Finland’s Heavy Metal Knitting Championship Is The Real Purl Jam

JOENSUU, Finland( AP) — Armed with needles and a wool of coat, teams of avid knitters danced Thursday to the deafening seems of drums hitting and guitars lashing at the first-ever Heavy Metal Knitting World Championship in eastern Finland.

With stage names such as Woolfumes, Bunny Bandit and 9 ” Needles, the participants shared a simple goal: to showcase their knitting knowledge while dancing to heavy metal music in the most outlandish route possible.

“It’s nonsensical but it’s so much fun, ” said Heather McLaren, an engineering PhD student who traveled from Scotland for a shot at the “world title.” ” When I examined there was a combination of heavy metal and knitting, I reckoned’ that’s my niche.’”

The competition took place in a packed square in the small town of Joensuu close to the Russian border. An eclectic group of around 200 people watched the performances, from class with young children and elderly to the less conspicuous heavy metal followers donning leather-jackets and twirling their long fuzz to the fast-paced rhythm of the music.

A niche musical genre in many countries, heavy metal is more mainstream in Finland, with various circles household names often played on the radio. Its popularity thrived further in 2006 when the Finnish circle Lordi won the Eurovision Song Contest garmented as monsters.

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Today, Finland has the highest number of heavy metal bandings per capita in the world with over 50 circles per 100,000 people. Even former U.S. President Barack Obama commented on this rich tradition while welcoming his Finnish counterpart to the White House in 2016.

“In Finland it’s very dark in the wintertime, so perhaps it’s in our roots. We’re a bit melancholic, like the lilt, ” said Mark Pyykkonen, one of three people evaluating the competition.

While mix heavy metal music with knitting might not seem an obvious match, the organizers say it’s similar to other uncommon happenings in Finland, such as world championships in air guitar, marsh football, and spouse carrying — Finnish ways of goofing around and drawing the most of the long summer darkness in these northern latitudes.

“We have such dark and long wintertimes, ” said Mari Karjalainen, one of the founders of the incident. “This really commits us lots of time to plan for our short summertimes and provided us with silly ideas.”

Thursday’s competition visualized participants from nine countries, including the United States, Japan, and Russia, put on inspired executions full of theatrics, affection and drama and the jury struggled to agree upon a winner.

Finally, it was a Japanese performance by the five-person Giga Body Metal team that clinched the claim with a depict peculiarity crazy sumo wrestlers and a soldier garmented in a traditional Japanese kimono.

“It’s a great release, ” said Elise Schut, a 35 -year-old nurse from Michigan who performed with her 71 -year-old mother and 64 -year-old family friend, Beth Everson, who added that “knitting is such a meditative act but now it’s energetic and nerve pumping.”

After the success and fun of this first championship, the organizers announced they would repeat it next summer, adding Heavy Metal Knitting to the already long index of odd and hitherto humorous Finland summer gatherings.

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