Part of being a 26-year-old female like me is that, from time to time, no fewer than three of your close friends will be pregnant at the same time.
To keep from being really, really, really, really tempted to succumb to the same fate, a girl needs to keep her hands busy. And her mind occupied. And her appetite to have cute, fuzzy little baby things all over the house satisfied.
Really, there's only one thing for a girl to do: Knit. Knit your freaking heart out.
Luckily, Tulsa offers a place to do just that.
As the mother of a two-year-old, a reason I love Loops in Utica Square above the other yarn shops in town is because I can shop and knit and socialize with the ladies and gents at the shop in peace, thanks to this:
A large, fully-stocked playroom!
And my son loves it. He loves it so much, in fact, that his requests to visit there are in his regular rotation with the park, the zoo and our favorite splashpad.
But I hate to visit the yarn shop just to let the boy play in their playroom.
Perhaps purposefully located adjacent to the playroom is the 50-percent off wall.
Which, as a mom on a budget (and what mom isn't), is my home away from home.
But honestly, it's hard not to be at home in any part of this store. Just look at these lounge-worthy spaces:
On any given night you can walk into Loops and find this couch full of knitters and crocheters just chattering away about this and that - the latest episode of The Bachelor, the latest catastrophe at the house, the best new restaurant in Tulsa for Thai.
Because these aren't your grandma-style needle-and-hook weilders. These people are hip and chic, male and female, metropolitan and, quite often, downright hilarious.
I mean, it takes a special kind of person to wear this sort of t-shirt:
That is, my favorite kind of person.
I just love to spend an afternoon or an evening at Loops, to be part of the action.
Even if you're not a knitter, you have to admit that it's hard not to be attracted to all of this wonderful color and texture.
Yarn of just about any kind can be found at Loops, from the finest wool to silk to cashmere to cotton to synthetics to the unusual stuff, like bamboo and buffalo.
All of which you can make beautiful things like these:
And then there's these:
A sucker-punch to the ovaries, knitted in denim-style yarn.
It's not fair, I tell you, for a handmade garment to be so darling. And heartstring pulling.
For those of you like me who have a gazillion gravid friends, Loops needs to be your new hang-out. After two or three baby showers, you'll have had enough of plastic baby toys and mass-manufactured baby clothes and plastic baby blankets made by machines. The moms-to-be in your life will long for something special, meaningful - something built to last.
A knit-by-hand baby blanket fits this order perfectly. It's easy to pick a yarn that will stand the test of time, baby puke, baby poop and dozens of trips through the washing machine. And the ladies at Loops are more than happy to provide you a selection of classes and patterns that will build your knitting skills and help you to create the perfect gift for the new baby in your life.
I spent many an evening at Loops with friends knitting up this particular baby blanket, which I gave to a friend just before her son was born a few years ago.
The grandmas at the baby shower fawned over it. The young moms ooo'd and awww'd over it...and asked, first, how long it took me to make it; then, how the heck to launder it.
Easy, I said. It's cotton - just wash on gentle, tumble dry low and go. And I worked on it when I needed a way to think through a transition in a story I was working on or while I watched movies on a Friday night or when I was waiting on this, that, or the other.
In other words, no matter how much spare time you think you don't have, you have enough to slip in a few minutes a day on a knitting project. Which, on a baby-sized item, is just enough.
And it's totally worth it.
I heard back later that the blanket survived the baby days and was living on as a couch throw and had become the mother's new favorite snuggle-thing. See? Handmade things last in more ways than one.
Instead of going on autopilot and heading to Babies 'R' Us every time you get a shower invitation, head to Loops. Because when all of your friends drink the preggie Kool Aid and when the staff at Loops (self-dubbed the Loops Troops) can help you can make anything from mini baby toys to full-out baby blankets, Fisher Price and Baby Einstein just can't compare.
Loops, A Yarn Store
Where: 2042 Utica Square (and soon, south Tulsa! Watch the Loops Blog for more news)
When: Monday-Friday, 11:00am - 8:00pm; Saturday 10:00am - 5pm; Sunday 1:00pm – 5pm
Call: (918) 742-9276
Web: LoopsKnitting.com (where you can peruse and buy yarn, projects and supplies online, without ever slipping out of your pink bunny slippers and fuzzy house robe)