Life, lately, feels very difficult and we must take our respites where we can. Which is why I’m pressing pause and asking you to direct your attention, for just a moment, to British diver Tom Daley knitting.
On Sunday, the Olympic gold medalist was spotted working on a purple knitting project in the stands during the women’s three-meter springboard final in Tokyo. On the Instagram page Daley dedicates to knitting, he revealed he’d been working on a tiny dog sweater—one of several he’s finished in the last year.
Daley said he picked up the hobby as a way to cope during the pandemic, telling his followers in September 2020 that he has been “obsessed” with knitting since lockdown started in the UK. His feed has since been filled with photos of his creations, which include sweaters for humans, scarves, tea cozies, baby hats, blankets, swim trunks, and a little couch for a cat (photographed here on top of a normal-sized couch). “The one thing that has kept me sane throughout this whole process is my love for knitting and crochet and all things stitching,” he wrote on Instagram.
Having made quick work of his latest dog sweater, apparently, Daley was spotted knitting again on Monday, this time bringing together a white “Team GB” sweater featuring the British flag and the five Olympic rings.
Admittedly, I don’t know a ton about Daley. I know he’s 27, that he has a husband, and a baby, and that he has three Olympic medals, including a gold one he won at the Tokyo Olympics this year for men’s synchronized 10m platform diving. (I also know that he keeps these medals in special knitted pouch he made precisely for this purpose.)
But very little context is required to appreciate this photo of Daley, which fills me with warm and tender feelings. We’re all just trying to muddle through—through the pandemic, the Olympics, life (!)—the best we can. How nice is it that someone can find it within themselves to make these small treasures for other people along the way?