Could it be that Gathering Place has made knitting cool? Yes, knitting.
For a group of local women, it’s certainly provided a beautiful setting in which to use their needles.
They are called the Lodge Loopers. Every Tuesday morning, 10 to 15 women show up at Williams Lodge, where they proceed to arrange a row of chairs facing out toward the park. Then, they get to work on their latest creations, or they chat, or both. Usually, it’s both.
“We are a very diverse group, from north Tulsa and south Tulsa and mid-Tulsa,” said Margaret Gibson, the group’s organizer. “We have different backgrounds and faiths. We just don’t talk about politics … all we talk about is knitting designs, what we’re knitting and helping each other get through projects.”
Most of the Lodge Loopers first met at Loops knitting store, 6034 S. Yale Ave., where Gibson is an instructor. The idea to knit at the park came from one of the store’s customers, who also happened to be a Gathering Place volunteer.
“We walked in and we pretty much staked out our place,” Gibson said. “It’s all been history (since). We’re going to take over the whole thing.”
Steffany Standley is Gibson’s friend, but she is not her equal when it comes to knitting. And that’s OK. She’s only been knitting 2½ years, and there is much to learn.
“The only thing I could do when I started was knit and purl,” Standley said. “So now I’ve at least done one sweater, and I have three or four other sweaters started.”
Standley said the beauty of Williams Lodge and the park it overlooks isn’t the only thing that makes knitting there great.
“They are always maintaining it,” she said. “I mean … the windows are always clean. Someone is always working on it to make it special.”
Gibson wasn’t kidding when she said the Lodge Loopers plan to take over Williams Lodge — well, maybe a little — but she’s dead serious in inviting anyone to join them Tuesday mornings.
“Anyone is welcome to come by and join us,” she said.