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Sims 4 Nifty Knitting is out, and we went hands-on with the new stuff pack

The new Sims 4 stuff pack is out. Here's what we thought of it.

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The new Sims stuff pack is as cozy as it looks. 

EA/Screenshot by Shelby Brown/CNET

Years ago, when my mother broke her arm, she took up crocheting as part of physical therapy. Wanting to try something new and spend more time together, I tried to take it up too. It didn't work. "It's supposed to be relaxing," she told me, her fingers moving deftly. "It's not," I growled, trying to untangle my own from the yarn. While the chances of getting my mother to try the new Sims stuff pack, Nifty Knitting, are slim, now I can at least pretend I know how my way around knitting needles -- even if they are virtual ones. 

In the new stuff pack, voted on by The Sims community last March, your Sims can learn a new hobby and enjoy new items in gameplay like a rocking chair, yarn, knitted clothing and updated hairstyles. Practice knitting to increase your skills and unlock new knitting styles, and teach other Sims to knit. In addition, your Sim can sell their handmade goodies on the in-game marketplace, Plopsy. CNET went hands-on with the pack ahead of its release on Tuesday.

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One of the new sweaters you can dress your Sim in with the new pack. 

Shelby Brown/CNET

Read more: 20 years ago, The Sims gave millennials a dream life reality couldn't match

Simmers create Sims in Create-A-Sim with new hairstyles for adults, teens and kids. With the update, the game is leaning into multidimensional colors instead of just solid shades, which is a welcome change. There are 10 new masculine and feminine outfits, but six are locked until you learn certain crafting or knitting traits. This applies to all three socks in the pack, too. 

Once you design a family and move them in, you can start knitting by purchasing a beginner's yarn basket or the super stash yarn basket in Build Mode. Place it in the house and go back into Live Mode. Have your Sim put the yarn basket into their inventory and then choose "knit" to get started creating. After you create your first item, a beanie, you can list it on Plopsy by clicking on the item in your inventory. If you're on a budget, it's a bit cheaper than trying to make a living as a painter, but it looks like it might take longer to turn a profit. 

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Shelby Brown/CNET

Nifty Knitting is adorable and cozy-feeling, especially the prestyled "Granny Chic" room you can find in Build Mode. The stuff pack also has cute clutter items like a tabletop loom and a knitter's almanac. You can decorate your Sim's craft room with pastel peg boards and special craft desks. The latest stuff pack fits seamlessly into the franchise's last two packs, Eco Lifestyle and last year's Island Living. 

Read more: Sims 4 cheats: Full updated list of codes, from rosebud to motherlode

Outside of Nifty Knitting, the Sim's Eco Lifestyle expansion pack released in June focuses on conservation and sustainable living. Sims can monitor their carbon footprint, recycle and participate in the community to make the town more eco-friendly. If you take steps toward sustainability, you'll see the fruits of your labor over time. If you don't, you'll see that, too.

In the uncertain time of the coronavirus, games like The Sims and Animal Crossing have been a comfort blanket for many. The Sims game developers' decision to create games where players can affect positive change, or effortlessly live off of knitting, can be an emotional and mental safe haven when the real world feels like chaos. 

If you're craving even more Sims in your life, the life simulation game has become a reality game show called Spark'd, which is currently airing. Over the four-episode TBS series, 12 contestants play the life-simulation game, completing timed challenges and presenting creative characters in a unique, coherent Sims story to a panel of celebrity judges. The last one standing wins $100,000.

For more gaming, check out Apple Arcade vs. Google Play Pass: Which $5 game streaming service wins? and the 7 best game subscription services.

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