Why Not Red?

IMG_0717I’ve taken a few days away from the internet. I do that every now and then. You have to do that. I know it’s hard for the world to imagine, but its a necessity. My work, my livelihood, my pleasure, all come from this little laptop, and sometimes you have to fold it up, put it away and connect back to real life. I’ve been working up my orders and still determined to have them all finished within the next 6 weeks. *Fingers crossed. But, I still have to get some bears sold before the end of the month.

I’ve been spending my knitting time outside for as long as possible. This week is probably the hottest of the year, usually. Sure enough, it was a heat index of 105 degrees today, so I’ve started stepping inside to get my work done. :) So, anywhere from 7am to 10am, I’m able to spend outside, and then head back out after 8pm for another hour or two before heading to bed.

I was working up an order for Benita, who actually sent me quite a bit of red in order for me to complete a red bear for her. There was so much red left over that I decided to whip another one up to sell. And why not red? He’s made from Galloway’s 100% wool in a striking red. A very BOLD red. He’s a touch smaller than my usual bears, only about 10″ inches high. He’s ready to shop with a signed card by me. So, if you’d like to adopt him, click here.

I guess I feel I want to say alot more, but not this evening. Hopefully, this little guy will be adopted tonight, and I can pull off my boots, crawl up with a pillow and Mario, grab a bowl of popcorn and watch a little “Murder, She Wrote.”

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Peace!

Intention

So, I received four donations to help me get ahead and I’m so very grateful for that. But, I’m still going to have to push out an extra 20 bears by the end of the month to make this work. I’m looking at my stash, wondering how clever, how creative I can make these 20 bears. But, I am determined to finish up all my past orders within the next 6 weeks.

I think I’ve been a touch bitchy towards Kara. She gets me, though. She understands. We’ve been friends for nearly 20 years. We can speak to each other in ways you can’t to some people.

She’ll hand me a stack of bodies she knit and I look at them and go, “They’re not good enough. They’re too big. Some of the stitches are wider than others. You have to do them over.” And she’ll laugh and give me that LOOK and I’ll just have to say, “They have to be right, every single time. These people paid really good money for these bears and they have to be perfect. Consistent. Every single time.” And then she forgives me because she understands the intention. We can’t fool around with these bears and send them out with one leg shorter than an other. Or the body three times larger than the head. Can’t be done. They have to look perfect, every single time. Because these bears represent hope, joy, struggles that leave darkness behind. Struggles that embrace the light. And to be truthful? Those concepts are perfect. So that bear had BETTER be perfect. It can’t feel, or look, or be embraced by anything other than hope, joy. And she forgives me, because she knows the intention behind what I’m doing. My mission statement.

I’ve been asked what I wanted to do with this teddy bear idea of mine and I’ve always said, time and time again, that the end result is philanthropy. That first teddy bear I knit up saved me from starvation and homelessness. And that same teddy bear needs to do the same for others. At some point, my intention is to live a simple, meager life, financially secure and sound, and spend the rest of my days (God willing, a lot of them!) doing for others. That teddy bear needs to be the proof of good intention. That he will someday feed others, that he will house others. That is my intention. To take care of others in the same way all of you have taken care of me. That teddy bear saved me, because you saw the intention in it. You KNEW what I was doing with that bear.

But, that concept cannot be approached until these older orders are finished and sent on their way. I’ll ever get there if these older orders don’t get to their homes.

Because every bear that goes out is a reminder to their recipient, that a little guy in Orlando with nothing more than a set of knitting needles, intends to do good by the world. One bear at a time. And I need your help to do that.

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The Simple, Classic Teddy Bear

IMG_0715This bear was made from the last of some wonderful virgin wool from New Zealand. I had made a brown bear out of it a few weeks back and now I took a turn at this lovely sandy color. Great looking bear. Because the yarn is a heavier weight, the needles to make him up were bigger, so he ended up being plumper and bigger than my usual bears. This is a great bear for cuddle time. Just my opinion. Plump and doesn’t mind a squeeze. He’s ready to ship with a signed card by me. Of the two I made, only one is left. The first has found a home in Alberta, Canada. Nice!

