Posts Tagged ‘Penguin Sweaters’

Australia’s Oldest Man Likes To Knit For Penguins

February 11, 2015

The Penguin Post has learned that Australia’s oldest man, Alfred “Alfie” Date has spent a lot of his days knitting sweaters for little penguins. The sweaters were requested from Victoria’s Phillip Island Penguin Foundation in 2013, to assist the survival of little penguins after an oil spill. Little penguins are a species of penguin only found in southern Australia and New Zealand, with a lone colony of 32,000 remaining on Phillip Island.  The sweaters are needed because the oiled penguins will lose much of their natural insulation until they recover.

penguinsThe 109-year-old, who lives in a retirement home on the New South Wales Central Coast, was asked by two nurses to help make the sweaters, as they had heard he was an experienced knitter. It was a request he could not refuse. Using heavy wool provided by the nurses, Alfie put his 80 years of knitting skills to good use and got to work.

The self-taught knitter, who refined his skills after making a baby jacket for his nephew in the 1930s, has seven children and 20 grandchildren, and “about the same amount” of great grandchildren.  Alfie remembers the sinking of the Titanic in 1912 and the declaration of World War one. He told his secret to a long life is simply “waking up every morning.”

Donations of the knitted penguin outfits were received from all over the world. The foundation says this “is not a fashion statement” but instead they help the little creatures if they are affected by an oil spill. Oil can make their feathers stick together, allowing water to get to their inner layers. This causes the little penguins to get cold and not be able to hunt due to heaviness. When oiled penguins arrive at the foundation, they are given a jacket to wear so that they don’t consume the toxins or preen their feathers. In 2001, 438 penguins were affected in an oil spill at Phillip Island and by using the knitted outfits, 96% of the penguins were rehabilitated at the clinic, according to the foundation’s website.

The center currently has “plenty of penguin jumpers (sweaters) at this time donated by generous knitters across the globe” and has asked for no more donations from eager knitters. Today, Alfie keeps active by knitting scarves for friends and beanies for premature babies.

Penguin Sweater Project

May 7, 2014

These senior citizens are well accustomed to knitting blankets and clothes for children, but now the residents and staff at Princes Court Homes in Australia have taken to providing knitted sweaters – complete with flipper holes – for some feathered friends in need.


Provided with a pattern by Knit for Nature, residents and staff have knitted 35 little penguin jumpers to be donated to Phillip Island Nature Parks for penguins affected by oil spills. Princes Court Homes nursing care director Sandy Wellington said she initially saw the project on Facebook and, despite her disbelief that the project existed, pursued it as a craft idea for residents.


Sounds like a win – win to the Penguin Post for the residents and the penguins.

Penguin Sweaters Wanted

March 7, 2014

The Penguin Post has learned that The Penguin Foundation has a global call out for knitters to make pullovers for penguins in rehab.  The reason is that penguins caught in oil spills need the little sweaters to keep warm (as they lose their natural insulation) and to stop them from trying to clean the toxic oil off with their beaks. Knitter Lyn Blom is the receptionist at Phillip Island Nature Parks in Victoria and has knitted many penguin jumpers over the years. The Penguin Foundation is based at Phillip Island, which is known for having a large penguin colony. Lyn Blom says it’s not just major oil spills that cause problems for local penguins. “Fishermen might clean out a container or something while they’re at sea,” says Lyn. “It’s a continuing problem,” she says. “We get probably about 20 birds a year.” One advantage of knitting a penguin sweater is that they are small since the Australian Little Blue Penguin is the smallest of all the penguin species. “They’re very quick,” says Lyn. The Penguin Foundation also distributes the jumpers to other wildlife rescue centres where needed.


You can download more information about how to knit for penguins, including the knitting pattern and where to send the finished product. While the Penguin Foundation’s website says it currently has a ‘good supply’ of the little jumpers, the organisation also uses them in educational programs as well as selling them as a fundraising measure. In 2011 the foundation raised money for a new Phillip Island Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre which can house up to 1500 penguins in the event of a major oil spill.

Crazy Escape: A Penguin (Bad) Driving Game

October 26, 2011

Fall 2011 is the unofficial season of anthropomorphized penguins. Don’t believe me? Between the penguin sweater craze and the release of Happy Feet 2, adorable penguins are everywhere. Now, a third entry into fall’s penguin lineup is here in the form of BulkyPix’s super-cute new game, Crazy Escape [99¢]. And this one answers the question on everybody’s mind: Can penguins drive tiny penguin cars, and if so, is it extra-adorable?

It’s a story as old as time itself: Two penguin buddies have to take to their Jeep (err, low-emission 4×4 of indeterminate branding, I should say) to save their sheep friends from being kidnapped and eaten by wolves. As these penguins race along the winding road, they must collect sheep, stars (ostensibly because penguins like shiny objects?), keys (to unchain locked-up sheep, of course!), and avoid stationary wolves, roaming wolves, chasing wolves – basically wolves of all kinds, all right?! You can run into fences (good) and trees (bad!), and the less road you cover to complete the level, the better. Your finger acts as a simultaneous road-creating device and penguin-steerer. You drag your finger across the screen to create the path your penguins take. Ideally, you devise the shortest route possible to collect your stars and sheep friends, as this results in the highest score.At first, it’s not particularly challenging because there’s no element of speed involved. However, as the game progresses, wolves start out on the road behind you, following your every movement, and if you dawdle too long you’ll be busted for sure. Additionally, things like oil slicks and trees get in your path which, if hit, cause you to swerve (at best) or force you to restart the level (at worst). Here’s hoping everyone was wearing their seat belts! The levels go by lightning-fast, so it’s perfect if you have a short attention span or a short period of time in which to play. The graphics are also pretty cute. However, as it’s a line-drawing game, the most important part is the drawing element. The worst part of so many drawing games is an imprecise, over-sensitive or otherwise less-than-ideal drawing mechanic. Luckily, that’s not the case with Crazy Escape. The drawing was perfectly in-sync with my finger; at times, perhaps a little too in-sync, as I have shaky hands (particularly when being chased by hungry wolves). My only real complaint is that on an iPhone or iPod touch screen, it’s hard to see what you’re doing. My chubby fingers kept blocking my view, which made it difficult to navigate around the increasingly challenging obstacles the game threw at me as I progressed. Still,  I found this game to be extremely fun. For only a buck, there’s really no excuse to not download this one. You get a seemingly-endless number of levels and a fun diversion, and it’s Universal to boot. Besides, you don’t want to find yourself ill-prepared for the fall penguin craze, do you?

Too Many Penguin Sweaters May Be Too Much For Penguins

October 22, 2011

The Penguin Post has learned that due to the generous outpouring of handknits by the penguin loving public, a Maritime New Zealand spokesman says wildlife centers now have more than enough penguin sweaters right at the moment, particularly with the warm weather they’ve been having the past few days, and with the short term  forecast for more of the same.  Considering the higher than usual temps the penguins may not even appreciate the woolies, says one bird-keeper at Auckland Zoo. “Putting something like that on a penguin, it’s probably only going to stress it out even more than they already are,” she told Bay of Plenty Times. “These are wild penguins, they haven’t had any interaction with humans. There’s already enough stress on a bird without trying to put a sweater on it.”  So, with the penguins washed and cleaned and warmer than usual temps these penguins might not need their Fall fashion statements right now. Although all surplus sweaters will be kept in storage just in case they are needed again.