Since 2005. Step into the stories of the pop-culture icon, the Sock Monkey. Meet Rockford’s own seven foot sock monkey, Nelson, named after John Nelson the inventor of the sock knitting machine. Bring your monkey back to where it all began at the Sock Monkey Madness Festival in Rockford, Illinois! This year’s theme is Candyland where the sock monkeys and families of all ages will have a sweet time! Make A Monkey Workshop: Make your own Sock Monkey in pink, red, blue, green, yellow, or the traditional brown with the help of our talented museum staff. Fee for the workshop is $20 per kit, which includes all supplies to create a Sock Monkey and assistance from experienced staff. Allow two hours to make your monkey, and basic sewing skills are needed. Workshop will be open until 5 pm.The Importance of the Sock Monkey to Rockford History The Nelson Knitting Company of Rockford manufactured and sold Rockford Red Hell work socks from 1932 to 1992. During the Great Depression, the socks were used to create a folk art sock monkey stuffed toy. In the 1950s, Nelson Knitting acquired the patent for the sock monkey doll and placed the pattern in each pack of Rockford Red Heel Socks is still around to this day.