more silly monkey face charts, so that you can build your own, special set of monkeys.

GAUGE: 21 sts and 21 rows = 4” / 10cm in stranded stockinette stitch

NEEDLES: Size 8 US/5 mm circular needle, 16 ”/40 cm long for central squares; three size 8 US/5 mm circular needles, 40”/100 cm long required for borders; four point protectors (rubber bands will do); stitch markers (scrap yarn will do); sewing machine (for circular version, described in pattern; unnecessary if blanket is knit flat).

YARN: To make the size shown, you’ll want a total of sixteen 50g balls of a soft, smooth, washable, worsted weight yarn. See the “Additional Info” tab, above, for more details. If you’re using the typical 50g, 95 -100 yds per ball worsted weight yarn, you’ll need a total of 16 balls, split into colors as follows:

A (monkeys) = 5 balls

B (garter stitch border) = 4 balls

C (background) = 3 balls

D (border triangles) = 2 balls

E (border triangles) = 2 balls

Mary Ann’s Sleepy Monkey Blanket design was originally published in Twist Collective in 2009. Copyright Mary Ann Stephens, photography by Geneviève de la Plante.

Some knitters have knit only the monkey side, with or without the border, and backed their blanket with fabric. I used worsted weight yarn, knit at more of a DK gauge, for the original. However, plenty of people have used different gauge yarns and added extra columns of monkeys (you never have too many monkeys!) to make whatever size blanket their hearts (or their little sweethearts) desire.

From my blog post written right after the Spring 2009 release of the Sleepy Monkey Blanket:

Nifty, huh?

My 3 boys aren’t babies anymore.  These days, they’re far more apt to take a touchdown pass than a nap.  But as I was knitting this blanket, it was fun to think of how they would have enjoyed it when they were little.  I imagined naptime, when they might have “read” the blanket as they sat on my lap: “Look!  There’s that silly winking monkey!  And there’s that sweet little kissing monkey!  But where did my sleepy monkey go?”  Surely, they would have named each of those monkeys.  Hopefully, they would have picked a favorite – a funny little friend to guide them off to Dreamland.

We’re still not sure if those are Life Savers, Jelly Rings or Fruit Loops on the back.  But, I am pretty sure it would have been fun to pretend my monkeys and I were gobbling them up.

With any stranded project I do, one of the hardest things to get past is picking just one colorway to knit first.  Since this was designed for a publication, there were other opinions to consider, too.  First and foremost, it seemed only right to start with a unisex colorway.  I’ve always adored monkeys and I kind of suspected there might be some calls for some more “girly” options.  (I think the first one came about 15 minutes after the new edition went live!)  So here are a couple of my favorites:

Sleepy Monkey colorways 1.JPG
Sleepy Monkey colorways 2.JPG
Sleepy Monkey colorways 3.JPG

Here are some more details on the yarn requirements:

If you’re using the typical 50g, 95 -100 yds per ball worsted weight yarn, you’ll need a total of 16 balls, split into colors as follows:

A (monkeys) = 5 balls

B (garter stitch border) = 4 balls

C (background) = 3 balls

D (border triangles) = 2 balls

E (border triangles) = 2 balls