“And So It Goes…”

Does anyone remember Linda Ellerbee? While other kids at the age of 10 were reading books more suited for their age, I started reading essays and memoirs. The one I remember most vividly was Linda Ellerbee’s, “And So It Goes.” There was something remarkable about a catchphrase as simple as that. Life has ups, life has downs….and so it goes. It’s a promise, of some sort, that life is cyclical, unexpected, and without guarantee. Almost as if to say that life is a series of anecdotes, little bits of moments that are recounted with no vigor. Life moves that way.

A week of ups…and week of downs. I’d like to begin with the ups. I got this marvelous package from Lionbrand Yarn. Hearing of my story, they donated enough Fisherman’s Wool for me to make about 60 bears. Can you imagine how much of a burden that is lifted off my shoulders???? It was generous, it was kind, it was so unexpected. I’ve taken a photo of it, but it’s a rainy today and the lighting in here is atrocious. Rest assured, the photo doesn’t do the stash justice. A HUGE box of skein after skein ready to be whipped up into dreams. Lionbrand furthermore, said they were going to do a blog about my teddy bears and me slated for 1 November. I can’t tell you how hopeful I am that the exposure brings something permanent for me.

On sunny Saturday, I spotted a peacock in the backyard. I snapped a photo of Mario peering out the window with this, “LET’S EAT IT!” look in her eye. And then another great shot of the peacock behind the bougainvillea. How incredibly random is that???? A PEACOCK???? REALLY??? IN THE BACKYARD???? Why, yes….yes, there is.

Been working up all the bears from the bear-a-thon quickly, and on separate occasions, working up messenger bags for customers and a blanket for myself. I don’t have a big thick blanket for winter yet, and I really don’t have a lot of money to go out and buy something, so whenever someone buys a custom bear and requests either a washable wool, or an acrylic, I use the left over bits and pieces to do make a stripe or two (in crochet) in a blanket that will hopefully be done by winter’s coming. Its garrish and tacky, the colors really don’t match, but its a blanket out of necessity, a story behind each crocheted row.

….Then, as the cycle moves from the colorful edge of the spectrum, back to the darker end where there is no light, my roommate announced that she was giving me 30 days (until 1 Decemeber) to find a new place. I was stunned, heartbroken, and floored. I never in a million years expected her to say that. I mean, I’ve been under the impression for the last 2 months that all was well, that I had found something permanent. I guess no. Her reasoning, she says, is that she feels we have two different lifestyles. I’m up at 5:30am, she goes to bed at 5:30am. She’s a vegetarian. In moments of poverty and homelessness I learned to eat whatever was offered you. She likes to head downtown. I prefer to stay home, knit and watch The Vicar of Dibley. It is what it is. Nothing I can do about it, except remind myself that the hardest part about this is the lack of permanence I’ve had in the last year….and sometimes at someone else’s choosing. So, its back to finding somewhere else for Mario and I to live again. Again.

A week of ups….a week of downs.

And so it goes….




  1. I’m sorry to hear you have to move. I wonder if you could turn to ravelry to get leads on a new place to live, maybe with someone who likes to stay home and knit (we’re simpatico on that one and I bet a bunch of other ravelers are too).

    Two years ago I went through a horrible, terrifying divorce where my whole life crashed down around me- I lost my husband, my job, my health insurance, and my house all because of a promiscuous spouse. Two years later though I’ve healed, landed on my feet, and am also now a full time knitter. I feel a lot stronger for what I’ve gone through and surprisingly it was the best thing that could’ve ever happened to me.

    Two huge things I learned from my experience- 1. Be gentle with yourself and 2. Listen to yourself and follow your instincts.

    Know that it won’t be bad forever. You’ll find yourself back on solid ground and realize how much stronger you are for having to have had sea legs.

  2. Sorry to hear that you are having to move on. Prayers for a lovely new place to come up very soon. Makes no sense to me why you would need to move out, but hope that you will find somewhere to settle – permanently.

  3. I’m disheartened to learn about losing your place. My friend Leila got me hooked on your blog (ar ar) and I so wish I knew of anyone to help you. I agree with Dith that my prayers are with you and Mario to find a place of permanence.

