The Not So Simple Sandy Bear

So, there is this skein of yarn I have had for quite some time now that I’ve often looked over to go towards other stuff. There’s nothing wrong with the skein, its just often looked simple, and I hate to use the word, but bland. So, I set it to the side while I go after my more traditional oak tweeds and chocolate browns and crèmes to work up a teddy bear.

Now, as many of you know I’ve been spending a lot of time on the beach in some sense of contemplation. My last two posts have readily called upon the idea of back to roots, back to simplicity, back to finding the joy in hidden moments quietly tucked about the day. Or, a revelation that hits with a sense of freedom, that grandiose and brilliant are appalling to me. I prefer simple. Croquet with friends, cribbage by candlelight in the summer night. A laugh that breaks the cricketed orchestra under the moonlight. I prefer experiences over substances. If it were up to me, I’d buy a cheap little air stream camper, park it near the beach and live quietly with little Mario, tend to these bears and the thoughts they help percolate while I’m knitting them up and we would never have to worry about impending homelessness again. We would always have shelter. We’d have the moments of nature parading us with her temper or her comfort. And we’d be sheltered forever more in an aluminum can that could take us anywhere 🙂

Something contemplative, something attune to meditation happens when I’m knitting teddy bears. I’m alone with thoughts, alone with feelings, and no experience on the planet can garner more of your soul’s attention than those of feelings, of quiet interior exploration. So, while on the beach this last time, sitting, staring at the crashing cacophony of angry waves, I noticed that the color of the sand was the same as that skein I had been avoiding.

Once I returned home I grabbed that skein and started work right away. And the thoughts that surfaced were as magical as I could have ever hoped. I was reminded of my time on the beach, of my moments in thought and contemplation, of my connection with the outer world by means of an interior silence. On the surface, as most things are, the bear seems simple, sandy colored and slightly bland. But, no….there’s something deeper there, something about the disguise beauty finds when she wishes to be silent.


You can find the little guy in my shop.



  1. Love the pic of the two of you, Gregory — both very appealing guys. He turned out nice! Great illustration that it always pays to look beyond the surface, to dig a little deeper. Think how much of life we miss when we don’t do that! Wishing you sweet contemplation on the beach this weekend …

  2. I love it! The bear I just finished, I made to look like a panda. A friend is doing her baby’s room in pandas. I’ll post a picture later. I can’t thank you enough for sharing this pattern. All I want to knit now is bears! It’s addicting. It has helped me thru a lot of stress lately. Truly a bear that saves!! ❤

    Love ya'

    1. I’m knitting one that will look like a panda right now too! It’s for my cousin’s baby. I also get into what I like to call “the zone” when I’m knitting. It helps calm my mind/soul and makes me less inclined to be cranky!

  3. Deep is good … although it can tend to manifest as clinical depression! A quote from a book I’m reading (Drop Dead Healthy by A.J. Jacobs) … “Without some delusional optimism, you’ll suffer from Depressive Realism. This psychological theory holds that the people with the most accurate view of the world aren’t happier — they’re clinically depressed. Studies show they have a correct perception of how much they control the outcome of events — namely, very little — and it crushes them. (Not all scientists buy this theory, but the ones who don’t are probably, you know, deluded.) If your worldview is too real, you might spend all your time in bed eating Bugles corn chips and feeling overwhelmed and listless. You’ll be too aware of all the thousands of factors toying with your destiny — from the weather to your genes to a misplaced pair of socks. On the other hand, if you’re too delusionally optimistic, you’ll be unbearable. {UnBEARable??} You’ll refuse to save money or make backup plans. You’ll invade foreign countries and expect to be greeted as liberators. Like everything else in health, you need balance.”

    Now THERE’s a bit of philosophy to ponder while sifting sand through your fingers, hon!

    And by the way … there are plenty of guys out there who place great value on mental and emotional depth. I know a few ….

  4. Love the bear. Nature seems to be a force that penetrates the soul of any individual. For me it’s like a window that is used to allow access to our own true spirituality. I live on the west coast and love being by the water and mountains. When I need time to reflect, they become my retreat. Inspiration comes from within. It’s great to read your reflections. Keep striving for more.

  5. Hi Gregory! I am pleased to wake up this morning & see your tweet for the blog update. I used to take the time to read your blog almost weekly, but things for me have been hectic since about February. As I read your blog today & caught up on all I missed, I remembered WHY I love reading it as it has such a human quality to it & you bare your soul to all of us with an intensity which is captivating. Also, It’s a reminder to me to be thankful for all I have & to remember to be true to myself. I don’t need to run the rat race; I just need to remember to keep up the pace for my own race. Thank you for continuing to blog & share yourself. -Nicole

  6. The bear is a cutie, and I love the color! reminds me of fog in the morning. What type of yarn is it?
    My son put a photo of an RV up on blocks on his Facebook. His caption says he won’t trust an RV again after watching the tv series –Breaking Bad– He sent us a couple seasons on dvd and now has the parents hooked, too!

  7. Love the Bear he is gThere is something special about the ocean, sitting and contemplating is certainly good for the soul! Love to you are Mario xx

  8. Greg,

    Have you ever looked closely at a handful of sand? The grains come in a variety of shades, no two exactly the same (I guess!). Combined, they create that sandy colour, but individually possess their own particular beauty. May be worth a thought the next time you or I are tempted to dismiss something as dull! 🙂

    Dith x

  9. I like the picture of you sitting on the upper doorstep to your very own shiny air stream, knitting a bear, watching the waves and seagulls. Mario curls up at your site while your tomato plants are swinging in the soft summer wind. It’s a dream that simply have to come true!
    I wish you all the best.

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