If you follow diver Tom Daley on Instagram youâ€™ve probably enjoyed seeing his growing addiction to crochet and knitting. From Harry Stylesâ€™ JW Anderson patchwork cardigan to Tomâ€™s designs, men and knitwear â€“ both the wearing and making of â€“ have become a big trend.
Crochet designer Matt Farci believes itâ€™s a reflection of how the world is changing generally. â€œWe are in a real moment of change and transition, and I think that the silly labels that people have created in so many areas are shifting,â€ says Matt. â€œI think the bottom line is to continue to have the driving force of crochet be creativity, positivity and community and to embrace those interested with open arms regardless of gender identity.â€
Melanie McKay, who owns the Ethel & Em yarn shop in Lancaster, encourages inclusivity. Sheâ€™ll be resuming her menâ€™s and LGBTQ+ nights in person from April, and in the meantime is offering weekly Zoom knit and natter sessions on Thursdays from 6â€“8pm, where all are welcome.
She believes male crafting role models are an important way to attract more men to pick up a hook. â€œNewbies like Tom Daley along with established male stitch celebs like Jonah Larson, Yarn Punk, Martin Up North and the Knitting Bartender are helping to show that string craft is not just cool for guys, but for a diverse group of guys â€“ and shows that a love of fibre transcends age, race, gender, sexuality and so on,â€ she says. â€œIt really does have a universal appeal.â€