We Huffed, we Stuffed, and We Knit a Little Bear…

So, I finished my final live knit a long for my teddy bear yesterday….

You know I paused just then, wasn’t sure what to say about it, wasn’t quite sure what to write. I wrote that first sentence up there, then started gazing out the window. What do I want to say about it? How did it go?

It was probably the most wonderful thing I’ve ever done for myself. It truly was.

In many ways it was an exercise in exorcism. So many fears were wrapped up in my delivery, not noticeable at first, but by the second session, I had to admit the gripping fear I was experiencing and had considered cancelling this three day project right away. But, that would have just been tragic for me.

It would have allowed all the therapy I’ve worked for in my battle to beat my agoraphobia to be squashed quickly and without redemption. I honestly think I never would have recovered. Why? Because on an emotional side? From my point of view? I had let my fears win and I would have felt a decade of shame, I’m sure. I’d go back into my shell.

From the audience’s point of view? I imagine I would have seemed unreliable. From that moment forth, anytime I said I was working on something new and please join me, people would have probably said, “No, thanks….”

So, I went ahead and carried on with the second lesson, which seemed to heal the lesions of whatever wound fear had scarred me with.

By the time I did the final live session last night? I was cool as a cucumber. You could see me realizing that one of the critical things that fear feeds on is self esteem. I’m not pretty enough, I look weathered, leathered, big eyed and haggard. My teeth are twisted and weird, the lighting sucks. And somehow, you just don’t seem to care. You see a man sharing the nuances of his craft with a laugh and a grin all born from enthusiasm of the work at hand. And that’s all that mattered….the work, the knitting.

I made mistakes! Many! And they were funny! I had to side saddle my chair, sit upside so you could see what I was doing sometimes, get my funny mug right up INTO the camera so you could see how serious I was.

We’d have quiet moments of silence, then my beginning to ramble with stories, anecdotes. But, when the time was warranted, I was engaged with being as explanatory as I could when it came to the pattern, detailing as much as I could about how to make this teddy bear exactly like I do.

We huffed, stuffed, and knit a little bear. At the very end, when the last arm was put in place, I held up that teddy bear and just smiled with the most amazing feeling of self confidence. I had conquered my fears, moved through them, and came out feeling that the only thing that could have possibly harmed me in this whole processes was to have NOT done it. Having cancelled, decided not to finish, walk away and simply say, “I’m just too terrified to go live….,” would have been the only real thing that could have harmed me, which is what fear wants from us anyway: to harm us.

In some interesting way, it was like my teddy bear was saving me once again. You could see that look on my face, that giggle, when the bear was finished and I held him up to the camera….We had done it. Together. Hour after hour the same names popped up in the chat box, all beaming with encouragement, all engaged and enjoying “the show.” These people came to see me, to visit with me, spend time with me. Had I not done this? The leash of loneliness would have just been tighter.

I truly am so happy I did this project and so grateful that to all of you that tuned in. If you didn’t, you can still watch them. Even if you’re not a knitter, I think you’ll find the stories comical and interesting. I think you’d find the whole experience a lot of fun. Click here to watch.

Thank you all SO much. 🙂

If you appreciate my work and would like for this blog to continue, please donate to help keep it going. I wouldn’t have the courage to do it without your support.




  1. Thank you so much, Gregory! I am struggling with my own fears right now about starting a dog training blog. I have been terrified about filming clips, letting people see my appearance, letting people see my obesity, my twisted teeth, my broken nose. I have been afraid of the armchair pros who will critique my training methods. However, your wonderful post is helping me realize that we ALL have those fears, and I need to start this blog to get back into the game. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  2. So glad you saved this, I got caught up in work and will have to look at it when I get a few minutes. You know, it shouldn’t have been “about” you, right? It was about the Teddy Bear and sharing what you know about making the bears. Teaching those of us who watch.

    You do know that right? Right?
    To quote Cher (in Moonstruck): “snap out of it!”.

    As far as “I’m not pretty enough, I look weathered, leathered, big eyed and haggard. My teeth are twisted and weird, the lighting sucks.” Nonsense. Who was looking at your teeth?

    One of my favorite quotes is by Eleanor Roosevelt who would tell you this (if she were here today to tell you this):
    “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along”

    Anyway, thanks for posting the video. Now, since I bought your book, and have the yarn– all I need is time. I need to get the time to actually sit down, enjoy what you shared about making bears and get on with making a bear. The video means that my bear is gonna be made in 20-30 minute spurts.

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