Ann Jacobs Mooney shows Carol how to make a rattlesnake out of socks.
Carol: You know, these cute little guys really have come a long way. Since I first
featured them on the home show a few years back. They hit the big time in the
film Cabin Boy, they even co-hosted the Oscars with David Letterman. But no
long ago, they were on the verge of extinction. Had it not for the efforts of Ann
Jacobs Mooney, they might not even be here today.
Ann is the author of Tiger’s New Friends, a book about the life and the time of a
Welcome to the show, Ann.
Ann: Nice to see you.
Carol: Did you know you're going to get a welcome like that?
Ann: I didn’t expect this kind of production.
Carol: Did you have any clue when we first spoke on the phone, how many years ago
Ann: 1992, ’92.
Carol: Okay, that was when I first showed sock monkey and did a thing with it on the
home show. Got so many letters and photographs of folks that have sock monkeys
throughout their childhood. And was one of the people who wrote and send some
articles about her and her book in the papers. So you have written this. What
possess you to write a book about sock monkey?
Ann: Well I started just making the monkey and elephant, the ones that come with the
socks. And then my son talked me into making the tiger. And, that just kind of
evolve from there. I started taking pictures of them doing funny things with my
son and ended up with hundreds of pictures and they turned into a book.
Carol: That’s actually great, and really I'm not kidding when I say that she all but saved
the company from extinction. Because the original company that made this socks,
and they’ve been making them since?
Ann: The original company are 1890’s.
Carol: That’s where all these socks go back. I don’t know when the monkey started.
But anyway, the new company bought them over and they were ready to toss out
this particular sock, right?
Carol: And then, Ann came in there and say, no, no, sock monkey.
Ann: You want this.
Carol: Cannot die.
Ann: You want these socks.
Carol: Okay, but now, on beyond sock monkey. Ann is, she mentioned she's been
making other animals and the latest is Jake the Snake.
Ann: Jake the Rattlesnake. This is actually very simple, I can just move right into it
here. This is how you cut the socks, and very simple. This the main body of the
snake. Another body segment. And two more body segments. I’ll show you how
to make the eyes from the toe. This is the last section of the snake and the
diamonds. This is his little rattle tip.
Carol: But actually you cut off the top of each sock, the toes of each sock, and it’s only
the center that are cut a little differently.
Ann: Exactly, it’s fairly basic. It’s really quite simple.
Carol: And don’t worry if you don’t get all of these, because we’ll tell you later on how
you can get the directions for all of the different animals. Anyway.
Ann: Sounds good. This is a toe of your sock number one. Basically as you're looking
at it, you’ve be cutting it right down the middle. Okay. So you take one and run a
little running stitch all the way through that. Just in a circular motion. Put a little
stuffing in there. Pull it tight. And what you’ll end up with are little eyeballs.
Now I put, I have smaller children so I just put just a button on this. If you have
really little children, like babies, you really want to embroider those so that the
babies can't pull them off and choke on them or whatever.
So you end up with two eyeballs. The next step is put them in to this section
which is really quite easy. This is this section right here from sock number one.
And this looks complicated, it’s very simple. You take this opening, fold the
Carol: Of course you put some bedding in there.
Ann: I put a little fluff in just some sort of polyester fiber fill, usually the standard. And
you just stuff those little eyes in there.
Carol: That's pretty funny and pretty cute just as it is. I mean they can be just little
puppet if you finish off the ear.
Ann: You can do a lot with these socks. They're really a very fun.
Carol: So now then, to the body.
Ann: The body. Basically, spread this out a little better. When you cut these, this
section goes here. Cut them in a little bit of a progressive way. So you cut a little
more off each sock to make it narrow.
Carol: Oh, so these are cut lines.
Ann: These are cut lines. You start with maybe ½ inch to an inch, have an inch off this
section and a little more on this section.
So you cut them, seam them just like that. Now the way to attach them is also
really very simple. Pull this through.
Carol: Now this is wrong side out. The way you’ve stitch it.
Ann: This is wrong side out. And then pulling it over the guide that is already done
here. All you're going to do, when I do this on my machine, this is really fairly
simple. You just do a seam right around there. Remember, you have your right
sides together. So when you pull it out, you’ll end up with this. You’ll just keep
seaming these brown sections on so that they get smaller and smaller and that's all
the way through here.
Also with the head, you can take a little gathering stitch to give it a little
definition. Now you're already in the end here.
Carol: They make me laugh. They're wonderful. Go ahead.
Ann: The face kind of strike people that way. These are the two white sections, okay.
Carol: Oh, this is a diamond back rattlesnake.
Carol: Oh, I just realized that.
Ann: These are the two diamonds and one there. And this is this last section here. The
white section, you got to do exactly as you did the other sections. Okay, you seam
it, pull it over the brown section just like this. Seam, flip it inside out or right side
out actually. And you’ll end up with this.
For the rattle.
Carol: See, I told you. You have to have these socks. You have to have that red part for
Ann: It wouldn’t be cool without this. Okay, this is, we're talking sock number two.
You have this, trim it right along here, cut it open. And your rattle goes in this
direction. So what you do is you just turn this edges under, seam it. You’ll end up
with a little rattle, just like that.
Carol: Sew that on the same way.
Ann: Put a little bell or something or some noise maker in there.
Carol: That is so, so cute.
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