Click here if you’d like to adopt him.

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Weathering the Wait

I’m glad everyone loved the vintage bear so much. And thanks so much for the heads up on hearing about it being from a company that closed in the 50’s. THAT is awesome! TRULY awesome that I was blessed enough to have it worked through my fingers. As if destiny said, “Here, little man. Have something  truly genuine to create.” It was a good feeling.

However, with every bear I’ve been able to work up, I still continue to get angry emails wondering just how much longer they are going to have to wait for their bears. I can’t apologize enough for the delays. I really can’t. I’m doing my best, I really am, and I don’t want anyone to think that I am purposely putting people off because I’m not interested. Of course not.

My system right now is pretty simple. I work up three bears a day. Two that were previously ordered, then one to sell so that I can pay the bills. With it being the middle of the month I’m already thinking forward to next month. I’ll need to work up and sell about 20 bears to make sure next month is paid for. But, to be truthful, I honestly think I can only do 6 or 7 ready to sell bears. For every angry email I get, I drop whatever bear I’m working on to begin working on an older made to order bear from months ago.

With some help, I honestly think I can have all of my previous orders finished up within the next weeks. I have Kara and Carlos now helping me and I honestly think if I’m not making up 20 ready to sell bears, I could finish up my older orders within the next 6 weeks. That would get me to the beginning of October, which would give me a fresh and clean slate for working up ready to sell bears for Christmas. Being ready to sell bears for Christmas would be an awesome achievement for me, financially. We’re doing so good now, but I fear the more charge backs I get to my account, the more inclined the bank or paypal is willing to just cut me loose. So, I think its in my best interest to really focus on my older orders, get everyone taken care of, and finally, freely move forward without worry. And any amount helps out. Someone once donated enough for a cup of coffee to my next trip to Starbucks to knit. I thought that was awfully sweet and kind. So, anything helps out at all. Anything.

If you did order a bear from me months ago and are reading this, please accept my sincerest apologies for the delay. Many of you have been so understanding and kind and even helpful. So, to those of you that are angry with me, I do beg your apology, I understand your anger, and I am trying everything in my power to make this all right by you. Not just for your orders in the past, but that the arrival of that little bear and his little pout will bring a feeling of warmth and smile to your face and the wait will have been worth it.

You already know you’re all in my heart and in my thoughts.

I really do need some help.

Much love and hope,

Gregory

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Vintage Bear

IMG_0709 IMG_0711So, as many of you know, Kara deals in vintage clothing. While on one of her many hunts, she came across two skeins of some vintage yarn. Now, look at that label. I’m thinking its from at least the late 60’s, early 70’s. You rarely find vintage yarn still wound up with label attached. Wow! I naturally HAD to work up a bear with it. I loved this! Imagine….a brand new life given to 40 or 50 year old yarn. And he even LOOKS vintage. The yarn was made of 100% virgin wool, but still tender to the touch. If you’d like to adopt him, click here. He’s ready to ship with a signed card by me. This one TRULY is a one of a kind. I can’t imagine ever finding this yarn ever again. Hopefully, he’ll be adopted today. Soon!

oh! And Kara said she’d offer anyone from my blog a 20% discount on her vintage clothing in her etsy shop if you use the code KNITBEAR. It’s a good day!

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If you appreciate my writing and you’d like for this blog to continue, please support! This blog survives because of you!

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Blue With a Chance of Brightness

blue3I have often loved these multicolored yarns that whip up like this. I had some of this yarn from Paton left over and was determined to finish off a new bear and let this little guy find a home. Not the best picture, but I love the sunflowers. He beams of a chance to be loved.

ONLY ONE available.

I hope he finds a home today. If that’s possible.

He’s ready to ship with a signed card by me. If you’d like to adopt him, click here.

