Penguin Sweaters

Little Blue Penguin, Blue Penguin, or Fairy Pe...

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The Little Blue Penguin is the world’s smallest penguin and is one of the most recent victims of an oil spill.  The Taurunga oil spill unleashed at least 2,500 barrels of oil into the penguins environment.  These penguins are now at serious risk of freezing to death.

OohSoCute has submitted free crotchet instructions to make a penguin sweater to prevent penguins from preening and swallowing the toxic oil.  What happens is that the birds will literally use their beaks to try and clean it’s feathers.  This is particularly dangerous, because the oil is toxic when ingested.  In addition, because of how difficult it is to remove the oil the birds may continue preening until the oil is completely gone. Unfortunately that may mean that they have removed their own feathers.

Please take a moment to help out if you can.  Ways you can do that is by making your own penguin sweater by using the pattern provided by OohSoCute (Penguin Sweater Pattern) and sending it off, or sharing this link with your friends who can make the sweater for you. Don’t have the time? Let OohSoCute create and send the penguin sweaters for you!

Pattern provided by OohSoCute: Penguin Sweater Pattern

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Penguin Sweater Pattern

by OohSoCute

For: New Zealand Penguins

4” Wide
9” in Length

100% Wool
Crochet Hook: I-9 (5.5MM) and H-8 (5.0MM)

Stitches Used:
Chain (ch), single crochet (sc), slip stitch (sl st),
Half Double Crochet (hdc), stitch (st)

Ribbed Band
Crochet Hook: H-8 (5.0MM)

Ch. 8
Row 1: Hdc in 2nd ch from hook and in each remaining ch across, turn – (Total 7 hdc)

Row 2-18: Ch 1, Hdc in each st across. Repeat until piece measures 8”.

Join with sl st in each st to form the band.

Flip the band inside out so that the seam is on the inside.
Do not fasten off.

Body of Sweater
Use Crochet Hook: I-9 (5.5MM)

Row 1-2: Evenly crochet 26-27 sc around the band.

Chest Section

Row 3: Sc in 6 st, ch 1, Turn
Row 4-8: *Sc in 12 st, ch 1, Turn (Repeat at *)
Fasten Off.

Flipper Space

Leave 2 st in between Front & Back Sections
2.25” in length

Back Section

Leaving 2 st for Flipper Space, Sl st into 3rd st (counts as first sc)

Row 1: Sc in 11 st, ch 1, Turn

Row 4-5: *Sc in 12 st, ch 1, Turn (Repeat at *)
Do not Fasten Off.

Make sure the Front and Back Sections are even in length.

Closing Flipper Space

Starting from the last row in the Back Section,

At Flipper Space #1, ch 3, sc in each st in Front Section.

At Flipper Space #2, ch 3, sc in each st in Back Section.

Penguin Body from the flipper down

Sc in each st around until the total length of the sweater is 9” (approximately 29 single crochets)

Finishing Flipper Spaces

Sl st into any st in Flipper Space, sc around the Flipper Space.

Finish both Flipper Spaces.

Article: Penguin Sweaters

Prepare Yourself: Zombies are Coming

My niece posted a question on Facebook recently.  “What would u do if everyone around u got infected and were trying to eat and u were trapped with other survivals in a building?”  Translation since it appears to have been written on a phone late at night:

What would you do if the Zombie Apocalypse started?  The building you are in is surrounded by Zombies and you are trapped inside with survivors.

I started by just having a good time and posting what I could easily find on the net.  Then I realized that I had quite a bit of information that needed to be placed in one handy spot.

What can I do to prepare for the Zombie Apocalypse?

The Center for Disease Control (www.CDC.GOV) has setup the CDC EPR | Social Media | Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse – Blog.  

This is a good guide and incidentally can be used for other issues as well.   If you live in an area that is prone to natural disasters, this is a great guide to getting prepared for the natural disaster, while simultaneously preparing yourself for the coming Zombie Apocalypse.

Recently I finished reading World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War. This is a good read; it’s a collection of interviews with survivors of a Zombie Apocalypse.  Max Brooks, author, did a great job of capturing the stories of what different people went through in different parts of the world.  What I really enjoyed was his interpretation of what different governments would do during such an event.  He also wrote the The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Deadwhich apparently I should have read.  That’s my next download on my Sony Reader.