  4. YAY Lionbrand!!! That must have been awesome to get all that new yarn in the mail. And to watch a peacock out the window.. how cool is that? I did look up peacocks for you and found them to represent “an association with resurrection. For us it can help in shedding the old and drab feathers of the past and to claim our the true beauty of our individual natures. As such, it helps to enhance confidence and self-esteem.” Don’t know if that means anything to you but it was interesting. Perhaps you having to move on is a step you need to take to move on with your business. Do not forget to use your resources, you have mentioned a knitting group that you go to and a place you volunteer. Those are usually two groups of resourceful people. Tell them your situation, and let them network to help you find a place to grow to! Yes grow.. think of this not as going and leaving but as growing. And so it goes, and so you grow. Putting out tons of positive thoughts for you and Mario! I am soooo proud of you!

  5. Oh I forgot to ask for you to post a link to the Lionbrand blog about you? Would love to share it on my Facebook and with the people I work with! Thanks!!

  6. I just read the post about you on the Lion brand blog. I am so glad they sent you that yarn. I like to knit their free patterns so I try to buy their yarns whenever possible. It makes it even easier when they do things like this. I’m sorry youre having bad times but there is a bright side. This too shall pass…..Lincoln was a bright man. I know it’s easy to say but whenever it rains there is always a hope of sun behind the clouds. I have health problems that will never go away… I had to quit my job that I went to school for and I was told my condition will never improve. I have to rely on pain meds to make it through every day. So I stay home and knit and crochet and paint and I make blankets for Project Linus. I do what I can, just like you.

    I have to say too. If someone doesn’t love you for who you are…. then it’s not such a loss when they leave is it? you should read my poem called “Thank you” It’s about a similar occasion…….similar only much different LOL It’s a sarcastic “Thank you”….



  7. Hi Gregory, I saw the Lion Brand blog about your story this morning. Your story is very similar to mine. I’ve been made homeless too, and I lost all my supplies, projects-in-progress, finished projects intended for recipients, and stash. I was separated from my beloved cat for awhile. For months I was numb and in such distress I couldn’t even knit. Then someone gave me needles they found at an auction, and I made a few Christmas presents. That seemed to open a door. More yarn and needles were given to me. But there has also been that connection with impermanence. Since getting forced out of the house 4½ years ago by my ex-husband, I have lived in 9 places, and almost every move was from someone else’s irrational choice. How bizarre is that? I even lost a knitting group I was leading, because of jealousy and backstabbing. Maybe there’s more to knitting than we know, and it has some sort of cosmic significance.

    I thought the comment by Marie about peacocks representing resurrection was a very hopeful and positive sign. At least you live in a place where peacocks can be wandering about among the bougainvillea. Here it would more likely be the cardinals flitting among the cedars. But my heart goes out to you, and I wish you all the best. Knitting does seem to be life-affirming, and it does have a way of resurrecting.

    1. A wonderful woman I’ve met online named Leila Cook is a writer for a magazine called “Om Times.” They spend a lot of time dealing with some REALLY great ideas about the therapy in knitting. I do feel something has changed in my spirit forever because of my hands working their way through the needles. Every single bear I make is custom made, and there is a story behind it. Now, I might have one version of it, but someone who’s requesting the bear will tell me where the bear is going and why and there’s something about…..I guess, praying about that situation (wether its something wonderful, or something life affirming) that has jarred me to humility. I have met some great people out there, some nice, happy, loving people who remember and recall that life is best lived when you leave your heart open…..

  8. Oh, how cool that this was linked off the Lionbrand Facebook page! I am a knitter who loves the Vicar of Dibley as well. In fact, I have a hat-in-waiting in my bag right now- if I could only get done with a few chores, I could start knitting this minute.

    I just checked your Etsy store, and wonder if I just don’t know what I’m doing or if all the bears are sold out right now? I heard that you had a deal where you could buy three with the intent of donating at least one to charity, and I would be very interested in that deal for this coming season.

