Sunday, April 16, 2006

Penguin Sweaters

Sweaters for penguins!

Oil spills off the coast of Australia can leave hundreds of Little Penguins in peril. Read the article,“Knitters save endangered penguins' lives” in the Sydney Morning Herald and “LDS women doing their darndest to save penguins” in the Salt Lake Tribune.

Little Penguins, also known as “Fairy Penguins,” are the world’s smallest penguins at only 12 inches high.

This isn’t the first knitting project for penguins. Several years ago, Linda Parker of Salt Lake City, Utah received a letter from a friend on a church mission in Australia. She wrote to Linda that women around the world were knitting sweaters for penguins in Australia that had been damaged by an oil spill.

Linda and her church group got busy with their knitting needles and knitted hundreds of penguin sweaters. Word of the project spread and soon the Philip Island Nature Park was inundated with sweaters for penguins.

Canadian singer/songwriter James Gordon was inspired to write a song about penguin sweaters when he heard Linda Parker interviewed by Arthur Black on CBC Radio’s Basic Black. Listen to “Sweaters For Penguins.”

Why penguin sweaters? The wool sweaters act as insulation, keeping their bodies warm. The sweaters also keep the penguins from preening themselves and swallowing any toxic oil that hasn’t been washed out.

The sweaters must be pure wool as synthetics won’t hold the penguins’ body heat. Unfortunately, some sweaters that have been received are unsuitable for the penguins because of very loose knitting or greasy wool. Rather than throwing them away, the Pet Porpoise Pool is selling them on toy penguins in the souvenir shop. All the monies received are being shared between the Penguin Rehabilitation Centre and the South Gippsland Native Animal Rescue.

I’ve found penguin sweater patterns on a couple of sites but the measurements vary somewhat. Rather than post the patterns here, it may be best to contact the Pet Porpoise Pool in Coffs Harbour, Australia who are gathering the penguin sweaters (or penguin jumpers as they’re called in Australia and the UK) for the cause. If the pattern is in British or Australian measurements, Canadians may want to refer to a knitting conversion chart.

**NOTE: Please ask them if more sweaters are needed before you take up your knitting needles!

Pet Porpoise Pool email:

What are you waiting for? Knit a sweater for a penguin today!


  1. wow! did not know that there was something like this!

  2. that was the coolest thing to see on easter morning! rockin little pengies in sweaters!

    *nails self in thigh with insulin*

  3. That's a fantastic idea. I love those little guys...sooo cute!

  4. LOL, that's a good start of my day!

  5. i'm completely mad about penguins so this is the best news i ever heard :-)

  6. omg, I'm going to die from the cuteness!