One of the defining images of the 2021 Tokyo Olympics was diver Tom Daley sitting by the pool, knitting a special Team GB cardigan while watching his fellow competitors dive.
Dubbed the ‘Tom Daley Effect’, that moment and the gold medalist’s love for craftsmanship has now helped knitting go mainstream with more and more young people picking up their needles. According to retailer John Lewis & Partners, interest has increased compared to the same period last year, with a 32% increase in sales.
Not satisfied with four Olympic medals to his credit, Daley recently added a new venture to his CV and launched his own knitwear brand, Made With Love, towards the end of 2021.
From winter cardigans and beanies to statement cardigans, scarves and cozy blankets, the 15-piece collection is bold, colorful and quirky (think flamingos and bright blues). Organized into varying levels of difficulty, the knitting kits cater for all abilities and the included merino yarn is sourced from non-mule sheep.
If you’re looking for a new hobby, now’s a great time to pick up your needles. Here we have selected our favorites from the collection.
Made With Love by Tom Daley fluffy flamingo jumper knit kit: £125-165, Johnlewis.com
Brighten up cold days with Tom Daley’s flamingo knit. The unique design features a rainbow colored collar, hem and cuffs, while the fluffy flamingo on the front adds the finishing touch. Containing everything you need to recreate the jumper yourself, the kits range in size from regular XS to long XXL, with an intermediate level of difficulty. Each includes the necessary number of balls of merino wool, matching knitting needles, a big-eyed darning needle and the pattern.
Made With Love by Tom Daley rainbow admiration vest knit kit: £90-100, Johnlewis.com
Knit cardigans are on the rise – from catwalks to high street. And rather than just embracing the trend, why not knit one yourself? This fun design from Tom Daley’s collection has the same rainbow patterned hem as the flamingo jumper, with a pointed v-neck adding a point of interest. Ideal for layering t-shirts and shirts or dresses in the spring, it’s a wardrobe staple. The kit is designed for experienced knitters and is available in four sizes, ranging from XS to XXL, and they contain all the necessary balls of yarn, matching knitting needles and the pattern.
Made With Love by Tom Daley scarf knit aloud kit: £70, Johnlewis.com
A scarf is one of the most crafted pieces in your winter wardrobe and what better feeling could there be than having it knitted for yourself? This Made With Love scarf is perfect for injecting color into your outfit with its bold striped pattern. Aimed at beginning knitters, this is a great kit to start with while you develop your craft skills. It contains five balls of yarn, knitting needles, the pattern and a knitting guide.
Made With Love by Tom Daley winter beanie knitting kit, aqua blue: £35, Johnlewis.com
Designed for beginners and the most affordable piece in the collection, Tom Daley’s winter beanie features simple ribbing with a classic pom pom for the perfect finishing touch. You can choose between aqua blue or Tokyo blue for your kit, with the label ensuring it can be knitted in just hours. The kit contains a large ball of merino wool, knitting needles, a wide-eye darning needle, the pattern and a knitting instruction manual.
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