Author: Gregory Patrick

A mad man who writes books, knits, and deals with the daily dilemmas of living 20 miles from nothing...I'm not kidding.

KNITTER BE DAMNED!!!

So, we finally did our first episode of a new podcast on Youtube called, “KNITTER BE DAMNED.” We were going to wait a few weeks, but……we had the best time, we had to go ahead and upload it. I’ll let the video speak for itself, but I think you’ll agree, you’re going to laugh your little knitter butts off. 🙂 Looking forward to doing this every Friday night. Relax, sit back, grab a cocktail and knit with us…..

Enjoy! (psst! click the pic to watch Episode 1: “Trannies and Yarn Snobs….”

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The True Test of Love

This was an amazing Valentine’s Day. It wasn’t filled with chocolate and flowers, nor doting eyes batting with flirtation. Nope, as a couple we fought like knitting ninja warriors. Bombarded from all sides, we smashed conflict left and right, battled the adversaries that approached us with fierce ferocity, and tenaciously knit and crocheted our issues with stealth and ease.

Now, we have been railroaded the last week, beat down by many inconceivable challenges. And throughout the week we admit that it took it’s toll on us. Falling into bed, we’d lay one hand on the other, breathing softly, “I’m too tired from all this to say ‘Goodnight.'”. So, as we woke to Valentine’s Day, there seemed to be this shrug between us, something that said, “Yeah, it’s a day like any other….” I might have given him a smooch, he might have HALF halfheartedly gave me a hug. We were just worn out from the beat downs we’ve had, too disinterested and preoccupied to enjoy each other.

Then something happened. We got hit again….and again….and again with wild, out of the ordinary things thrown at us, unseen madness from out of nowhere. Beginning at 10am, the onslaught from the Universe began. But, we did what we had to.

Boots on (you know it’s serious). SQUASH. HiYA! Boom! Taken down….

Then something else happened that was intended to destroy us. Boo ya! BAM! We fought along side each other, not weakening, not failing, but fighting hard against it all. This life we have built was not going to be destroyed, because we had each other, we were fighting FOR each other. KAPOW! SMASH! BANG! Ha HA! Take that you miserable bastard! HuWAHHH! CLANG CRASH!

Conflicts from the universe came at us hard today and we fought them off one by one….together. We were reminded that we were a team! And on Valentine’s Day, no less.

GAR! WHOOP! CRASH!

Our battles today were won. And as we stared down at the wrecked remains of the demons that had tried to claim us, Phillip looked to me and said, “Why is the Universe doing this to us?”

“To make sure we’re ready for blessings. The Universe wants to see that we won’t crash and burn before giving us some really great things.”

And sure enough, when all was said and done, and we wiped our brows in an apartment that had no electricity, the lights came on, the fan started whirring, and a gesture of kindness found itself glowing among the remains of some troubled days.

Then another blessing showed itself. Then another. And then another….Until we were finally wrapped in each other’s arms laughing with optimism and proudly saying to each other amidst the rubble, “Happy Valentine’s Day, sweetheart.”

(Big grin from both sides).

IMG_2019Now, that has to be the best Valentine’s gift ever. It showed the true test of our love. When some break down when it comes to money and crisis, we excelled and fought it off. We did what we could and we showed each other that we were THERE for each other. And as I mentioned, we’ve fought too hard to build this little cottage industry, this little family of ours, to watch it be hurt and harmed by something outside. The Universe said, “You two really do love each other…..”

Each other’s loyalty and promise was the best gift would could have given the other.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

WHOOP! ZING! POW!!!! 🙂

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And We Could Change the World Today

The “Pussy Hat” incident made me think of something this morning. Our political rivalries and angry approaches have been taken to degrees that I think any one of the Huns would have shook their heads at in disbelief. And how do we fix it? Our dialogues have ceased, if ever given a chance to begin in the first place. But, we as knitters speak so much about our care, concern and love for others through these stitches that are stockinette from the heart. So, why don’t we do that? Why don’t we mend the knitting community with what we do best: speak from the heart with our knitting?

