Will Knit For Food Update

So, without the laptop I’ve had to start rewriting “Will Knit For Food” by hand. Its interesting how different the writing is when you slow down. And if anything, its a more energetic space to be in when its you and the paper alone. A quiet space of reflection and intimacy left void by the whirring of a computer and the shrilling bright light of a monitor. But, at some point, I’m going to have to have a laptop to work with, to transcribe the wild story of a man who ended up homeless in the woods and began knitting teddy bears to survive. A year ago, Kara’s daughter took a few photographs of me on the side of the road with a sign, looking desperate, in despair, but trying his best to keep alive while clutching my knitting. It was pretty mad to see traffic stop and slow as they passed me with these weird looks on his face. “What the…?”

I finally got the pictures this morning. Now, this isn’t the photo that will be on the cover once I’m done writing the book, but the one I’ve chosen is from that same day.Its interesting how thin I had gotten. 115 pounds, a tattered ballcap that was torn up and faded, clothes too big for me bought at the Salvation Army (and yes, its hard to find pants to fit a 26 waist and 32 length. But, despite how sad and desperate everything looks, I couldn’t help be drawn to my own eyes. They’re still big, bright and hopeful.

With the Etsy fiasco at my heels, and my feeling that their company is now solidly in my past, I didn’t crumble. No, I thought about that photo with those big eyes full of hope. They could have helped, they could have, but I don’t obligate them to that. They made their decision and off I go.

I knit ferociously last night this bear made with Lionbrand’s Organic Wool. A gift from Brandyce who sent it to me a few months back. I finally got around to working with it and NEVER have I see any of my bears work up with such an AWESOME belly. HUGE! I loved it! His face was shaping up and I could see his sad softness say, “Cuddle me. Please?” And then once the stubby little legs and the big belly came about I thought with a smile, “Yeah…That’s right, man. You were made for cuddling. You were made to be squished and squeezed until some little one falls asleep.”

He’s much larger than some of my other bears. I used a size 8 set of needles instead of 5’s. The little guy is in my shop.

He really is THE classic teddy bear.

And have faith in me, I know many of you do. Sometimes I have to remind myself to have faith in something bigger than me, something greater that many will call God. I do have faith.

Running out of supplies.



  1. Gorgeous bear! Glad you’re writing again – I always start on paper and transfer it to computer after a couple of drafts. There’s something very different about pen and paper. There’s space between thoughts. Time to think. Enjoy!

  2. Sweet “boy,” you have no idea how wonderful it makes me feel to see you rebound and continue to be optimistic and hopeful. Warms this mama’s heart. I love your roly-poly little bear and I’m in awe of the talent and gift that enables you to create things with personality out of mere “string.” Sort of the “smoke & mirrors” technique, but with textiles. Life is gonna be so good for you one of these days you won’t believe it!!

  3. He is a beautiful bear, full of hope and love! I am looking forward to reading your next book. Your writing is amazing and it is impossible to stop reading! Sending you lots of warm fuzzies and positive vibes! love and hugs to u and Mario

  4. “just keep swimming, just keep swimming. . .” NEMO
    “Put one foot in front of the other.” Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer Movie
    God still watches out for us, when we have fallen, it’s up to us to keep crawling forward, yeah I read your blog for inspiration, because I’m in a BAD situation as well.
    so I pray for you & your CAT to get from crawling to walking (w/ your head held high)
    You have such a good way with words. Keep knitting if only to save your sanity.
    God is opening doors, and moving stuff even when we can’t see it. KEEP THE FAITH

  5. Hang in there! I’ve been through 3 weeks of no Internet service, through no fault of my own, but rather the phone company and the ISP company arguing about the state of the phone line. Finally, after many phone calls and multiple visits by technicians from both companies, I cried out, “God!? I need Internet!” Two days later I had it.

    A few weeks ago, about the same time my signal died, you posted something about all the “moms” who support you, and one was “Leila”. Was that me? I haven’t noticed anyone else here by that name. Even if you meant someone else, I’m still glad to give you encouragement. Like others have said, it’s the human quality, the honesty that you express, that keeps me coming back.

    The other day someone said something to me about how when life hands you lemons, make lemonade. I’ve heard that many times before but this time it occurred to me that there are more options than that. There are many things one can do with lemons. One can even say, no, thank you, I don’t want lemons.

  6. As I said before, your story is of great inspiration. This reflection back to how your bears got you out of homelessness is hopefully a comfort for you knowing that you are capable of anything. Keep believing.

  7. What an adorable bear! oh to be able to cuddle it, and even to work with wool, but my skin just won’t do it. Itch Itch Itch.
    My current crochet project is a blue/white, sport weight, acrylic baby blankie, as request from a blog friend. She’s offered to pay for it, which I am okay with– I usually just buy more yarn. I hope you can keep knitting into a better situation.
    Happy Days Ahead!

  8. Ilehlia is right! Have you given any thought to doing smaller bears? Like 6 or so inches tall? It would be a little big for pockets but kids could carry them easier in backpacks and still get their larger bear friends too. They’re quicker to work up so you could have several out there to sell while working up another big bear.

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