Upcoming Yarn Art Installation Bringing Awareness to Port’s Trees

Crocheting is a common pastime in which  many people partake.  While it is normally an activity meant for one person, Yarn Arms Around Port is using the power of crocheting to help bring the community together.  This upcoming installation will create unique and colorful art, decorating trees all over Port Washington, especially on Main Street.  Just as the name suggests, the public is able to create yarn “arms” attached to crocheted hands in all different ethnicities to promote inclusivity and represent everyone.  

“It’s definitely something that would be fun to see around town.  It’s great how it celebrates diversity while acknowledging our environment,” said freshman Addy Rejwan.

These arms and hands are created using a crocheting technique called “Granny Squares,” in which the crocheter creates many different small squares and joins them together to form an image or pattern.  

“We use Granny Squares because they are very easy: anyone can do it, and people who are more experienced crocheters can teach others how to make them,” said Allison White, who founded the project.  

Anyone can take part, whether they are a beginner or an expert, and can pass on Yarn Arms Around Port’s message. 

Yarn Arms Around Port has a few main purposes, but one important goal is to attract visitors.  The interesting crocheted creations are meant to draw attention to the beauty of our town and all of Port’s small businesses.  When people look at the “yarn arms” around Main Street, they’ll also be able to see what else Main Street has to offer. 

White is partnering with Residents Forward to oversee and organize the entire project, whose kickoff is happening on Nov. 16.  While the kickoff is close, the final date for the project is April 1, to match up with Earth Month.  The project is a play on the phrase “tree hugger,” and while attracting visitors to Port Washington, the crocheted arms also bring awareness to the state of the trees all over town.

“We hope this project will not only be exciting, fun and inspiring for residents, but will also attract visitors to our commercial district.  We also believe it provides an opportunity to celebrate Earth Month and educate residents about the environment,” said Kim Keiserman, Director of Development at Residents Forward.  

 Some streets in Port Washington have barely any trees, and the project seeks to inspire people to plant more, as it’s great for the environment and makes the town look better.

White has been crocheting for several years, and picked up “yarn bombing” during the pandemic.  Yarn bombing is an activity where artists cover public places or their own property with crocheted art or other things made out of yarn.  White’s neighbors and the rest of the community really enjoyed it, so she wanted to do something to help the town while also using her love for crochet.

“What I could do as an individual was limited, but what we could do as a community is far greater,” said White.

White talked to arborists about how to carry out her project without hurting trees, spoke to the head of Residents Forward about town-wide environmental education, and is partnering with the Nicholas Center for Autism so people all around Port Washington can take part in the yarn bombing. Anyone can get involved, and the project helps make town more beautiful while also educating residents about the environment and trees.  

“Everyone can get involved, and if you don’t like to crochet, you can take part in different ways. Volunteers can hang up the arms, measure the trees being used, and spread the word,” said White. 

The art all around town will also serve as attractions where residents can visit if they want something to do with their families. The installations will also encourage viewers to appreciate the nature and trees that surround the artworks. 

“I think it’s a really fun idea, and I love how you can participate in a hobby while also increasing environmental awareness,” said freshman Jessie Shapiro.

To take part in the project, those interested can join the kick-off Zoom hosted by the Port Washington Public Library and Residents Forward at 7 p.m. on Nov. 16.  They can also email Yarn Arms Around Port at y[email protected] or visit their Facebook page.  This April, look out for the crocheted art pieces all around our town that are helping to make Port Washington a more close-knit community.