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.

How ‘Bout Some Yarn, Sugar?

I am SO happy to announce that we finally have a spot to park our yarn truck. Whew! RELIEF! But, not just any spot. The RIGHT spot.

Hold on now. You know I’m a writer and I love to yarn a tale, so let me tell you the whole story. When I was looking for a place to park I Google earthed our neighborhood. I want to stay in our neighborhood. It suits us. We belong here. And as I’m eyeballing the Earth as God might do as He looks for a place to land a lightening bolt, I kept zooming in on Nora’s Sugar Shack.

Hmmm….I’ve never been there. Never been anywhere, so I don’t want anyone to take that personally. But, I felt drawn to it. So, I sent her a message and told her what I had in mind. She wrote me back rather quickly. “Cheers! Come by and talk in person.” So, Phillip and I got in “Cletus, the Crochit Mobile” and headed over. We pulled up, walked in…..and this wash came over me. This feeling of something I had forgotten.

We started talking right away. Where to park? She said, “RIGHT THERE! Right in front. Everyone will see you,” then she gave us a tour of the Sugar Shack. Eclectic and fun. Familiar and wonderful. Like someone’s living room.

The kind of place where you talked about going to see Reverend Horton Heat. Where clove cigarettes were passed around. Where the bartender is your roommate’s girlfriend. Where none of the chairs match. Where you whispered about a secret picnic to Lake Ivanhoe with your squeeze, listening to a battery powered radio tuned into Edith Piaf. Where you passed bootleg VHS tapes of Brit-coms because you couldn’t stream them back then…..Where “cool” things were still fun because they were still a secret to the mainstream.

As she gave the tour I couldn’t help mutter, “Man, this reminds me of my 20’s. Of Yab-Yum and Go Lounge….” She turned to me and smiled and said, “Well, there’s a reason for that. All those people come here now.” Yes, 20 years later and I’m back to a familiar old space, just a new location. It’s no longer at the same address it once was, but the aura of those days, those people had simply moved to someplace else. HERE.

We started mentioning names we both knew, and the next thing I realized was that it was going to feel like something of a reunion in my mind. The same faces I had not seen in two decades, swarming through the same vibe of enjoyment and relaxation that I had once dug myself into when I was a wee little thing. There was a reason I came here. THIS is where we belonged. By being here, we were challenging the knitting world once again. We aren’t quiet with pastels, clean lines and polished presentation. Our truck looks edgier, different….early punk and rock and roll.

She gave me a hug and said, “Let’s try this out. Saturday, 2pm.”

So, this is it! This is our first “gig on the road,” our first “concert date.” Our maiden voyage in the yarn truck finally coming true. So, spread the word everyone! TELL EVERYONE! And I mean that! Don’t think because they don’t live in Orlando doesn’t mean they won’t share with the world and someone in Orlando won’t hear about our yarn truck!

We’ll be there from 2pm to 6ish pm, Saturday the 19th of August. If you’re in Orlando, DO come out and visit us and let everyone know how hard we have ALL worked to make this happen. Bring your friends. And if you don’t live in Orlando, but know someone who does, let them know about these two guys knitting and crocheting out of the back of a pick up truck while selling yarn. (And good yarn, too! We’ve got some GREAT skeins imported from France!)

Maybe we could make this viral? You know, how some girl says she’s having a birthday party, posts it online and suddenly 1,000 people show up. Wouldn’t that be a great way to send off this new enterprise? Can you imagine how amazing it would be to see so many people to come out and help us toast the yarn truck? So, spread the word #crochitters! We can change the way people think about knitting. It can be fun and imaginable, it can be beer and cigars. It can be ball caps and blue jeans. It can be whatever you want…..

We’ll see you Saturday, 19th of August from 2-6ish. Nora’s Sugar Shack, 636 Virginia Drive, Orlando, FL 32803

 

We’ll see you then! Honk!

 

 

Sweet Rolls and a Yarn Truck Update

Our maiden voyage has been delayed. But only for a minute! Don’t worry, don’t fret. We never heard back with confirmation from our original choice, so we had to come up with Plan B. There are a number of wonderful and amazing little spots we’d like to park, so I emailed them. We have two appointments today to talk more about where we’d like to park, what days, how it would all work. And I have to confess that both places has such enthusiasm when I spoke with them. I have a VERY good feeling about them. So, we didn’t get to roll out this week, but hopefully we’ll get to do our dry run this weekend. So, all is fine. All is well! Don’t worry. Once we get full confirmation and a handshake, I’ll be blasting the inter webs with our location and times so everyone can come and see us.

