Made with Love: Learn to knit and crochet with this step-by-step guide from award-winning Olympic diver and British sports personality

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Made with Love: Learn to knit and crochet with this step-by-step guide from award-winning Olympic diver and British sports personality

Made with Love: Learn to knit and crochet with this step-by-step guide from award-winning Olympic diver and British sports personality

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Olympic diver and double World Champion, Tom Daley is one of the most celebrated and influential names in sport. He’s a bit young at the moment to properly do it, but he wants to learn,” he says. “That would be the dream, to sit together on the sofa and be knitting all afternoon, I’d love that.” If that’s what he wanted to do, I would just be there to help him with whatever he needed and give him advice,” he says.

Rio in 2016 was his most difficult because he thought he was going to be at his best. "Then it didn’t quite turn out as I wanted,” Daley says. DALEY: Well, actually, the first piece I ever made was a scarf for my mum. And I - initially, I found it extremely difficult, like, just to be able to have the patience and the concentration. But once I learned, it kind of, like, went flying from there, honestly. And the whole reason that "Made With Love" started was because, when I was finished the scarf, I wanted to sew something into it that my mum could know that I had made it. Years earlier, a seven-year-old Daley was just starting out. And how, exactly, does a child that age psych themselves up to launch off a board several times their size? ‘You start on smaller boards and work your way up. But yeah, I spent a lot of my time crying at the end of the board because I was so terrified of it. And I hit my head twice when I was a kid.’ It was actually Lance who said that on set, people will knit squares just to pass the time and I was like: OK, I'll try that. So I started trying it, and fell in love with it and here we are. Knitlympics: Knit Your Favourite Sports Star by Carol Meldrum is published by Collins & Brown. Photographs by Holly Jolliffe.However, he says that surrounding himself with good people and being able to talk about his struggles has helped him to “come out on the other side,” better able to “ride all of those emotions out.” Not content with winning four Olympic medals for Team GB for diving, Tom Daley has now released his own line of knitting kits. Tom Daley has been making a name for himself at the Tokyo Olympic Games on and off the diving board.

hope of launching a ready-to-wear line. ‘One day, I’d love to have my own fashion week show. I’d like to be able to walk in and see things in stores, too,’ he says, doodling designs on some paper. DALEY: For me, there's lots of different things in there. There's lots of sustainability things, too - being able to reuse your old T-shirts, cutting it up and making yarn out of that and then creating something new out of it, being able to upcycle your old clothes - basically with techniques about embroidery and duplicate stitching. But some of my favorite ones in there are just some of the very basic scarves that are, you know, using mohair so that they look really - like, they feel and look, like, quite, like, expensive, but you've made it yourself, and you've done it. And then there's also the - some of the tank tops in there and the jumpers. Images of Daley knitting poolside during the Tokyo games went viral around the world, along with sweater he worked on — a “Team G.B.” Olympic cardigan. To this day, he says it remains his favorite project. Though Daley’s Olympic future remains up in the air, there's one thing he's sure of and that’s the person he’d love to knit for. It just makes me extremely proud to think that all the hard work and sacrifice that he put into my diving career is, I'd say, worth it. Tom Daley and his father, Rob, in 2010

Sometimes you can arrive at the Olympic Games and you can feel exhausted, whereas I know if I can arrive at the board feeling good and having the energy to dive well, I'll dive well." Daley on... knitting Daley came out in 2013 via a YouTube video entitled Something I Want To Say. The Tom in the coming-out video – whose nervousness and fear is palpable, so much so that you just want to jump through your laptop screen and give him a hug – is worlds away from the Tom of today who is evidently comfortable in his own skin. RuPaul’s Drag Race? He’s obsessed. Beyoncé’s Renaissance? ‘It’s what the gays wanted!’ DALEY: Yes. So there's a couple of the jumpers I designed for kids and adults, and there's also even a dog hat in there. And there's also, like, homewares. So there's blankets and cushions - plant pots, even.

It’s fair to say that Daley has lived a pretty full life for someone who is still under the age of 30. His energetic-yet- chilled demeanour is infectious in person and during this pivotal year, he effuses the wisdom and clarity of someone who has really been able to take time for themselves and learn what they want. Despite the highs and lows he’s been through from childhood to adulthood – all while in the public eye – Daley is remarkably grounded and measured. He takes a while to think about why this might be. In an exclusive interview with BBC Breakfast's Sally Nugent, Daley talks about getting that gold medal, his late father, how his son has changed his perspective, and his favourite hobby - knitting. The kits are organised by level of difficulty from beginner to easy, intermediate and advanced, and include yarn made from merino wool that comes from non-mulesed sheep. DALEY: So I've been making all kinds of things, actually, and I'm trying to make, like, a little bit more out-there, editorial things. And I've just recently made - you have to, like, bear with me here. There's two things that I've made. There's one, like, kind of chainmail-esque, very, like, meshy-type knit, with crystal balls...My knitting has become a lot of my mindfulness, I actually only started because I'm terrible at sitting still. My coach is always like: 'You need to rest.' But if there is a cupboard that needs sorting out, I'm going to sort out the cupboard. Tom continued: ‘I love fashion, creating things I can wear and use in the house, so that’s why I launched Made With Love knitting and crochet kits at the end of last year. While the other boys in our apartment were playing video games, I would just sit and knit. I'd wake up and if I had time to sit and knit, I would just continually knit. Knowing the pressure that comes with being a competitive athlete, Daley says that if his son decided to go into sports, he wouldn’t discourage it.

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