 

(oops! that was fast! He found a home!)

 

 

 

From Purity Comes Peace

Now, I’m not Catholic, but I’ve always had a fondness for the Virgin Mary. I’m not sure where it comes from, but perhaps I can use someone else’s quote: “She’s our Mother. Everyone’s Mother. The Mother of the Universe.” Even if you don’t believe in Christianity, or in Catholicism, there is something simpler we can use in regards to Mary being the mother of Jesus, or even as said in the quote, “Everyone’s mother.”

From purity comes peace. Its as simple as that, really.

I’ve never been a big fan of people who readily and quickly denounce others for their lack of purity. Its as if drinking, smoking, drug use, and sexual encounters suddenly dismiss the idea of purity. I don’t like that notion. I can’t recall the exact quote in the Bible, but it goes something like this. “It’s not what one puts in the mouth that defiles it, its what comes out.” That makes so much more sense when it comes to purity. The action towards another, not the action towards the self. Our feelings are measures of our purity. Our emotions, our thoughts, our words directed at the rest of the world, all clarify what purity is. Our motives, our intentions, all come together to decree just how pure our lives really are. We can never be lead into the trap that only the pious can be pure, that self deprecation brings us closer to the Divine, that only guilt sets us on the path of the saints. The real design of purity is deeply rooted in the remembrance of our worth. Anyone who has a lack of self worth has no purity. Anyone who says they can only be pure by being self loathing is not pure. Its as if God, the Universe, the Light reminds us that our purity comes from knowing, in all occasions, in all situations, that we are all part of One. And that our actions bless us when we see in all things we do, in all things we say, in all those we encounter, the same brilliance we see in ourselves. That is purity. Purity is NOT holding yourself to a higher level of worth because you are pious. And in the lives we live in purity, real purity, peace is summoned and created. Our smiles are deeper, not bigger, just more genuine even if they are subtle. Our lives are devoid of pain and suffering when we remember that our intentions determine purity.

Now, why am I going on and on about this? I was watching 20/20, or Nightline, or Primetime Live or one of those shows recently on the sightings of the Virgin Mary, and the thousands and thousands of people that pilgrimage to certain locations in hopes of spotting the Blessed Mother. I was drawn to this, like I said, because I have an unexplained fondness for the Virgin Mother. The correspondent actually did a marvelous job of being unbiased and never gave a thought or opinion on what one would consider the “legitimacy” of these sightings. He was very matter of fact. He did not lean in on whether these sightings were real, or if they were a con. But, it was an interview with a skeptic that caused me to write this. The skeptic said, “There is no way of determining if these people actually see Mary. They certainly believe they do, but there is no way of determining if what they see is truth or a hoax.” And that affected me, it caused me to smile, actually.

50,000 people gather in a field, praying, holding hands hopeful of a connection to the Divine. Purity is sought, and peace prevails. There are no muggings and stabbings, no gossiping about people, no selfies, no clutches to the phone trying to make a business deal. No. None of that. What you have is thousands upon thousands of people all with the same blessed intention. Remembrance of the connection to the Divine. And that is purity. From that purity, 50,000 of us flawed and aggressive humans managed to create an atmosphere of peace within, and peace towards each other.

Didn’t see the Virgin Mary? Doesn’t he understand? Seeing 50,000 in prayer IS seeing the Virgin Mary, it IS seeing purity. Seeing the Divine in others is not a new notion. But it is worth repeating. And seeing the Divine in yourself, with all of your flaws and all of your misgivings, is challenging, but worth attempting. For no peace can come of our lives, let alone of this world, if we do not make that connection to the Divine within, and towards one another.

When someone should mention that they don’t see God, remind them, “I see God. Because I see you.”

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The Touch, The Feel of Cashmere

IMG_0705 IMG_0706There isn’t a feeling in the world quite like it, is there?

