Thursday, October 20, 2011

Knitting for Penguins

It's so sad and so cute all at the same time!

These little (fairy) penguins on New Zealand's coast need our help. An oil spill has left their environment unclean and dangerous. Volunteers are working hard to save them and take care of them - but they are asking for little knit wool sweaters for the oil-soaked babies. The sweaters help keep them warm and also prevent them from ingesting oil while trying to clean their feathers.

I understand there is a new need for more sweaters - so if you're interested in getting your knitting needles moving (I know mine will be!), here's the pattern. More information can be found at Skeinz, a New Zealand yarn store. Also, look here for more information about fairy penguins who were saved after a 2000 oil spill).

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 to use.

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