Needles click again

16:00, Nov 06 2013
SEWN TOGETHER: Adair Eady, third from right, with the Devonport Peggy Purl in your Community knitting group. She is the daughter of Peggy Cook, which peggy squares are named after.

Thousands of blankets made from ‘peggy squares' knitted by children helped keep New Zealand warm during the Depression more than 80 years ago.

Now the daughter of Peggy Cook, who the peggy square is named after, has been moved by stories of children going cold to revive the idea.

Devonport's Adair Eady is part of the Peggy Purl in your Community movement which sees children knit blankets for other youngsters.

CHUFFED: Kanye Griffiths, 3, is neighbours with Devonport knitting group member Lynn Dawson and chose his peggy square blanket.

Her mother Peggy, nee Huse, became the face of the peggy square in 1930 at the height of the Depression.

The 4-year-old from Upper Hutt rose to fame when, thanks to a popular radio station broadcast, children began knitting 6-inch peggy squares, sewn together as blankets, for kids and their families.

Peggy became a national phenomenon.


Several thousand blankets were made over three years.

Pocket money was donated to pay for lining materials.

A photo of 6-year-old Peggy was hung in the front window of The D.I.C, now Kircaldie and Stains, in Wellington in 1932.

A brand of knitting wool was also named after Peggy and the family was told farmers benefited from wool sales.

Mrs Eady says her mother did not invent the square but

used the opportunity to help other children.

And after last year hearing stories of babies being wrapped in tea towels, Mrs Eady decided to bring the idea back.

"There shouldn't be kids going cold," Mrs Eady says.

She is proud to carry on the legacy of her mother who died in 1994.

Peggy squares are still popular with Girl Guides, charities and community groups. Groups at community houses in Glenfield, Beach Haven, Devonport and Helensville have made more than 400 blankets this year.

A Bayview-Highbury group is being set up.

Blankets go back to children and babies from the same suburb they were made.

Mrs Eady, working with the Campaign for Wool, hopes to get the initiative into schools, with Devonport's St Leo's already taking part.

Email, or call 446 1269 for more information.

North Shore Times