Thursday, April 12, 2012

Here is an email I'd like to share....

Our goal was always to assist others in building their win Knitting Behind Bars program.  We have spoken to many who would like to start such a project and have heard of some very early pans for such a program in two Md prisons.  After the article we got hundreds of calls and emails.  Many from the UK and one from  Folsom Prison  in California. 

It would be overly optimistic to imagine an improvement in the whole facility, but we have heard from   Chippendale, the assistant warden of the entire pre release system that she is aware of a marked increase in the good behavior of our participants.  Over 150 men have attended our program and any ave told us that this has been life altering.  Several men with whom we continue to follow on the outside, confirm these benefits.

After all, the program is not really about the craft of knitting, but the benefits it brings.  Goal orientation, pride in one's work, anger management, crossing perceived gender stereo types are just a few of these benefits.

Being in prison is like pushing a pause button.  Nothing happens.  There are only a few programs geared to rehabilitation and success is usually a huge personal motivation.  Any incarcerated person would benefit from having a weekly opportunity to learn a new skill and interact with people in the community.

Good luck on your paper, Heather.  My behind the walls knitters and I would love to see what you write.

My best,

Sent from my iPad

On Apr 12, 2012, at 1:12 PM, Heather Gambrel wrote:


 I'm writing a research paper for my composition class on Knitting Behind Bars. I was just wondering if I could ask you a few questions about your program. First of all, have any other prisons adopted the program, or have plans to do so? Have you noticed a noticeable improvement in the overall atmosphere of the prison? Do you think that this program would only be appropriate for a certain type of prison, such as a minimum security prison, or would it also be beneficial to prisoners in maximum security prisons? Thank you for taking the time to read my email. I think the program sounds really fun and exciting, and I'm having a blast writing a paper on such a neat success story. =)

Thanks again!

Heather Gambrel

Monday, January 23, 2012

Listen to our Interview with NPR's Kojo Nnamde

Click HERE

Knitting Behind Bars Oatmeal Cookies by Sheila Rovelstad and Lynn Zwerling

This is the recipe for the cookies we took to Kojo. Notice that they are oatmeal cookies, but when you get to know them they have a surprise for you! There is no violence making these cookies! No beating of ingredience, just blending, stirring and folding in. Just like life should be!

1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 pinch of salt
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups regular rolled oats
1/4 cup each: golden raisins, dried cherries, dried cranberries
1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350┬║. In a large bowl, whirl butter with an electric mixer on medium high speed for 30 seconds.
Add brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Stir until combined, scraping bowl occasionally.
With mixer, stir in eggs and vanilla until combined. Stir in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Stir in remaining
flour by hand. Fold in oats, raisins, cherries, cranberries and white chocolate chips.
Drop dough by heaping, rounded teaspoons 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake in preheated oven for about 12 minutes or until edges are light brown and center appears set. Cool on cookie
sheet for 2 minutes. Transfer to wire rack, cool completely. Enjoy! Makes 48 cookies.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

So many kniters want to donate yarn.....

We wish we could accept these donatons, but we can't. Storge space is limited, so we cannot accept yarn donations at this time.

You Can Help Knitting Behind Bars

You can purchase these items to help us fund Knitting Behind Bars.

"I Fought the Law And the Law Won" Sock Yarn. This is a hand-dyed sock yarn from W├╝llenstudio by Sheila Rovelstad Designs.
To purchase, click HERE

Silver colored, handmade yarn ball bead, with Sterling Silver necklace. From Coppatina by Sheila Rovelstad Designs.
To purchase, click HERE

Copper, handmade yarn ball bead, with Sterling Silver necklace. From Coppatina by Sheila Rovelstad Designs.

To purchase, click HERE

Silver colored bead with Sterling Silver chain, very linmited quantity.
To purchase, click HERE

Listen for Sheila on The Kojo Show Monday 1/23

Listen live at 12 a WAMU which is 88.5 FM or go to the website and listen there.
click here