A few years ago I got an assignment to write a kids’ Reader’s Theater script about a science topic. While researching, I came across an article about an oil spill off the coast of Australia where a species of tiny penguins (commonly called fairy penguins) live. To keep them from preening themselves and ingesting oil before wildlife experts could clean them up, someone came up with the idea of knitting sweaters (called jumpers) for them to wear. A knitter quickly devised a pattern, which has elasticized openings at the top and bottom and slits in the sides for the critters’ little flippers. Once posted on the Internet, sweaters came pouring in from all over the world . . . some even looked like little tuxedos! Soon the penguins were out of danger, and the workers decided to keep some of the extra sweaters for future needs and sell others in a local gift shop along with fairy penguin stuffed toys. Now a post on the Etsy blog reports that New Zealand has had the same predicament and is asking for more penguin sweaters! If you would like to help, here is the pattern:
Need: 8 ply 100% Wool Yarn, 1 pair 3.25mm needles, 1 pair of 3.75mm needles, 1 set of 3.25mm dpn’s or circular
Directions: 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 okay.
Blessings to knitters and penguins everywhere! ♥