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Friday, December 20, 2013

Norway has a show about knitting.

When I posted about the fireplace movie this week, a reader told me that Norway has a show about knitting. People shearing a sheep and then knitting for hours. That's it. The show is part of a movement called "slow but noble television."

The Telegraph reports:
"'Slow TV' has proved successful for Norway's NRK, a veteran in quirky programming, since 2009 when the broadcaster showed the view from the roof of a seven-hour train ride from Bergen to Oslo. Millions watched. In 2011, it broadcast 134 hours non-stop of a cruise ship going up the Norwegian coast to the Arctic, bagging the world record for the longest continuous TV program. Millions tuned in. In February, it aired a 12-hour show on firewood, featuring discussions about stacking and chopping, and a debate on whether the bark should face up or down. One in five Norwegians watched the show at one point."
Interesting, right? Would you watch these? If you live in Norway, do you? Now we just need some gløgg!

P.S. 10 surprising things about parenting in Norway, and how babies sleep outside in Denmark.

(Painting by Francoise Duparc)

45 comments:

heylottiegrey said...

I heard about the firewood show from my friend who's Norwegian. She wasn't laughing at it, it's not that people in Norway are interested in boring TV, they just find different things interesting than Americans. no need to mock them for it...

lilyknits said...

Not boring if you're a knitter! I watched it. It wasn't just people knitting - it was taking the fleece from a sheep and turning it into a sweater in the fastest time possible.
http://tv.nrk.no/serie/nasjonal-strikkekveld/dvnr30004113/02-11-2013

Hanne said...

I'm Norwegian and I've watched several of these slow TV shows. I think they can be both entertaining and cozy! They're also a nice contrast to many other TV shows these days. But don't get me wrong: most of us don't watch the entire shows with full concentration :)

Katy said...

To be fair, this summer I took that train ride from Oslo to Bergen, and the scenery is absolutely stunning. I would totally watch that show!

Kari Fischer said...

Whenever my mom knits I always find myself staring for several minutes--I find it to be somewhat hypnotic and very soothing. It just gets awkward when I end up watching people who knit and crochet on the subway. I'm not a creep I swear!

Also there's a lot of boring television out there that we all know and love. In essence shows like Downton Abbey and The Tudors don't have too much going on. I say that with the exception of the last season of Downton-- good grief!

M.M. said...

I think they'd be great background programming while cleaning, or getting ready to go out. Hey, any show on for 134 hours without commercials would probably be something I'd watch :D

Joanna Goddard said...

oh interesting, lily! thank you!

Joanna Goddard said...

oh, i'm not mocking it, lottie, i actually think it's really cool. my original ending line of the post was "thumbs up, norway." i should add it back in!

heylottiegrey said...

it did sound rather condescending when I first read it, hence my comment.

Charli said...

In Austria there is a show in the middle of the night, while every other channel shows adult programms or crappy movies, wich shows the route of various trams making their way around Vienna. I think there's not one student in Vienna who didn't watch that program fir a while afte a night out guessing the next stop of the tram. It's really weird and nobody knows the meaning of the show but everybody watched it at leat once =)
Have a very merry Christmas!
Love,
Charlotte

hoxwrth said...

I just watched ten minutes and found it fascinating, even though I couldn't understand the dialogue. Very interesting to watch the sheep being sheared and the wool being spun.

Meg said...

I'm from Norway and I love these slow tv shows. They're cosy, because you can see that the old men who get to go on tv and chop wood and the old women who are interviewed about knitting, love to share their knowledge. They are so psyched that pepole are actually interested!

Joanna Goddard said...

meg, that sounds amazing!

Alissa Moghtaderi said...

I think the idea of slow television is wonderful.

We have twin boys who are almost three years old and we don't let them watch any television or movies or videos, because even the ones with good content are so busy and assertive and fast that it doesn't leave time for kids to stop and think about what they are seeing. (Makes for long cross-country flights with two toddlers and no iPads, though.)

