Flowers are not the only source of color in Central Park thanks to the help of some local crochet enthusiasts. For several weeks they have been working on pieces to adorn the trees located at the park, meeting Thursday morning to put their creations in place.
The project is the brain child of Tes Stewart, recreation supervisor of Ardmore Parks and Recreation, who came up with the idea after seeing a similar display while on vacation in Eureka Sprigs, Ark. She and other members of the parks department were on hand to help hang everything.
Many of the crocheters said they have been crocheting most of their lives and they often learned the skill from their mothers and grandmothers. This is the case for lifetime Ardmore resident Jo Stewart who made tree wraps for the “three sisters tree,” a tree that splits into three distinct trunks.
“I’ve lived here all my life and I’m proud to represent Ardmore,” Jo Stewart said. “I’ve been crocheting for probably 70 years, and I started at my grandmother’s knee. I’m extremely visually impaired but I love to knit and crochet.”
Jennye Preston went in a different direction for her contribution. Instead of creating a wrap for the tree trunks, she instead opted to make 75 individual butterflies to hang from the branches. She said she can make about five butterflies an hour. Now that she is finished with this project she plans to start working on lap blankets and hats to give out to the veterans at the Veterans Center this Christmas.
Rhonda Anderson is a relative newcomer to both Ardmore and crocheting, but she said she had a wonderful time working on the project.
“I haven’t been crocheting very long,” Anderson said. “My son lives in Colorado and he didn’t have any ornaments for his Christmas tree, so I thought I’m going to teach myself to crochet and make him some snowflakes. So I did that and then I saw this in the paper and called Tes to sign up.”
Anderson said she moved to Ardmore about six months ago and found this to be a great way to get involved in her new community.
“It has been a blast and I’ve met all these wonderful people,” Anderson said. “I’ve been crocheting like crazy and telling people ‘I can’t talk to you, I can’t go out with you, I can’t do anything, I can’t do anything, I’m crocheting!”
Tes Stewart said the pieces will be on display in the park for at least the next three weeks, and she’s looking forward to bringing the project back next year.
“This has been a really fun way to bring some more color to downtown,” Tes Stewart said. “Next time you can all do two or three trees you want. If you guys want to start working on it now for next year, that would be awesome.”