The Final Season

IMG_5671So my confidants and I have been speaking for a bit now, actually for a good couple of weeks, but the best of them are with me here tonight. We’ve talked, we’ve pondered, we’ve explored options. We’re sitting around eating chili, we’ve been playing cribbage, laughing, but when it comes to serious tones we’ve all turned to the same decision.

It’s time to go.

This month marks my four year anniversary from the first day I sold my first bear. Will never forget it. And some nearly 2,000 bears later (wanna check Guinness to see if I have a record), my body just can’t take it for much longer, and to be honest, not sure if my stamina can either.

There have been some physical problems that I just can’t shake, my left arm won’t work like it once did, no matter what therapy I take, but even more so….I’m getting tired. Tired of many things that we don’t need to get into now. But, if I could comment real quick…burned out?

I love looking into their faces as they are born. My bears, that is. Sweet, pouty, hopeful faces eager to be held. And held they have been. They’ve been clutched and squeezed and loved and given. They’ve been the best part of me in this 42 years that I can recall.

But, I’ve decided, with my friends at my side, that this will be my “Final Season” of MadManKnitting. This will be my last year knitting teddy bears. It’s time to let the needles down, to admit to a time of leaving. However, I’m in no particular position to immediately stand down. So, I have to give myself time to finish this and move on. What bears you’ve ordered, and what bears I have left to sell will be the end of it. What yarn is on my shelf will be the end of my little bears.

But, I keep thinking, I have so much more to say on the craft, so much more to explore. This won’t be the end of Gregory Patrick, but will be the end of MadManKnitting.

To be frank, I’m counting on that writing, that distinctive ideology that when I put pen to paper that I am able to catalog myself as one who can, and has said what is vital and important to himself as an artist, that I said something. I shared my soul, I have given of my heart and my talent. I have been with you. I have shared this path with you.

So, as we breach now into a new world, I’m sad to leave this one behind. But, I think it for the best. It’s time to move into something new. So, this is my final season.

I’m going to spend the rest of this late evening watching “Howard’s End” with my friends. Those of you that have followed my blog with me since the beginning know how much that book and film mean to me. It speaks to me in volumes that I could never truly explain. But, much of my life’s lessons have been learned from that book. (we’ll probably listen to some Siouxsie, too. I get like that when I’m decisive.)

We enjoy a chapter. We move on to the next, unknowing of what perils, or what beauties await us in the story.

…but, in spite of what fears we may have, we move on.

Gregory

sskcover“MADMANKNITTING -or- Slip, Slip, Knit.” The book also contains patterns for the teddy bear, the tiger, the bunny, and the bear with hat and scarf. For an immediate PDF copy, you can download it from Craftsy.  Or you can buy the PDF directly from me by clicking here. Just be sure your email address is correct. Will be available on Kindle and in paperback soon.

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16 comments

  1. It makes me sad that your sweet little bears are going to go but I totally understand where you’re coming from! Pain, whether physical or emotional, is hard to live with…I have started writing my own blog and while I’m not as poetic as you are, I hope that what I share is as good as your blog! My life isn’t what I thought it would be but that’s ok because in some ways it’s been better than I could hope for. I lost a baby 18 years ago and that’s why I decided to crochet teddy bears for others who have miscarried, had a stillbirth or have lost a baby due to SIDS. In a way, you kind of inspired me to give back to the world that needs more kindness! I look forward to reading your book and I sincerely hope that you get hugely popular through your books as you did with your sweet little teddy bears!

  2. Wow, so after this year no more bears huh? What’s the plan for next year? Feels really sad I may not get to see what you come up with after playing with your scans of yarn
    😞
    I understand it though. I knit and crochet for sale so I can afford fun times with my children while they’re still mine to have fun times with. My oldest is already 5 years and 3 months away from turning 18 😢
    I wish you all the best for this and all the years that follow! May you find your bliss!
    💕

  3. Good luck! I hope your body gets to recuperate and you will feel a sense of liberation – not because there’s anything wrong with knitting (in fact I hope that in due course you may want to start again, just for fun) but because it’s very hard to make a living from it and the pressure of orders probably got too much. Best wishes and I hope everything works out for the new chapter in your life.

  4. Frankly,I shed tears reading this.you and your little pouty bears will be greatly cherished,fondly remembered and sorely missed.thank so kindly for having shared yourself and your bears with us for the last four years.and fondest hopes to you for a grand new adventure and a brand new life…

  5. I’m sorry to see you go, Gregory. I hope this will be a “see y’all later” instead of a “goodbye.” Friendships happen for a reason; sometimes they have an expiry date, sometimes they last a lifetime, and they take some work to keep up. You have a friend in all of us and we’ll be eager to find out how you’re doing and what you’re up to. Best of luck with whatever that will be. I, for one, will be sad not to see MadManKnitting updates pop up in my inbox like butterflies appearing out of nowhere. ❤

  6. I’m sorry to see this, Gregory, but with your health the way it is it’s the only way you can realistically hope to catch up with past sold orders, and you cannot renege on those! With a good rest, some quality time to yourself, friends helping you gradually sort it all out, you may well decide you’re ready to knit again. But never with this kind of pressure and anxiety, I hope. Take care of YOU. That’s what I’ve been doing for myself and the reason I’ve been out of touch with a lot of my friends. Sometimes you just have to hibernate for a while in order to heal.

  7. So, I assume this means obtaining some other real-world job, since even authors need to eat until they get their epic novel written.

  8. I will miss seeing all the adorable new bears you create pop up on my timeline and I feel very sad that this part of your life has now come to an end. I totally understand though. Physical pain is nothing to sneeze at, not to mention the toll the stress has taken on your emotions. Go forward with courage and good luck with whatever new ventures you embark on.

  9. I feel a bit like crying as I don’t like changes, but I can completely understand and support your decision. How you’ve done what you’ve done still amazes me! I’ll look forward to following your final year and future endeavors!

  10. I agree with everything everybody said above. I worry that you might not find a revenue stream big enough to carry you forwards if you stop knitting. Will your patterns and books sustain you for a while? What are you going to do to keep a roof over your head? Where will you go if you can’t? I’m sure you talked this over with your fellows there. Please share how you are going to manage. I think we would all hate to see you loose your home. Or have you found a rich benefactor your keeping secret and you are finally going to get your little white house? inquiring minds wanna know Gregory…. Cheek Cheek, but also very serious questions.

  11. I hope you do keep this blog and update us. Change the name of it if you have to, but don’t just drop us like we’re hot rocks, leaving us to wonder how you are, what you’re doing, or if you ever got that little white house. I cry “foul”! Not all of us are all about the knitting, you know.

  12. They say that one of the few real constants is change. I don’t particularly like change, but it can’t be stopped. I’ve read your blog for quite awhile now, I like the way you write, the honesty, the turn of phrase, the openness and caring. I understand physical pain, live with it every day, years of it (one of the things that I’d welcome to have change, to no pain) and it wears at you, affects your thinking and your responses to everything around you. I hope you will still maintain a blog and keep us all up to date on what you’re doing with your life. Whatever your decisions I wish you the best.

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