Free Pattern: Year of the Monkey 2016 Amigurumi

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As I sat sprawled on the couch, half-clad in the summer heat and bulging with the bloom of pregnancy, I wondered how on earth I planned to celebrate something so joyous and so terrifying at the same time.

Being my first pregnancy, I had nightmares about every possible thing that could go wrong, and I found myself drifting through each day as if I were in the eye of a storm.

For all you majestic, mythical beings out there who’ve gone through this sacred rite of passage, you know exactly what I mean. Most days it feels like all I’m doing is sitting around waiting, with nothing but the same dizzying questions in my head.

What if I give birth prematurely? What if I need a caesarean? What if I can’t get to the hospital on time? And, the big one. What if my waters break in front of my father-in-law? (ok, this one probably just applies to me, as I was freaking out he’d be with us at that time).

This is it.
This is my life right now.
My body is home to a real, living, kicking being. And I’m scared as hell.

But, as I’ve learned, the surefire way to keep your sanity when something so great looms ahead of you is to:

a) Pray, pray, PRAY!
b) Accept that, as much as you think you can, you CANNOT control everything or predict the future 
c) Distract yourself like crazy!

Luckily for me, I am the QUEEN of distraction, and the following pattern is the result of my happy ability to switch off and crochet.

This monkey represents a celebration of a new year, a new journey, and a new purpose.

To my unborn little monkey, this amigurumi was made especially for you.

Happy Chinese New Year!

Year of the Monkey FREE amigurumi pattern | Jennifer Wang Bears

Year of the Monkey Amigurumi © 2016 by Jennifer Wang Bears. All rights reserved.

  • Note: This pattern is FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY. Many hours go into designing and creating my free patterns, so please DO NOT sell them, claim them as your own, translate, publish, alter, share or re-post them in part or in full (for sale or for free) over the internet or offline. If in doubt, please ask me first -> info@jenniferwangbears.com
  • Sharing is caring, and you may link to my photos, patterns and blog posts, but please give me credit. You may sell any finished items you make yourself provided they are limited in quantity (no production line allowed).

PATTERN TRANSLATIONS TO-DATE:

» Year of the Monkey PDF Pattern Dutch  < many thanks to Jeannette Kemp for the translation!


Normally, the Chinese zodiac doesn’t mean much to me (I don’t follow horoscopes or anything like that). But because my husband and his family are Chinese, our baby will be forever known as one born in the Year of the Monkey.

Because I’m super original, I’ve named my monkey Houzi – the Chinese Mandarin word for “monkey” (hou like “snow”, zi like… hmmm “zit” without the T). I happen to be a HUGE lover of monkeys, especially the smaller capuchins and tamarins. Come to think of it, who doesn’t love monkeys?

You can make Houzi as big or as small as you like, and you can also go crazy with different colours and embellishments. Focus on making your little monkey unique to YOU, and have fun in the process!

I designed this pattern to be super simple and beginner-friendly. All parts of the body are crocheted separately and then sewn together, with the eyes, muzzle and inner ear pieces being completely optional.

Year of the Monkey 2016 FREE amigurumi pattern | Jennifer Wang Bears

Before you get started...

  • Patterns worked using US crochet terminology
  • Rows are worked in continuous rounds/spirals. DO NOT join the rounds at the end of each row
  • Unless instructed to do otherwise, repeat the sequence given between the brackets. Eg. {inc, 1sc in next 3st} until the required number of stitches is reached
  • READ ALL INSTRUCTIONS before attempting this pattern. This will prepare you for the steps ahead, and give you a chance to tweak the design where appropriate

Abbreviations/techniques used:

» magic circle
» rnd = round
» st = stitch
» ch = chain
» sl st = slip stitch
» sc = single crochet
» inc = increase (2sc in 1 st)

» hdc = half double crochet
» dc = double crochet
» tr = treble crochet
» f/o = fasten off
» S = standard; B = baby
» dec = decrease/sc2tog (sc two together)
I prefer to use the invisible decrease (inv dec), as I find it leaves a much neater finish

You will need:

FOR THE STANDARD-SIZED MONKEY (approx. 18cm / 7in standing):

» 8ply 100% acrylic in two different colours (fur and skin), and a 3.5mm hook.
» 2ply cotton for the eyes (black, brown and white) and a 1.4mm hook. You are free to use yarn in any weight, provided you match it with an appropriate hook. You want to aim for a fairly tight tension with no gaps in-between the stitches.

