With My Best Friends….

There is this CLASSIC Depeche Mode song, if you’re familiar. “Never Let Me Down Again.” GREAT tune, wonderful song with the catch, “I’m taking a ride with my best friend….I hope he never let’s me down again….” Keep that in mind.

So, let’s start with Thursday night. I hadn’t seen nor heard from anyone in days. It does tend to get lonely here in my little apartment. I work so much, I rarely get out. And when I do, it’s just to run up to the store for food, or to buy yarn, then rush back again. But, it seems everyone has been so busy with their lives that everyone has been scarce. That does get me down a bit. So, on Thursday I called up George and told him, “Dude, I haven’t seen anyone in days. What are you up to?”

“Well, if you make a pot of coffee, I could be tempted to come over.”

“Be here in 30 minutes….”

He came round, we had coffee, and surprisingly Kara showed up a little while later. (I could be wrong, but I think George may have called Kara and said, “Gregory seems lonely. Head over if you can.” But, I could be wrong. It was just surprisingly coincidental).

Anyhow, we had a wonderful time hanging out and gossiping and being ridiculous until about 11 in the evening. As the two of them were disbanding, George asked me if I needed a ride to the store in the morning. I accepted and he said, “Good! I just need to go the doctor to get some blood work done, and when I leave I’ll swing by here and pick you up. By the way, are you ok? You seem down lately. Something you need to talk about?”

I confessed that there was, and that we could talk about it when we were driving to the store.

Well, George came by at about 10am to pick me up….and man….oh, man. He was loopy and wild. “How much blood did they take anyway?”

“I dunno. But they had to switch arms cuz I ran out of blood in this one. Let’s go!”

So, there we were driving up to the store (only a half mile away) with George all weirdly light headed and giggly, phone in one hand, bag of peanuts in the other. I was clutching the “oh-shit” handle for dear life.

We made it safely to the store, grabbed our groceries. (Actually, more like George wandering the store whispering to himself, “Do I need anything? What was it I needed….I know there was something.”)

“Hey, man. Let’s get you an orange juice or something.”

“OJ??? Hell, no…You know what I want? I Cuban sandwich. Let’s go get a Cuban sandwich. How much more do you need here?”

“We’re done, dude,” I said shaking my head. “Yeah, we’re done. We need to get you home.”

“NO! I want a Cuban Sandwich. Who has the best.”

“Black Bean Deli. Cheap. Delicious. Authentic.”

“Good! How do we get there?”

IMG_0071And there we were bum rushing traffic, no turn signals when needed, unable to pick a lane, and me flipping out and using more profanities than Richard Pryor at his height of fame. Or the other half the time I was shreaking like Hyacinth Bucket from Keeping up Appearances. “Richard! MIND THE CYCLIST!!!”

We reach the Black Bean Deli (in one thankful piece) and George asks me to go in and get one for him, because he doesn’t have the strength. No problem. Got the sandwiches, ran back to his truck, and he drove me home.

WHEW! I was so THANKFUL to be out of that truck and called him to make sure he made it home ok. “Sure! I’m fine….wait. Wait a minute. Wasn’t there something you wanted to talk about?”

“Yeah….but, we can do it some other time.”

“Let’s do it soon. You seemed really down.”

Well, I saw him today….and I finally just let it all go.

You see, George and Kara don’t read this blog. Oh, don’t worry, they do know I write about them. But, I guess they never really know what goes on here. I never really tell them what is REALLY going on. They don’t know how some people are angry because orders are running behind. So, I let George know. I finally just started talking, and the next thing I knew I was teary eyed talking about how I was losing it. Wasn’t going to be able to keep up. And that my reputation was going south. That the money from teddy bears isn’t coming in enough to keep up with expenses….and I just kinda crumbled. I needed to get it out, you know. I confessed that I didn’t think I was going to survive. And then I said, “I think I’m letting everyone down….again.”

And he looked at me and said, “….wow. When we were driving around yesterday I thought everything was fine. The only way you could let us down is by not letting us know what’s going on. Tell us what’s going on….and you won’t be letting us down.”

For a good two hours we had a really great heart to heart. I got to shed a few tears out of my own self disappointment, and he helped me figure a way out. And we did. We came up with what I hope will be a great solution to everything, a way to keep me afloat, and get everyone’s bear out before selling anymore.