I've said that when we start letting them watch television, we'll probably start with watching symphony or Met Opera broadcasts, since those are slow and contemplative programming. But I'd be more than happy for us all to turn on a leisurely and thoughtful program about firewood or an extended view from a train car, too. Those seem like the television equivalents of handmade wooden toys: warm, classic, and requiring your attention to be entertaining.

På en prikk said...

I'm Norwegian and live in Oslo. Fun to read your post. I did not watch any of the mentioned shows, but a lot did. Although the most popular was the boat trip. And people living around the coast celebrated an greeted the boat when it arrived their hometown.

Alissa Moghtaderi said...

I think the idea of slow television is wonderful.

We have twin boys who are almost three years old and we don't let them watch any television or movies or videos, because even the ones with good content are so busy and assertive and fast that it doesn't leave time for kids to stop and think about what they are seeing. (Makes for long cross-country flights with two toddlers and no iPads, though.)

I've said that when we start letting them watch television, we'll probably start with watching symphony or Met Opera broadcasts, since those are slow and contemplative programming. But I'd be more than happy for us all to turn on a leisurely and thoughtful program about firewood or an extended view from a train car, too. Those seem like the television equivalents of handmade wooden toys: warm, classic, and requiring your attention to be entertaining.

Shoko said...

i absolutely love this. i'd keep it on in the background at the end of the day to unwind :)

Joanna Goddard said...

alissa, that is such a wonderful approach!

Rachel Powell said...

I read about these not that long ago and thought I'd be really interested in the knitting program. It seems similar to a documentary to me- learning details about something you might not know about? I love anything like that!

Merry Christmas, Joanna!

Øydis Ivar Heinzerling Heggheim said...

The shows are super calming and without realizing it you acquire all this knowledge about knitting, trains and firewood... Amazing! Meditative on so many levels! Merry Christmas and safe travels to you and your small family from Norway,
Øydis

Øydis Ivar Heinzerling Heggheim said...

The shows are super calming and without realizing it you acquire all this knowledge about knitting, trains and firewood... Amazing! Meditative on so many levels! Merry Christmas and safe travels to you and your small family from Norway,
Øydis

Øydis Ivar Heinzerling Heggheim said...

The shows are super calming and without realizing it you acquire all this knowledge about knitting, trains and firewood... Amazing! Meditative on so many levels! Merry Christmas and safe travels to you and your small family from Norway,
Øydis

Lindsey McLean said...

I would absolutely watch! Norwegians are seriously innovative knitters. Their patterns and techniques are the BEST. :)

Caitlyn said...

I love it! I would watch all the time! I am always looking for something to keep me company that I don't have to pay 100% attention to - while I clean the house, while I make dinner, while I knit :)

Mich said...

Man, I love Norway! This is so incredibly interesting. I have taken that train from Bergen to Oslo and would absolutely love to see that view again. So cool...

Marie Frei said...

I was just in Norway last month and the flights from JFK on Norwegian Air were cheaper than flying to some domestic cities here in the US. We watched the Netflix comedy Lilyhammer on the plane - simple, funny New York City & Norwgian cliches. I recommend visiting in the summer with the whole family :)

fleur_delicious said...

My mother-in-law participates in live demonstrations like this! They're called "sheep to sweater" or "sheep to afghan" events at our local state fair. She's an experienced spinner, knitter and weaver, and she joins a team that demonstrates the entire process (from shearing to knitting the finished object) in a single day. I've always thought it was really cool!

I would love having television programs like this available in America; I usually have the television on when I'm doing some hand-work myself (sewing, embroidery, or making jewelry), and something like this would be wonderful to listen to and half-watch while I work (as it is, I usually put in a BBC period drama, like the Andrew Davies Austen adaptations, to keep me company).

haylie said...

This makes me want to cry for some reason! I just find the idea really lovely, I guess. "Slow and noble television."

CKck said...

I would absolutely, without a dobut watch and knit while watching... I would knit while watching all of the episodes, not just the knitting episode. Be sure to let us Americans know when it's available on Netflix ;)

Courtenay said...

