From plarn to bed
By Cheryl Parker

Here is an opportunity to help the homeless, be good to planet earth, and learn a new, easy craft to do with friends or in the comfort of your home during the long, cold winter. And at absolutely no cost.

Elaine Siebel will be at the Jesup Public Library on Wednesday, October 16 at 6:30 pm, to demonstrate how to turn plastic bags, given out by grocery and other stores, into sleeping mats that can be rolled up and carried backpack style.

Being made from plastic, the mats are lightweight, won’t harbor bugs or lice, and provide insulation from the ground. Plus, this is an excellent way to recycle these plastic bags which tangle automatic recycling equipment and should never be tossed into a recycling container.

Basically, the bags are cut into strips, then the strips are strung together, and rolled up into a ball of (plastic yarn) plarn. The plarn is crocheted with a size Q hook into a mat.
Siebel is based out of St. Mary of Mt. Carmel Church in Eagle Center, and has made it her mission to teach this craft to others all over the state. If one doesn’t know how to crochet, there is plenty of prep work in preparing the plarn which requires no skills. This makes it a fun project for church groups, civic organizations, or anyone who wants to do it.

The Eagle Center project began by distributing the mats to homeless veterans; when those needs appeared to be met, they added it to their shoebox project for Nicaragua.

Linda Schmit made arrangements for Siebel to come to Jesup, and will be spearheading a group from Jesup if there is interest. Each mat requires a large number of bags, so just saving and contributing bags can in itself be a way to serve.

For more information, come to the meeting Wednesday, October 16 at 6:30 pm in the Jesup Library.
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