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Knit a Sweater for a Penguin in Need


Rena, an oil tanker that cracked a couple weeks ago when it ran into a coral reef off New Zealand’s coast is slowly leaking onto that island’s shores, which harbors some of Earth’s most unique biodiversity. And treehugger.com says it’s only getting worse as storms buffet the damaged ship. Awash in grief and futility as usual, this time there’s something we can do to help–knit a shivering oil-slicked penguin a sweater! The yarn store Skeinz is organizing efforts and posted this pattern.

Photo by Lena Nargi

Penguin Jumper in 8ply  – Must be 100% Wool Yarn
1 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.

 

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How to: Dress like Amy Pond


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For the second installment of my How To Dress Like series of look books for the characters in Doctor Who, we have the girl who waited, that gangly ginger, Amy Pond. Warning, spoilers!

Can you find the joke?

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How To: Dress like River Song


If you’re like me, you’ve been listening to everyone’s amazement at it being August already thinking, “Hello! I’ve been waiting for August to come ’round since the mid-season finale of Doctor Who!” Are you, too, obsessively re-watching all the latest Doctor Who episodes, trying to guess where the plot will lead next? If one thing’s for sure, it’s that the team of characters this season is a solid mix of personality, style, and swashbuckling fun.

This week, in anticipation of Part 2 of this season of Doctor Who, I’ll be posting How To’s on dressing like your favorite character. Starting with my favorite, River Song. Does your Netflix account suggest you’d like the category “dramas with a strong female lead”? Have you watched The Cook, the Thief, his Wife, and her Lover for the Alex Kingston cameo, only to watch it over again for the thrill of it? (And to see Dumbledore and The Queen in those amazing roles again.) Then you might enjoy this round-up to dress like River Song. Next up: Amelia Pond!

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The DroidX’s Wife


It’s here! A cell phone cozy for the DroidX I made by customer request. It is custom made for the DroidX, and fits any smartphone snugly. Made from a blue European yarn that’s 100% recycled (regenerated?) from fabric remnants and white organic yarn certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard. A super timey-wimey button keeps your phone and your soul safe. A humanist for life, I always plant one rainforest tree for every item I make.

Look for it and more photos soon at www.etsy.com/shop/KnitsForLife.

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Customer request: OySpaceMan! Menswear Beanie (sans scarf)


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I got a request from a happy customer to make this hat without the scarf it originally came with. He also wanted something to wear in the summer, so I switched out the acrylic white stripes with organic cotton ones. The blue in this hat is entirely recycled in Europe. As always, it’s a custom fit and comes with a tree donation. Get one for your favorite Doctor Who fan here: http://www.etsy.com/listing/74224616/oyspaceman-hat-in-recycled-fiber

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Didn’t get outside today? Listen to Coast and Country instead.


You have that place in the world you secretly think you’re from–in another life or the one you very much wish you lived in. You adamantly collect from your imagination every pebble of truth–a special bloodline, that habit that so perfectly matches the natives. My mom swears she’s a coastal Italian, my sister just might be French, and I’m a pure-blooded country Englishwoman. OK, in reality it’s three-quarters “Great British”, and I don’t know a single relative on the island. But I can taste the briny laverbread in my mouth and feel the fog in my bones!

Like RadioLab, they’ve mastered the medium

I invite you to listen to my favorite escape short of visiting the British Isles, BBC Radio 4’s Coast and Country radio program, available as a podcast. But, you ask, isn’t radio about the outdoors a bit like dancing about painting? Not so with these masters of radio. Every week on coast and country the hosts skillfully depict a hill by drawing your attention to their quickening breath, or portray a sunny break in a forest by hushing up to let you hear the change of mood in the group.

The Brits have a rich heritage of protecting and discussing the importance and meaning of their landscape, which comes across well in the show, perhaps most of all in its sheer existence. The juggle between conservation and preservation, between natural and cultural heritage is also clear in the subject choice and journalistic questions they ask of the people living in the week’s countryside.

Start out with some of my favorites

Resistance (Nov 6, 2010). Hike the forests of Wales looking for underground bunkers to climb into with the then-young secret resistance forces that were prepared for Nazi invasions. (Download episode from the BBC or view here)

Country Ramblings (Oct 2, 2010). Join the Cultural Olympiad through the Forest of Dean with their donkey cart and a young ruffian who loves it. (Download episode from the BBC or view here)

New Forest Mushrooms (Nov 20, 2010). Sniff out pounds of delicacies with the expert who supplies local chefs, learn about mushroom poachers, and finish with sizzling butter in a pan. (Download episode from the BBC or view here)

Sherwood (Apr 9, 2011). Dig up artifacts like a Viking amphitheater under the ancient trees in Sherwood forest and hear how far away you could stand in the mangy crowd and still hear the pronouncement. (Download episode from the BBC or view here)

Check out the website for more, including Roald Dahl & Fantastic Mr. Fox’s countryside, how the river Thames came back to life, making room for seahorses, the world’s most haunted town, and the mistletoe festival!

If you know of any shows as rich as this about the US’s heritage, please share them in the comments. Thanks!