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Dear Ann,

We’ve written about this before, but it bears repeating. Norwegian television’s National Knitting Evening is a perfect program to knit along to while the family dozes off in front of the Yule log after the festive meal.

What is National Knitting Evening? Why, it’s twelve hours of Norway’s participation in an international sheep-to-jumper competition. It starts with shearing the sheep, then spinning yarn directly from the fleece (carding is forbidden). All this happens at the pace at which these tasks actually are accomplished.

In terms of sheer excitement, National Knitting Evening is right up there with the mighty trilogy, National Firewood Morning, National Firewood Evening, and National Firewood Night.  (These involve–you guessed it–chopping firewood. Here’s Stephen Colbert’s review of National Firewood Night.)

Norway lets us stream all of National Knitting Eve, in five handy chunks, right here.  The narration is in English. Warning: strong language is directed at the standing record-holder, Australia (“you don’t ski, so we will have to beat you at knitting.”)

I can hear you asking, “What if I only have 3 hours and 55 minutes to watch knitting on TV on Christmas Day?”

There is a solution: if you have Netflix, watch their version. At just under 4 hours of running time, it’s the Reader’s Digest of long-form knitting television. You barely have a chance to settle in, and it’s over.

In either version, it’s pretty riveting stuff. Shearing, spinning, knitting and cheery chat galore. Enjoy!




  • Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah you guys! I’m glad for the first link to the Norwegian show, because the Netflix link, which I’ve tried watching before, doesn’t seem to have any shearing or spinning at all; it’s all interviews with woolly people in Norwegian. Anyway, I’m just taking this opportunity to bellyache about something that’s irritated me about the Netflix version since they started showing it. Thanks for the tip and a Happy Holidays everyone!

  • I love this! I am a total fiber nerd. The commentary is hilarious (the shearer is not allowed help the spinners, but he can bring them coffee or tea; the sheep looks pretty relaxed). The competition – to beat the Australian record! Thanks for making my morning lovely, as you always do.

  • Wow, a Netflix version! I’m so excited! Thanks for sharing.

  • Thank you so much for posting this, Kay! I have been trapped in a black hole of non-knitting and watching other people knitting may be just what I need to catapult me out of it.
    Happy Day of All Things to everyone!

  • You know, you & Ann could write for Stephen Colbert. But I’m so very glad you write for us instead! Happy & Merry!!

  • Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah! Thanks for this, as I have an unrelated-to-Christmas craft deadline coming up on Tuesday! This will be just the entertainment I need!

  • Just the thing for the post feast veg state. Thanks for the link. I am a convert.

  • This year on Christmas Eve NRK broadcasted the preparing and cooking of a rib roast in real time – all seven hours of it:
    Once the thing is in the oven there’s a real-time chart on the bottom of the screen to show you the optimal oven temperature for this stage, and there’s occasional commentary from the chef, “rib specialist” Øyvind Hjelle. In the downtime we were treated to a curated selection of all kinds of Christmas songs from all kind of places – played from records on the turntable. The girl who was swapping out records was wearing a Fana sweater. It was pretty great.

  • There’s a woman in National Knitting Evening who gives little mini lessons in how to knit. She demonstrates, as if it is the standard way, the purl stitch done with yarn in back. Very interesting. Also in this series is the 12+ hour Norwegian train journey which is very soothing for a long afternoon’s knit.

  • Thank you! Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah to you and Ann and your families. Freezing rain here, but then the temperatures will rise to twelve degrees Celsius? I sure hope so, as I don’t want to chip away at a car encased in ice. In the meantime, knitting is the order of the day here.

  • That Colbert clip is hilarious!

  • Actually there are two pieces on Netflix, National Knitting Evening, and National Knitting Night. The longer one is the record attempt, and the shorter one is a bunch of other knitting, like making a cover for a Harley Davidson. Watch them both.

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