FOR THE BABY MONKEY (approx. 7cm / 3in standing):

» 2ply cotton in five different colours (fur, skin, "blush" for cheeks, two colours for the striped pyjamas) and a 1.4mm hook.
» Tapestry/darning needle
» Polyester fiberfill for stuffing
» Ball head pins for marking out the eyes and holding pieces in place before hand sewing
» Row markers. This could be as simple as a short piece of yarn or string. Place your marker in the last stitch of each round so you don’t lose your place as you complete the rounds.
I like to use a running stitch marker (one long piece of yarn to mark every row, which you don’t pull out until the end).

» Optional: Plastic safety eyes if you aren’t planning to crochet your own. You could also use buttons, beads or felt, or simply embroider or needle felt eyes your own eyes
» Optional: Thin wire or pipe cleaners to place in the arms/tail for posing and flexibility (remember to always fold and/or tape the ends to prevent the wire popping through your stitches)
» DO NOT use safety eyes or wire, etc, if giving this toy to an infant or small child. Use your best judgement and be aware of potential hazards when making handmade toys for small children.

All ready? Let's begin!


HEAD

» STANDARD: 8ply acrylic in BURGUNDY
with a 3.5mm (E) hook
» BABY: 2ply cotton in NATURAL with a 1.4mm hook
NOTE: if you are planning to use safety eyes, please read the notes in ASSEMBLY first

Rnd 1: magic circle with 7st (7)
Rnd 2: Inc around (14)
Rnd 3: {inc, 1sc next st} around (21)
Rnd 4: {inc, 1sc next 2st} around (28)
Rnd 5: {inc, 1sc next 3st} around (35)
Rnds 6-11: 1sc around for 6 rounds
Rnd 12: 1sc next 10st, inc, 1sc next 2st, {inc, 1sc next st}(x5), 1sc next st, inc, 1sc next 10st (42)

Rnds 13-15: 1sc around for 3 rounds
Rnd 16: 1sc next 10st, dec, 1sc next 2st, {dec, 1sc next st}(x5), 1sc next st, dec, 1sc next 10st (35)
Rnd 17: {dec, 1sc next 3st} around (28)
Rnd 18: {dec, 1sc next 2st} around (21)
Stuff firmly, paying attention to the front of the face.
Rnd 19: {dec, 1sc next st} around (14)
Add more stuffing over the next few rounds if you need to.
Rnd 20: {dec, 1sc} 4 times, dec (9)
Rnd 21: continue decreasing until the hole is closed

Cut yarn. Weave the opening closed using the remaining yarn tail, and pull to tighten. F/o, hiding the yarn tail inside the body. It’s a good idea to insert two pins at the front where the eyes will be. This will remind you where the face is when it’s time to attach the muzzle later (NOTE: the beginning of each round is the back of the head).

BODY

» STANDARD: 8ply acrylic in BURGUNDY
with a 3.5mm (E) hook
» BABY: 2ply cotton in  WHITE and SORBET with
a 1.4mm hook. Begin with WHITE and change
colour every 4 rounds

Rnd 1: magic circle with 6st (6)
Rnd 2: inc around (12)
Rnd 3: {inc, 1sc next st} around (18)
Rnd 4: {inc, 1sc next 2st} around (24)
Rnd 5: {inc, 1sc next 3st} around (30)
Rnds 6-15: sc around for 10 rounds
Rnd 16: {dec, 1sc next 3st} around (24)
Rnd 17: {dec, 1sc next 2st} around (18)
Rnd 18: {dec, 1sc next st} around (12)
Rnd 19: sc around (12)
Rnd 20: dec around (6)
F/o and leave a long tail for sewing. Stuff the body firmly.