I have been so inspired these last two weeks. Not sure what it is, maybe because I’m not in pain? Maybe because I know the mad heat of summer is coming to an end soon? Maybe just because the quiet voice inside finally starting roaring, and instead of doubting, it started declaring. I’ve been getting out and making friends, knitting here and there and connecting with people. I’ve been knitting three bears a day. Two from past orders, and one ready made, ready to ship. And nothing feels better than curling up in front of my laptop at the end of the day, with Mario close by, and unwinding with a dose of ridiculousness on Hulu. My friend Kevin Potter suggested I start doing more video posts, which I’m slowly working on. And my friend Giovanni always inspires my mind with great ideas whenever we talk. I have two books working that should be ready by fall. I’m outta control! There’s a great smile on my face and a great sense of hope and joy in the actions I’ve taken of late.

Do you remember my telling you about the box of yarn that Jennie sent me? Not only did it contain that amazing Noshua cotton, but tucked inside were three skeins of a Cashmere, Merino wool blend by Debbie Bliss. Man, this stuff felt amazing, felt so tender and delicate, so soft and refined. It doesn’t feel like yarn, it feels like a lifestyle of comfort and pleasure. So, this is the first of the three bears I plan to make with that little stash. I adore this bear. I really do. I love the color, his pouting face….I hope he goes to a well deserved home. If you’d like to adopt him, click here.

He measures 12 inches tall, and is ready to ship with a signed card by me. Cheers! I’ll talk to you soon!

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Not Every Bear is Perfect

IMG_0702IMG_0700I’m old school. You never let anything go to waste. What’s the old adage? Reuse, repair and recycle. I only had a little bit of that lovely Nashua cotton from my last couple of bears, so I decided to work up some bears by pairing the white with the green and the pink. The pink bear? Came out flawless. Adorable. Look at that little face. However, by the time I got to the green, I was nearly out of white. Damn…

Aha! Said, I in the bathtub. Eureka! I’ll give the green guy little brown feet! Ta-da! Oh, wait……Piss. Now I’m out of brown AND green AND white to do his ears! DOUBLE damn. So, I found a random spool of some different tinted brown to finish off his ears. So he’s not perfect….but, then again, who is? I still rather enjoy the way he came out. He seems complex and (dare I say) fashionable, in a way. The green and brown look so svelte together. I’m more impressed with him than I thought I’d be. :)

Just click on the picture of the bear you’d like to adopt. They’re ready to shop with a signed card by me.

I’m in a good mood today. Don’t know why. I guess its because I’ve been so productive this last week, getting orders out and whipping up new bears. My arm doesn’t hurt, I’ve got a smile on my face and all of YOU in my heart. So, yeah. I’m in a really good mood today.

Cheers!

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Bears are Like Silly String

IMG_0678IMG_0681 IMG_0685 IMG_0687I usually don’t mess around with cotton. For some reason, the stitches are uncooperative, and moving them along the needle seems to be difficult. I dunno. Maybe its humidity. Maybe its just me. But, I received this gift of yarn from a lovely woman named Jennie. This lusciously awesome cotton from Nashua just felt so good in my hands, felt so pliant and spongy, like marshmallow, or silly string that I couldn’t resist. Can you imagine a bear knit from silly string? Wouldn’t last long, but would be as cool as knitting a bear out of Ramen noodles. Now, THAT would be a challenge. Anyway, with my arm beginning to feel better after my appointment, and with rent coming due, I had to play with this cotton. Everything I had experienced before with cotton was proven wrong. I loved the way it felt moving through my fingers, its squishy softness bearing no difficulty as I moved from needle to needle.

So, here are the three bears I made from the cotton, ready to be adopted, ready to ship with a signed card from me. They’re the same size as my standard bear (12 from toe to head). Just click on the photo of the bear you’d like. OH! I want to say something like, these are one of a kind, but I’m not too sure. I mean. I really like the way they came out, so its possible one day I’ll have more of this yarn if it hasn’t been discontinued. But, for now? There is only one of each. Cheers!

 

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