My book. My patterns.

I need to stop selling teddy bears for a while. I need to get everyone that has ordered a bear what they deserve. But, if I stopped selling them, the income would drop to nothing and I’d be screwed. So, here’s what we decided to do….

My made to order bears are no longer for sale.

They won’t be for quite sometime. At least not until I get caught up. I have a couple of “One of a Kind Bears” that I have been working on from some great stash that was donated to me, but there will be no more bears in my shop. So, if you see a few more bears posted on my blog as “One of a Kind” that’s just me trying to deplete this stash of yarn for now and raise a few more dollars for the next month.

However, I have about 5,000 plus followers on Facebook, and 9,000 following my blog. I’m not sure how many of those numbers are redundant, so we’ll just go with 5,000 people. If each of you were to just buy my book or my pattern, that would help keep me from selling bears for at least 2 to 3 months and I can get everything caught up, get everyone their bears, and keep everyone happy. I won’t have to over extend myself.

The book is downloaded instantly on Kindle, and the pattern is ready for you to snag as soon as soon as its paid for. And they’re both only $3. Less than that actually. A measly $3. Now Kindle has this lag time for payment of two months, so anything bought now, I wouldn’t receive royalties for until July. But, I get paid for the pattern instantly.

And once I get caught up I won’t be doing anymore Made to Order bears. I’ll only be doing available and ready to ship bears. So, if everyone here within the sound of my voice (or the clambering of my keyboard) can hear me, this is the best option for surviving, keeping this alive, without over extending myself and potentially ruining myself in the process.

At some point, when I’m all caught up, and this is all tended to well….I can help out my friends, too. All of you, anyone of you whom have been with me here to support and encourage me. I can actually be caught up, and start giving back all the kindness and support that has been shown to me.

It can be done….a simple $3 at a time.

Click here to buy my book.

Click here to buy my pattern.

Or if you’d just like to help out:


“See the stars? They’re shining bright. Everything’s alright tonight….”



  1. Bought the book a while back, totally loved it, glad you are better. Also, bought the pattern, too cute, it is on my radar for a next project. Maybe when school gets out and I can breathe again.

  2. 2 Patterns purchased. When I get them done and they are far, down on the list, I will send you a pick. πŸ™‚

  3. I’ve bought your bear pattern and will post a piccie when done (don’t hold your breath though because like you I knit and crochet for a living – lots of long hours designing and knitting and little time for anything else. My work is here if you’re interested http://www.pinterest.com/lynnesknits/lynne-rowe-portfolio/).
    I wonder if you’ve thought of selling kits for your bears? that was you don’t have to knit them up, just provide the materials (yarn, toy filling and pattern). Pop them into a nice bag or boxand bingo – you can make some cash without spending hours knitting. Just a thought πŸ™‚ and good luck.

    1. You know, I HAVE thought of that. I had hoped Lionbrand would have snagged it and tucked it in with their Fisherman’s wool…..alas πŸ™‚ Thank you for your help! I’m gonna go take a peek at your work!

  4. I don’t knit or have time to read as working single mom to twins but I believe in supporting anyone making a real effort to support themselves – give me an address and I will drop $5 in the mail and keep you in thoughts and prayers. I also would like to purchase a rabbit and a bear for the twins if/when you have them ready to ship. Have you considered seeing if there is anyone who would like to help you with knitting – there may be an elderly person with time on their hands and no one to knit for who would welcome the opportunity just to have a purpose and it could be mad man and friends- it takes a village – chin up

    1. I truly appreciate that. I truly do. Kara helps when she can. She does the bodies for me. But, she can only do so much. I am looking into a group of ladies who knit up at this local church, see if they might help me out.

  5. This is such a great idea! I’m so glad you were able to find some peace for yourself. Since I already had your pattern, I decided just to donate.

  6. Gregory, you are a brave good man ! I hope it won’t take long before we will hear that your amazing Teddies are available again; there is great need of your Bears around. And I do hope your friends and Internet fans will not disappoint you. Here is a video for you and your true friends.

    Take care and talk soon whenever you wish

  7. I’m so happy that you’re finding a way to make this work for you. I know it’s hard to acknowledge when something’s not working, and I know it’s hard to ask for help. I love your perspective and outlook on life, and once you get bears available to order again, I hope to snag one. In the meantime, I’ve started knitting my own first bear and I’m loving it, can’t wait to blog it. Thanks for getting me started on it!

