Finland United Headbanging and Needlework with the World's First Heavy Metal Knitting Competition

You probably never thought needlework and headbanging would make such a great couple.

Last week, the Finnish city of Joensuu hosted the first ever Heavy Metal Knitting Championships. The insane-sounding competition brought groups from nine countries (including the UK, Denmark, Russia, and Israel) to duke it out to be the first Heavy Metal Knitting World Champions.

If you're having trouble imagining exactly what heavy metal knitting looks like, you're in luck, because the competition's organizers have made a highlight video of last week's events.

In order to qualify for the competition, groups had to upload a video of themselves knitting to 'Fight or Die' by the local Joensuu metal band Maniac Abductor. (You can check out some of the best audition tapes below.)

The event's organizers say the competition is about celebrating Finland's love of heavy metal music while also honoring the country's long history of needlecraft.

"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," reads the event's website. "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."

The win ultimately went to the Japanese group Giga Body Metal, whose routine included a kimono-clad knitter and sumo wrestlers fighting.

And while the Heavy Metal Knitting Championship may be over for this year, the events organizers say you can expect them to be back with the second annual competition this time next year.

And if you're into strange mashups of low-key pastimes with intense music, check out our article on Rage Yoga.

h/t Metro

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I've been covering cannabis for nearly five years, and by now I'm all too accustomed to the impersonal cannabis conference at a stuffy, generic hotel or expo hall, brimming with white guys in suits, and generally lacking in the spirit of well, cannabis. (The woes of legalization, I suppose.) So it was a breath of fresh air when I walked into what felt like a giant atrium in downtown LA for a new kind of cannabis conference. Located in what's called the Valentine Grass Room in an industrial area past the hustle and bustle of the DTLA skyscrapers, Microscopes & Machines (M&M) boasted a diverse array of speakers, from doctors and lawyers to chemists and cultivators on the frontlines of the cannabis industry.

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