They say the devil finds work for idle hands, but after a year of intermittent lockdowns and social starvation, the hobbies many of us have chosen to busy ourselves with are surprisingly wholesome. Lately, there has been a deluge of crafting content on TikTok, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram, as crocheting and knitting shed the senior stereotype and emerge as fashion's newest fad among Gen Z.
A cursory scroll through YouTube reveals hoards of young people clattering a pair of needles together, sharing patterns and newly acquired tricks. Teens and 20-somethings document their creative process, from inspiration through to completion. Affordability is a top priority, with many replicating garments that would otherwise be well out of their price-range. ("Recreating the $1400 cardigan + bandeau that Kendall Jenner wore for $12" reads one video title.) Some content creators will actually teach you to make something, while others simply take you along for the cosy, satisfying ride.The vlogs are enjoyably chaotic, as the amatuer knitters weave away with abandon, haphazardly modifying patterns through a dramatic dance of trial and error or freestyling altogether. Either way, there is an infectious motivational quality that comes with watching someone finish an ambitious project through dogged perseverance.
The trend is reactive, too. A fun sweater on the right celebrity can send ripples through the community, as demonstrated by the JW Anderson patchwork cardigan Harry Styles sported during a soundcheck for "The Today Show" last February, igniting a TikTok craze. YouTube searches for "Harry Styles cardigan" peaked in August, and the British label even decided to release their own official tutorial on how to DIY the garment.