With all the new lingo these days, it’s sometimes hard to keep up. Have you ever heard of “plarn”?
Well, LTHC Homeless Services sure has and it’s one of our new favorite words. PLastic + yARN, plarn, is what is used to knit or crochet re-purposed plastic shopping bags in to sleeping mats. These mats can be used by unsheltered homeless individuals to provide a waterproof barrier for sleeping on the ground. This is not a new concept worldwide but new to LTHC.
Julie Conlon, from St. Andrew United Methodist Church in West Lafayette, contacted LTHC with the idea of knitting the mats after reading some books about similar projects done with women in poverty around the world. She made a few tweaks to the original idea and started finding others who wanted to join her. Now, Julie is working with volunteers in the community as well as LTHC clients to learn the plarn process.
The crafters, who have switched from knitting to crocheting for speed and simplicity, use plastic bags that are in good shape to cut them into strips. The strips are then tied end to end and rolled into balls just like yarn would be. The crafters then start crocheting away — making mats that will be sleeping bag in size when they are finished.
Are you a crafty type? Julie and the clients who are working at LTHC on the project once or twice each week would love to have you join them. Do you have quality bags to bring us or are you willing to donate craft store gift cards for extra supplies? It is quite an amazing process to watch and the results are great!
If you are interested in learning more about The Plarn Project, please contact me, Jennifer Seabolt, at firstname.lastname@example.org or Julie Conlon at email@example.com.