    1. Nothing gives me more enjoyment, nothing says, “YEE HA!” in the good time department that sitting back, knitting up a storm and watching the old Britcoms. The Vicar, Are you Being Served? Keeping Up Appearances. AbFab. They’re a hoot. I do have the three bear special. I’m hoping to have more up later this week. (Wanna quote something from the Vicar now, but my southern accent won’t let it fly just right 🙂

  9. Just read your story on Lion Brand Yarn’s blog, and I gotta tell you: as hard as things are now, you’re the type who will definitely, absolutely be a success in this. You’re clearly very talented and you seem super nice, and if I had any money I’d buy one of your bears! They’re adorable. I’m passing your site along to friends and wishing you only the best. Give your little Mario an ear-scratch for me!

  10. My grandmother used to say “It is what it is…” same principle…. 🙂 She was a very strong, feisty (as she got older) lady who had survived the depression and some devistatingly hard times. When I would say “I wish…..” about something she would say “Wish in one hand…. sh*t in the other!” and “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride,” so I won’t wish for you to find a permanent place… I’ll pray for one for you… 🙂

    1. NICE! I love your grandmother’s wisdom. Mine was a lot of the same way. Never wore a dress. Never would even when it was frowned on for a woman to. And when asked why she didn’t wear a dress, she’d say simply, “Trousers are more functional.”

  11. Hi Gregory. I found your blog through the Lionbrand blog post (here’s the link: http://blog.lionbrand.com/2011/11/01/a-%E2%80%9Cmad-man%E2%80%9D-who-knits-meet-gregory-patrick/) and just read it from beginning to end. I’m so sorry to hear that you have to move again – that sucks! And I feel your financial pain – my husband and I are really scrambling right now to make money. He’s a writer and I’m an actress (who builds websites on the side) and we can’t seem to catch a break just now.

    I wanted to say how much I admire your courage and frankness and plain guts. Depression is a bastard – I suffered greatly when I emigrated to Canada from England – and writing can be very therapeutic. Knitting too! I know I take a lot of comfort from it.

    Your bears are wonderful and as soon as I can afford to I will be sure to buy one.

    Good luck with your house hunting – I’ve subscribed to your blog and will be following your progress regularly now.


    1. It does seem that most of us are in such dire shapes these days. I recall good fortune, I recall great laughter, but the one thing I don’t recall was the joy in surviving through tenacity. I didn’t appreciate what I had then, but with only some clothes, a cat, and a stash of yarn as my only possessionsnow , I seem to have discovered how truthful it is when people say, “Happiness lies in your own hands.” I can’t imagine having more than I do now. It wouldn’t make me happier. What makes me happier now is the connection I’ve made with people all over the globe, people who are struggling and striving, people who don’t wanna let each other fall through the cracks. With some sort of collective consciousness, we’re all looking out for each other. THAT makes me happy. 🙂

  12. I saw the piece about you from the lion brand blog reposted on fb. I’m posting it on twitter. good luck finding a new home for you and your cat and your yarn.

  13. Mr.patrick,
    I just read this lovely book by Napoleon Hill that I think would inspire you. I too have seen better days and reading his work is helping me knit through some tough times. Please do pick it up. I SWEAR you will not be disappointed.

    1. I find the peacock in the backyard to be an awesome omen of some sort. As if to say beautiful things happen randomly, right under your nose, without having to hunt them down. Thanks, Brandi!

  14. Hi Gregory! I’m very touched by your story, and I love your bears.(Knitting is amazing thing, it’s seen me through many a difficult time!) And what a positive outcome for you in so many ways!!! Continued good luck to you!
    Melbourne, Australia

  15. You should think about selling the pattern. You can have a legal notice on it that it could not be knitted for sale. Many women have replied on Lion Yarn’s story about you that they would buy the pattern. I doubt it would hurt sales of your knitted bears and would allow you to reach out to a larger audience. Are you on ravelry? It is a great place to sell your pattern.

    Please think about it!!!

    If I can help….let me know.

  16. So the Tweet I read the other day was, unfortunately, what I feared. You need to move again. I know what despair is right now (but mine is different). Since you’ve succeeded so far in finding a place, the good forces around us all will be there again for you.

    LionBrand is wonderful to have offered you such a great gift.

    I will act again on the immaterial side for you.

    You know you’re an inspirational force to many of us here 🙂

    see ya Pal

  17. You will land on your feet, you always do. I am totally jealous of all the Lionbrand Yarn! Working on a chocolate afghan here, and angsting over whether or not to felt it. Wish we could have coffee together every morning!

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