Year of the Monkey 2016 FREE amigurumi pattern | Jennifer Wang Bears

LEGS (make two)

» STANDARD: 8ply acrylic in PEACH for the feet and BURGUNDY
for the legs. 3.5mm (E) hook
» BABY: 2ply cotton in NATURAL for the feet and SORBET
for the legs. 1.4mm hook

Rnd 1: (S: with PEACH/ B: with NATURAL) magic circle with 6st (6)
Rnd 2: inc around (12)
Rnd 3: 1sc next 4st, 2hdc next st. 2dc in each of next 2st, 2hdc next st, 1sc next 4st (16) [See picture below]

Jennifer Wang Bears | Chinese Monkey FREE crochet pattern (foot)

Rnd 4: {inc, 1sc next 3st} around (20)

Rnd 5: sc around (20)

Rnd 6: {dec, 1sc next 3st} around (16)

Rnd 7: 1sc next 4st, dec (x4). 1sc next 4st (12)
Change colour to (S: BURGUNDY/ B: SORBET) as you pull through the last st

Rnd 8: sl st, {1sc next 2st, dec} (x2). 1sc next 3st (10)
Stuff and shape foot. Keep base of foot flat by pinching it with your fingers.

Rnds 9-12: sc around for 4 rounds
Lightly stuff leg.

Rnd 13: 1sc next 4st. Pinch leg opening and close with 4sc through both sides of the leg.
F/o and leave a long tail for sewing.


ARMS (make two)

» STANDARD: 8ply acrylic in PEACH and BURGUNDY
with a 3.5mm (E) hook
» BABY: 2ply cotton in  NATURAL, WHITE and SORBET
with a 1.4mm hook

Start with ch4

Rnd 1: (S: with PEACH / B: with NATURAL) starting in 2nd ch from hook, inc, 1sc next st, then 3sc in next st. Working on the other side, 1sc in next 2st (8) [See picture below]
Rnd 2: sc around (8)
“Pop out” the piece with your fingers to stop it from curling inwards.
Rnd 3: {inc, 1sc next st} around (12)

Jennifer Wang Bears | Chinese Monkey FREE crochet pattern (hand)

Rnds 4-5: sc around for 2 rounds

Rnd 6: {dec, 1sc next st} (8) Change colour to (S: BURGUNDY / B: WHITE) as you pull through the last st

NOTE: For BABY, I switched between WHITE and SORBET every 3 rnds. I also only completed 18 rnds instead of 20


Rnd 7:
sl st, sc around (8)
Stuff hand lightly and pinch with your fingers to keep it flat.

Rnds 8-20: sc around for 13 rounds.
Sl st, f/o and leave a long tail for sewing.

Very lightly stuff arms, leaving the top half of arm stuffing-free for flexibility.

Optional: You can also insert a pipe cleaner or coated wire into the arms to make them bendable.


MUZZLE

» STANDARD: 8ply acrylic in PEACH with
a 3.5mm (E) hook
» BABY: 2ply cotton in ECRU with a 1.4mm hook

Start with ch7

Rnd 1: starting in 4th ch from hook, 2dc (you will have 3dc altogether, with the first ch3 counting as 1dc).  1dc in next 2st, 5dc in next st. Working around the other side, 1dc next 2st, 2dc next st (14) [See picture below]

Jennifer Wang Bears | Chinese Monkey FREE crochet pattern (muzzle_1)

Rnd 2: 1sc, inc, 1sc next 4st, inc, 1sc. [See following picture]

Jennifer Wang Bears | Chinese Monkey FREE crochet pattern (muzzle_2)

Rotate piece. Skip next st, then {6tr, dc, hdc} together in one st. Sl st in each of next 2st, then {hdc, dc, 6tr} together in one st. Skip next st, sc > NOTE: this last sc technically starts at Rnd 3 (24) [See picture below]

Jennifer Wang Bears | Chinese Monkey FREE crochet pattern (muzzle_3)

Sl st and f/o, leaving a long tail for sewing. If you need to, pull the piece with your fingers to ease the muzzle into a symmetrical shape.


OUTER EAR (make two)

» STANDARD: 8ply acrylic in BURGUNDY with
a 3.5mm (E) hook
» BABY: 2ply cotton in NATURAL with a 1.4mm hook

Rnd 1: magic circle with 6st (6)
Rnd 2: inc around (12)
Rnd 3: {inc, 1sc next st} around (18)
Rnd 4: sc around (18)
F/o, leaving a long tail for sewing. Fold ear in half.