  8. I bought the pattern too. I’ve been meaning to anyway so thanks for the nudge.

    When you posted about your “situation” I actually have been giving it quite a bit of thought. Like “how far behind is he?” Clearly, you over-extended yourself (haven’t we all done that occasionally?). Is it 10 bears? 100? 1000? And “what could he do to catch up?” Quite the dilemma. You came up with a good plan and I hope it works out for you. Just so you know…I admire your tenacity and how open you are on your blog. You have a good head on your shoulders and a willingness to earn your way. I’m cheering you on!

    1. Thank you, Susan! Yes, I am over extended and it was never intended, but it happened simply because I didn’t charge enough. But, I wanted the little guys to be affordable. I was once told my totem animal was a fox, and I asked why and they said, “they find clever ways to keep from being trapped.”

    1. Thank you, ma’am! And just so you know, there are some video clips to help with the nuances if you need them! I look forward to seeing pics of your little bears! I’ll be sure to share them!

  9. I love this idea! Make up those special bears when you need to do something a little different and offer those at a higher price when one is finished. I already have your book and your bear patterns, along with three of your bears! So what’s left the Bunny pattern. purchased. Good luck Gregory! pssst maybe come up with another simple pattern or two.

  10. I just wanted to know what the “lag-time” is on the bears that were already ordered. I ordered one in March and I’ve emailed you and have not gotten a reply. I just want an ETA. I ordered this bear for my son’s birthday (which was in April) and would love for him to have it before he has another one! Relax, that’s humor there! Update me, please!

    1. Thank you for being patient with me….and for the little jab with a funny. I appreciate that. I’ll pull up your order and print it out and add it to my, “THEY WANT IT NOW, DAMMIT!” pile…so, perhaps another month?

  11. I went ahead and got one each of your patterns available on craftsy (I know they are duplicates but hey, now I can gift them to friends πŸ™‚ ) I know you will make it through and succeed! I will leave you with the wisdom of one of my best friends, “just one stitch at a time…”

  12. Gregory, I am so glad that you were able to have that important conversation with a good friend and develop a PLAN. I was feeling stressed by your stress. I was worried that your current business model was not going to work in the long run, and I really want you to succeed. Hurray for good friends! Hurray for thinking ‘outside the box’ and taking risks and finding a way! You rock, man!

    1. Cheers, Nancy! Thanks! I was beginning to feel too overwhelmed. I can handle a little stress….well, actually a LOT of stress, but this much was keeping me from actually progressing, so yes, it was nice to be able to brainstorm and say, “What do I have that I can work with?”

  13. Good morning. Bought all three patterns and the book. That way you will have some money instantly and some in July. Keep knitting and chin up. πŸ™‚

  14. Have just bought your pattern. You are an inspiration; I feel so very lucky never to been in a situation like yours and I truly hope all goes well with you.

  15. Good morning, my dear. Bought 2 patterns from you just now and will commit to a small donation monthly (starting in June) until you have everything all sorted out. Hey, we need to help each other, and I have enjoyed your posts. Love and peace, Diana PS: I think you ought to sell the pattern for your sock bears, too, just a thought.

  16. Just bought a pattern, don’t know when I’ll get the time to make any. I admire your efforts to knit as many as you do.

  17. I bought a bunny. I had the bear and it is queued. Now I get to make a bunny too. You are very brave to admit that things aren’t working and you need to look at how best to continue. I will be thinking good thoughts about you as I knit my neighbor a bear for her soon to be coming first child. We all need a bear (or a bunny) for a hug on bad days. Keep persevering with your new approach. By having a plan and sharing it with us, you are already rising. Lots of love coming your way, please let it soak in.

  18. Hey–I just sent a tiny donation. I already bought your book and pattern in December–so there you are. Best wishes to you–not everyone is mad. I am inspired by you, your hard work, your keeping on through tough times. Thank you! I enjoy your blog very much.

  19. I bought both the rabbit and the teddy bear but haven’t made them yet. I think I bought both in April but I’m not sure! I hope you are able to find some peace and get your orders done soon! I will say a prayer for you!


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