Teams of knitters danced to the sounds of drums and guitars at the first-ever Heavy Metal Knitting World Championship in Jonesuu, Finland.
It took place in the town square of Joensuu close to the Russian border. Around 200 spectators watched the performances, from families with young children, grandmas and grandpas to hardcore heavy metal fans dressed in band t-shirts and leather jackets.
The competition’s website explained that “in heavy metal knitting, needlework and music become united like never before…. Knitting to the rhythm of heavy metal music can be compared to playing air guitar – which is a Finnish way to goof around as well,”
The Japanese GIGA BODY METAL group was announced as the winner of the competition. Second place went to Crafts with Ellen from Denmark and 9″ Needles from the USA placed third.
Performances were rated by a jury according to their attitude, performing skills, how they captured their audience and by “Heavyknittinghood.” The website did not explain what “Heavyknittinghood” is.
“It’s ridiculous but it’s so much fun,” said Heather McLaren, an performer from Scotland, to the AP. “When I saw there was a combination of heavy metal and knitting, I thought ‘that’s my niche.”
Heavy metal is in most countires a subculture rarely seen in mainstream media, but in Finland and other Scandinavian countries it has many fans. The website claims that in Finland there are 50 heavy metal bands per 100,000 citizens and there are at least hundreds of thousands of people in the Scandinavian country who are knitting enthusiasts.