Zombies involved in the Epic Zombie Lurch held...

Image via Wikipedia

Zombie Ammo – apparently Mid-South Shooters Supply has Zombie ammunition available.  What I love from the PDF at the hyperlink is the “This is not a toy” warning.  I can easily see someone picking this up as some sort of Halloween prank and using it on their zombie costumed friends.  Not sure about this one.  As always during a Zombie Apocalypse ammo may be very difficult to come by after non-stop swarms.

Hand-held weapons would be a key factor during such an outbreak.  With your sharpshooters conserving ammunition, you may very well be able to outlast the Zombies.

Hammer out some of your cookware (pots and pans) so that they are flat, and put an edge on them. These act as impromptu blades that can lop off undead heads. If you can find shovels and metal rods from construction areas, hammer them down and sharpen them.  Very good last minute tool.

Food and water rationing would be key.  You have no idea when the food and water supplies will return.  Start a garden, locate a garden supply store and pick up what you need to start growing your own veggies.  Sure, you say, I’m a meat eater.  Well, at the very least grow vegetables to feed to your livestock.  Plus, you do want sides and not just meat.  Start preserving your fruits and vegetables, can them and save them for the lean times. Canning provides a safer means to preserving food than freezing, since electricity might be cut by panicky citizens.

Identify weak points within your building.  Barricade and reinforce everything.  Check it, then when your done checking it, check it again.  If the building is too weak, you may need to find something else that is more difficult for the Zombies to get through, or consider relocating to a more secure structure.

Make sure all of your wounds are covered. You do not want to get infected yourself. Treat it like a disease. conduct regular checks after every attack, and do a full strip search of every person to look for wounds. Anyone who is wounded, will be treated and then quarantined for at least 48 hours (I would probably go longer).  You can never be too sure.

Get rest, post guards and rotate shifts. Remain quiet; you do not want to attract attention of the zombies.

Halloween Story

It was Halloween, and three youngsters were daring each other to do crazy stunts.  An older kid overheard what they were doing and decided to give them a tough challenge.  He told them about a Mikel Nickerson who recently passed away.  He was a guard at a mental asylum and was bitten by one of the patients.  Apparently the bite festered and he died of a nasty infection.  The body was at a local funeral home and he dared the kids to go and open the coffin and for each of them to leave a piece of candy.

Instantly, the kids said that’s not scary we can do it.  As they started to leave, the older kid gave one warning.  The patient who bit him believes he’s a vampire.  The kids blew him off, but as they walked over to the funeral home that evening the fog started to roll in and their minds began to play tricks with them.

They arrived at the funeral home, was able to get in through a back door and work their way over to where the coffins where.  They realized that there was more than one coffin, they didn’t want to open all of them.  They searched around the room and realized that most of the coffins were marked.  Soon they found the coffin of Mikel Nickerson and pulled out their pieces of candy.  One of the kids tried to open the coffin, but it was too heavy.  He asked for help, but even with all three working at it, they couldn’t get the coffin open.  One of them banged on the coffin in frustration.  Suddenly as if in response a bang came from within the coffin.

The kids jumped back in fear, looked at each other and waited.  After a moment nothing, ten more seconds nothing.  They began to relax when the coffin began shaking and rocking.  One kid bolted in fear and ran out of the building.  The other two were still in shock, looking at the moving coffin.  The coffin stood itself upright and began rocking itself towards the two kids.  They shook themselves and ran haphazardly at their friend who was already outside hiding behind a tree.

The three of them hid behind the tree staring at the funeral home door, waiting in the fog and catching their breath.  They began to hear something from the funeral home: clack, clack, clack.  They looked at each other in fear and then back to the door.  It was pitch black, they couldn’t see anything, but they could hear the clacking echoing in the fog.  From out of the shadows they saw something move; they hesitated, could it be?  Clack, clack, clack.

