Friday, October 28, 2011

Meet Flip & Peggy

Peggy (in pink) & Flip (in formal attire) are the new faces of our charitable jumper drive.
Today has been very exciting as the first international jumpers arrived at Skeinz. Five parcels from the US & two from the UK.  It was like Christmas opening them up & seeing the stunning jumpers inside, all made in yarns that are quite exotic to this part of the world!

Some of the recent arrivals.
I have been busy over the past few days gathering information & research about the "where to from here" with the surplus jumpers we have.

First port of call was Lyn from The Penguin Foundation at Phillip Island in Australia.  She was involved with the co-ordination for the jumpers received at Phillip Island (Outside of Melbourne). She told me how the Tasmanian Rescue Team working the the Tasmanian spill in 2002  received 14,000 jumpers before they managed to get knitters to stop & back on Phillip Island, Lyn had to hire additional space to house all theirs!!  Her insights were inspiring & so valuable.

We are wanting to make sure that here at Skeinz we are able to take the surplus jumpers and have them utilized within the spirit & generosity to which they are intended.  Lyn had the same challenge in 2002 & the model she used is one we have chosen to adopt.

As no more penguin jumpers are required for the Rena effected penguins in Tauranga our focus has shifted to how we can use the jumpers to generate cash, to then donate back to the people working at the grass roots of the disaster.

Using the Penguin Foundation model - Skeinz is setting up a special charitable trust.  Then using the power of our webstore & all of you, we have sourced from a local supplier scale sized little blue penguin toys to place in the jumpers & we will be selling these at with all the proceeds of the jumper being funneled back into the charitable trust.  This has been so successful in Australia that The Penguin Foundation has recently donated $350,000 AUD back to a new penguin research centre, plus other research for penguins through Victoria University (Australia) for penguin clean up.

So the next challenge has been finding the best way to get donations directly back to the penguins & effected shorebirds of this disaster.  As the local & national government bodies are pursuing costs against Rena's insurers, I have been researching other angles to make sure we can filter the funds directly & effectively.

NZ Forest & Bird is a NGO that has been protecting the bird life of NZ from generations.  They are one of the most well respected environmental groups here in NZ & have fabric of paid & volunteer workers across the country.  They have a special Bay Of Plenty Shorebird fund, which has been helping nesting shorebirds that fall in the effected area.  So all monies donated to this fund go back the the birds, especially the penguins harmed by the Rena.
We have also been looking for a Little Blue Penguin specific cause - and we have approached another charitable trust who have been working with a nesting programme for the little blues.  Details there are still to be confirmed & I will update when the come to hand.

Your comments have also helped us in feeling we are on the right track with this - so thank you for all your feedback.  If haven't yet started a jumper, but feel happy about knitting one for it to be sold towards this cause, please by all means send them to us.  For the crocheters out there a pattern has been published on Ravelry - I just need to contact the author for permission to publish. 

Once we have all the details in place, the birds in stock, we will place them on for sale.  All jumpers which have come with personal notes & cards, these will be passed onto as well.  Many of you have also popped your email details - I will do my very best to email you all back in way of thanks.
Take care & I will be in touch again very soon - oh & Flip (the bird we have ordered initially) has his very own authentic little blue penguin sound - it's sooooo adorable!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Just Beautiful

Waxeye on Kowhai in my friends Wellington garden.
In the middle of all the penguin madness I was actually away from home.  Firstly Dr.Phil, the buys' & I went to Wellington to catch up with family & friends & laterly I have been in Gisborne with the boys' having a Spring Break whilst Dr. Phil has been away conferencing.

This years crop of cherry blossoms

 I spent much of my time away chained to a computer wading through all the penguin related email - to date over 2000.  All penguin updates can be found here.  One of the best things about returning home is seeing my Spring time garden - so until I have more time to write a more indept post - just enjoy some lovliness of Spring.
My favourite Dublin Bay climbing Rose

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Going Viral

Jumper anyone?
I have just arrived home briefly & called into Skeinz to see all the pengiun jumpers for myself.
I feel really guilty as I created this media & internet 'penguin storm' & then I bugger off on holiday!
For my pennance I got nabbed whilst there & ended up being interviewed by TV3 News - I will post the link once the interview has aired tonight, I look an absolute fright - after 5 hours in the car, not a scrap of make-up except a quick last of lipgloss & poor Dr. Phil, the boys & Max all in the car wondering what on earth is taking me so long!

The TV3 Cameraman getting some set up shots for tonights news
After all this I think I need another holiday - roll on the Gisborne Wine & Food Festival & the 'Cup of World Rugby' final!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Penguin Power

Thanks to Charlie - a Skeinz regular for knitting up this jumper & supplying the picture.
As you may be aware the oil spill & potential disastrous effects to wildlife & environment off the coast of Tauranga is frightening.  A small number of little blue penguins have already been caught in the oil spilled to date with growing fears that more will be effected. Skeinz has been asked to help with the penguin relief by knitting small Penguin PJ’s to help protect the birds & prevent them from preening their feather & ingesting the toxic oil. 

If you can help out by knitting a penguin jumper – send them to Skeinz at 5 Husheer Place, PO Box 3123, Onekawa, Napier 4142

These have come into the shop today
Penguin Jumper in 8ply  - Must be 100% Wool Yarn1 pair 3.25mm , 1 pair of 3.75mm needles , 1 set of 3.25mm dpn’s or circular
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 OK.