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POSITIVELY OKLAHOMA: Enchanted yarn forest pops up at Gathering Place

Yarn art
Posted at 3:00 PM, Apr 05, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-06 11:23:09-04

TULSA, Okla. — Every Tuesday morning, a tight-knit group gathers inside Williams Lodge at Gathering Place.

"We've been meeting mostly since the park opened," said MaryJo Wimbish. There are regulars, like Wimbish, but this is a sewing circle that welcomes all.

"Sometimes people just walk by and say, ‘Oh, I'm going to get my knitting,’ and they get their knitting out of the car and come hang with us," Wimbish said.

They're folks with a knack for knitting. They craft and crochet their own creations. So they were pleasantly surprised when the Gathering Place events team wove together a collaboration for the community.

"They approached them and said we're looking to do some yarn art around our trees leading up to our Reading Tree area," said Dylan Kirkpatrick, VP of Park Operations and Events at Gathering Place.

The plot twist took the knitting group outside of their cozy comfort zone. Their response: "We'd love to!" said Wimbish.

The knitters supplied the talent, and Gathering Place gave them the supplies.

"The park bought the yarn, and we just gave it out to whoever wanted to help. We didn't have any theme or planned project; everybody just did what they wanted to do," said Wimbish.

The group spent weeks working on the yarn art, some even getting their grandkids involved. The result — a whimsical, magical enchanted forest.

Around a dozen trees are adorned with more than 60 handcrafted colorful yarn designs.

Yarn art

"The horticulture and events team hung them on the trees in a delicate way that nothing was nailed or punctured the trees; and that would stay up for a few weeks for us," said Kirkpatrick.

Their art includes everything from a school bus to Scooby Doo.

"There was a Hogwarts-themed one. I even had one lady approach a member of our team and ask if she could buy one that looked like a pig," said Kirkpatrick.

The art is not for sale, but it is here for all to love.

"When I came back on spring break, there were a lot of kids over here looking at it, wanting pictures taken, and stuff. It was fun," said Lee Ann Peck with the knitting group.

"Adding such colorful, vibrant pieces and knowing that members of our community put the time and effort into doing that for us really adds to the experience. It looks great, and we really appreciate them doing that for us," said Kirkpatrick.

The group that gathers here is happy to be involved and see their personal creations turned into public works of art.

"Instead of our individual goals, we all had a big one, so it was fun—it was a lot of fun," said Peck.

"I've always thought it was a wonderful thing to do, so I'm glad we did it!" said Wimbish.

The installation is temporary, but the group would be happy to see it become permanent.

"Maybe they'll ask us to do it again next year," said Betsy Zeligson.

The yarn art went up for spring break, and Gathering Place says it'll keep it up for as long as it still looks good. The knitting group says it'd love to do this for other places around town too, like the library, where it also meets.

New members are always welcome to join the group. They usually gather around 9am on Tuesday mornings in Williams Lodge.

Gathering Place is also up for Best City Park in a USA Today Poll. You can vote until Monday, April 8 at 11 am here.

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