High Octane, In Your Face, Down and Dirty Knitting Action
November 10, 2013 10:06 AM   Subscribe

If you haven't been able to find time to watch the recent 12.5-hour broadcast of Norway's National Knitting Evening (previously), Jimmy Kimmel has a 2-minute, 27-second piece on it that might be more your speed, and that features a bonus preview of a possible future "Norwegian Knitting Tour" reality show.
posted by orange swan (21 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
posted by blue_beetle at 10:58 AM on November 10, 2013 [3 favorites]

Only slightly more entertaining than watching sewers.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 11:03 AM on November 10, 2013

I'd like to see a Danish knitting race to make a Sarah Lund jumper.
posted by Obscure Reference at 11:08 AM on November 10, 2013

I approve this idea.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 11:15 AM on November 10, 2013

(But only if we can have Tim Gunn. Can we have Tim Gunn?)
posted by bitter-girl.com at 11:16 AM on November 10, 2013 [3 favorites]

If you fell down an infinite hole with an infinite amount of yarn anchored to the opening, could you eventually knit your way back up?
posted by planetesimal at 11:25 AM on November 10, 2013 [2 favorites]

To be fair, we already have The Fiber Factor. The true story of 12 strangers picked to live in a house, design and knit to a deadline and find out what happens when people stop being polite and start getting real.
posted by kariebookish at 11:42 AM on November 10, 2013 [4 favorites]

Oh, that Jimmy Kimmel!

Oh, that Jimmy Kimmel.

Well, at least he's not improving the reputation of Nixon's speechwriter or filming bra-wearing models jumping on trampolines this time.

I would watch National Knitting Hour. I wouldn't be paying attention to it the whole time, but it'd run in the background. It's the perfect blend of low-impact, non-distracting sounds and images that helps me get things done. And it's more interesting to me than some entire US television channels, like ESPN, CMT, Fox News, the Food Network, TLC, the History Channel, HSN, HLN....
posted by JHarris at 12:16 PM on November 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

A close knit community.
posted by manoffewwords at 12:35 PM on November 10, 2013

Only slightly more entertaining than watching sewers.

High praise. Have you seen the reports of people who explore the unseen and forbidden underworld? Sewers, caves, abandoned installations? It's pretty good stuff.
posted by EnterTheStory at 12:41 PM on November 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

Look, let's not get into THAT particular linguistic kerfuffle, shall we? Sewer or seamstress are perfectly acceptable words and anyone who says the word "sewist" near me without making sarcasm quote-fingers or rolling their eyes is getting a Signature extra-pointy-tip to their jugular.


posted by bitter-girl.com at 1:17 PM on November 10, 2013 [4 favorites]

As ye sew, so shall you weave.
posted by planetesimal at 1:24 PM on November 10, 2013

"And it's more interesting to me than some entire US television channels, like ESPN, CMT, Fox News, the Food Network, TLC, the History Channel, HSN, HLN...."

This is a pretty good point, actually. Something that runs in the background and is non distracting is more useful than channels you pay for but never watch.
posted by Kevin Street at 1:36 PM on November 10, 2013

Jimmy Kimmel sounds to me like he, and his network, are making jokes about something which they don't understand but which they nevertheless find a little threatening. Making fun of the Norwegians because they are foreign and because so many got hooked into watching the knitting show does not tackle the much more interesting question: why did they watch?

What if a show like - since you mentioned Tim Gunn - "Project Runway" was re packaged so that the work of the designers was transmitted live from 9am until 3pm the following day? The role of contrived character narrative and the tightly edited script (that Kimmel seems to stand for) would become less important. Viewers might actually learn a little about how clothes are made. The show would probably diverge from its predictable format because of random shit that happened; that would make it a little more compelling. There would be deeply dull moments - but that is OK because viewers could go away and come back later - or just get drawn in by the dullness as we do when watching a clothes washer. The show might have something in it of the Apollo program transmissions from NASA or of the world chess championships of old, or of the original Big Brother series ... or of cricket. None of these have been unsuccessful from the point of view of TV.
posted by rongorongo at 2:16 PM on November 10, 2013 [7 favorites]

My fellow knitters might be interested to know that the Yarn Harlot brought this up at her talk in Vancouver a couple of weeks ago (at Knit City). She said she would totally do the English running commentary for the National Knitting Evening. She even gave us a sample of what she would say and she was a genius at it.

I would pay money for this!!
posted by sadtomato at 3:18 PM on November 10, 2013 [5 favorites]

I would pay money for this!!

So would I.
posted by francesca too at 3:23 PM on November 10, 2013

I missed the first couple of hours, but I watched probably about the last 4-5 hours online.

And I enjoyed the heck out of it. I'm a handspinner and knitter. I really enjoyed watching the spinners and speculating about why some spin CW and others spin CCW, and thinking about the implications that has for the finished yarn. I was really pulling for them to beat the American record. When they made the gutsy decision to start sewing up the last bits while the last knitter was still knitting, I thought they might have a chance. But alas, it was not to be.

I'd totally watch something like that again. I've spun on Sheep-to-Shawl demonstrations, but not in a timed, trying-to-break-a-record situation. Fascinating stuff!
posted by Archer25 at 3:25 PM on November 10, 2013

So Kimmel's new schtick is playing back Slow TV at 500X speed? Don't care how briskly it moves, when you abandon the meaning, it's boring.
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:28 PM on November 10, 2013

I was watching the first five or so hours - I am in the UK so I had to go to bed when the Sheep-to-Sweater was under way. I was fascinated when one of my knitting friends explained why it was clear early on they wouldn't break the record: the lack of pre-drafting meant the yarn wouldn't be as smooth and this would slow down the knitting. My knitting friend had taken part in a UK record-breaking attempt in 2010 and I think her team managed the second-fastest time in the world that year. I'm not a spinner, but her explanation made sense.

And of course it all makes for perfect comedy fodder for mainstream TV.

Knitting (and the handmade movement) is a subculture and it's a subculture that can readily be parsed as "old-fashioned", "just for grannies", and "LOL, whut" for quick consumption. I make my living in the knitting industry and I see brilliant, fantastic, cutting-edge things happening (many of which bitter-girl is involved with!) - but it's subculture that resists marketing executives looking for Miley Cyrus' next endorsement deal etc.
posted by kariebookish at 4:01 PM on November 10, 2013 [5 favorites]

Pardon my yarn nerdery for a minute, but....they seriously didn't pre-draft the fiber? I'm a crappy spinner and do art yarn and even I do that! And I'm not an expert trying to do sheep to shawl!
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:06 PM on November 10, 2013

Well, predrafting is a really good way to make crappy yarn.
posted by keli at 8:39 PM on November 14, 2013

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