Tuesday, February 16, 2016

We will be beginning a knitting behind bars program at the womans's prision in Jessup.
Looking for volunteers and donation of #8 16 inch circular needles and new worsted weight yarn.  The ball band must be on any donated yarn
  Only these two items, please.
Please contact me
Lynnzwerling@verizon.net or 410 868 5129
And of course a small monetary donation would be appreciated.  There is a donate button  on the bottom of the website.
Unfortunately it isn't visible on mobile pbones.  To donate you have to go to the full site.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Special thanks to Dwayne and Mark for joining me at the Conference for Restorative Justice last week.  It was a pleasure having them share the podium with me.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

http://www.gofundme.com/8py6t8 Above is a link to go fund me, a crowd source funding program where Knitting Behind Bars has asked for help funding its past 6 years
See you at the Sheep and Wool Show this weekend!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Sincere apologies for leaving this blog silent for so long. The program has taken so much of our energy that this and our facebook page has been neglected. The news is that we have reached a five year milestone with our program and with that we have had easily four hundred behind bars knitters go through our weekly knitting group. So many men have been introduced to the zen of knitting. They have been instrumental in providing winter hats for the inner city kids in Baltimore MD through a program sponsored by Lovely Yarn in Baltimore. In addition to knitting hats for those kids many of our inmtes have made hats to send home to their own kids or wives or mothers or significant partners. It has truly been a genuine commuity building effort. Lately it seems that both Sheila and I have received emails and friend requests generated by the contunued buzz generated by Knitting Behind Bars We honetly don't know the source of these emails and requests, but we are indeed thankful. Many have asked to donate yarns and needles and much as we appreciate the offers, we cannot accept. The prison system has cleared some very specific supplies which we provide weekly. Red tape, at it finest. We do however accept and appreciate monetary donatiuons and there is a pay pal button at the top of this blog. We had been previusly allowed to share photos of our happy guys kniting away but that, did I mention red tape, has ended and so you dear blog reader will just have to believe me when I tell you that knitting immediately changes their mood, their body language and their demeanor. For fear of sounding like an evanglist, I must say the transformation is impressive Imagine the three of us, Sheila, Lea and me sitting in the midst of 22 content, happy inmate knitters,who are companionable just like any knitting group, sharing family stories, and yes, even recipes. Lea provides the comic releif weekly with some pretty lame jokes, Sheila is the go to for errors and I am the cheerleader with my five minute, you can do it, knitting lesson. We don't know who loves the project more, us or them. Our Thursday nights are precious to us and we plan our week around them. Knitting Behind Bars is alive and well and we thank all of our supporters

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