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Do you know of a non-profit that takes handcrafted items to help clients? If so, we’d like to feature them in Crafty Living. Give us a call at 461-8364 or drop us an email at craftyliving@jg.net.

Crafts help homeless veterans

In keeping with our occasional series on how your handcrafting can help people in the area, we recently spoke with Barb Cox from Shepherd’s House, which helps homeless veterans.

With winter around the corner, the shelter could use hats, scarves, gloves, anything to help clients stay warm, she said.

Shepherd’s House, founded in 1998, is a 41-bed shelter. Ninety-eight percent of its clients are homeless veterans working through drug and alcohol recovery. The program at Shepherd’s House allows these homeless veterans to stay for up to two years, Cox said.

The shelter is undergoing an expansion, at the end of which, it will be a 51-bed facility, Cox said.

Someone is usually at the house to accept donations, but Cox said if you call ahead to make arrangements, the shelter staff can stock away your donated goods to use for Christmas gifts. Shepherd’s House is at 519 Tennessee Ave.

In addition to personal accessories to keep residents warm, Shepherd’s House could use handmade blankets you might like to donate. The shelter’s 41 rooms are furnished with twin-size beds.

For more information on how you can use your crafty skills to help residents at Shepherd’s House, call Cox at 705-7642.

If you’re looking for a quick and easy scarf pattern to help the residents, here are instructions for a fringed fleece scarf, which we originally published last fall.

What you’ll need:

Fleece (2 to 3 colors, however much you choose to purchase)

Scissors

Sewing machine

Rotary cutter

Cutting mat

Directions:

Scarves should be about 8 inches wide by about 5 feet long. With that in mind, cut your fleece in the desired width and length of strips.

After you have done that, layer the fleece pieces one on top of the other. Decide which color will be on top and which will be on bottom. Then, make the thread on your sewing machine’s spindle match the top color and the thread on your bobbin match the bottom color (this is not crucial). Simply do a straight stitch down the center of all layers of fleece (I wouldn’t do more than three layers) and stitch slowly so as not to jam up your thread or break a needle).

When the stitching is done, lay the scarf out on a table and use the rotary cutter to cut “fringe” along each side.

Basically, you will be cutting every inch or two into the center stitching, being careful not to cut your sewn line.

That’s it. Shake out the scarf and start on the next one.

Joyce McCartney is not a craft expert. She is, however, interested in crafting of all types. She shares her experiences and those of area crafters. To reach her, call 461-8364 or email craftyliving@jg.net. Also, visit her blog at www.journalgazette.net/craftyliving. There, you will also find the weekly knitting podcast Math4Knitters.

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