The 1st heavy metal knitting competition took place in Finland on July 11, 2019.
(photo credit: JOONA KOTILAINEN)
On Thursday, Joensuu, Finland hosted the first ever heavy metal knitting competition.
In heavy metal knitting, performers knit to the rhythm of heavy metal music in a "fashion somewhat similar to the air guitar," but use knitting needles instead of an imaginary guitar.
The competition's website boasts 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.
The competition's website promised 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," explained the competition's website.
The Japanese GIGA BODY METAL group was announced as the winner of the competition on Thursday. 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.
GIGA BODY METAL was chosen as the winner because their performance "had a story" and the accessories and performance consisted of a combination of their own culture, knitting and heavy metal. The group was also able to capture the audience and was "at the same time serious and crazy, just like it should be."
One of the reasons that Crafts with Ellen placed second was because their performance included "special ninja gear." 9" Needles' performance ranked third because it had a story and a battle and had "top class" accessories.
"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."
About 200 people came to see the performances, according to the AP.
"In Finland it’s very dark in the wintertime, so maybe it’s in our roots. We’re a bit melancholic, like the rhythm," said Mark Pyykkonen, one of the three judges.
"Knitting is such a meditative activity but now it’s energetic and heart pumping," explained Beth Everson, a performer who came from Michigan.
In total, 12 groups took part in the competition, with finalists coming from Denmark, Finland, Japan, Latvia, Russia, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the US.
Eva, one of the teams in the championship, represented Israel.
The competition is expected to return next year.
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