A very important question: what? tilt Tom Daley do?
The Olympics are a sublime, nebulous thing for most. The honor of being there – let alone reaching the podium – carries the same unbelievable mystique as, for example, winning an Oscar. Actor on Broadway. Earn Michelin stars. It is a statistically improbable achievement, reserved for a microscopic part of humanity who somehow managed to shape an intoxicating combination of personal talent, courage and sheer will. Not to mention a healthy dose of Lady Luck. A perfect storm.
Despite the lingering memory of the pandemic, which becomes clear with every wide-angle pan showing a stadium with no spectators, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics also provided the setting for good luck. The historic victory of Hong Kong’s own Cheung Ka-long – the city’s first gold medal in a quarter of a century; the very first in fencing – triggered a city-wide wave of “Hurray!” sounds to this day. As well as the two-time silver wins from swimming star Siobhan Haughey, which were also a first for the city, and Hong Kong’s most recent bronze wins thanks to the women’s table tennis team and Grace Lau in karate.
Another bright ray of sunshine in a dreary, impossible moment in history? Brit Tom Daley is one hell of a sport. Daley – Olympic synchronized diving champion, husband, father and all-round heartthrob – adds another step to his list of sizes: a very talented knitter.
In another episode of They’re Just Like Us: Celebrity Edition, Daley’s enthusiasm for knitting – tirelessly documented on a dedicated Instagram: @madewithlovebytomdaley – is likely out of the same turmoil that befell the rest of us in a pandemic. You know when you decided that it is a good idea to start gardening; bind die. Make baking trays from sourdough after sourdough.
But as expected with a literally Olympian, Daley is doing better. His cardigans, dog sweaters, and even tiny cat couches are picture-perfect and utterly worthy of the same crazy fervor we had when we all flocked to the How To: Knit YouTube videos after Harry wore styles that Patchworked, TikTok famous JW Anderson cardigan.
Well, for those who think they do could be as good to knit as an Olympic gold medalist – well, the first step is always the hardest. These kits below will help you.
Shop: 7 beginner-friendly knitting and crochet sets
Wool and the Gang’s Malibu Sweater Kit (approx HK $ 816.50)
Tom Daley himself used this pattern from Wool and the Gang. He “[loves] the 70s vibe of the colors, baggy sleeves and cropped finish, ”and guess what, he’s right. It’s perfect.
Billie Granny Square Tote Kit from KPC (HK $ 212)
Grandma chic? Yes, please. Especially when the spread of crochet hats on your Instagram feed – and on Emma Chamberlain’s head courtesy of a Steel Knit in a Vogue Features – is all for your guide. So cute.
Yarn in the Works’ New World Beanie Crochet Kit (HK $ 550)
For perfect beginners! You can’t go wrong with a hand knitted hat; Your ears will thank you on a brisk autumn morning. Also: a great gift.
The Pusheen Sloth Knitting Kit from Stitch & Story (approx. HK $ 346)
Capital-A adorable, Sloth – Pusheen’s super soft friend; Plus, it kind of doesn’t look like a sloth – is a perfect starter project. He is moderately shapeless, practically monochrome (apart from his claws and eyes) and just wants to hang. They would say, “I did that!” while your friends smile weakly, nod and move on.
The Stripey Big Blanket Kit from The Knitting Room (HK $ 710)
What feels better than cuddling up under a cozy blanket? Cuddled up under a cuddly blanket that you knitted with your own ten fingers. Also tell everyone you knit this for.
Double Yarn Knit’s Muffler 101 Kit (HK $ 189)
If you want to hold on, a fringed, nothing special scarf is something of an entry-level project for hobby knitters. Start here! Then a whole world of knitted designs awaits you.
Simone Cardigan Knit Set by We Are Knitters (HK $ 1,285)
A thick, chunky knit cardigan is the fashionable equivalent of a warm bear hug. Naturally. Best paired with a cup of hot cocoa.
(Hero and featured images courtesy of @madewithlovebytomdaley)