Summer will be upon us before we know it. Where June may be the month that the most ice cream is produced, July is sure to produce something that the world has literally never seen. In the heavy metal hub of Finland, the world’s first ever Heavy Metal Knitting World Championships will take place. If you have as many questions as we do, fear not, we’ll get to them all. In the most basic sense, it’s exactly what it sounds like: a combination of heavy metal music and knitting. We usually associate the 63-year-old average retirement age with knitting, not heavy metal, but Finland is a little different.
“Finland is the promised land of heavy metal music. There are 50 heavy metal bands per 100,000 Finnish citizens, which is astonishingly many and actually more than anywhere else in the whole world,” event organizers say.
Beyond the heavy metal, there are also hundreds of thousands of avid knitters of all ages, making it one of the more popular crafts in the country. With that in mind, why not combine such a prolific genre with the comparably popular needlecraft?
“The number of needlework enthusiasts is equally high, as according to even the most modest estimates there are hundreds of thousands of people in Finland who are immersed various kinds of needlework crafts, knitting included,” they add.
The Finnish Marketing Agency Tovari, Joensuu City Cultural Services, and the Joensuu Conservatory all teamed up to make the championships a reality. It may be the case that in America, we spend eight and a half hours in front of a screen every day, but this fact spreads worldwide with so much access to technology. People often forget things like tactile crafts, physical activity and the like. This is an opportunity to combine the two with some head-banging tunes to boot. But, how does it work? We were curious, too.
The official song for Heavy Metal Knitting (HMK) is Fight or die by Maniac Abductor and the site describes the process as similar to playing air guitar but using knitting needles and your attitude to knit to the beat. You submit a one minute video of “most compelling part of your HMK performance and upload it to Youtube.”
By doing so and completing an entry form, you’re already in the semi-finals. From those submissions, they’ll select a group of knitters to compete in the World Championships in Joensuu, Finland on July 11, 2019. It’s sure to be a raucous affair. But, hey, people who are physically active — and headbanging counts — more than seven hours every week are expected to live longer and this competition is a unique way to take a typically sedentary craft and add some energy to it.
If you’re ready to jump into the world of HMK, get to their site and get ready to record yourself knitting to something heavy. You’ll need all the energy you can get before hitting the stage at the finals this summer. Think you have what it takes to be a Heavy Metal Knitting World Champion?