Poppy Dolan is the author of the upcoming novel The Woolly Hat Knitting Club, out 25th September. The novel’s plot centres around Dee Blackthorn who, when her brother, JP, breaks both of his wrists, has to take over the knitting shop he owns. When Dee bumps into an old friend who is a new mum to a premature baby she convinces JP to enlist his knitting pals to make lots of tiny woolly hats. But before long Dee’s good intentions backfire and she risks losing her friends, her family and her surprising new love interest.

The Wooly Hat Knitting Club

The Wooly Hat Knitting Club

Poppy Dolan, a keen knitter and author of four novels, including The Bluebell Bunting Society and There’s More to Life than Cupcakes, has shared her Top 10 reasons for why you should take up knitting.

Ten Reasons to Take Up Knitting

  1. Break your phone addiction! We all know that little itch in the back of your mind that makes us want to check our phones, and then again, and then three minutes later. Without realising it you've spent three hours reading Game of Thrones fan theories and your head is hurting. Knitting is the perfect antidote to your phone addiction, or breaking any kind of addiction, really. It keeps your hands and your head happily busy to the extent that you don't need that eight-hundredth Facebook refresh of the day. And that’s got to be good for you.
  2. If supermodels do it, then it's got to be chic, right? Backstage at runways shows, the most gorgeous people on Earth can be found knitting and purling in between walks or while having their hair done. The uber cool Cara Delevingne has been spotted knitting in crazy, funky colours, giving it the ultimate seal of fashion approval.
  3. Made to measure. If you can picture exactly the kind of scarf you want to wear this autumn but you’ve exhausted yourself traipsing all over the high street to find it, you could save a lot of stress and make it yourself, with your feet up at home on the sofa. Knitting means you can make a garment exactly the way you want it to be - in terms of colour, fit and texture. And best of all, you’ll never come across anyone wearing the exact same thing!
  4. Never be stuck for a gift again. With even the most basic knitting skills, you’ll be able to whip up scarves, hats, gloves, tea cosies, phone covers, toys, dog jumpers… the list goes on! With enough notice, you can produce a beautiful, unique and really meaningful present for a loved one and they will love it, because of all the time and thought you’ve put into it. (And the the dog will love his jumper, he just can’t tell you.)
  5. Bonding time. You might have a granny, aunt, mum or friend who can knit and who’s willing to teach you. Learning like this is the best way to pick up a new skill, and it’s also an amazing experience to share, bringing you closer together. Plus, you can make a whole host of new friends at groups like Stitch and Bitch, which unite crafty types to natter over their latest project.
  6. It's super easy! Knitting patterns may at first glance look like they’re written in ancient hieroglyphs but they are actually really simple to navigate. And if you ever hit a woolly wall, there are thousands of YouTube tutorials put up by expert knitters who will talk you through a K2togtbl in no time.
  7. On the move. Knitting is a really portable hobby: you can take it on the train, to a park bench and even sit on the beach and get some sun as you purl. No need to take a bulky pattern book with you: thousands of patterns are available as downloads from sites like Ravelry.
  8. Train your brain. Neurological studies in recent years have shown that activities like knitting can help delay the onset of dementia. Knitting stimulates the areas of the brain responsible for memory and attention span, as well as producing dopamine, the natural anti-depressant.
  9. Not just for bobble hats. Once you and your loved ones are head to toe in hand-knitted cashmere, you can turn your attentions to your living room. Giant knits are all the range in homewares right now - thick blankets, chunky cushions and even knitted footstools. Be bold and pick up a pair of jumbo needles for this style!
  10. Make memories. If there’s a new baby in your life, a hand-knitted hat makes the perfect gift and a wonderful keepsake for generations to come. Far more useful than a bunch of flowers, far more personal than a teddy, a little hat made just for their baby will knock the socks off any new parents (and baby socks are quick and easy to do, too!) No one will care if your knitting isn’t entirely perfect - that just adds to the charm.

Poppy Dolan is in her mid thirties and lives in Berkshire with her husband. She's a near-obsessive baker and a keen crafter, so on a typical weekend can be found moving between the haberdashery and kitchenware floors of a department store, adding to her birthday wish list. She has written three novels: The Bad Boyfriends Bootcamp, There's More to Life than Cupcakes and most recently The Bluebell Bunting Society. The Bad Boyfriends Bootcamp made it into the Amazon top 100 bestseller chart, so clearly someone other than her mum must have read it. She's currently working on her fourth novel – it's about friends, siblings and crafty things – and drinking far too much tea.

The Woolly Hat Knitting Club is out 25th September for £1.99.