Downtown Bloomington’s yarn-wrapped trees served as inspiration for local illustrator Irene Olds. “I [have] always thought it a wee bit quirky, and whimsical, to see a tiny dog in a sweater,” she says. “Being a tad bit quirky myself (so others say), my own poochie eventually sported this fine handmade attire. Seeing her in that sweater always made me laugh. So, when the trees began bundling up for the cold season, I was amused.”

These two ideas come together in her cartoon Cozy’s for Everyone, showing a woman walking her sweater-wearing “poochie” passing a sweater-wearing tree.

Knitting to Heal is a local fundraiser, headed by Yarns Unlimited and Middle Way House, to raise awareness of domestic violence. Many local businesses have sponsored trees around the downtown Square, while volunteers created “sweaters” for each of the trees.

Irene Olds is an award-winning illustrator and cartoonist whose cartoons have appeared in many publications, including the magazine Latitudes and Attitudes and newspapers The Democrat and The Republic. She has also illustrated more than 150 children’s books.