As knitters, our hands speak more than we can truly ever say. As knitters, we are afforded a silence in our craft that is cheapened by the noise of our opinions (I blame myself for that quite often-my beautiful silence is often marred by my own noisy opinion. But, there you have it, I’m learning as I grow older). Instead of approaching each other with vitriol, why don’t we approach each other from a common place of understanding, on a level that speaks to each other in a way only we understand? Not to be metaphoric, but we all have dealt with tangled yarn, with hard to read patterns, with moth eaten skeins, and with projects that we love that get put on the back burner because life gets in the way. We all have the same common troubles, the same issues that face us in this craft.

I want people to look from outside in and ask, “Why is everyone suddenly knitting a teddy bear? Why are people GIVING each other a pattern for a teddy bear?” And then I want us all to whisper in unison, eyes peering up from our needles, “Because I want my adversary to know that I understand that we are still a community, and this is a gift for them.”

dscf2692_medium2That’s right. I want my pattern to prove a point. That it isn’t used to make a teddy bear for yourself, but that the pattern is given to your adversary as a gift, or for that someone in your life that isn’t a knitter, you can just whip out that teddy bear and give them that instead as a gesture of understanding. A flood of teddy bears could circle the world in no time at all, knitters and non alike would be inundated with this massive message that our attempts to discuss have gone sour, but I want you to know that from one crafter to another, I want us to come together.

I’m sending the pattern to the two women that I was embroiled with. It’s a gift from knitter to knitter. No hard feelings. We speak, believe it or not, the same language of knits and purls….

So, let’s do this. As fiery as the controversy got so quickly, maybe this idea would grow even faster and for a better reason and a better purpose. One of the absolutely hardest things you can do in life is forgive your enemy….but, it can be even harder to then gift them, offer them blessings, and hope for their wellness. It is so INCREDIBLY hard. But, we would be proving that it can be done, and should be done, for the sake of any kindness ever being born of knitting again.

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My Husband’s STRANGE FRIENDS

Phillip really is very happy when he gets messages from all of you that have adopted his Strange Friends. He really does peek his head around the corner on occasion and asks, “Has anybody said they like them?” It gives him a lot of pride that you appreciate his creativity so much. And two men that knit and crochet under the same roof can be a really funny scenario. “Sweetheart? Have you seen the screwdriver?”

img_3224“Yeah, it’s over by the superwash wool.”

“The Madeleine Tosh or the Cascade?”

“The green Cascade that we used a piece of to tie up the tomato plants.”

“Got it.”

He’s been trying to whip out as many as he can to help offset our income, and I have to say, I’m proud of him for doing such a wonderful job. So, if you’d like to snag one, be sure to check out our SHOP. I’ll write more later today, but for the moment, I just wanted to give my husband and his Strange Friends a shout out. 🙂

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A Resolution to the Conflict

I’m assuming this will be the last post on this topic. Or, at least I hope it is, for I do feel we have come to a resolution to the controversy that erupted a week ago.

Our decisions always give clear indications of the persons we are, they define our character better than our words do. When asked today  how I would like to proceed legally…..I have to say that I could say nothing. The looming idea that, even though I was hurt financially, and my reputation thrown to the wolves, I was given the question on how I wanted to pursue this legally.

All I could think of was that the person that I had done this to me, had rallied a mob to defame me, had rushed them together to purposely lie and urged them to make false statements in public, would be possibly financially ruined. Who knows how deep the damage could be. The woman in question, despite her venomous actions, might have lost more than she had bargained for. Maybe her home, maybe her business. And as much as she made that her attempt on me, I find some deep sympathy in someone being ruined. (Obviously, when you know my own personal history of being homeless for so long). I have to confess that I felt troubled at the notion that I could do that to someone, because that is not the person that I am, or rather, that is not the person that I would want to become. So, I decided not to proceed with the matter legally. Doesn’t mean I can’t in the future, that is to say, if she or her friends decide to proceed with these attempts publicly, I will reconsider. But, I have not heard a word from her. Oh, yes, there are some nasty things being said, all of which untrue (“He attacked an autistic person!” Of course, I didn’t. Don’t be ridiculous).

