Update! Penguin sweaters are no longer needed in New Zealand, but check back in the future. Thanks for all of your efforts!
A recent oil spill on New Zealand’s coast has left the environment and wildlife in shambles — including the local blue penguin population. While volunteers are working hard to rescue and clean the animals in the region, they require a little bit of crafty help: tiny sweaters, or penguin pajamas, for the rescued birds. These woolen sweaters keep oil-soaked birds warm until they’re well enough to be cleaned and prevent them from ingesting oil from their feathers.
If you’re interested in donating a penguin sweater, New Zealand yarn store Skeinz has provided a handy how-to and is organizing the donation efforts.
Penguin Jumper in 8ply – Must be 100% Wool Yarn
1 pair 3.25mm , 1 pair of 3.75mm needles , 1 set of 3.25mm dpn’s or circular
Cast on 36 stitches using 3.25 needles.K1, P1 to end of row. Repeat this row 7 times. Change to 3.75mm needles and K2, P2 rib. Work 4 rows increasing at each end of every row. (44 sts)
Continue until work measures 15 cms.
Decrease 1 st at each end of every row until 28 sts remain.
Decrease 1 st. in middle of next row (27 sts.)
Leave on needle.
Make second side the same.
Transfer the 54 sts from both pieces to 3 of the set of 4 3.25mm needles.(18 sts on each.) and work a round neck in K1 P1 rib for 10 rows.
Stitch up sides to decreasing to 27sts (opening for flipper). Add elastic to the top and bottom to prevent the penguins getting out of them. Top: 15cm of elastic; bottom 17 cm (knots allowed). Flat elastic okay.
For more details, visit Skeinz’s website.
Alison is Editor in Chief of the Etsy Blog. When she's not trawling Etsy for pottery, folk art, and vintage oddities, she enjoys historical nonfiction and cat videos.