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The Sims 4’s new Stuff Pack has a nod to heavy metal knitting

It’s a thing in Finland

Sims character with tattoos knitting Image: Maxis/Electronic Arts via Polygon
Nicole Carpenter is a senior reporter specializing in investigative features about labor issues in the game industry, as well as the business and culture of games.

In forums and on social media, some Sims fans are wondering: Why a heavy metal station with The Sims 4’s Nifty Knitting Stuff Pack? Most people don’t equate the two. I can see why. Knitting is often seen as a solitary, quiet hobby ... and metal is metal — loud and brash. But developer Maxis put ‘em together for the new pack released today.

And no, it’s not a coincidence. Sims that listen to the metal radio station while knitting will get bonuses on the craft, according to developers. It actually makes sense, too, if you’re in the know. The addition of the metal station in the knitting Stuff Pack is a nod to Finland’s Heavy Metal Knitting World Championship, a wacky event that debuted last year.

As it turns out, both metal and knitting are huge in Finland. Twenty-six bands — with a knitting lead — applied for the championship. Twelve bands from eight countries made it to the finals, each of which starred a knitting lead who had to knit during the performance. Footage of the event certainly does not disappoint. Unfortunately, a followup event in 2020 was canceled because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The 2020 Heavy Metal Knitting World Championships were scheduled to be held this month in Finland — so it’s fitting that there’s now a tribute to the event in The Sims 4.

“We have been wanting to do this in The Sims 4 for a while and have been on the lookout for various opportunities to do so,” The Sims 4 sound designer Drew Boles said earlier this year on the game’s forum. “At first glance, a pack centered on knitting may seem like an odd choice, but when we heard about the Heavy Metal Knitting Competition last year in Finland, we knew it was, in fact, a perfect fit.”

Though Sims can play air guitar while listening to the metal radio station, they can’t actually knit while playing air guitar, like in the Heavy Metal Knitting Competition. Not much about knitting visually changes when listening to the station, but know it’s invigorating your Sims’ projects.