But, the woman who incited this, who actually I do have a case against, In am not going to sue at this time. After a long walk alone, I could only think of her losing her home, probably causing damage to her life, her family, and all over an outrage on her part. I do think she should remember that the other people on the end of these interwebs are real people, and no one finds true heroes in those that destroy. We find our heroes in the compassionate.

All I ever wanted to begin with was for her to rally those same people and say she was wrong. All I ever wanted to do was talk her and ask why? All I ever wanted was for her to recognize what she had done and make it right, urge the same people that were smearing my Amazon and Facebook page to maybe put it all back together again and bring harmony back. And yes, I did want her to compensate me, not necessarily out of pocket, but to urge them to buy my books and bears. That would have been a great start towards reconciliation. And who knows? With the power of our combined abilities to, we might have been allies. You never know. And we REALLY were hurt financially by this. She may not know it, but we live pretty much hand to mouth. We couldn’t afford a setback at the moment. She could have helped to repair that, maybe even make it better, and I in turn could have found a great story in her own passion and drive. I imagine we will never know.

But, I never got any of that. I was never even given an apology, although I hear she has gone into internet “hiding.” Maybe she has remorse. Sadly, I will never know. As financially hurt as I was by this, I cannot feel comfortable that I would receive a windfall by someone else’s demise. That’s not how I hope to make a profit.

So, I guess that’s the end of it. I do have to say, while writing this now, I felt like crying. You know that pressure that builds behind the eyes, pulsing and framing itself into tears? I haven’t cried yet. I’m the sort that doesn’t tend to. Maybe I should more. I feel like I wanted to cry because….so many people were hurt in all of this, but….of all the people that were hurt, I couldn’t bring myself to hurt my enemy.

I just couldn’t bring myself to hurt my enemy….

We are leaving the Go Fund Me page open for now, if you’d like to help us recover. We really do appreciate it.

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

 

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Just Arrogant People With a Skill

Shall we talk shop first? Should we mention any updates on the controversy?

Nahhhh, let’s not do that today. I’d rather talk about how a pair of socks reminded me of the comfort of our craft, and not the conflict. Ok, ok, some knitters think they’re better than others and like to prove it, boast about it, but as Morrissey sang in a rather famous song by The Smiths, “Some girls are bigger than others…..”

Now, Phillip and I aren’t football people, so we weren’t really tripped up with the Superbowl. But, I do have to confess that if there had a been a World Cup Croquet Match, I would have asked everyone to be quiet so I could stare and yell at the television. “Through the wicket, you fool! Through the wicket!”

So, instead of watching football, Phillip and I gathered around this little laptop, I was knitting away, he was crocheting away, and we probably did the most UN-football thing you could think of. We started binge watching “Downton Abbey” from the beginning. It’s funny that he would say, “I see why you like this so much. It’s very E.M. Forster.” And indeed, I do have an unknown frequency, a vibration that sets my soul to pen descriptions of lush greens beneath robin egg colored skies, as the azaleas drop distant memories of heritage and tradition whenever I spy on the Edwardian.

Funny to think that when people see this man with his fading boots and worn jeans, his dirty ballcap and unshaven face, that this is all that he is, when there is so much complexity beneath. I rocket past people to play croquet, would rather have a beer with my dinner, than a glass of wine, would rather sit on a porch at the end of a long summer day just to hear the cacophony of the cicadas, than go to a concert. But, that’s neither here nor there to this story….

