Log fires, mulled wine, mince pies, turkey and TV and whether we thank our nans, Bridget Jones or just the force of the high street, there is no denying the rise of the Christmas jumper. Love it or hate it, it’s become a winter wardrobe staple. For many, Christmas can be an anxious time filled with worries about money, social engagements, a hectic high street, Christmas dinner, time spent with family – the list goes on – and many people are worried to mention it. Why, when you already have enough to worry about, should saying how you feel be another worry on the Christmas list? This year, Anxiety UK are encouraging you all to knit your own Christmas jumper with the hope that potentially learning a new skill and the process of knitting the jumper will be beneficial to you all and at the same time sending out a collective message that sometimes, even at Christmas, we can feel anxious – and it’s ok to say it!
Anxiety UK have teamed up with Beki Rymsza founder of bespoke knitwear brand Where’s Me Jumper, who has designed a Christmas jumper exclusively for them. We are pleased to announce that we are supporting this important campaign by stocking the Anxious Christmas Jumper Knitting Pattern. The pattern is available to buy in our Manchester store and online here, with all proceeds from the sale of the knitting pattern going directly to Anxiety UK. We’d love to see as many of you as possible knitting your own version to wear this Christmas.
We spoke to Beki to find out a bit more about why she got involved with the campaign.
How did you get involved with Anxiety UK?
I met Nicky Lidbetter, the charity’s CEO, earlier this year. We got talking about Where’s Me Jumper and my bespoke knitting projects which sparked a conversation about Christmas jumpers and the charity having its own. It was just in passing but I thought there could be something in it, so I got back in touch with Nicky with my idea for #AUKChristmas and we decided to run with it! Anxiety UK is a brilliant charity and I’m really happy to be working with a great team there to deliver the campaign.
Why did you decide to design a Christmas jumper?
Last year Wool and The Gang carried out a survey with 4,000 knitters and 90% agreed that knitting decreases anxiety levels. Also, 40% said it helped to fight depression and 70% felt a sense of happiness after tackling a difficult project or knitting technique. We hope that potentially learning a new skill and the process of knitting the #AUKChristmas jumper will be beneficial to people who experience anxiety.
The pattern itself is very simple but it is designed to help spread a really important message – it’s ok to say if you feel anxious! Christmas can be a very anxious time of year for some people. In some ways the jumper makes a very bold statement but at the same time it’s just another slogan sweater that’s easy to wear. It’s also not a traditional Christmas jumper so it can be made and worn all year round.
Who can knit a Anxiety UK Christmas jumper?
Anyone who can knit or wants to learn. I purposefully designed a really simple pattern that anyone could pick up so we could get as many people as possible involved in the campaign.
What is your favourite yarn to knit with?
I love really soft, cosy yarns like alpaca but I’m also a sucker for some lurex.
Do you have any advice for people who haven’t tried knitting before but would love to?
It’s really not as hard as you think! Once you can cast on learn 4 simple things; knit, purl, how to increase stitches and how to decrease stitches, you’ll amazed at how many things you will be able to make.
Anxiety UK would love to know how you’re all doing so please share your work in progress photos and finished work tagging @anxietyuk on Facebook and Twitter or @anxietyukofficial on Instagram and using the hashtag #AUKChristmas.