Thursday, October 27, 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 used in the Tasmanian spill in 2002, after which they received 14,000 jumpers!  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 $35,000 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!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Back in Jumperland.

A seriously fabulous jumper & a small selection in the background of what has arrived today.
I have snuck into work to check progress & post a wee update. My 1st official day back is tomorrow, but I just wanted to see what has cropped up over the long weekend.

As this event has gone quite viral I just wanted to make sure everyone was on the same page.
We were asked by a third party to gather knitters to knit a small number of these jumpers for the wildlife teams, to have on hand for the birds that were effected.  They had a family member working in the rescue centre & the request was genuine.

This was a technique successfully employed during the Tasmanian oil spill & the jumpers are now part of the Tasmanian oil response kits.  I was asked to help with collect a few dozen jumpers together, but the power of modern media has spread this request around the globe - for me it has been a surreal experience.  As someone who has knitted jumpers for this cause & the feeling of goodwill you experience in doing so.  I have spent much of my holiday away making sure I am able to manage the response we have received.  As I have replied to you all, the response has been overwhelming - my email count has now surpassed 2000 & still climbing.

Firstly I have had a request from an Australian Wildlife team wanting to take the surplus jumpers to add to their Oil Response kits.  I have also had requests from people wanting us to auction some jumpers to help raise funds for the penguins & for the clean up effort.  Once all the jumpers have come in, the Skeinz team will be making a Post Penguin Jumper plan to make sure that all these will go to places where they are needed & can directly help the various efforts within the spirit to which they were intended.

In local media it has been reported that the jumpers are not being required after all. I have been asked whether I am bothered about the fact that no birds at this stage have worn the jumpers & honestly I can say no, I'm not bothered in the least.  In fact I am relieved.  I see this entire event as nothing but a triumph in the human spirit - that thousands of you from all around the world have wanted to spare some of your time to help.  It's an out pouring of love & kindness which I think we can all be proud & thankful.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Updates whilst in hiding...

Just when I thought I could hide on holiday - I thought I would let you all know a few things..

1) Napier has a 4 day long weekend this weekend, so no updates from the store about progress, but I am back in on Tuesday, so I will get some pictures & have more info then.

2) The Wildlife Rescue Centre do not require any more jumpers, but if you have completed one, send it as we have another rescue centre who has requested the surplus once the crisis has abated.

3) My inbox has practically imploding - I have received over 600 emails in the last 3 days.  I am answering all of them personally - just please be patient as I am actually on a family holiday for another 3 days, so I am at the mercy of my very dear friend who is letting me chain myself to his computer for hours on end each day to try & stay on top of them all.

4) I have been fielding calls from a lot of international media - this morning we featured on Good Morning America!!!  If you are from an international media agency - Thank you for all your positive coverage.  For those wanting interviews, just remember - if you want something for Monday shows - with any luck we would have won the Rugby World Cup on Sunday - So I can not assure you how compus mentus I might be!

In the meantime - thank you again for the out pouring of love & messages of support.  When I return from holiday I will be putting together a care package for the team in Tauranga passing on all your messages.

In the meantime - in this rugby obsessed nation... Go Wales! And long live the almighty All Blacks!

Monday, October 17, 2011

We have Critical Mass

As reported earlier we do have crital mass of jumpers - but don't worry if you have just completed yours - still send it in to us as we will keep stocks available for the Wildlife Rescue Team to draw from if required.  The link for the video on tonights TV3 news in here.

It's Raining Jumpers

Jumper anyone?
I have just arrived home briefly & called into Skeinz to see all the jumpers for myself.
This is a sample of the deluge we have received over the last couple of days.  It is really precious & so over whelming.  I got nabbed whilst there & ended up being interviewed by TV3 News - I will post the link once the interview has aired tonight.

The TV3 Cameraman getting some set up shots for tonights news
Thank you again to all who have knitted - it truly is amazing.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Jolly Jumpers

Ok - I have a confession to make. My wee penguin project has gone a wee bit, well, viral.  This is great - ideal you might say, and it is, but what I didn't factor was how, viral & what a wonderful amount of support we have received for the cause.  My problem is, I have taken off on holiday the day after things exploded.  So apologies if I may seem a little detached in some of my correspondence, as I am answering emails & enquiries on the fly whilst out of town away from all my usual comforts & technologies of home.

Whilst I do have 5 minutes net time I thought I would post a few images of jumpers we have had post about via Ravelry.  Also over 100 have been received at Skeinz today alone - I hope to post a  picture of them soon.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


The response to our call for penguin jumpers has been overwhelming to say the the least.

Here is a quick update. So far we have enough commitment to cover the numbers we need for the initial group of birds.

If you have started - complete your jumper & send it in, but don't start anymore until we can assess how many we have arriving & how many more birds get affected over the next week.

Keep up your great support!

Tuesday, October 11, 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.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Too much yarn - too little time!

Knitting has had great publicity in HB this Winter
I can't believe it's been since the beginning of July since I last posted - naughty Maree!
The Winter at Skeinz has been crazy busy.  Yarn has been flying everywhere.  We were heavily involved with Knit August Nights (It's compulsory as I organise it!) & at the forefront of the Creative Napier & Napier Inner City Marketing Tree Cosy installation. 

Suzanne & Mary doing a final check before the Knitters Market in August
I am pleased to say all went very well & were a tremendous amount of fun.  So now that the nation is gripped by rugby fever we though instead of taking a breath we would make ourselves even busier & launch our first GrabOne Promotion.  This has been epic!  728 lucky people snapped up GrabOne coupons to redeem with us here at Skeinz.  So you can imagine that for the last two weeks we have all been frantic picking & packing orders to get out to you for your Spring time knitting.

Ian Kelly in his element doing a mill tour during KAN:2
I am hoping over the next few weeks we can catch our breath & start looking forward to the new goodies planned for later this year & the new year.  There is a new Summer yarn in the pipeline & a new machine washable yarn which as been dyed (the yarn is just waiting to be 'caked' out the back - the colours are A-M-A-Z-I-N-G) plus a few other Skeinz Original yarn that didn't quite make it through balling for the Spring Sale.

To much fibre, too little time!
We are also supporting alongside with the Hawkes Bay Ravelry Knitters a Spring Knitting 'Drop-In' knitting clinic.  So if you are in Napier on the 29th of October at East Pier Brasserie on Hardinge Road Ahuriri & are wanting to drop in for a knit or want help sharpening up a skill or even picking up the needles for the first time, contact Jennie & she'll get you registered.  There's a small fee ($10) to help cover venue costs & morning tea.  In the meantime - knit on & Go the All Blacks!!