An altruistic crafting trend is taking hold: crocheting sleeping mats for the homeless from plastic bags. Service groups across the country have been banding together and creating mats to donate to homeless shelters for those in need. In West Virginia the project was even selected as the statewide Community Education Outreach Service project for 2011.
From the Sunday Gazette-Mail:
"It's a great stress reliever," Melissa Starcher said. "I can knit intricate things. When it comes to crochet, I basically make a bunch of knots. With this, it's the same thing over and over. Once you learn one simple stitch, it's easily done. Anyone can do it."
While crocheting the mats is fairly easy, making them from scratch is an involved process, she said.
Each mat is made from up to about 400 to 700 bags, and it can take up to 100 hours to make an average 3-foot-by-6-foot mat, she said.
It's certainly not a quick project, but for many of you, crocheting is second nature. This could be done while watching tv or while commuting on public transit.
There's even a YouTube video tutorial to show you how to get started.
(Image: Bill Rheinlander/The Putnam Herald)