In the meantime, if we’re not selling yarn, then we still have to sell some teddy bears and Strange Friends. I found some of this wonderful Sweet Roll yarn at Joanne’s and saw the colors just SCREAM teddy bear. So, I snagged them. The first one I did was a wonderful sand color….then next in the colorway was this really great buttery creme. (That one is in my shop). Next up is this really nice golden wheat color. Once that one is done, I’ll list him, too. So, check out the shop. I only have this one buttery guy for now.

So, that’s the update! We’re all good. Have everything we need for the truck…just patiently waiting an OK for us to honk our way out of the drive way 🙂

Less Than 36 Hours to Our Maiden Voyage

Sunday evening, roughly 6pm.  We are about 36 hours away from our maiden voyage and we still don’t have everything we need. We got our umbrella. Look how HUGE that thing is! Big enough to not only cover us in the truck, but covers our potential customers, too. And the banner hangs from it beautifully. So, from all sides, with the decals included, you’d see our name from any direction. We’re so close. You can see some nervousness on Phillip’s part. And he looks at me and asks, “Aren’t you nervous?” I just smile and nod and say, “Of course not. I’m confident. :)” I keep thinking about those people lined up to wait to have lunch….and I have this huge umbrella for them to hide under, and while hiding under the umbrella, they’re looking at yarn…..

There are still some things we need to get by tomorrow morning. We still need to get our little fan so we don’t bake under the umbrella. We tested it today. We last about 15 minutes before both of us were drenched and soaking in sweat, beads dripping off our chins and noses. Wasn’t pretty.  We still need to get a cooler for some water for the two of us. And we definitely need more yarn. My plan is to take whatever money we have up to the local yarn store (10 miles away….I know, local, right?) and see if I can’t cut a deal. Whatever she has on sale, on clearance, I’ll take all of it off her hands at wholesale. Lock, stock and all…..if I have $100 to spend, I’ll give it all to her and clear out her clearance.

The truck is ready to start honking it’s way out of the driveway…..This is it. This is our chance to make this happen. And make it LEGENDARY. Your name scribbled on the truck to show support, shows the world how much people really wanted this to happen.

 

The Maiden Voyage of the Yarn Truck (Part One)

Look! Looks like we’re just about there! Isn’t this amazing? We did a quick dry run in the parking lot of our set up before we take our maiden voyage into public, which should be Monday or Tuesday. (Today is Friday so there is very little time to waste).

This is it! Look how far we’ve come in such a short time! I think we should all be very proud. I really do. There are still a few more things we need to get before we head out, though. It looks like I have to break down and get a smart phone so that we can get a card reader for swiping debit and credit cards. I also want to buy a ton of yarn. If I can order some today, it should be here by Monday or Tuesday, which works out fine. In our little dry run we also realized that it is still August in Orlando, which means the humidity was a nightmare in just the 3o minutes we were out there. So, we’re going to find ourselves a cute little fan to put in the cigarette lighter to keep us cool. We still have an umbrella coming so we’ll be safe from the sun. And I need to order another shirt for Phillip. But, yarn is the key thing I want to order. We have a lot right now. At the moment we have 58 skeins. I’d like to double that before we go out.

So, this is the last weekend we have to put it all in place. I am SO excited. If you’d like to contribute to our dream you can click the donate button below. We’re writing names on the truck every day of people who are helping to make this happen. We can’t thank you enough. Be sure to watch the video below!

Thanks again everyone! We’re almost there!

 

 

Anxious to Wake at 3am

I turn in bed. One eye open, I reach down to fumble through the dark to find my phone. 3am. I think, “Get business cards from vista print. Have them printed with logo and web address only.” I toil through the sheets looking for the cool spot. I snuggle in. The other eye opens. “I have to get sandpaper for the crates from Ace Hardware. Check on the price of rope.” I close eyes and decide to wander through my dream home. I do that to help me sleep. I imagine myself walking through the front door, then place details in my imagination. What does the floor plan look like? Where is the furniture placed? I never make it pass the living room before passing out.

Another rustle and I reach for the phone again. 3:03am. Phillip turns over on his side of the bed, moaning to himself something about dragons and giant birds…..he’s dreaming. I think to myself, “Get up. Get to work. Make it happen.”

So I put on my pajamas, feet into slippers and head for the kitchen to make coffee. Bacon and Mario are right behind me. I’m up, it must be time for breakfast. Every morning we have the same routine. Bacon stares at the empty bowl….just stares, then glances back at me. And I say the same thing every day before dawn. “You know the rules, bud. Me first. Coffee comes first.” I get coffee started, tend to their alleged claims of starvation, then sit down and begin to work.

From the moment I take that first sip of coffee, I’m running, soaring, searching, seeking, thinking. That intensity lasts until I head to be somewhere around 10pm, cuddling into bed with my husband and cats, anxious to wake at 3am.

