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Crochet away: The Sims 4 Nifty Knitting feels a bit threadbare

Wholesome hygge or Bah, Humbug? The latest stuff pack adds a whole lot of twee but at less-than-quaint price

The first time the Sims community was given the option to vote on a stuff pack, they opted to bring the apparently deeply satisfying act of doing the laundry into the game. This time, after a poll that split the community, Nifty Knitting came to fruition, bringing to the (craft) table the charming but niche hobby of needlework alongside an assortment of aesthetically pleasing build and buy items. (Also: just kidding, Laundry Day was a fantastic stuff pack and I will not hear otherwise).

This is The Sims embracing the popular cottagecore trend, with Nifty Knitting being created for the type of person who dreams about living in the woods with a few chickens, making homemade pastries and listening to Sufjan Stevens.

To get your Sims knitting, all you need to do is purchase a yarn basket and add it to their inventory, allowing Sims to knit wherever they please rather than being locked to a location to craft. Left unattended, I found that Sims will try and knit literally everywhere they possibly can. Has your Sim wandered off in the middle of making pancakes 30 minutes before work? They’ve gone to knit. Spending an unusual amount of time on the toilet? They’re knitting. Desperately trying to sell some of your projects so your house doesn’t turn into a nightmare full of yarn creatures? No can-do, because your Sim’s off knitting again.

There is apparently a moodlet that will make your Sim bored if left knitting for too long, but how lucky am I that mine doesn’t seem to have that problem. Yet it’s hard to stay frustrated at my Sim’s constant need to create when the items she can craft are so adorable. You unlock more such items as your knitting level progresses, starting from hats and socks and eventually working up to mailboxes, hanging plants, sweaters, an assortment of plushies (Lil’ Grim is hands-down a favourite), and even a Yarny from EA’s Unravel games. You can also knit onesies for babies, which I had to Google to discover, because my child-phobic self had forgotten babies exist within the Sims universe.

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Like most Sims packs, Nifty Knitting comes with a complementary aspiration and trait, aptly named lady/lord of the knits. Completing this aspiration grants you the sacred knitting knowledge trait, allowing you to pass down your knitting mastery to other Sims.

The pack’s hair and clothing items flip flop between ‘ready for retirement’ and ‘Pinterest board chic’ at will. Some clothing, like the floral embroidered crop top and children’s dungarees dresses, are styled adorably, while the rhinestone-embellished jeans scream ‘this is my first school disco and I’ve spent all my pocket money on sherbert’.

Some clothing items remain greyed-out in Create-A-Sim until they’ve been knitted by a Sim, after which they will be added to their wardrobe. It’s well worth doing, as these particular snug knits are the most adorable additions to the pack. The crochet locs are also an enormous win for the community as the Sims finally adds a long overdue Black hairstyle into the game.

The build-and-buy mode furniture for this pack is very slim, as the majority of new items only come from developing the knitting skill. The furniture pieces themselves are nauseatingly cute, matching the theme of the pack well and allowing Sims to decorate their homes with items relating to their hobby.

Rocking chairs are the second gameplay item in Nifty Knitting, which is perfect if you’re one of those people that enjoys making their home look unnecessarily haunted. While Sims of all ages can interact with the items, elder Sims have the unique ‘reminiscence’ interaction, allowing them to sit back and relive memories of days gone by, which can give them a mood boost or reduction depending on what they recall. In her twilight hours, I hope you find my Sim kicking back, fondly looking back on her life, like the time she had that intensely passionate affair with Servo the robot in college.

Plopsy, Niffy Knitting’s in-game take on Etsy, perfectly encapsulated the frustration felt by anyone who attempts to turn a hobby into a side hustle. Sims can sell their fabricated creations straight from their inventory for a small fee, but the mechanics make this more ‘don’t quit your day job’ than a crafty freelance career option. Items take far too long to sell, especially in comparison to how quickly they can be crafted, and the monetary compensation is disappointing. While I wasn’t expecting to end up on the Forbes rich list with this endeavour, the system needs to feel more rewarding if it’s to have any appeal beyond novelty.

If for some reason you’ve purchased this stuff pack and don’t quite feel like knitting any of the bespoke items, you can instead purchase them from Plopsy’s rotating catalogue of goods and feel a sense of virtue in knowing that you’re helping to feed other struggling artists.

Nifty Knitting has some twee ideas, and provides Simmers with some quaint features and wholesome hobbies that add a real sense of hygge to the experience. For the price however ($9.99/£9.99), the stuff pack feels lacklustre, and perhaps more suited to being part of a larger expansion all about arts and crafts. Nifty Knitting may be aiming for cosy around-the-fireplace vibes, but it doesn’t leave me feeling particularly warm.

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