Detroit parishioners knit mats from carrier bags

Detroit parishioners knit mats from carrier bags (Sainsbury's)

Parishioners from a church in Detroit are helping their local homeless community by handcrafting a selection of knitted and crocheted mats.

But rather than using wool, they're being a little creative and making the sleeping mats from unwanted plastic grocery bags.

This way the users can stay warm and dry, thanks to the St Colette Churchgoers, Hometown Life goes.

Almost 40 volunteers have been working hard since early June on the unique project, with four large mats completed so far.

Parishioner Jan Dibasio told the site that since the project began "it has just snowballed".

"We have new people coming every week. It's something for everybody," Ms Dibasio explained, adding that helpers have ranged all the way from primary school age up to the grand old age of 95.

Each of the mats is the height and width of a sleeping bag, basically around three feet by six feet and around half an inch thick.

The plastic helps to protect against the moisture and cold from the ground, making them an invaluable gift for Detroit's homeless people.

Each of the mats is distributed in the city's Eastern Market area by Sister Judie Anne Ruggirello from St Joseph Catholic Church.

As well as helping the local community, the mats are great for the environment as they result in fewer plastic bags going to landfill, making them a great way to recycle and get knitting at the same time!

To make their special mats the group sorts the bags into colours and cuts them into strips, tying them together to form balls, all ready for the knitters and crocheters to try out exciting stripes and patterns.

However, before you start collecting carrier bags, remember that it might be quicker to just stick with some old yarn, especially as each mat needs between 500 and 700 bags and could take you up to a month to finish!

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