Thursday, October 20, 2011

Cutest things EVER!

A former boss emailed me today.  "This made me think of you.  These have your name written all over them."

The New Zealand yarn store Skeinz has issued an appeal for knitters to make jumpers (Brit/US translation "sweaters") for penguins affected by the recent oil spill there.

               (Photo credit: Toby Zerna/Newspix/Rex USA)

When penguins come into contact with oil spill, their natural insulation is damaged so they cannot stay warm and waterproof.  It was discovered that keeping them in little sweaters during the cleaning process helps keep them well until they can heal.  As penguins are natural preeners, the sweaters also help actually save their lives by keeping them from ingesting the poisonous oil.

A Tasmanian (Australia) oil spill in 2000 started the penguin sweater therapy.  An appeal was made then hoping to drum up 100 or so sweaters.  Knitters all over the world ended up sending over 15,000 tiny sweaters for the smallest penguin in the penguin family, the Fairy Penguins.  The surplus sweaters did not go to waste.  Organizers used them to dress stuffed doll penguins that were sold to help fund penguin rescue and research programs.

The New Zealand penguins are a bit larger, so best to use the pattern supplied by Skeinz if you are interested in donating a few handmade penguin sweaters.  They need to be 100% wool.  After cleaning, the sweaters are put back on the penguins before they are released into a salt water pool.  In about the same time as the penguins take to get their natural oil/insulation healed, the sweaters disintegrate.  Perfect timing for release back to the wild.

Skeinz also has posted the address for sending the completed sweaters.  If you make any, please post a link to the photos.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Life is what happens when you make other plans....

A recent blurring of vision set off a flurry of doctor and specialists appointments.  Within days I was in surgery, designing quilts in my mind to keep me in a happy place far far away from the cold steel room.  Facing the real possibility of losing my eye helped put life things into perspective very quickly.  My family, friends, colleagues and quilting sisters have been so supportive. I'm very grateful for all your kind words and encouragement.  I still have at least two more procedures to get through and the prognosis is good.  It's just going to take time. This isn't how I envisioned my first blog post to go, but it is what it is.

Please take time to learn about the warning signs of retinal tears and detachment.  Take care of your eyes so we can all continue to Quilt On!

Look at the fun treasury the Quiltsy gals made in honor of my surgery.  It sure made me smile!