Tom Daley

We caught up with one of our newest knitters—champion British diver, TV personality, and YouTube star Tom Daley.

Tom, how old were you when you learned to knit and crochet? Who taught you? Which one attracted you first?

I started knitting a year ago (March 2020.) It was something I started to learn on a trip to Canada from a YouTube video. I was absolutely awful at first, I couldn't get the hang of it. One of the Australian divers and one of the Russian divers on that trip helped me while we were there and then on the flight home, one of our coaches on the British team gave me some tips and then with a lot of practice I started getting the hang of it. I only started to crochet in August 2020.

Do you prefer knitting or crocheting, or do you love both?

I honestly love both but for different reasons. I love knitting because I think it looks the best when finished, but I love the fact that with crochet it is so much easier to create and adjust sizes and shapes as you go.

What was your very first project? Can you describe it?

My first project was to be a scarf for my Mum, but it started terribly and then once I had a bit of practice, I went and bought some Rowan Big Wool in Vintage, as purple is my Mum's fave colour. It was a very simple scarf that had a garter stitch border, and then a K1B, P1 rib, which made a great looking scarf. I made it for her for Mother's Day!

How does your making fit into your diving career? Do you take your stitching along with you when you compete?

I haven't actually done a competition since I started knitting, but I will for sure take it with me when I go to the Olympics and knit between my dives. I find it to be a great form of mindfulness and a way of escaping the competition for a while.

What is the reaction you usually get when people see you stitching?

They usually don't believe that I have made the things that I have and I don't think people are used to seeing many young people stitching in the same way they might see older people do it.

How do you carve out time in your busy life for knitting and crochet?

I’m usually making something between training sessions, on my lunch break, or once my son is in bed and asleep.

Since becoming a father have you loved making things for your son?

I love making things for my son, as they are much faster than making for adults! Not sure he is as much of a fan though!

You have a pattern published on Can you tell us the story of that sweater?

I had a lot of leftover colourful yarn and started to make something from it, and I was writing down what I was doing at each stage. I then wrote it up into a proper pattern and now sell it in order to raise money for The Brain Tumour Charity. You can find it here:

What is your favorite project you’ve ever made?

That changes each time I make something, but if I had to choose something, I was so chuffed with my Mum's scarf, as it was the first thing I ever made.

Do you have any techniques, tools are yarns that are your favourites right now?

I am always experimenting with new yarns, new weights, new needles etc. I am not good at yarn subbing and being confident in the amount of yarn I need if I am using something different to the pattern, but I like to try!

Do you have any advice for makers who are just starting out?

Be patient, if it feels really hard at first, you'll get the hang of it!