Prison knitting circle unusual, but successful

  • 27/08/2011

By Ingrid Hipkiss

An unusual knitting circle has been set up in New Plymouth. 

Together they churn out beanies, moccasins and scarves which are donated to those in need in their community, such as the Women's Refuge.

The difference is the knitters are all men and they're all criminals.

Behind the barbed wire and stone walls, the hard men of New Plymouth prison are learning to knit.

“[It’s] very unusual, in a prison full of men knitting would be the last thing anyone would think of,” says one prisoner.

Anyone except for Barbara Sarjeant, who set up the popular knitting circle.

3 News asked her about the challenges of getting inmates on board.

“I don't think there were any, we just got on with it and it just happened, it was not difficult the ones who were keen very quickly picked it up, it wasn't difficult,” she says.

With varying degrees of speed and skill they churn out piles of woollen goodies, Which will be donated to the Women’s Refuge and the knitting does great things for the men's self worth as well.

“It’s productive, you can see what you've produced, it goes to Women’s Refuge so it goes to a good cause,” says an incarcerated wool-spinner.

Then there are the simple pleasures of sharing a yarn.

“We sit round and chat and they help each other and sometimes we talk about what's on the news,” says Ms Sarjeant.

There's no shortage of enthusiasm, but donations of wool would be gratefully received.

3 News

source: newshub archive

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