A Memorial to Stolen Tree Sweaters

Two days after the four tree sweaters on 16th Street arbors disappeared, memorial sweaters appeared.

After an act of , fellow knitters offered warm, tree-hugging, hand-knitted memorials.

On Tuesday afternoon, on a tree near Eighth Avenue on 16th Street near where the original knitted artwork was, a small tree sweater appeared.

The mini sweater had a hand-written note attached, meant for the artist who’s tree warmers were stolen, Laurie Russell.

The note read:

Dear Tree Sweater Person,

I am so sorry that your tree sweaters got stolen! So I have given you this.


The memorial to the lost pieces of knit work that have decorated four trees during the cold and "barren" months of winter in Park Slope, came only two days after the incident occurred, which left Russell "discouraged" and saddened neighbors who enjoyed the "guerilla knitting."

Russell thinks the mini tree sweater is an ode to her work—. 

But then, yesterday, Wednesday, Russell happened upon a group of students from Brooklyn Prospect Charter School and their art teacher “re-sweatering” the trees. She said that there are now about six new little sweaters on the block.

Russell said that the students were part of an art club who wanted to do something about the stolen tree warmers. So, the club got together and knit a couple of memorial tree sweaters and then put them on the trees on 16th Street.

"Some of the middle school students at BPCS have also been onto the mysterious disappearance of the trees' fashion accessories and brought their concerns to their art teacher," a sokesperson for BPCS said. "Together they began a knitting campaign to  replace the sweaters and even reached out to the artist."

"It's a wonderful example of Park Slope's community values," the spokesperson said of the students taking initiative to replace the stolen sweaters.

Despite the loss of her own work, Russell has now found some solace.

“Some of the discouragement I've been feeling about the loss of the tree sweaters began to dissipate,” she said.

John Ness February 09, 2012 at 04:40 PM
Park Slope doesn't just have tree sweaters, it has memorials for trees that lose their sweaters.
Martha February 12, 2012 at 02:57 PM
My dogs and I were so delighted to see the beautiful, varied colored new tree sweaters on our freezing cold walk this morning along 16th St. It took the chill out of the air, at least temporarily. I love the idea of spontaneous art, coming from the 60's when there were all those "happenings". If I could knit, I'd contribute, but alas, I'm a cello player with no skills in the knitting realm. I hope to see more appearing. Thanks to the students who are beautifying the street. And thanks to my neighbor Laurie Russell, who apparently started the whole phenomenon. MS


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