A Family of Strangers, Flaws and All….

I imagine, that’s all I ever really wanted to do when I started this road down the Mad Man Knitting trail. I wanted to first inspire people to feel better about their situations, no matter how bad they might be. I know what its like to feel dismissed by the world. And in the process, I cataloged this life so that other people might see, recognize, and identify, that no matter how dire your life has become, you CAN overcome those issues and obstacles with hope. It sounds ridiculous, and quietly naive, but it is vital that you always have hope. Hope breeds dreams, and dreams breed purpose. Today is not what defines you, your vision of tomorrow does.

And along the Mad Man Knitting trail, I hoped to collect people who felt the same, building a family of total strangers who felt like rejects, who felt dismissed, that felt a sense of loneliness. I wanted this blog to be a place where we could meet, where strangers could interact and become friends, where we shared our hopes and dreams and found like minded loved ones who felt the same. I wanted to build a family of total strangers who now had a place to feel aware, confident, brave to be themselves. There are no judgments here. No dismissals. No banishing and banning. There are no rules for who is acceptable and who is not. There is only the hope (and I stress this word a lot) that you will find that you can do anything and everything you want in this life if you only believe that you can. YOU have to believe that. Sometimes, you just need a listening ear, a little encouragement. And I think we have found a solution to that.

It’s now time for us to speak to each other, find each other instantly and quickly, to brighten each other with encouragement. A place to meet and discuss freely. A place to not only feel welcome, but a place to encourage one another. We now have a facebook group (or as Phillip and I call it, “a little family”) building every day to invite people in, to get to know each other, to share with each other in ways that others wouldn’t allow previously. A place for the miscast, those rejected by the fiber arts world, where no one is concerned with how well your projects work out, but more concerned about how well YOU are holding up. So, join us. Share with us, talk to each other, and build new worlds with each other in a place that does not have a stack of rules pinned at the top that won’t allow you to do anything

. We don’t care about rules. Creativity has no rules. Come as you are. Flaws and all.

Click here if you’d like to join us.

“KNITTER BE DAMNED” Ep8. “Dot Dot, Dash Dash”

This week we talk about World Wide Knitting in Public Day and how to make “Murder, She Wrote” a little more interesting!

This week we talk about Knitting in Public Day and how to turn “Murder, She Wrote” into a drinking game. 🙂 Adopt a Strange Friend here: http://gregorypatrick.bigcartel.com/

Trisha’s Shop! https://www.etsy.com/shop/yankeerose

Neil’s Bonus Video on Knitting (Still uploading)

If Laurel and Hardy Had Knit and Crocheted….

I mean, look at the two of us. We do sort of resemble them, don’t we? Of all the Halloweens that come around, we’ve often threatened that Laurel and Hardy would be our first choice….or Frankenstein and his bride.

We did a little quick promo clip for our show. Just for fun, just to let you know the show is really just for fun. None of it is to be taken seriously 🙂 It’s a romp at the end of the week, a laugh when stressed with tension, a guffaw to ease your gauge. I hope you laugh. I truly hope you do. Where once I had hoped to inspire many of you to find hope in everyday life, I know hope to inspire you to sit back, not to take everything so seriously, and chuckle for a minute. 🙂 So, a quick message from the “The Fiber Union of the Crocheter’s and Knitter’s Education Department.” I double dog dare ya to find the acronym in it!

 

“KNITTER BE DAMNED” Ep.7 “Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know”

Have fun, everyone!

Find Phillip’s “Strange Friends” and my knit animal patterns in our shop! http://gregorypatrick.bigcartel.com/

Trisha’s Shop! https://www.etsy.com/shop/yankeerose

Neil’s Minion Pattern! http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/minion-15

Help Kaydan! https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/kaydansfight

Hot and Sultry Knitters and Crocheters

Woah! Twas a hot one today. Our friend Neil had laughing said that we should do a “Knaked Knitting” episode. (Get it?) Today would have been perfect for it. We might as well have been stripped to the bums, but we actually managed to work through a record high of 95 degrees without turning on the air conditioner. This would be month seven. But, there was Phillip in his space, down to his skivvies crocheting  his heart out. He had two fans to help keep him cool. (and I don’t mean the adoring sort, I refer to the ones that oscillate…..Pictured in my head, two young lads who adore his crochet work, fanning him with palm leaves….and if he were to ask them to spin around to show their rears, then I guess they’d be the oscillating sort, too 🙂 )

I did everything I could to resist taking a picture of him candidly in his beefy, brawny, boldness crocheting his big heart out. I’m not allowed to take those kinds of candid pictures anymore, not after the famous honeymoon pic (see attachment left), nor of the butt crack pic I took that he demanded I NEVER EVER NEVER EVER NEVER show anyone. (He did finally give way, because….well, it’s an adorable picture of him).

