STAND BACK!….I’m viral.

What in the world???

I never in a million, trillion, flat out gator life-span gazillion years would have thought that a simple anecdote about me and the cops at Starbucks would have taken such the ride that it has. I can’t believe it. I just simply can’t! That blog post went viral and in the process I took that next step that I needed. I NEEDED that more than you’ll ever know.

Needless to say, I’ve been quite busy. Teddy bears are being whipped up by these beautifully calloused hands, and emails are pouring in at a rate that I can’t keep up with. And you know what? I LOVE it. LOVE it. I read ALL of your emails. There have been nearly 3,000 since the blog was republished on the Huffington Post. And though I may not have the time to respond to all of them, I do read them. Its the best part of my day. Your emails encourage and inspire me. And at the end of the day, when I grab little Mario and flop into bed, I take prayers with me. I feel loved.

That little blog going viral was precisely what I needed. I’ve met new friends from across the globe, was able to stash enough rent for the next three months, I splurged and picked up a platform thing to raise my mattress off the floor, and found Mario a new cat box that wasn’t made from old cardboard. and what was left? I hope you don’t object, but I had to give some to the Rescue Mission in Orlando. They are one of the few shelters that helps men. I had to. And I’m sure you’ll understand. It just felt like the right thing to do. I know there is a man in there somewhere who just needs a moment, a second, without the world tearing him down. And that can make all the difference in a man’s survival: praise or ridicule.

Give a man a purpose…..he’ll find his soul.

We are going to be alright. And WE (yes, you and I), are going to do marvelous things with the simple gesture of a gifted teddy bear. And that simple gesture of a knitted little thing with sad eyes and a soft hold all bring something out in all of us I’ve never seen before. The human community anxious for hope, anxious to feel love by GIVING love….by being part of a moment where a battered soul is turned back round to softness when it has someone, something, to hold, embrace, and remind: you are NEVER alone.

I can’t thank all of you enough. The only way I’ll ever be able to do that is to always remember you, to always hold you in my thoughts while I knit up your teddy bears. You’ve given me a fighting chance….and I’m going to make you proud.

I promise you.

 

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85 comments

  1. So happy to learn about your recent fame and success…I haven’t ordered a bear, but I have spread your blog out wherever possible.

    Suzanne (a knitter for the past 56 years!)

    1. Wow, that is wonderful and I am so happy for you! Isn’t it just like you to give some of the little you have to others. Very inspiring. I wish you continued success!

  2. I just had to share your story as it was so well written and I love the fact that you are a knitting ninja πŸ™‚ Bought your pattern and plan to knit up a teddy for my new baby due in a couple of months. Thank you for the inspiration – Heidi, Copenhagen Denmark

  3. I know this might sound strange (since I don’t know you personally), but I’ve been worried about you! I’m glad to hear all is well and that you are okay–MORE than okay!! Know that you’re thought of and prayed for. ❀

  4. You are what’s being lost in our American society today: a humble, industrious person needing help, asking for help, receiving that help, and then paying it forward. That’s the blessing you give to US. As you succeed, so do we. As you give, we do, also.

    Our joys and thankfulness and fears and heartaches and triumphs; as they are yours, they are ours, also.

    Knit on, friend, with renewed hope.

    1. Christine … as I read his blog and the responses I was searching my mind and soul for something to say … and then I read your post … and realized you had just said what was in my heart … thanks for putting it so beautifully. God bless everyone! Linda

  5. good to hear about your success and that it will keep you going for a while in rent. I love that you shared your good fortune with the shelter -it’s often those who have least that do the most!
    I’m sure your generosity will be repaid.

  6. Ahhh bless you. You had some good karma coming to you and your lovely bears. If you get overwhelmed with orders you might have to branch out and teach the men in the rescue mission to knit! ‘Give a man a purpose…..he’ll find his soul’ a wise man once said : )

  7. I read about you on the LGC Knit & Crochet page on FB; I was looking at the page because I’d entered their short story competition – about a woman who meets a man at the bus stop. He’s knitting (badly) a jumper for his daughter’s teddy. Through the medium of wool, they get to know each other… I won second prize with that. And then I saw the item about you. So real men do actually knit! I thought they must…

    Good luck with your bears. They are wonderful.

  8. Have tried to post a comment on your site but don’t seem able to. Just wanted to say praise, praise, praise for donating money to the Rescue Mission. I think I love you – and that,coming from a reserved Brit, is going pretty far!

    Best wishes,

    Sue

  9. Gregory, I read every post you write but don’t often comment. But today I have to tell you, this has made me cry little tears of joy for you and Mario. You deserve every last drop of success that comes your way xxxxx

  10. Your Blog brought tears to my eyes and I think of your courage every day. I have new mantra “If Madman Knitting can do it so can I”. Be strong always and post more often. Xx

  11. How generous and inspiring that when good fortune came your way you stuck by your Intentionally Wealthy principals to keep your living simple and give some of what you have to the Rescue Mission. I hope you feel proud.

