November 1st, 2011
There are some people you come across in this world that are truly inspiring; people who know how to turn lemons into lemonade, and who make you want to be a better person–with that said, I’d like to introduce you to a very talented “mad man” who knits, Gregory Patrick. His blog will humble you and have you clicking back to read his older posts to better understand his journey. An avid user of Fishermen’s Wool, Gregory reached out to Lion Brand and shared his story with us; we were moved and touched by his journey and wanted to share his story with the rest of the yarn crafters out there.
Gregory lost his job as a server in a successful and popular restaurant after it had been sold, was left by his partner, and found out his father was diagnosed with a terminal illness. After all of these unfortunate events, Gregory was homeless and sought refuge in his grandfather’s abandoned farm–living a life in solitude, trying to be at peace with himself. During this rough period, Gregory immersed himself in knitting, “working on any pattern I could come across, developing a psychotic routine of mindless action while life around me was crumbling.” Determined to be a man who could support himself and not become a statistic, Gregory began selling his knitted bears in his Etsy shop and his books on Amazon for income.
As many of you know, or have experienced yourself, knitting/crocheting can help soothe the soul during challenging times. Gregory found a great support system with members of menwhoknit.com, who encouraged and provided him with wisdom during his homeless period; they checked up on him when emails weren’t responded, and offered him advice. Gregory is still facing numerous challenges as he struggles to find a permanent home for him and his adorable cat Mario, but he continues to knit his bears for income–bears that put smiles on the faces of happy recipients. His journey has really touched me because he is extremely strong willed. He refuses to give up his dream of being a successful entrepreneur, despite all of the disheartening trials and tribulations he has incurred over the years. I wish him the best of luck and hope his bears continue to travel to warm welcoming homes across the world.
I encourage you to stop by his blog Mad Man Knitting or Etsy shop; buy a bear as a Christmas gift for a family member, or buy one and donate it to charity–remember, we’re entering the season of giving!
What type of knitting/crocheting do you do? Were you deeply inspired by someone? Do you craft for a cause? Share your story with me in a paragraph between 100-150 words via email at Brandyce@lionbrand.com for a chance to win one of Gregory Patrick’s handmade knit bears (Entries will no longer be accepted after November 7, 12pm EST). Knit in Fishermen’s Wool, I can tell you first hand this bear is extremely soft and cute!
*UPDATE (11.10.11): The contest to win one of Gregory’s knit bears ended on Monday 11.7 and winner will be announced Monday (11.14) morning. Thanks to the help of our wonderful readers and those who shared Gregory’s story, Gregory’s shop continues to sell out of bears. Remember, you can continue to help Gregory by donating to his Etsy shop (a donate badge can be found on his blog), or you can click on the “Request a Custom Item” button on the left side of his Etsy to have a knit bear tailored to your likings. We appreciate the support!