Former homeless woman crochets mats for shelters

Tunisian crochet lessons intrigue Yorkshire crafters (iStockphoto)

A former homeless woman from Illinois, US has been sharing her impressive knitting and crocheting skills while helping her community.

There have been many stories over the past couple of years of people knitting, weaving and crocheting together plastic bags in order to make mats for people sleeping outdoors.

These can be invaluable to the homeless community, helping to ensure that they remain dry and comfortable in all sorts of weather.

Plus, they are a great way of recycling unwanted plastic bags and giving them to a good home.

After hearing about these mats, Mary Hayes, who is proficient at a wide range of crafts decided to make some of her own to help provide people without shelter a little extra comfort.

She told Peoria Journal Star that after donating her first mat to the South Side Mission she inspired others to also help make their own.

Ms Hayes was left without a home in 1998 following a "brutal" divorce and turned to the Tri-County Women Strength domestic violence shelter in Peoria, which helped her to get her life back on track - even assisting her in finding her current apartment.

She now teaches knitting and crocheting classes and donates all mats and woollen blankets made.

Ms Hayes said that crocheting plastic is a lot tougher than her usual projects which involve different coloured yarn.

She explained: "It takes a lot of upper body strength. But it's fun. It's something different and challenging."

Ms Hayes said that she stockpiles grocery bags and slices the handles and bottom seams off each one and cuts them into three rings of plastic before knotting into long chains and rolling into balls of yarn.

Each mat takes around a week of crocheting to complete and it is then donated to one of the local homeless shelters or community missions.

Ravelympics unravels US Olympic bureaucracy

The Ravelympics fought its corner against US Olympic bureaucracy

The Olympics is no stranger to controversy, but a knitting scandal is something very few people could have predicted.

This week the US Olympic Committee (USOC) sent a cease-and-desist letter to wor... read more

Woolfest proves a hit with knitters

Woolfest proved to be a big hit with knitters

Cockermouth's annual Woolfest has just finished, proving a huge hit with all involved.

Heavy showers didn't put off the crowds who made it up to Mitchell's Lakeland Livestock Centre in Cockermouth ... read more

Are you joining the Big Knit 2012?

Are you joining the Big Knit 2012?

One of the most annoying things about knitting is inevitably all the leftover threads and balls of wool.

Rather than throwing them away, most people will keep these bits and bobs under the proviso... read more

Pinterest Facebook Twitter Youtube Rss