Do Peepguins Need Sweaters?


On Monday, I asked: Do Penguins Need Sweaters? Answer: Not really.

But my friends Joanna, Kate, and I thought penguin sweaters were perfect for the Washington Post Peeps Diorama Contest. Our entry:

Sweaters for Peepguins

After the bunny peeps read on Peepbook that peepguins in the Southern Hemisphere needed sweaters, they met up at their local yarn store to pitch in.

peepguin in an argyle sweater

Their instructor, in the dark blue shawl, shows them how to get started.

Sweaters for Peepguins

 What’s that in the corner behind the bunny in the blue and white sweater?


For the knitters: That cuddly peep was knitted in the round on very small needles–size 000, I think.

Also knitted on tiny needles: these hats.

peepguins need sweaters
Note how the peepguin in the poster is sad before it gets a sweater, but happy after. That’s the power of knitwear. The yarn balls were wound on toothpicks using the nøstepinde technique.

These bunnies aren’t beginners; they’re knitting sophisticated sweaters in a variety of stitch patterns.


This knitter is working seed stitch with her toothpick needles and the quirky Japanese yarn brand Noro.

Knit One Peep Two is a modern yarn shop, with an iPad instead of a cash register.


Behind the counter, a hand-painted poster reminds the knitters of the plight of the peepguins.

hat and poster

The magazines cover important issues for marshmallow knitters, with tips for knitting without arms and keeping needles sugar-free. They also offer patterns, like the two-eared hat sported by the cashier.

vogue peeping

A sophisticated bunny does her shopping in a hand-knitted cape.


What a joy, to be crafting with your friends.


Produced by me, Helen Fields (knitting of eccentric items, winding of tiny yarn balls); fellow science writer Kate Ramsayer (knitting of sweaters and hats, winding of tiny yarn balls); and museum curator Joanna Church (painting of posters, building of dollhouse furniture, constructing and papering the diorama, winding of tiny yarn balls).

photos: Helen Fields, except the overview, which is by Kate Ramsayer

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19 thoughts on “Do Peepguins Need Sweaters?

  1. Adorable! I have no idea what peeps are- presumably the little yellow bunny characters- or why they should need dioramas, but it is super cute. Tiny things are always irresistible.

  2. It’s a marshmallow molded into the shape of a chick or bunny, covered in sugar. Honestly, I’m not sure I knew what Peeps were before the Washington Post’s first such contest, in 2007. I’m pretty sure I’d never tasted one until I started working on this diorama. I’m not a huge fan.

  3. Helen, it’s as deep as the Taj Mahal: perfect on every order of magnitude, from the teeny detail to the long shot.

  4. I suspect the sweaters will protect these bunnies–and the Peepguins–from being eaten. What a great Peep conservation program you’ve started! Now they can be taken off the endangered sweetsies list.

  5. As an avid knitter and Peep lover I am blown away by this!!! As a kid all I wanted was Peeps in my basket. Now you can get them year round for every occasion so I think using them as an art medium is very forward thinking.

    Care to share how many hours this took and did you have Peep casualties with the toothpicks?

  6. Oh gosh…let me see if I can count the hours. Three of us worked on it together for about six hours. Two of us worked on it one day for about two hours and another day for another three hours. But that’s not counting all the knitting time. I probably spent…say, six hours knitting on my own, and Kate probably did, too. Total of: a lot. No toothpick injuries. Many of those Peeps do have pins sticking through them, though.

    I’m not in Colorado, for the person who asked – I’m in Washington, D.C.

  7. As a knitter and Peeps fan, this one gets my vote. For those of us in the Midwest where it seems like spring is never going to come, I assert that peepguins definitely do need sweaters. My hat is off to you creative ladies.

    And for those who say they haven’t tried/aren’t fond of eating Peeps, I strongly suggest you wait until they’re stale. A fresh Peep just melts in your mouth. A chewy Peep is best.

  8. I LOVE this!!! I originally saw it on Ravelry and the girl who posted it saw it on Facebook!!! She was able to find the original owner which is you!!! Great job!! Very creative.

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