Hip to be a knit-wit
It started during the Olympics. In a video on television network NBC’s website, Finnish snowboarding coach Antti Koskinen was seen nonchalantly knitting while a team mate was preparing to ride. People around the world took note, and turned to social media.
NPR reported how the Finnish Olympic team was quick to demonstrate that the love for knitting is not limited to Koskinen: “It posted photos of its team hanging out in sock feet, working on a blanket for its president’s newborn son.”
Around half of the 102-strong team were knitting at the Games, according to Reuters: “The Finns started using the unique method of stress relief at the Sochi Games, where they knitted a scarf. Two years later at the Rio Olympics they added to it.”
An unlikely social media star
29-year-old Norwegian Birger Berge has become something of a social celebrity from sharing pictures of his knitting on Instagram. The Bergen-based knitter has built a global following of almost 20,000 on the photo sharing platform.
He told The Nordic Page that he learned knitting as a child, and returned to the hobby during his studies in Bergen as an attempt to reduce stress: “When I knitted, at least I did something concrete and I felt useful and nice, so I began to knit more and more. It was a really good way to relax and not feel guilty. Many researchers show it is a calming activity, which has a positive effect on your health.”
Nordic knitters down under
Norwegian knitwear authors and designers Arne Nerjordet and Carlos Zachrison are known for their striking patterns, and have built a cult following, even as far away as Australia. ABC reported that they sold out a series of speaking gigs across the country last year, with many of their audience driving hundreds of miles for a chance to meet their Scandinavian knitting idols.
“It is one of the reasons why Australian Country Spinners, the Victorian company manufacturing Cleckheaton’s superfine merino knitting yarn, has teamed up with the duo.”