HOT: Knitting Goes Metal
There are several hobbies that seem well-suited to be soundtracked by Heavy Metal — axe throwing, wood-chopping… all of the major axe sports, really. Knitting would not logically be featured high atop that list, yet here we are — Finland recently hosted the first-ever Heavy Metal Knitting World Championship. It might be difficult to imagine what such a competition might entail, but once you see video, it all makes sense. Part Rock show, part performance art and part crafting showcase, the event featured teams of fancifully dressed knitters dancing (and knitting) on stage to live Metal bands, Finland’s favorite export (the AP says Finland has the most Metal groups per capita than anywhere else in the world). “We have such dark and long winters,” one of the event’s founders, Mari Karjalainen, told the AP. “This really gives us lots of time to plan for our short summers and come up with silly ideas.”
WARM: Van Hailin’
Last year, the hosts of the History channel’s junk-collector show American Pickers scored an interesting slice of Rock & Roll history when they purchased Aerosmith’s tiny, rusted-out first tour van (with a janky “Keep on Truckin’ ” knock-off logo on the side) that had been all but abandoned in the woods in rural Massachusetts. After an extensive preservation and restoration project, the hosts reunited Aerosmith with the vehicle, which is being used as part of the band’s extensive run of Las Vegas shows. The Pickers reportedly paid $25,000 to buy the van from the owner of the property on which it was found, but no one’s saying how much (if anything) the band paid to get it back. The musicians reportedly have hopes that the van’s next stop is in Cleveland — at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
COLD: Bowie Barbie
July 11 marked the 50th anniversary of the release of David Bowie’s breakthrough single “Space Oddity.” If you are a huge Bowie fan and happen to also love collecting Barbie dolls, we have some very good news for you — Mattel has made a commemorative Bowie Barbie. Dressed as the icon’s Ziggy Stardust alter ego (with metallic bodysuit and red platform boots), the doll is going for $50 on the official Barbie website, which lists the recommended ages for purchasing as “Adult Collector,” but we’re sure more than a few kids would enjoy its androgynous cool.