Marie Frei, my boyfriend told me about the cheap flights to Oslo from the US. We're going to go soon!

I would absolutely watch these shows. If I wasn't working on end-of-the-year deadlines right now (ugh!) I would absolutely sit and knit while watching the knitting marathon, although I wouldn't understand a word of it. The others sound incredible. I can daze off staring at scenery from a train or boat for hours.

Cheers to Norway, and to the slow and noble life!

Simone Brett said...

I totally had this idea to do a knitting reality tv show with tons of drama and dropped stitches and time limits and such! I'd watch it!

jm said...

So interesting. And such a beautiful painting.

Scout and Rice said...

Aw what a shame you changed the original heading, I thought it was hilarious and tongue-in-cheek.

Tracy S said...

I would love that. I love firewood show, it's awesome. Sometimes it just feels nice and cozy to watch 'slow' telly :)

Anne Mette Lie said...

Babies sleep outside in Norway, too. They sleep better outside in the fresh air :) Happy holiday from Norway!

... said...

Oh man!! First the cold hearted post about parenting in Norway (that made Norway look like a communist state hanging around in the Stone Age) and now this! Lol!

My wish: someone should write about Norway and gender equality. We have some pretty cool rights here as mothers and women. Free health care during the pregnancy for everybody. 10 (100%) or 12 (80%) months payed maternity leave. If your work presents any risk for you or the unborn baby you can get your full salary through out the pregnancy without working. The right to go home during your work hours to breast feed after you started working again, if you haven't weaned your child before that. Norway is an amazing country to be a mother in!

Knitting tv was boring, I can promise you that!;)

Hanne
(Norwegian mother & also a proud knitter)

Anna said...

I live in Denmark and having only lived in fast paced cities before moving here (Sydney, London, Paris and Vancouver) - I've really come to appreciate the slowness and the need for cosiness - 'hygge' in their life. 'Hygge' is a HUGE part of Danish and Northern Scandic cultures due to their short, dark days and the love for time spent with family and friends. I find Scandic culture so fascinating and so peaceful and calming. One of the constant expressions you here people saying is 'stille og rolig' - calm and quiet - often parents say that in a soft voice when 'disciplining' children - I am more used to a sharp yell or harsh word - all to say that a show on knitting and its popularity doesn't surprise me in the least! Great post - and have a lovely, warm Christmas Joanna!

- simplystylishmom.com

Johanne said...

I do like the idea of slow tv as a reaction to all the fast paced shows, but slow tv is just that. Slow. I'm Norwegian, and watched parts of the broadcast from Hurtigruta (the cruise ship). It is definitely koselig (cosy), but you have to tune in to watch a few snippets, not all of it .. I actually thought the knitting show was a parody, but it was, it turned out, not.

It is definitely interesting, and amusing, to read about you own country seen from the outside, but from this post and the one about parenting in Norway, we do seem a lot odder than I perceive us to be.

Anne Mette Lie said...

The best comment on your blog ever! (and I have been reading your blog for several years!) Thank you, Hanne!

"Oh man!! First the cold hearted post about parenting in Norway (that made Norway look like a communist state hanging around in the Stone Age) and now this! Lol!

My wish: someone should write about Norway and gender equality. We have some pretty cool rights here as mothers and women. Free health care during the pregnancy for everybody. 10 (100%) or 12 (80%) months payed maternity leave. If your work presents any risk for you or the unborn baby you can get your full salary through out the pregnancy without working. The right to go home during your work hours to breast feed after you started working again, if you haven't weaned your child before that. Norway is an amazing country to be a mother in!

Knitting tv was boring, I can promise you that!;)

Hanne
(Norwegian mother & also a proud knitter)"

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Bradley Daniel Elliot said...

i have heard that in NYE will be the finest hours

Erin Blanton said...

My sister lives in Sweden and she told me about this show. I love handcrafts of all kinds and I thought it sounded awesome! Ha!

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