19 October 2011


Example of a penguin sweater knit by New Zealanders to keep sick, oiled penguins warm. Via the Bay of Plenty Times.

From the Bay of Plenty Times comes the news that knitters in New Zealand are making sweaters for little blue penguins (aka fairy penguins) oiled in the wreck of the cargo ship Rena

Nearly 1,300 birds are known dead from the spill already, most penguins. From the Bay of Plenty Times:

A Napier factory has sent a care package off to Tauranga—full of tiny woolly penguin pajamas. The PJ package came about after Napier's Design Spun general manager Brendan Jackson was contacted last week by a local woman whose daughter had been involved in the oil response unit. The recovery crews were coming across oil-smeared penguins who, trying to preen their feathers clean, became more ill.
The Massey University Wildlife Recovery team she was part of had cast their minds back to a similar spill in Tasmania some years ago, where locals knitted pure wool jumpers to be put on the little blue penguins during the recovery phase to prevent them getting at their feathers before they could be washed clean.
It worked, so the word went out to Design Spun, which has a "yarn club'' of devoted knitters. Within a week the four to five dozen bright little jumpers were all knitted and the last of them were sent to Tauranga yesterday.
Some even have messages including one, which has the words "Cut Down on Oil Use'' embroidered lovingly on the front.

Here's the pattern if—like mine—your needles are practically jumping up and down at the prospect.

Penguin sweater via.

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