INNER EAR (make two)

» STANDARD: 8ply acrylic in PEACH with
a 3.5mm (E) hook
» BABY: 2ply cotton in ECRU with a 1.4mm hook

Rnd 1: magic circle with 6st (6).
Pull circle tight (it should look like a semi circle). F/o, leaving a long tail for sewing.

TAIL

» STANDARD: 8ply acrylic in BURGUNDY with
a 3.5mm (E) hook
» BABY: 2ply cotton in NATURAL with a 1.4mm hook

Rnd 1: magic circle with 6st (6)
Rnds 2-20: sc around for 19 rounds. F/o and leave a long tail for sewing.

EYES - **Optional (make two)

» STANDARD: 2ply cotton in BLACK, BROWN and WHITE with a 1.4mm hook

Rnd 1: (with BLACK) Magic circle with 6sc. Slip stitch into the first st and fasten off

Rnd 2: (with BROWN) Attach yarn. Ch1, then inc all the way around (including the sl st from the last round). Slip stitch into the first st and fasten off, leaving a long tail for sewing

Before sewing the eyes to the head, use white yarn to embroider little WHITE flecks (I find this helps make the eyes appear more lifelike).

Assembly:

  • Sew head to body using the long yarn tail left from the body. Be sure to work systematically around the entire neck to eliminate holes (take your time, you don’t want your monkey’s head to fall off!)
  • Pin the legs 4-5 rounds up from the bottom of body, centre-front. To make sure the legs swing easily, sew only through the stitches at the very top of the leg.
  • Pin and sew the arms in place. I like to attach them directly below the neck.
  • Pin and sew the tail 5-6 rounds up from the bottom of body, centre-back. OPTIONAL: insert wire or a pipe cleaner to make the tail poseable.
  • Sew inner ear to outer ear, then pin and sew the ears in place. Choose a position which you find cute, but make sure both ears sit evenly by lining them up along the same rounds on the head.
  • Pin and sew the muzzle in place to the front of the head, taking care to line each side along the same round to keep the muzzle from being lop-sided.
  • If using crocheted eyes, pin and sew them in place over the muzzle.
  • IMPORTANT: If using safety eyes, you will need to attach the eyes to the head and muzzle together BEFORE closing the head. Alternatively, you can simply glue the eyes to the head after you have made and attached the other pieces.

There are many other things you can do to decorate your monkey. You can embroider a nose and/or mouth, attach a ribbon or bow, switch up the colours to give your monkey "clothing", or even crochet your own clothes and accessories for your monkey to wear and play with!

Hooray! You now have your very own Year of the Monkey amigurumi!

I hope you enjoyed making your own little Houzi. If you enjoyed this pattern, share the love by clicking below to share this with your friends!

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25 Comments on "Free Pattern: Year of the Monkey 2016 Amigurumi"

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Pat butts
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I have never done algorithmic but want to learn. What is a magic circle ???

Jodi Adamson
Guest

I am trying to make the muzzle but I am left handed and can’t seem to make it work. This is only my 2nd project so I am still learning. Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated.

Dolly
Guest

I too am a christian lady. grandmother and great grandmother. It is good to hear the younger ladies enjoying the crafts that i have so long enjoyed. Keep up the good works

Jo-Anne Candy
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Jo-Anne
I am having trouble with round 12 in hat and also round 16. Neither of these rounds do I understand. Could you please clarify for me.

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Eliza
Guest

Please make a Video!!!! I follow better that way

Joyce Price
Guest

Help – I can’t figure out how to print a copy of this pattern!!!

Care
Guest

Can’t wait make the baby. Thank you for sharing

Michele
Guest

In the BODY Round 5 is 10 not 32. and then in round 18 you decrease to 18 and then in Round 19 you say SC around for 12, with no decrease.

Michele
Guest

I’m making 2 pink and white ones, I just have to attach legs and tails and they are done. It is such a cute pattern, thanks!

Michele
Guest

I spent the weekend on them. It is for twin baby girls that will be born soon. Just perfect for 2 little monkeys born in the year of the monkey. Thanks again!

Michele
Guest

I meant Round 5 is 30, not 10.

Karin
Guest

I love your patterns, very well written and sooo sweet! Thank you for the free pattern of this cute monkey!

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