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Picking Up The Hobby Ultimately Saved His Life
Having walked out of a restaurant job after a disagreement with the owners, Gregory Patrick found himself unable to find work elsewhere. In fact, it sent him on a downward spiral that left him penniless and homeless.
“I was living in the woods. I had no money, no nothing,” he recalls.
Knowing about Patrick’s knitting skill, a friend suggested that he try selling his work online.
His family helped him get a computer and a phone line and he knitted a bear and put it on Etsy. Within half an hour, the little teddy bear was sold and Patrick made enough money to buy some much-needed groceries.
Patrick continued knitting and selling his bears online, reinvesting the money he made in materials to make more bears.
It takes about four to five hours to knit a bear, and he says that they typically sell within an hour or two of being posted on Etsy.
When asked “Why knitted animals?”, he responded:
“People love the teddy bears,” says Patrick. “It’s something to hold onto and clutch in a time of fear and loneliness. It moved itself from my world into yours, something you could hold and go, ‘OK, we’re all going to make it.’”
It took Patrick two years to earn enough money from his knitting to get back on his feet and rent a room in Orlando. Throughout it all, he kept a blog that documented this journey: Mad Man Knitting.
Patrick is continuing to sell his knitted bears and other items on his website. He has also published several books which can also be purchased from his website.
The ultimate goal for Patrick is to have a home of his own. Something that would finally make him feel completely secure.
“I don’t eat extravagantly but I make sure I have steak about once a month. And I don’t have to fear walking into my apartment and being told it’s time to go or I’ve overstayed my welcome.” He’s got a partner and a loyal following on the blog that he still uses to tout his books, his knitting projects, and update readers on his journey.
“I don’t think it will ever happen again,” says Patrick confidently. “I feel like I have 15,000 friends who would be at the ready to help me.”