  12. wonderful to hear that things are starting to look brighter – I know a lot of us shared your post and now hold a little bit of you in our hearts. Give Mario a hug from me xxx

  13. Well done, we knew how great you are and now so do loads of others! we do love you and I am so glad your finally fulfilling your own need to give back, you story and the insights your life has given me has inspired me to do! I went out and bought a small, for me, amount of groceries and took them to the food bank locally, I just handed them a big bag that was more then twice what they had in the bank for people to take from. I didn’t know how low it was and I will be doing it again.
    I am glad you are now viral, and good for Mario to get a ‘real’ bed though mine wont sleep in any of the beds I buy, only cardboard boxes! which they shred regularly, but have so much fun with! I use them to bring home my groceries, and never use plastic bags.
    We have our first snow and I thought of you and your mild nights and sitting in the garden to knit! esp, when I am trying to get the ice off my car enough to allow me to drive.
    Happy knitting and well done.

  14. Gregory, you have found this out – life can be taken one stitch at a time. You are putting your hopes, your dreams, your cares, and your successes, one stitch at a time into those little bears and passing that along with prayers to others. Many blessings – share the love. Teach someone to knit and you can give them one of the best gifts.

  15. Your Great !got All Your Books Now & Im Reading Them
    So Blessed To Have Met You & Blessings & Prayers For You Are In My / DAVE Daily
    Lots Of Love CAZ& Dave ,HOLYHEAD ANGLESEY UK

  16. Gregory,
    I am glad it’s gone so well for you. I shared your earlier post because I liked your writing, and your sense of humor. You are a very talented writer. I loved your quote: “Give a man a purpose…..he’ll find his soul.” I believe that is true for all people. πŸ™‚
    I hope you continue to be who you reflect in these two posts. Your friend,
    Deb

  17. You made me cry! You know where the tears starred? When you said you gave money to that mission. That’s what its all about, a spark, spreading a spark, starting a flame, making a fire. Its not about me taking care of me, but us taking care of us! So yeah, thanks for making me cry….it made me smile! Now I’m off to knit up here in ch-ch-chilly Maine! BTW the website I linked to is a recipe blog with good, cheap (mostly) made from scratch. I can’t send $$ but I can send prayers and maybe give you new food ideas! πŸ˜€

  18. You are an inspiration. Everyone needs help sometime, I am so encourage to see someone using their talent, doing what they love to get through. Whatever it takes. I work with people who are homeless and I hope your story helps them come up with their own ideas on making this crazy life we lead work.

  19. You already make us proud, and I can’t wait to give the Teddy Bear I ordered to my grandson on his birthday. The story behind what you do is what makes it so precious. Thanks for demonstrating true manhood .. may there be more like you!

    1. I was at my knitting class on Tuesday and one of the ladies brought in a ”fun article”…it was your story in the post! I was excited to share that i’d read it on-line and was a mad man knitting fan. keep it up and stay positive. who knows how it will affect others? πŸ™‚

  20. The panda bear I ordered is for my granddaughter named Amanda….sometimes in a moment of special love I call her Amanda panda. She is 11 and won’t like that much longer, but until then she will have her panda bear. Thanks for being you. Lee

  21. Reblogged this on unhurriedchange and commented:
    this is what happens when you are true and truthful.
    You can change your world.
    Good For You Mad Man Knitting. I am so happy for you that you earned enough money to make a difference and have some left over to help the shelter.
    I came to you because I love to knit, I loved your teddy bears, but I stayed because your writing is powerful and speaks to me.
    I am a middle aged English woman, but your words resonate with me. When you write the truth, using your own blood as the ink, powerful stuff happens.
    Keep going Mad Man Knitting, Keep writing, keep changing the world, one teddy at a time.

  22. So glad to read your newest post. My thoughts and words echo others – we are a community of knitters and pray-ers and your choice of giving to others in need reflects our community spirit. Keep knitting, as will I, and I will keep you in my prayers.

  23. Hello, Gregory!
    You are an inspiration. Your post is such an inspiration and made
    be just about cry. Yes, the human community DOES need hope and
    to feel love more than ever.

    Gina

  24. Tears are filling my eyes as I read and write! You are my inspiration. Months ago when life was different, I donated some money to you much to my cant’ wait for him to be my ex’s disgust. Now I am struggling to make ends meet. I woke up this morning determined to use my creativity to bring extra money into my house to keep my children warm and fed. Then I read this post and it reminded me that it IS possible and that I should never forget to remember to share, no matter how little I feel I have. Thank you Gregory! You are a true inspiration! Prayers of gratitude to you!

  25. Congratulations Greg; you deserve all good things! I did order a pattern and plan to knit one up after the holidays (too much other knitting to do at the moment, and I’m slow), but I can’t wait to get started! Just came to my computer and read your good news this morning though, and it has definitely gotten my day off to a good start! So happy for you!

