When a Knitter Fights Back

Wait for it….Just, wait for it. You’ll feel better once you get to the end of this blog.

As you may have noticed, the layout of my blog has changed, as has my shop. There is a very important reason that all of this changed.

Branding has nothing to do with logos and visuals, it has everything to do with a story. My story? What does Mad Man Knitting mean? It means using your crafts, your knitting, your crocheting and your tatting to find self sufficiency, to rise above the challenges you face by using your talents, your abilities, and above all, to put something good in the world. Being a Mad Man Knitting is raising your hand up, your head up, and your heart up in the face of adversity and pushing forth, fighting back against pain and misfortune and claiming you can do ANYTHING of beautiful benefit with your knitting needles. You really CAN change not only your life, but the live’s of others.

Yesterday, I received one of those lovely letters from the IRS, one of those “intent to levy” letters we all just LOVE to get. With everything  going on, with everything happening, from the tax man to health to teeth to living by a thread I felt I had finally had enough. But, did I crumble? Did I cry and hold myself tight and feel miserable and distraught? Nope. I started cleaning.

That’s right, I’m one of those people that feels when you’re cleaning your house, you’re purging your thoughts, your soul, your bad mojo, the darkness that clings. You clean it all away. And I mean I cleaned. I scoured crazy corners I’ve never seen before, washed the blinds, scrubbed the grout. When it was all finished, all tidied and put away, I felt so much better.

As heaviness mounts, I see now what to do. I’m still stuck as that homeless man in my head. I’m still stuck to my boots before I go to bed, and the minute I get out of it. I’m still stuck in this rut, “this loop” as my friend Giovanni calls it. No money, bad arm, bad teeth, bad health, bad taxes, bad, bad, bad…..ENOUGH! (Actually said that last part about the time I was cleaning behind the refrigerator).

I jumped up, ran to a pen and paper (‘member those?) and started jotting ideas. If I’m going to make this work, if I’m going to fight back against my own dilemmas, if I’m to rise above the hardships I face then I have to make this work. This has to be REAL, this can’t be a means of hand to mouth anymore, because this is my path. This is where I’ve been led. And it took no time and but a few lines for me to find some clean blaring clarity.

I’m so glad it’s May the 1st. My previous anniversary had been celebrated on February 16th, because that was the day I sold my first teddy bear, the day I rushed to the store and bought food. And nearly 3,000 (YES!) hand knit bears later, I’m changing that anniversary to the day THIS became a reality, where it all sunk in finally, where it dawned on me, it grew inside me that this whole MAD MAN KNITTING concept was more powerful than I had ever thought. Because, like I said a few posts back, this isn’t about the knitting. It’s about turning “surviving” into “thriving” by the intentions behind those knitting needles.

1 May 2016.

DSCF2040I’m going to make that money to pay off my taxes, to fix my teeth, to contain my health, and to get my permanent place to live. I want to pay my rent tomorrow. And on Tuesday, I want to go back to the dentist and say, “I don’t want plan C. I want Plan A.” Wednesday I want to haul myself back to the doctor and have him tend to that cyst on Phillip’s forehead. On Thursday I want to be able to order 100 more copies of my book. On Friday I want put a little aside and say, “That’s for Honeychurch.” And on Saturday I’m going to put a fat payment to the tax man in the mailbox with a growling “You ain’t taking me down,” sneer on my face.

And I can DO all of that! I CAN! So, I updated my shop, added T-Shirts and more bears.

And we have to talk about those bears. Oh yes yes yes. I know some have taken a while, but I promise you, the same people who wrote to say they were not happy the bears were taking too long, are the same one’s that wrote me back once they get the bear to say, “I LOVE this little bear! THANK YOU!”

AND I THANK YOU! I can’t thank you ENOUGH! I can’t thank you enough for your patience, because it’s such a beautiful thing to feel some things in this on-demand world are worth waiting for. They TRULY are. Sometimes good things happen slowly. Hate and anger are impulsive. Peace slowly and patiently comes upon quiet arrival.


I have to get started right away. Rent is due tomorrow. The printer for my books is offering me an awesome discount upon volume. The levy from the tax man begins on May 12th. And my health isn’t getting better and dammit, I’m going to look and feel amazing for my husband on our wedding day. Dammit! I will!

So join me. We can make this work, and we can share with each other our experiences, how our knitting put us into better places. I need more guest bloggers. Email me at madmanknitting@gmail if you’d like to write for this blog and tell others how you, we and us survived with a skein of yarn and a dream.

I’m going to start actively pursuing the press, pushing myself more to the center of the arena.

I’m going to start putting up more videos, too. Beginning tomorrow. I’ve already updated my video page with the Huffington Post Live interview I did, a news story that was broadcast about me, and a GREAT podcast that was done some time ago with “Raw Voices.”

However, tomorrow’s video is going to be quite a bit different. Think of it as a knitter’s version of  “Grey Gardens” meets “Truth or Dare” using my simple digital camera and staring your’s truly.

It’s about 8pm. I feel sooo good. SOOO good. I can’t thank all of you enough for being with me for so long, for believing in me, for helping, for sharing with me your own experiences. I don’t take all of that lightly. Because I feel that if I fail, I’ve let you down.

And I’m not about to let that happen.

Love you!

If you appreciate this blog and would like for it continue, please donate. Every single bit helps.



  1. Good luck. Keep thinking positive. I hope my small donation helps. I enjoy your blog and your bears. You’ve inspired me to make some bears too. They are fun to knit and make me smile.

  2. Thank you, I read your post this morning and it resonated. I have live d with Kidney failure since I was 18 (29 years) and I remember my “Enough” moment. When I decided that I would not let my kidney disease define who I was and who I would become. Knitting has kept me sane through some traumatic and painful times in my life. Throughout the treatment and the failed organ transplants I have been able to produce pretty things, challenge myself with new techniques and make other people happy when they receive a handknitted gift.
    You have a strength and determination that comes from deep inside, I hope it continues to flow.
    Happy Knitting from Inverurie, Scotland x

  3. I know that cleaning madness so well, each time I’m overwhelmed ! Proud you’re doing everyhting in your power. I’m spreading the word, and I’m researching all the infos for that project I emailed you about 😉

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