The coffin was standing upright in the doorway.  The kids yelled and ran down the street as fast as they could, the clacking noise keeping pace behind them the whole way.  They ran on pure adrenaline not caring where they went as long as it was away from the coffin.  The noise began to fade. They stopped to get their bearings and realized that they were lost.  Nothing was recognizable in the fog.  It looked like they were in a new housing development, just the skeletons of houses all around them.  They sat on a street corner trying to catch their breath, not one of them saying a word.

Clack, clack, clack.  The sound reappeared.  They couldn’t tell where it came from.  The fog was playing with the sound.  The coffin could have been anywhere.  Clack, clack, clack.  The looked in all directions but couldn’t see anything.  One of the kids pointed at a home that was mostly built.  Maybe they could hide there.  Clack, clack, clack.  Slowly and quietly they made their way to the home.  Clack, clack, clack.  As they approached the entrance, they looked around one last time to make sure they weren’t being seen.  Then darted into the home. Clack, clack, clack.  Clack, clack, CLACK.

The boys looked out the window.  It was like a different world out there in the fog.  Bits of the world would reappear only to become hidden once again.  It seemed like an eternity had passed without hearing the coffin.  The boys relaxed and sat under the windowsill.  They began to take stock of their surroundings.  In addition to the main entrance, there was a stairwell going up and an entrance to another room.

One of the boys closed his eyes and clasped his hands in a shaky attempt at prayer.  The other two followed suit.  Reciting whatever prayers they had from church or the TV.  CLACK!! The noise jolted them upright and from the other room they saw the coffin waiting for the boys.  In a panic they tried to scramble out the front entrance only to realize that somehow it had become blocked.  Their only path was up the stairs, and they scrambled in a mad dash toward the upper floor.

The upstairs wasn’t finished; there were straight drops down to the ground, but it was too far for the kids.  They were stuck at the end of the stairs with nowhere to go. CLACK, CLACK, CLACK.  It was coming for them.  CLACK, CLACK, CLACK.  They could see it coming up the stairs now. CLACK, CLACK, CLACK.  Halfway up the stairs, the boys were terrified.  CLACK, CLACK, CLACK.

The coffin was in front of them at the top of the stairs, slowly it made its way towards the boys.  “Wait!!”, one of the boys exclaimed.  “I know what to do!”.  He reached into his coat pocket, pulled something out, and pointed it at the coffin.  It stopped dead in its tracks.  He kept his item in front of him as he waved his two friends by.  They made it out the house, and the coffin never followed them as they ran the rest of the way home.

The next morning, the kids got together and they asked the one boy what he did to help them get free.  He reached into his coat once again and brought it out.  “Luden’s!”, he said with a smile on his face.  “It stops the coffin.”

And you thought it was going to be a Michael Jackson joke. Shame on you.

What’s In a Name?

Line art example of a crochet hook with chain.

Image via Wikipedia

Lauren and Michelle are looking for a name to help describe their new company.  You’ve seen some of their work in previous posts, why not help them out and choose one of the following, or even submit a name of your own?

Take a look at their work on our previous posts:

Motif Blankets

After moving to Port Angeles, WA, Michelle put her crotchet skills to work making blankets to keep warm during the cold winter nights of the Northwest.  Very quickly, she built up demand from her neighbors whose spouses were stationed there during their military tour.  Since then she’s moved to California, and then Florida, where warm blankets were no longer needed, but parents love using them as snuggly blankets for newborns and small children.

Michelle is currently working on a set of blankets, booties, hats, and mittens for her own child, expected in December.  Let us know if you would like to see her make a special item and we will post it here for you.

Motif BlanketBlanket Inspections  Patterns

See Crochet Creations for some fun designs from Lauren, Michelle’s sister.

Crochet Creations

My sisters Lauren and Michelle have been crocheting since they were “littles” doing everything from caterpillars, snowmen, pot holders, and various toys.  Lauren started working on hats for the last few years while going through college.  Now Lauren’s running with the idea of the hats and animals and has put together things like the Polar Bear hat, Owl hat, and even a try at Hiccup the dragon from “How To Train Your Dragon”.

Send us your ideas of different animals or things you would like to see in hat form.  Then we’ll post them here for you.

“Peanut Butter” the Polar Bear


“Pop Rock” the Owl

Booties for my niece

See Motif Blankets for Michelle’s crocheted creations — beautiful crocheted baby blankets!