So, this was too good not to post. I didn’t believe for one minute this could be true, but it is. A conservation group in Australia is asking for volunteers to knit up and donate jumpers for penguins affected by oil spills and other toxic contaminates.
The caveat is that if you knit a jumper, it may not be used for a penguin – it may be used in a gift shop for fundraising efforts (which isn’t so bad either). Now, it appears they ones that don’t fit are the ones not used on penguins (makes sense right?)
I checked out the pattern, and it looks to be pretty easy and probably could be done in one evening. The pattern also seems to be basic enough for new users and probably younger children just learning to knit. For my own purposes, I will probably try to knit this in the round, rather than knitting the front and the back separately.
The Penguin Foundation has a global call out for knitters to make pullovers for penguins in rehab.
Penguins caught in oil spills need the little jumpers to keep warm and to stop them from trying to clean the toxic oil off with their beaks.
This is a statement from the penguinfoundation.org site specific to the need:
The Penguin Foundation raises vital funds for little penguin research, conservation and the Wildlife Clinic through the sale of little penguin jumpers we receive that are the wrong size, shape, type of wool or in excess. We have a good stockpile of jumpers suitable for rehabilitation purposes which we also distribute to other wildlife rescue centres where need be. Little penguin jumpers are also used as an educational tool to teach students and others about the devastating effects marine and coastal pollution has on marine wildlife and the environment.
Please know that we do not urgently require little penguin jumpers for rehabilitation, we have a good supply of these which we use on any rescued oiled penguins and in the event of an oil spill, these jumpers are also sent to other wildlife rescue centers if required. If you are interested, we do encourage participation in our Knits for Nature program and we accept all donations (wool and acrylic) at any time, each are put to good use in a way that supports little penguin conservation on Phillip Island. Our knitters really enjoy participating in the program with many saying its great way to pass knitting skills onto new generations!
Here’s the knit pattern and where to send the sweaters: