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A "Mad Man" Who Knits; Meet Gregory Patrick

There are some people you come across in this world that are truly inspiring; people who know how to turn lemons into lemonade, and who make you want to be a better person--with that said, I’d like to introduce you to a very talented “mad man” who knits, Gregory Patrick.  His blog will humble you and have you clicking back to read his older posts to better understand his journey.  An avid user of Fishermen's Wool, Gregory reached out to Lion Brand and shared his story with us; we were moved and touched by his journey and wanted to share his story with the rest of the yarn crafters out there.

Gregory lost his job as a server in a successful and popular restaurant after it had been sold, was left by his partner, and found out his father was diagnosed with a terminal illness.  After all of these unfortunate events, Gregory was homeless and sought refuge in his grandfather's abandoned farm--living a life in solitude, trying to be at peace with himself.  During this rough period, Gregory immersed himself in knitting, "working on any pattern I could come across, developing a psychotic routine of mindless action while life around me was crumbling."  Determined to be a man who could support himself and not become a statistic, Gregory began selling his knitted bears in his Etsy shop and his books on Amazon for income.

As many of you know, or have experienced yourself, knitting/crocheting can help soothe the soul during challenging times.  Gregory found a great support system with members of, who encouraged and provided him with wisdom during his homeless period; they checked up on him when emails weren’t responded, and offered him advice.  Gregory is still facing numerous challenges as he struggles to find a permanent home for him and his adorable cat Mario, but he continues to knit his bears for income--bears that put smiles on the faces of happy recipients. His journey has really touched me because he is extremely strong willed.  He refuses to give up his dream of being a successful entrepreneur, despite all of the disheartening trials and tribulations he has incurred over the years. I wish him the best of luck and hope his bears continue to travel to warm welcoming homes across the world.

I encourage you to stop by his blog Mad Man Knitting or Etsy shop; buy a bear as a Christmas gift for a family member, or buy one and donate it to charity--remember, we’re entering the season of giving!

What type of knitting/crocheting do you do? Were you deeply inspired by someone? Do you craft for a cause? Share your story with me in a paragraph between 100-150 words via email at for a chance to win one of Gregory Patrick’s handmade knit bears (Entries will no longer be accepted after November 7, 12pm EST).  Knit in Fishermen’s Wool, I can tell you first hand this bear is extremely soft and cute!

*UPDATE (11.10.11): The contest to win one of Gregory's knit bears ended on Monday 11.7 and winner will be announced Monday (11.14) morning. Thanks to the help of our wonderful readers and those who shared Gregory's story, Gregory's shop continues to sell out of bears.  Remember, you can continue to help Gregory by donating to his Etsy shop (a donate badge can be found on his blog), or you can click on the "Request a Custom Item" button on the left side of his Etsy to have a knit bear tailored to your likings. We appreciate the support!

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  • Leila Cook

    Gregory is a member of our Yarn Therapy group on Facebook- I own one of his bears and the workmanship is of he highest quality.  He is a lovely person. 

  • Xstitch0921

    Bravo Lion Brand for your support of a deserving person.  I have always loved your yarn and now I love your compassion.

  • Donna C.

    What a great story!  Those bears are so cute too.  I have never known a man who knit but it seems to me that it shouldn't matter.  There are just too many self proclaimed "macho" men out there who really are very insecure.  I really hope things get better for the mad man but sometimes struggles make us see something in ourselves we otherwise wouldn't have seen. 

  • Linda Roberts Kennedy

    Love hearing how yarn crafting helps others who do it.  Mayo Clinic has proven that having knitting or crocheting to do helps relieve stress, especially associated with depression and medical issues.  But yarn crafters have known that for years.  I think all those involved in yarn crafting have a few stories about how the craft has helped them get through through times.  Always great stories!

  • Susie

    We done Lion Brand for supporting Gregory!  Your gift of yarn to give him some additional help is fantastic.  I have just elevated you to my most favourite yarn company and will be making an effort to buy more of your yarn in future.  What goes around, comes around.  

  • Moebelle

    As I sit here and write this comment tears are running down my face...I know what it is to be facing homelessness (last year)... It will work out for you Gregory...Thank you Lion Brand for supplying him with yarn...I too will do my small part to help...It is so true that my knitting has gotten me through some of the really tough times in my life! Good Luck Gregory and please let us know where you land!!!

  • Ojtopntai

    Hopefully he can find a job, so he can get a home to knit in and be warm. Keep checking restaurants, there must be some willing to give you a job with your experience. My husband was out of work for awhile but kept at it and finally hechas a good one!

  • joan Mantarian

    Many Hobby Lobby and Michael's Stores offer classes to teach knitting.  Perhaps one of them would be smart enough to hire him to teach a class.

  • Bev Landgren

    I too can attest to the calming effect of knitting. My son passed suddenly this summer and knitting was and still is such a calming distraction. I wrote this not long after he passed -

    Knit , purl, knit, purl
    Don’t think

    Knit, purl, knit, purl

    I know the plans I have for you says the Lord

    Don’t think

    Knit purl knit purl

    God is good – all the time

    Knit purl knit purl

    Don’t think

  • Kim

    Thanks for this story... Gregory's decision to utilize his skill in knitting during such a difficult time for him makes me double-take the reasons I'm NOT pursuing my dreams of toymaking. Bears (and dolls!) are lovies that find a special home in a child's heart, and I'm sure his are resting safely with children who adore them.

  • Charlotte

    very inspiring.  thanks

  • Michel Bélisle

    Hurray for the great gesture from Lion Brand Yarn

  • klus


    [...]A “Mad Man” Who Knits; Meet Gregory Patrick | Lion Brand Notebook[...]...

  • The Lion and The Bear « Mad Man Knitting

    [...] to the staff at Lionbrand Yarn for the great publicity. It has opened up some amazing doors. My inbox has been filled with well [...]

  • Gregory Patrick

    Thank you all for the amazing support! Lionbrand saved my bears :) And all of your well wishes saved my spirit.

    (I can't WAIT to see who wins the bear from Lionbrand!)

  • Ann Zuerner

    Hi there, I just got my bear from Gregory and he(the bear)  was well worth the wait- (definitely understandable Gregory with everything that you have dealing with) . Thank you to Lion Brand for your willingness to help this young man out-now many more people can experience the joy of seeing their own little bear. Mine is going to my new nephew across the pond. Thanks again Lion brand and best wishes Gregory for the home hunting (this one didn't work out but it got you off the streets for a while! )Ann

  • Angela

    Thank you Lionbrand Yarn for helping out such a deserving person as Gregory!

  • Father Christmas

    <strong>Father Christmas...</strong>

    [...]A “Mad Man” Who Knits; Meet Gregory Patrick | Lion Brand Notebook[...]...

  • penny carroll

    Heard about Gregory on The Herrman Cain show today during the Guiding Principles For Success portion. What an inspiring story