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Outdoor sleeping, plastic bags, crochet hooks - what do these have in common?

Trash Meets Nature and Crochet Hooks

“Without a doubt, sleep is the biggest issue for homeless people,” writes San Diego-based blogger and self-proclaimed “chronic homeless man” Kevin Barbieux, who writes under the name The Homeless Guy. 

That statement haunts me on some level - the thought of people sleeping outside.  Many of us have difficulty getting good quality sleep and most of us have a bed to sleep in.  Imagine rolling up all of your personal belongings, plumping it up into a ball to be used as a pillow on which to to rest your head (and keep your items safe).  Imagine it's been raining for a couple of days . . . where do you lay to rest?  

Now, I understand that making a safe place to sleep outside is probably beyond the scope of what the majority of us are able to provide to others.  Yet, there IS something that almost every single one of us can do.  It requires a little effort but that effort can make a difference to someone who needs a helping hand. 

We are working to make that difference in the lives of people living HERE, in our community.  United Housing Connections in Greenville, South Carolina, has asked us for help providing some relief to homeless people living in the Upstate.  We said we would be happy to do this work and we're asking all of you for help!  We're making sleeping mats and knapsacks out of plastic yarn to be given out to homeless individuals in January, 2018.

Over the last few months, we've been collecting plastic shopping bags.  In fact, we've got a small mountain if them now!   

Last weekend, we handed out pairs of scissors and set to work turning those plastics bags into plastic yarn (or "plarn" as some people call it).  

It works like this:  we flatten each bag and stack three together.  Then, we fold the stack of three in half, twice.  

Then, we cut off the seam or bottom end of the bags and also the top edge that is the handle portion of the bags.  

Once that is done, we cut the remaining "roll" into one inch strips (which are really loops).  Each loop is then attached to another loop using a Larks Head Knot, and the accumulation of loops (which is now a long, long, long, long, strand of plastic yarn) are rolled into a ball.  Now, it's time to crochet!

Get out those crochet hooks (don't know how to crochet?  We can teach you!) - size "K" works well.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * 

Chain 42.  Then, sc in the second chain from the hook and every chain to the end (40 stitches).  Continue by doing a sc in every sc in each row (mat should be about 2.5 feet wide).  Stop when your mat is approximately 6 feet long. Bind off.  You're done!

* * * * * * * * * * * * *
I feel happy making this small contribution to our community at large and that we're also lessening the amount of trash going into the landfills (not everybody recycles).  Please consider joining us (you'll feel good, too) in making a difference to someone who does not have what we don't even notice we have.  Call the store for more information or stop by.  Feel free to pass on this blog or share excerpts to anyone you think may be interested in helping us meet our deadline of December 2017.

Thank you, thank you!!!!!

Krista Jameson
Yarn and Y'all


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