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Craft Groups to Support Our Troops:
This is a list of some of the groups that make different items to send to our troops.
Sites and/or Patterns for Cool Ties:
- The Ships Project: http://www.theshipsproject.com/
The group's online home page, and message archives can be found here: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ShipSupport/
- The Hugs Project: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/TheHugsProject/
- Operation Warm the Troops: http://www.friendshipcorners.com/
- Operation Helping Hand: http://www.operationhelpinghand-americanangels.com/
- Operation Helmetliner: http://www.geocities.com/helmetliner/index.html
- Has free knitting, crocheting, & sewing patterns available for making items (such as helmet liners, neck coolers, scarf, neck gator) for our troops. Patterns are available to download in WORD or .PDF file format. Note: Helmet Liners should be made of a soft 100% wool yarn that is medium weight (US 7-8 needles/size K hook). The colors should be appropriate to the military: tan, brown, gray, olive or black. You can find the pattern for a crocheted helmet liner here through the courtesy of Skein Lane Studio in El Cerrito, CA. (FYI - Some of our troops call the helmet liners "Wooly Pulleys.")
- Knit Your Bit Campaign: http://www.nationalww2museum.org/education/for-general-public/knit-your-bit.html
- "You can help the Museum honor WWII veterans by Knitting Your Bit - in this case a simple, but cozy, scarf to be donated to a veteran in a Veterans Center somewhere in the United States." Free knitting & crocheting patterns are available in .pdf file format at the web site.
I think most of the patterns you will find at these sites are basically the same but the amount of crystals to be used varies. According to the Watersorb site, "you can use 1-3 tsp for each cool tie/cooler. If too many polymer granules are used in the tube, the polymer will ooze through the fabric tube. Each pound of polymer has about 115 tsp. Two teaspoons is all that is needed."
I've read that you can find the polymer crystals/granules at any home or garden store. The polymer crystals/granules are used in soil for moisture retention. You can also try looking for "Magic Crystals" or "Moisture Plus." (You can find Schultz Moisture Plus at Wal-Mart in the gardening section.) Another brand name to look for is "Soil Moist." If you can't find the crystals locally, check out Soil Moist's web site for a list of links of where to purchase it.
Another thing to keep in mind when comparing different brands of crystals is that the Watersorb brand uses fewer crystals in making the neck coolers compared to the Schultz Moisture Plus brand. According to the hints from the OSOT, "Schultz Crystals take ¼-teaspoon per 4" pocket. Watersorb takes 1/8-teaspoon."
Safety Note Concerning Polymer Crystals/Granules:
According to Ted Douglas, Watersorb/Polymers, Inc., polymer granules used to construct cool ties are non-toxic and meet EPA standards for potable drinking water. While non-toxic, dust from polymer granules may lead to irritation if inhaled. Mr. Douglas recommends wearing a dust mask while filling cool ties.
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Originally created 16 August 2002 and updated as of 23 October 2008.
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