  26. I’m just so happy for you, and proud of you. Can’t wait to get my little bears. So what about that old contest? This. Is. So. Much. Better. πŸ™‚

  27. I think knitters have heard about you! And it’s an awesome group! AND we’re willing to share you with the rest of the world! I have a friend in Florida who would love a bear. I better get my order in soon!

  28. Congratulations! i am unable to order a bear, but i do use my stash to benefit others as well. i have spread your blog as well. πŸ™‚ i wish you much future success. And, yes, your hands are beautiful, callouses and all. Gotta love a man who knits!!!! i don’t think that any kind of needlework should be gender specific: if one loves it, one should do it, man or woman.

  29. Wow. I go away for a few months and LOOK at you, all famous and stuff! So happy, and as always so proud of you. I’m finally picking up my blog again, and I’ll be catching up on all my friends here on WordPress. Job One: read your post about the police! ❀ ❀ ❀

  30. And how can we not send you love back for inspiring us to give back, stand up and some days just get up and keep moving forward? I was so moved by your previous blog to not only follow you but also start saving some money so that when a bear is available I can buy it and pass the bear and your story on. XXX

  31. HI. I found you through the HuffPo article and added to to my rss reader. I haven’t had time to go back and read your past posts, so I had no idea of your story. I tried to buy a bear but they were sold out. Someday I will buy one. But for now you’ve inspired me to make a donation to the rescue mission. Best of luck to you and I’m so glad that going viral turned into such a blessing for you.

  32. A great example of how tiny our world actually is! I think you’d enjoy my daughter’s blog, locomotionliving.wordpress.com. check it out sometime!

  33. You are amazing…never give up. You are not alone because I believe God is with you. What a tremendous difference you can make in others by sharing your story. I pray that God will continue to pour out His blessings on you!

  34. Hiya Gregory, I was introduced to your blog recently by a friend who suggested you as my next craft blog review. Since then its gone a way past work, (and more towards motherly love) – I’ve read every post you’ve published, sat here crying and laughing along with all the other people who follow, love and pray for you.

    This post touched my heart and moved me to tears. I am so happy and proud of you being able to make yours and Mario’s life a little easier.

    You are a wonderful inspiration, a truly strong and caring person. You deserve all the success in the world, and you WILL get there – of that I am certain.

    Please keep doing what you do, and accept all my love, hugs, best wishes and when I can I will be here to purchase from you too or help in any way I can.

    Your friend from the UK
    xxxx

  35. It’s wonderful that everything is looking up for you!!! A friend re-posted your cop blog post to me, and after going back and reading about your life, your struggles, your cat, and the amazing bears you knit, I’m sad that I cannot embrace you in person and congratulate you. Thank you for being honest, and keep doing what you’re doing!! I work at a women’s shelter, and as opposed to where you are, our men shelters outnumber us. I praise you for contributing to those in need, for the need is great. God Bless You Sir!!!!!

  36. Gregory, I finished my first bear after buying your pattern. He’s not perfect, but I love him! Reading this post made me cry, especially where you say ‘We’re going to be alright’. Again, the timing was very significant for me. Thank you.

  37. Thank you for updating. I have to say, I was worried about not hearing from you! Then, I looked at Huffington Post – over 16,000 shares on FB! Congrats & keep knitting!

  38. Gregory, I’ve been reading your blog since way back when, when you weren’t famous and had the time to respond to my comments! This post left me with tears streaming down my face and a big lump in my throat. I followed your cop story going viral, and hoped that it would have the intended result.

    I just knew your time would come, my friend. I am so happy for you!

    Hugs and kisses to you and Mario!

  39. Gregory- So happy things are going so well for you! I got the gorgeous green bear for my daughter a few days ago… Just in time for her 4th birthday this weekend! After you went viral I didn’t even dare hope for Christmas, and I knew better than to ask for by this weekend, so I am delighted. Thank you so much, and I hope things continue to be bright and beautiful for you going into the holidays!

  40. my son sent me your blog and that was the first time i heard about you. i’ve shared your blog with many of my friends who are knitters – even here far away from you, in india. my son is feeliing inspired enough to pick up knitting soon πŸ™‚ thank you for your heartwarming blog and all the best for the future too.

  41. How could anyone be angry about you sharing money with people in need?
    You and your work are just wonderful, you are moving something within people’s hearts.
    I really appreciate that I found your blog and learned about your story.
    Keep up the good work, don’t let anyone get you down.
    You’re one out of a million with the same heart, needs and wishes. You will never be alone!

  42. Funny how things get around. I think the link to your story about knitting in Starbucks was down on the side of a different Huffington Post article I was reading. My wife knits. I was curious. Then some walls started crumbling. I asked her to show me some things and now I have worked 2 skeins of tweed into a garted stiched scarf that continues to grow. So, thanks. There is always a spark or an ignition for such things. You provided one for me. Couldn’t imagine a nobler deed.

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