Knitters Are Rocking Out at Finland’s Heavy Metal World Championship

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Loud guitars and knitting needles?

A competition in Finland combines the unlikely pair of knitting and heavy metal music in the Heavy Metal World Championship.

Competitors travel from all over the world to showcase their knitting skills while rocking out and dancing. This year's competition took place in a packed square along the Russian border. About 200 people, both young and old, gathered to revel at the artistry.

While heavy metal is a niche market in many countries, the genre is more mainstream in Finland. The popularity grew even more since the Finnish band Lordi won the Eurovision Song Contest in 2006.

Now, Finland has the highest number of heavy metal bands per capita.

Performers Elise Schut and Beth Everson love the competition's quirky combo.

“It's great. Knitting is such a meditative activity but now it's energetic and heart-pumping,” Everson told APTN.

The competition had participants from many countries, including the United States, Japan and Russia. The Japanese performance team, Giga Body Metal, won the title with sumo wrestlers and a man dressed in a traditional Japanese kimono.

"Knitting combined with heavy metal, it's beyond language. It feels like a deep, deep emotion," Giga Body Metal performer Manabu Kaneko said after receiving his trophy and knitted crown.

Due to the event's rocking success, organizers said it would return next summer in 2020.

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