Knitters put their threads together for Iowa City's downtown - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Knitters put their threads together for Iowa City's downtown

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IOWA CITY (KWWL) - The trees in downtown Iowa City will have a little extra protection this year from Old Man Winter.

Gabi Wadsworth, 16, of Iowa City is helping put threads together to blanket several trees.

"I thought it was really interesting how fast my mom could knit and how easily she did it, and so one day I asked her to teach me how do it," said Wadsworth.

She says knitting has been something that her and her mother have shared since she was only 8 years old.

Now, Wadsworth is knitting next to her mother -- and they're not alone.

More than 200 volunteers took part in this year's Tree Huggers project.

It's all sponsored by Total Tree Care of Iowa City and presented by Home Ec Workshop in partnership with the Iowa City Downtown District.

The project started in 2012, attracting national attention and excitement from publications like Martha Stewart's blog.

"Letting my hands just kind of work and reach that creative part of my brain is a fun experience, something that I don't get to do everyday," said Janet Lyness.

Organizers of the Iowa City Downtown District say this project is a great way to engage with a lot of women to enjoy crafting.

They say it's a great way to keep color in the landscape of downtown.

Knitters blanketed more than 130 trees in Iowa City's downtown and Northside Marketplace, bringing together life-long knitters and beginners alike.

"It was just a lot of fun last year," said Kristen Surom. "Last year I didn't know the people on my tree, so it's a fun way to meet new people, other knitters and just be a part of the knitting community."

Other cities across the country have picked up on Iowa City's Tree Hugging project and are making similar efforts.

The tree sweaters will stay on the trees through March of next year.

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