I’ve never been more excited, more driven. More….in touch with what needs to be done to make this yarn truck happen. We’ve had slight hiccups in the last three weeks, but think about it….in basically a month, I’ve managed to build a business, generate interest, gather the funding and make it actually work. I love waking at 3am. I love doing this.

Tomorrow we’re bleaching and sanding the crates to use on the truck. The umbrella should be here then, too. 10 foot diameter. The sun ain’t got nothing on us 🙂 The decals should be here soon, too. And that means so much to me. As much as we show what we want to do, how we want it to appear (“Two redneckish looking guys knitting from the back of a pick up while selling yarn”), those decals of our logo on the side of the truck show that we’re actually quite serious. It shows that yes, the whole thing has this vibe, this feeling of “use what you have, go genuine. This IS who we are. Two guys with a couple of crates hanging off the side of an old Chevy S10 selling hard to find, one of a kind yarn. We’re not you’re usual yarn truck. And that should be a lesson. ALL kinds of people knit and crochet.”

…..I LOVE it.

We’ve added more names to the truck. Look at that. The HOOD is now covered, as well as the driver’s side panel. So many people want this to happen because they see the enjoyment in it. They want to be part of a dream turned reality. They want to see us do something really big with this and be able to say, “Did you see my name on the yarn truck? I helped make that happen.” 🙂
Thank you ALL so much!!!

You can support our GoFundMe by clicking here, or you can donate! Either way, we’ll be scribbling your name on the side of the truck when you contribute. Thanks again everyone! We’re almost there!

 

A Place to Park the Yarn Truck

It is with a wonderful smile that I tell you that the Cafe we wanted to park our little yarn truck wrote back to me this morning. Their response? “Sounds like a wonderful idea. I just need a few more details, for instance how large the truck is and would you be willing to teach me to knit? :)” I leaped up out of chair and screamed “YES!!!! HAPPILY!” So, it looks like we’re going to have a home for the little truck to park at which I cannot tell you how wonderful that makes us feel. We’re still adding names to the truck on a daily basis, and we’re now throwing everything we have at our idea. So, all the teddy bears and Strange Friends in the shop, all the donations we get, all are going to the last of the little things we’re going to need for our maiden voyage. Like an umbrella to keep us out of the sun, a cooler for water, a few bungee cords for our baskets, and of course, more yarn, and pack that little pick up FULL of yarn.

So, all that’s left is approval from the City Planner when we meet sometime this week. Which we are rather sure they will approve us, since they asked if we would come in person to talk about the details. Can you believe it? We’re actually doing this. Isn’t this amazing? Knitters, here we come!

You can support our GoFundMe by clicking here, or you can donate! Either way, we’ll be scribbling your name on the side of the truck when you contribute. Thanks again everyone! We’re almost there!

 

Everywhere, Just Names Names Names

Started scribbling the names of our supporters on our little yarn truck 🙂 We certainly have come far in the last two weeks. What I find most interesting is this attempt to get a business license. Apparently, the City of Orlando has never had someone ask to sell something NON food from a truck before, and they’re trying to figure out what to do with Phillip and me. Fascinating, isn’t it? See, when applying for the license they basically said online, we want to put all of the food trucks in one general place. Our response? We’re not a food truck. So, we’ve been emailing with the city back and forth for a few days until finally I received an email from them this morning asking us if we wouldn’t mind coming in to discuss the idea in person. Well, of course! So, we’re waiting to hear when our appointment is. All I can hope for is that of the three people in the email chain (all women), that one of them is a knitter and is going, “OH YES YES YES YES!!!! But, where do we categorize them? And how?”

So, don’t worry. I will use my southern charm and good manners to hopefully get them to allow us some “permission” from the city, even if we don’t get an outright license.

So, with the truck under our belts….ok, that didn’t sound right…ahem. So, with the truck taken care of and some yarn on the way, and a decal being printed, I went ahead and started scribbling the names of our supporters on the truck. Doesn’t that look AWESOME???? I still have a ton of names to put on the truck, but the truck has been sitting in the sun and MAN was that metal hot, so I’ll finish up later today, once the sun goes down. And I DO so want your name on our truck, to show the world, “These are the people that believed in our dream. We want to make sure everyone knows how wonderful they are.”

So, there’s still time time to contribute. We’re almost there! Almost done! Almost ready to take our maiden voyage. 🙂

You can support our GoFundMe with $5 or $10 or what ever you wish by clicking here, or you can donate! Either way, we’ll be scribbling your name on the side of the truck when you contribute. Thanks again everyone! We’re almost there!