Student showcases craft talents for homemade gifts this Christmas

By: Alex Didato

Stress lines form on 19-year-old Katie White’s forehead as she begins sewing her current project together.

Using extreme delicacy, she works on the material using her needle and thread. She stares intently at the fabric in front of her as she analyzes her stitch work. A smile spreads across her face as she holds up her finished creation in satisfaction.

White, a sophomore at The University of Akron, has been making personalized sock monkeys since Christmas of 2009. She began making them to give as presents to her friends and family.

“I make sock monkeys because I want to show my close friends and family in a unique way that I care about them,” White said.

White has already made over 10 personalized sock monkeys. She learned how to make them by researching Wikipedia. White says it takes her at least an hour to create each sock monkey.

Monkeys aren’t the only creatures she makes. White received a book from her mother that taught her how to create other animals using socks and gloves.

“I really like having the book because if someone I care about has a favorite animal, I can learn to make it,” she said.

White says her family and friends have reacted well to her unique hobby.

“They think it’s cute because each one of them is personalized. They think it’s really creative,” White said.

White has personalized every sock monkey she’s made for others.

“The only one I haven’t personalized is the one I made for myself,” White said. “I was just starting off with the idea of making sock monkeys, so the first one was more of a trial.”

White has created sock monkeys including characters such as Hello Kitty and Link from the Legend of Zelda.

“I try to make sock creatures that fit my friends’ personalities or interests,” White said. “The second sock monkey I made was for my friend’s dad. He had just broken his arm so I made a sock monkey with a cast on its arm.”

Other sock figures White has made include a panda, fish, cat, sheep and some that resemble people in her life.

“One of the sock monkeys I’m most proud of was the couple I made for a boyfriend,” White said. “They were both holding hands and looked like us; I made his sock monkey holding a guitar while mine had piercings. I found humor in the fact you could tell the monkeys represented us despite being made from socks.”

While White has considered selling her sock animals for a profit, she says it’s hard to find spare time between school and working as a white water rafting guide.

White plans to continue to create sock monkeys in the future.

“It’s fun when you can find a hobby that not only can express your creativity, but that you can share with those you care about,” she said.