Every once in a while, when I do some “selfish” knitting, I knit myself a pair of socks. I have only 3 pair at the moment, but when I feel I need just a minute away from the teddy bears, I pick up a pair of socks I’ve probably been working on for about a year, then I realize I have to get back to work and put them aside again. Hence, why I only have three pair. 🙂

img_3214So, while we were watching “Downton Abbey” I decided to put my socks on, just to remind myself of how warm they feel, how great they make my feet feel….And then I noticed that right after that, I put my boots back on. When my life takes a downturn, when my life gets hazardously close to ruin again, I find it very hard not to keep my boots on. It’s from the old days, where I feel I will be asked to leave my home at any moment. Some things I’ll never be able to shake. I see myself in some form as an eccentric old man one day (one day??? how about now, crazy???), where you find me walking around the old folks home in a bathrobe  and his underwear….but still with his boots on, still afraid someone is going to ask me to leave my home.

But, as I was wearing my socks, I began to feel the comfort of the craft in a new way. These tender handed things give us a solace that the mass produced cannot. Much like a love letter, written in hand, as opposed to a forwarded email. These things we make take time, they take prominence in memory, of the people that love us. Our scarves not only shield from the winter winds, but rather, constantly kiss the neck of the wearer. Our sweaters and shawls act more as constant hugs. Our teddy bears and other knit animals readily available for clutching in the dark when we feel we need safety.

So, I happily spent the day wearing the comfort of my craft, knitting my teddy bears, reminding myself that every stitch should come from a place in the heart that years for comfort, rather than something to be used as an excuse for conflict.

Otherwise, we aren’t knitters at all….just arrogant people with a skill.

 

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An Acceptance of An Apology…Sort Of

I cannot tell you how happy I am that I received a few messages from some people involved in our current controversy. They wrote to me to offer an apology for how badly the situation has escalated, admitted that they had been some of the ones that had egged it on and had written some of the fake reviews on Amazon, and that they felt that they had not realized how effective the campaign was going to be against me. I accepted their apologies, thanked them for being honest and kind enough to offer one, and extended an olive branch to say that hopefully we can all reconcile to get back to knitting. After all, that is our common thread (so to speak) and one in which we should build a relation from.

Then I was asked why I have not removed the Go Fund Me page, nor any of the posts that I made on Facebook revealing what they had done. The answer is quite simple: you cannot delete real life. These events caused real and severe repercussions, some of which we may not even know for a while. Just because you delete a post on your end does not mean that it never happened. This is real life, and sadly, in real life you are not afforded to the opportunity to UNDO or DELETE regretful moments. For instance, the fake reviews are still on Amazon, despite my reporting them for abuse. As I mentioned before, who knows how long they will be up there for anyone passing by to read. Furthermore, the continued onslaught against me still does damage. In my last blog, I gave a very heartfelt plea that we not in engage with them, or that I least I would not. They would receive no answer from me. I would not be pulled into the madness, but would rather have an attorney tend to that on my behalf. Yes, we have been in touch with a very large firm and have offered them our side of the situation and our evidence.

Furthermore, Go Fund Me suspended my account for a short while. After our discussions, and after handing over more screen shots, they ultimately sided with me and put my page back up. So, you see, again, there was an attempt to not only prevent me from having an income off of my writing, or my knitting, but also to prevent me from raising the money to pay for a lawyer to defend myself in this mess. Thankfully, Go Fund Me has reinstated my page.

So, yes. We are no longer engaging with the individuals that instigated the defamation, libel and impediment of income, but we are still pursuing the issue as a legal matter. We really had no choice. We may have the notions of moving ahead with concepts of a greater purpose, but we still have to protect ourselves and our income.

I thank all of you SO much for your enduring support. The challenges that this episode has shown only proves that there are greater people in the knitting community, even if we aren’t the loudest. Because some of the best knitters you will ever know show themselves to be (again) more contemplative in nature, and allow the quiet silence of truth and reason to rule our needles, rather than the vitriol of a badly tangled skein of yarn.

To those of you that apologized for your actions, I cannot thank you enough for that. It shows promise, communication, and to be frank, courage in admitting you were wrong. That’s very important to all of us now. Courage. And all of you reading this blog give me a great deal of courage. I’m never alone, and that means so much to Phillip and I. We love all of you, so much more than you may realize.

So, if you would like to help out with our legal fees, our Go Fund Me Campaign is here.

Or you can simply donate with the button below.

Thank you all so very much.

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