LIVERMORE -- An exotic "Tree Sweater Forest" will soon sprout in downtown Livermore.

Come Sept. 30, tree trunks on First Street, between Maple and South L, will be blanketed in trunk sweaters -- much like leg warmers. All the handiwork will be by local knitters and crocheters. The fiber art project will be installed Sept. 22 and remain on view for a month. Then the "sweaters" will be donated to Valley Humane Society, along with money from business sponsorships.

"The knitted and crocheted blankets -- which will be wrapped snugly around the trees and sewn together -- will be donated as comfort pieces and bedding for shelter animals," said Rebecca Cox, with the city's Community and Economic Development Department. She is a liaison to the Commission for the Arts, which came up with the idea for the project.

"Valley Humane is so excited to be receiving these handmade pieces," she said.

Cox said all 30 tree spots have been filled for the event but she has started a standby list. If there is enough interest from the business community, she said she may be able to open up the event to more trees.

Jo-Ann's Fabric and Craft Store is donating all the yarn, knitting needles and crochet hooks for the project, said Cox, who hopes that next year the city can include all 84 trees downtown.

"It will be a nice walking tour for people to view," she said. "We're thrilled with the response from the knitting and crocheting community and hoping next year to get even more businesses involved as sponsors."


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The Tree Sweater Forest was inspired by a global trend called "yarn bombing," a kind of fiber graffiti.

"It started with people putting up random items in public places -- such as leg warmers on a statue or a colorful cover for a light pole. It's incredible," said Cox.

Registration closes Friday, with projects due Sept. 10. For information, contact Rebecca Cox at 925-960-4581, email arts@cityoflivermore.net or visit http://www.cityoflivermore.net/civicax/filebank/documents/9976.

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