 

But, Phillip is no stranger to being “exposed.” As many of you saw in our last episode, he pulled up his shirt to show his nipple. I think it endearing and adorable, and from many of your comments on our channel, you think so, too. 🙂

So, as I was writing this Phillip asked why in THE HELL I would ever EVER expose truth and reality….To which I could only respond, “Because no one else is.”

In this knitting world no one is being as honest as they wish, for fear of dropped numbers. They can’t say what they want for fear of being shunned. And we’re not immune to this, but we’re building a new audience, an audience of people who see us as a refreshing laugh, the two guys who, if they DON’T show up, no one else stays for the stitch and bitch. We’re having fun, and asking you to join in. And we’re going to wild extremes that no other knitters and crocheters dare to go. We’re not soccer moms in yoga pants (and no one believes you’re doing yoga) and we’re not little old ladies that craft for grandchildren (don’t mess with little old ladies, you’ve seen my previous posts. I protect little old ladies), and we’re not part of the “real men knit” scene (we were asked to leave some of those groups because of our support of our President. Yeah….wasn’t a surprise, many of those men were emasculated to the point of being less men and more like “men who act like women who knit.” It was really funny to see the straight conservative men that knit appreciated what we had to say, the gay liberal knitters showed us the door….I guess “real men that knit” is only for….well, gay men. Those groups that claim to be “real men knit” is code for “gay liberal men knit…..others need not apply.”) Long parenthesis! Get it together, Gregory!

We like showing the life of a knitter in it’s rawness, it’s realness….and strangely enough, that is considered taboo. “Don’t DO,”  should never pass the lips of an artist. EVER.  Will Lionbrand, Joann’s, Michael’s ever pick us up for endorsement. Probably not. But, some of the best quiet rebellions in history were born out of denying the establishment and doing things for yourself, building your own audience, your own empire. And (ironically) BECOMING the giant that others want to woo.

So, with grand attitude, Phillip and I are sweating it out, two hot and sultry knitters and crocheters, not calming to the norms, but defiantly going to the extremes many wouldn’t have to guts to consider.

I can’t wait for you to see this week’s episode. Neil and Trisha (our foreign correspondents in the UK and West New York) sent us some amazing video where we talk about when a knitter loses their passion. And be sure to check out Phillip’s newest Strange Friends….done in his underpants 🙂

Now, what are you waiting for? Go cast on something real….

 

When a Knitter Loses Their Passion….

My friend Kara was over last night. I asked her a simple question: “Are you knitting or crocheting anything right now?” She has a grand daughter about to have her first birthday. I figured she’d be pulling yarn out of her hair. Her reply? “Nope…..”

“Nothing for yourself?”

“Nope.”

And it seemed to me that some loss of inspiration had occurred. She gave a laundry list of reasons why she no longer felt the desire to make anything for anyone. She didn’t want to spend the trouble making something that would be marred by a Popsicle. She didn’t want to spend the hours working up a blanket in awfully spun acrylic. She didn’t want to spend the energy on something that would be stowed away for years and years never to be touched again.

Her last project had been a mermaid blanket that seems to be all the rage right now. And all I could think was that her finished piece (and I saw it, it kicked ass), has not met with the enthusiasm she had enriched it with in her mind while she worked it up. I could be wrong. But, I sensed it. Her first piece worked up for her first and only grandchild probably has never seen the light of day since it was gifted. That can hurt a knitter. That can kill your passion. Why bother with anything else? Why make the attempt. I mean, there a million things I told Kara she could be making for her precious granddaughter, but they all seemed to fall off her face without inspiration.

We’ve all been there. We’ve been smacked upside the head with a loss of interest when it comes to this craft. Maybe it’s because someone didn’t really appreciate what we made for them, the time, the thought. Or maybe because you’ve done it so much, so often, that it has become (dare I share? … a chore?)

And I assure you, I have those moments, too. So, I thought that would be a great topic for next week’s show. “When A Knitter Loses Their Passion.” You know, we all greedily run to our needles for safety, for security, for comfort. Sometimes our needles and hooks are our best friends, the only ones who really understand us, our magic wands of creation, our artistic enterprise. And there are other times where we just can’t stand to look at the damned things. Our hands hurt, our hearts ache, our spirits are wrecked and we just don’t want to bother with needles and hooks. We don’t want to make things for others….we want to be the ones that people make FOR.

So, send me your stories of when you got cynical about the craft, when you felt it just wasn’t working for you. Because as much as the knitting community loves to hyper extends how loving and endearing and relaxing the craft is, there is another side: when you’re fed up, toss your stash, bury your head in your hands and say, “I’ve had enough.” I want to hear your stories of when that happened, and more impressively, what brought you out of that disinterest and had you running back to your friendly needles and hooks.

You can email me your story in written form if that works. But, if you can, send a video. We’ll find a way to make that into the show. You can use Dropbox and send them to madmanknitting@gmail.com.

I’m looking forward to hearing from you.