Knitting Shop Creates Support Group

Managing Editor

A KNITTER’S PARADISE: Debbie Norton stands in her Owasso knitting shop, The Knitting Nook, 12500 E. 86th St. N., which opened in December of last year. The shop offers a wide selection of yarns and other knitting and crochet supplies.

EMILY RAMSEY for GTR Newspapers

While Owasso is increasingly becoming self-sufficient for locals who no longer need to travel to Tulsa for their shopping needs, recent Owasso transplant Debbie Norton noticed one need that had not yet been filled.

After her family relocated to Owasso six years ago, Norton would make the drive to Loops in Tulsa to feed her knitting habit. (Cue idea music now.)

It did not take her long to recognize the unfilled niche. Thus was born The Knitting Nook, 12500 E. 86th St. N., which opened in December 2012. Norton has quickly found that the demand was, indeed, there.

“We have customers from Broken Arrow, Tulsa, Claremore, Bartlesville, Collinsville,” she says. “We get a lot of ones who didn’t have a place to go.”

Knitting shops often include sitting areas for customers to use when working on projects and as a way to meet fellow knitters and to offer support. That concept was not lost on Norton. “Encouragement helps you to follow through and not to stop,” she says. Her shop features plush couches and chairs with a separate children’s play room and a table in the rear of the shop for classes and club meetings.

Customers can enroll in beginner and intermediate classes, crochet lessons, and private sessions as well as three clubs: Sock-It-To-Me, It’s A Wrap and Mad Hatter, each costing $10 per month. Norton also organizes a monthly, potluck movie night, called Casting Off the Month.

“I want this to be a friendly, welcoming atmosphere,” she says. “I want everyone to be greeted when they walk in the door and to feel comfortable here, like they will be helped.”

Norton took up knitting 10 years ago as a way to keep busy during her children’s after-school activities.

She admits that she didn’t have a support group to encourage her to continue in the hobby. While that did not stop her, she understands that for some, it might.

It takes patience and practice, she says. “People who don’t get it right away get discouraged. I tell them it doesn’t mean they can’t knit.” She encourages anyone trying to learn the craft to give it a month before he/she quits.

Besides the obvious benefit of accomplishment, Norton has found that it provides great mental and physical therapy. She has seen therapists send their patients who suffer with arthritis to the shop.

The Knitting Nook offers a wide fabric selection, including lambs wool, mink, cashmere and cotton. Yarn prices start at $5.99, with the most expensive costing $42.99. Hours are M-F 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sun. 2-5 p.m.

The shop provides more than knitting encouragement, however. “It’s also a place to escape,” Norton says. “I have a lot of young moms with babies. It’s nice to have some place close by for them to get a break from home. Owasso needs more of these places for people to go.”

Updated 06-24-2013

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