Some weeks ago, a friend posted in Facebook an article about a foundation in Australia that had made a claim to knitters asking them to send jumpers for the penguins. At first I thought it was a joke, but then I realized the news was authentic. The foundation really exists and the jumpers are part of a project called Knits for nature that started some years ago and provides clothes and shelter for penguins that have been affected by oil spills.
The moment I realized it wasn’t a prank, I felt an uncontrollable urge to knit for the penguins. I like knitting, and I like penguins, and I like helping… It was all perfect! So I started knitting.
Then I kept reading and found a ton of posts and news about this penguin jumper thing. Some people said pretty harsh things, like that it was all a scam, that the initiative was over because the shelter had been flooded with jumpers since a group of German ladies had sent 3.000 jumpers… (¡!) Luckily I found this wonderful article by Megan Riley for The Guardian, who went through the same process of illusion-disappointment-acceptance and finally made sense of all the doubts and questions.
It seems that yes, the project is for real, and yes, the shelter suddenly found itself flooded with jumpers (I guess that says something good about the knitting community, uh? 😉 ). But, although they say they have a good supply of them, they still encourage volunteers to send their knits at any time. They have found a way to use the extra jumpers and rise founds for the shelter at the same time by dressing the stuffed penguins in their gift shop with them!
“Each penguin has his own individual jumper. No two are alike as these jumpers are knitted by volunteers whom we greatly appreciate. All proceeds from the sale of these jumpers go to the ‘Rehab centre’ for the treatment of injured penguins and other wildlife.”
Isn’t that cool?? Yes, of course you will find some people who will tell you it’s absurd to waste your time, yarn and money in sending a jumper that most probably will end up worn by a toy, but come on! We usually knit for fun! So how can we not knit for a good cause, no matter if it’s to directly warm up some birdies or to rise founds for them.
The pattern is really simple and it’s a great project for beginners! You can find it in the first link on this entry.
If you are not convinced yet, here there are some pictures of little penguins wearing jumpers. Click on the images to go to the sources.
If you don’t feel like knitting a penguin jumper right now… your heart is officially made of stone.
That, or maybe you just don’t know how to knit 🙂 But this can be solved, right? 😉