Friday, April 1, 2011

We Have a Winner! (Well, Two Winners, Really...)

A big HURRAY to Jenni from Queensland, Australia and Ellen in Westchester US of A, who each won a copy of Astounding Knits!: 101 Spectacular Knitted Creations and Daring Feats. Thanks for playing! I can't wait to hear your thoughts on the book.

While it wends its way to your disparate locations, here are some pictures to tide you over. Today's theme, in honor of the tedious snow that persists in falling on Brooklyn, is Penguins. First, Kiyoko Yoshikawa's all-knitted penguin, which readers of my newsletter will recognize from a couple of weeks back. I show it here from practically every angle, mostly because I just can't get enough of this gorgeous bird. (And to everyone who expressed concern over Kiyoko's well-being and where-abouts after earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan last month, I have yet to hear from her. But she has always been a poor email correspondent and the fact that she lives in Kyoto, at a distance from the disasters, gives me hope that she is in good health and spirits as I type this. Thank you so much for asking.)

Photos courtesy of Descent and Kiyoko Yoshikawa.

Next up, a gaggle of penguins from Annelies de Kort, the Dutch miniature artist whose microknitting – at 1:160 scale – was absolutely the smallest of all Astounding Knits. Her latest penguin coats and balaclavas are not quite so minute (penguin models shown are 6.5 cm), but they are sure to keep tiny penguins the world over free from chills.

Knitting, sewing, styling, and photos by Annelies de Kort.

Meanwhile, at the Philip Island Nature Parks, staff members (and dozens, if not hundreds, of volunteers) knit for life-size penguins. It was the most logical way to keep Australian Little Penguins caught in oil spills from ingesting the toxic goo; and the success rate for rehabilitation, thanks in no small part to these knitted "jumpers," was an impressive 98%. Pictured below is a simple model, but enthusiastic volunteers sent in everything from scaled down Australian football league sweaters to a complete wedding party ensemble.
Photo courtesy of Penguin Foundation: Philip Island Nature Parks.

Last but certainly not least are two of Laurel Roth's crocheted Biodiversity Reclamation Suits for Urban Pigeons. Okay, so pigeons are not penguins but according to Laurel's logic, maybe they'd like to be. As I wrote in the book, she conceived these suits to "disguise our nation's winged urban pests as more savory...members of the avian community." And at the same time, to recreate our faltering animal biodiversity – because each of Laurel's suits represents an extinct species of bird.  A little research has unearthed a potential penguin candidate: New Zealand's former Chatham Islands Penguin. The trick will be training the penguin-pigeon to swim...
A dapper suit to disguise your pigeon as an Ivory Billed Woodpecker.

Dodo suit. Photos courtesy of Laurel Roth. 


  1. I am just amazed by peoples imaginations....fantastic!!

    Thank you for the book, I can't wait to get my hands on it :-)

  2. Oops! I seem to have accidentally deleted someone's comment about the photo of Miriam Tegels breaking the knitting speed record. If the photo is backwards, it was printed the way Miriam sent it to us and yes, it does look like she's knitting continental with her left hand. I will put the question to her, though, and report back!