dan soar close up with knitting needles

Tattooed TikTok star Dan Soar (UK) has raised over £1,000 for causes close to his heart with a hobby you might not expect him to have.

Known as “The Tattooed Knitter”, Dan took on an epic day-long challenge – broadcast live on TikTok – to set the record for most blankets arm knitted in 24 hours.

He made 19 of his signature chunky knits, all in the name of mental health charity MenWalkTalk, as well as Ashgate Hospice, which provides palliative care to people at the end of their lives, in memory of his late grandmother Margaret, who was a big knitter herself.

He donated all the blankets to his chosen charities afterwards.

Dan first got into knitting after seeing a video of fellow TikToker Jude Moore doing it.

He headed straight to Hobbycraft to pick up some wool and taught himself how to knit that same day by watching a tutorial.

He said: “As I was knitting, I realized it was helping with my anxiety. I feel like a lot of the time I have a knot in my stomach from anxiety, and when I knit it’s like it’s not there, I can just focus on knitting. 

dan soar posing with giant balls of yarn

“Knitting has given me purpose and given me an amazing community.”

Dan started posting knitting videos on his own TikTok channel in December, starting the day he first learned how to do it.

He now has over 300,000 followers and goes live to his fans every day.

dan soar with yarn and certificate

He loves spreading the word on how beneficial knitting can be while challenging misconceptions like how someone who looks like him can have such a hobby.

He said: “Knitting is great for mental health; it’s been so helpful for mine. In our community, we have also been able to get quite open in our lives and break the stigma around talking about it.”

Dan is one of many young people who’ve discovered a love for knitting lately.

He said: “I think social media is making it more popular, and a lot of us were stuck inside for so long during the pandemic we all picked up new hobbies. I think TikTok is trying to promote more educational things now too.

“I think people are less afraid to try things just because they don’t look like the type to try it, take me for example, young men have come into my live broadcasts and said seeing someone who looks like me knitting has made them feel comfortable enough to try it.

I don’t think there are any negative connotations around knitting, but there are people who think it should only be for old people, and those people would be wrong, knitting is for everyone.

@dansoarr GWR attempt! #fyp#knitting#handmade#foryou♬ Livin' My Best Life - Dylan Scott

To continue spreading the word, Dan came up with the idea of challenging himself to knit as many blankets as he could in 24 hours, and a friend suggested it could be a world record.

“I wanted to be the first person to ever do this, I want to be a bit of a pioneer in this,” he confessed.

“I was all right for the first parts of the attempt, but by 20 hours I was getting quite delirious, especially when I knew I had four hours left. I was very grateful for my mum’s lemon cake towards the end. 

Dan and his grandmother

“I’m glad I did it the way I did, as it was so helpful to have all the people in chat to keep me going, as well as my friends and family in the room with me.”

As well as blankets, Dan knits scarves and hats that he sells on his website.

At the time of writing, Dan has raised more than £1,100 for his charities. Anyone who’d like to donate can do so here.

And anyone who’d like to give arm knitting a go can check out Dan’s recommended products from Woolly Mahoosive.

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