A Bunch Of Knit Wit Bears

Well, just shy of 5am and I simply can’t sleep. Figured I’d make some coffee and get the day started. Thankfully, the storm that was supposed to whack most of Central Florida last night never strengthened, never roared….it just sort of rolled by growling. However, in its wake is this wonderfully cool breeze that reminds me often that the crisp air, though delayed way down here, will be arriving soon, and in its breath will be the hushed scents of earthy leaves, smoky hearths, and holiday dreams….

I’ve been doing this sort of “Three Bear Special” at my Etsy shop. You can pretty much buy three bears at a discount, but you get an even bigger discount for donating one of your bears to a charity, or a person, or a cause. I think I’d like to make this endeavor a little more specific and a little more long term. Allow me to explain:

As I’ve mentioned in prior post, there is this wonderful little Methodist church around the corner. Kara and I frequent their thrift store often, and whenever we are there, I do get this sense of intimate friendship, of caring, of outreach. There’s something about the mood of the building, the room, the church itself that doesn’t scream of impersonal Super Church, but of a quiet, caring, space where they meet only as a refuge when the congregation isn’t out in the community involving themselves with the betterment of the life around them.

They have this program called “Knit Wits” that meets on Wednesday mornings. In a nutshell, parishioners meet to knit, crochet, craft and sew things to make and then sell to fund the various charities the church involves itself with. I love the notion of hands crafting in mad joy various things that will go to feed, to clothe, to shelter….I love the idea of knitting needles clacking themselves together for the sake of hope. I love the idea of laughing even louder over the whirring of a sewing machine.

God knows, the generosity of people, the love and belief people have shown me results in but one mere truth: goodness in the world can never be silenced. As appalling as the media would like for many us to think the world has turned, people are generally beautiful, kind things who wish only the best for their fellow man. So, this is what I want to do.

I’m going to continue selling those three bears, but with a hitch. I’ll be sending one creme, and one oak tweed bear made from Lionbrand Yarn’s Fisherman’s Wool to the customer, but will be making a third to donate to the “Knit Wits” on the customer’s behalf. The church can either sell it or donate it to a kid who could use something to hold onto in rough times. I have to keep making a living selling my bears, but there has to be a purpose behind it. It can’t be for myself.

If this life of mine is to be great, if it is to capture and grasp the elusive desire for meaning, then I must remind myself that this talent of mine was not given to me for simple commerce; it is on loan for a greater good.

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16 thoughts on “A Bunch Of Knit Wit Bears

  1. It is indeed a lovely post. Do I recognise the orange bear in that pic, btw? A certain person *may* be going home from hosp tomorrow – God willing. I am hoping the wee fella you sent will help her to feel loved as she embarks on the next stage of this struggle. Life is not going to be easy, but I have to keep the faith for her, til she finds some of her own.

    Hugs and blessings, mate. x

  2. I was so happy to see your post, Greg! I work next door to the church and we have a very relationship with them too. I’m a regular at the thrift store and a knitter as well. I’ll help you when I can on your etsy. God bless you!

      • I actually work at the Alzheimer’s & Dementia Resource Center next door. I’m always knitting at my desk during lunch. I love all the ladies in the thrift store as well as Pastor Linda and her staff. They have all been good to us over the years.

  3. I happen to be one of the lucky people attending Reeves Methodist…you hit the nail square on the head….I’ve said Reeves is the “Cheers” of churches, where everybody knows your name…Your generosity to the “knit wits”is much appreciated…come join us @ 10am Sunday…

    • I was so sure I had responded to your message, but it still read pending! Anyhow. Looking forward to spending more time at Reeves, and cheking out one of the BBQ’s. The sweaters the Knit Wits made were awesome, and the lovely lady in the thrift shop with a drawl that reminds me of home is delightful. :)

  4. Oh, to write, but half as well as you do, Gregory. I am captivated by your words, by the wisdom in the lessons which you share and your desire to give back even though you’re down-and-out. I found your blog through the Lionbrand blog post. Recently, my eldest son asked if men knit. Of course I answered in confirmation as I was, even though unsure, sure there are indeed men who knit. He wants to learn to knit. I just don’t know how to teach a five year-old how to do so. I can’t wait to share your blog with him and encourage him to learn to knit! Thank you for sharing your struggles and your triumphs!

    • LOL! A little guy knitting! See? We’re onto something….I wanted something bad enough so I taught myself. Ok, back 7 years ago or so I wanted that cashmere sweater. I didn’t want to be denied. I think it would be awesome for him to spy something he truly, madly, badly wants….then force him to learn to make it. :)

  5. Hi. My name is Joy. I’m from Manila, Philippines. My kids go to a waldorf school here and I think its super that you can knit so well. All my kids learn how to knit and my two older sons can knit too. One is 13, and the next, 10. Would love it if I could order your knit bears. Couldn’t find how much and where to order so, just posted a comment. hope i hear back from you. One of my kid’s teachers posted the lionbrand blog post of you on her Facebook account.

    • Thank you Joy! Its good to see other fella’s knitting! I’m sold out of bears right now, but hope to have some back up in about a week. So check back soon!!! :) Thank your kid’s teacher for me!

  6. Your bears are incredible… I love them. If I had the money, I would order one right away. I lost my mom unexpectedly in May… she used to collect bears. :-) Your bears are so sweet and full of character, love em’… I will definitely keep you in mind, when there’s a little more cash. Thank you so much for sharing your story, I’m glad my friend Danielle saw the blog about you, and shared on her fb. :-) Your work is beautiful…

    p.s. I live in Germany, but used to live in Orlando… I kinda miss the warm weather right now… fall used to be my favorite (still is, in regards to smells and colors) but I think FL spoiled me with the warmth & sunshine. I wish you all the very best Gregory! <3

    Dear greetings from Germany!

    -Kristen

      • hmm, I don’t know why — but I am just getting this response now! Cool, how did you like Berlin? Did you learn German in the time you were here in Germany? I meet people who have spent time living in Germany more often… it’s interesting how many other Americans have lived here. Were your parents military?

      • I LOVED Berlin. I lived in Dahlem. I was….ahem….a gruftie :) LOVED being there at that time. I have a wonderful scar on my thigh from the night the Wall came down. I did learn an awful lot of German while there. I graduated school and stayed for another just being terrible, then came back to the States. My sister, however, left school and stayed another 15 years. I sound like a southern boy, she sounds like a German girl and when we talk we sometimes laps back into Germ-English. My parents were military. :)

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