After the first Heavy Metal Knitting competition in 2019, every single person who knows I like Knitting and Heavy Metal sent me a link to the competition. Thanks everyone, you clearly know me. I love knitting and stomping the treadles of my spinning wheel to good music.
When I saw this year’s competition would be virtual, I knew I would have to put together an entry to show my friends I’d heard them loud and clear! I believe I can be a good heavy metal knitter, and since I didn’t have to travel, I had no excuse! I tried to decide on what would be most important in my video and set to work making it happen.
And it paid off! I’m one of the top 12, competing on July 9th at 6:00 PM (UTC+3)
I’d like to share a little bit about my process without spoiling my performance too much!
Goal One: Dramatic Knitting
I wanted everyone to be able to see the knitting, so I needed big needles, and big yarn. I already had the size 50 red needles showcased in my video, but I really wanted a thick, dramatic yarn. After I couldn’t find anything springy and bouncy enough in my yarn stash, I had the silly idea to look my fabric stash and cut up a stretchy fabric to make my yarn. The fabric was really stretchy and tough to measure, but I approximate it was 8-10 yards of synthetic knit fabric. I didn’t trust myself to perfectly cut the fabric into strips, so I took the needles out of my serger, and let it measure and do the work for me. I cut vertically, between columns of knit stitches instead of between rows, and I think that helped the yarn to not fray and shed as much.
I didn’t cut all the way through the fabric, turning at the end of each long pass. In the end I had a continuous strip of 400 yards of very dramatic elastic yarn. About halfway through, I was worried the serger moving would knock the ball off the table and onto my toes. So, I moved the ball to the floor and took a picture with my foot for scale before continuing. It took a few hours and a few sessions with the serger to get it done, but I had plenty of time to think about the rest of the performance.
Goal Two: Proper Attire I needed to inject some knitting into my metal wardrobe, so the idea for the Heavy Metal Knitting vest was born. I found this plain denim vest at the community rummage sale.
Then I had the fun idea to cover it in custom made knitting patches modeled after bands with iconic logos. I went on a search for fonts and printed my ideas out on paper so I could plan the patches accordingly.
I used some scrap purple plaid fabric and assorted trims to dress up the vest a little bit, because I thought it would be hard to do later after all the patches were down. I used my Cricut Maker and a combination of iron on vinyl, patches, and scrap faux leather to put it all together. Some of the patches are sewn down, and some are ironed on. I also added some studs.
At the end, I feel pleased with the quality of the patches and vest. I put it on, and I feel cool. No matter how the competition goes, I will definitely wear this around. The rest of the costume comes together easily from my existing wardrobe. My hair is a little short for headbanging, so I decided on a purple and black blended wig to go with my vest and bobby pinned it down very tightly.
As you watch the competition, try to identify all of the bands that inspired my vest! Hopefully you recognize the Heavy Metal Knitting logo and my own bunny rabbit logo. But we also have AC/DC, Cannibal Corpse, Children of Bodom, Judas Priest’s Sad Wings of Destiny, KISS, Korn, Iron Maiden, Nirvana, Megadeth, Metallica, Misfits, Motorhead, Pantera, Slayer and Slipknot.
Goal Three: A Metal Video
I wanted the final video to be a throwback to classic metal videos. My friend Erik helped me out with this by editing the video and coming along on the video shoot with me and my husband. A nearby railroad bridge and adjoining tunnel were the perfect backdrop. We had a lot of fun talking about some of our favorite metal videos and effects, and I was thrilled to see the final video once it was all put together. (Thanks Erik, You ROCK!)
I’m excited to watch the competition live this time. I can’t wait to meet the other finalists and see their performance videos!
It should be a lot of fun. You should watch!
Interested? Want to be in the loop for the next competition? Want some heavy metal knitting swag? Check out heavymetalknitting.com for more info.