Sweaters For Penguins

On October 19, 2013 by Tim Newman

Penguin Sweaters - NZ penguins jumpers

I was only recently made aware of this little nugget of joy. It occurred a couple of years back so apologies if I am boring you with old news that you’ve already enjoyed.

In October 2011 the MV Rena grounded on the Astrolabe Reef off the coast of Tauranga in New Zealand. Around 2,500 barrels of oil splurged into the pristine waters around New Zealand’s coast. It was the biggest maritime environmental disaster of New Zealand’s history.

Penguin Sweaters - 2 NZ penguins - new zealand oil spill

Unfortunately for the wildlife this spelled big time beefs. Penguins were polluted and a mass clean up was hastily organised. A yarn shop called Skeinz decided to set up a charity programme which encouraged the people of the world to unite in knitting jumpers for rescued penguins. The penguins wore the sweaters whilst waiting patiently to be cleaned by a volunteer.

Penguin Sweaters - NZ penguins jumpers - naked pals

The sweaters had a two fold benefit: they kept the little blighters warm and they stopped them eating the poisonous oil whilst preening.

Penguin Sweaters - NZ penguins jumpers - green stripes

All of this is irrelevant now because the disaster has been and gone, but if you were thinking of knitting a penguin jumper for the sheer joy of it, or maybe in preparation for the next oil spill in southern seas, here’s the how to guide:

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.
Cast off.
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 OK.

Penguin Sweaters - 2 NZ penguins

Personally I can’t knit, so if you could make me one and send it to me that would be great.






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