“Knitting keeps my mind sharp and my fingers nimble”: Knitters’ information seeking and sharing during the COVID lockdown

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This paper reports the initial results of an ongoing study about the information seeking and sharing patterns of knitters during the first year of the COVID pandemic. Knitting is a creative and inexpensive hobby that possesses all the six qualities of serious leisure, which are: perseverance and commitment, the potentiality to turn into a career, significant personal effort based on specific knowledge, durable personal and social benefits, unique ethos within a social world and developing new identities associated with the chosen activity (Stebbins, 1982). Almost forty years of research shows engagement in serious leisure activities (e.g. hobbies, amateurism, and volunteering) brings a range of physical, mental, and emotional benefits for the leisure pursuers. These benefits range from pure pleasure and a sense of fulfilment to self-actualisation and a sense of belonging (Heo et al., 2013; Riley, 2013; Kim et al., 2014; Corkhill et. al, 2014; Liu and Yu, 2015; Mansourian, 2021). However, serious leisure always happens in a context and several contextual elements can potentially boost or hinder leisure engagement. For example, during the COVID lockdown, group activities like outdoor hobbies faced various limitations. Nonetheless, indoor hobbies such as gardening and cooking increased in one way or another as people had more free time at home (Ling, 2020; Young, 2020). On the other hand, engagement in any hobbies or amateur activity, especially for beginners, requires access to some forms of information to learn the required knowledge and skills. Therefore, serious leisure is usually an information-rich context and the participants need to actively seek, search, organise, share and produce information about their hobbies or voluntary activities.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jun 2021
EventInformation Science Trends 2021: Information Science Research During COVID-19 and Post-Pandemic Opportunities - Virtual, Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 09 Jun 202111 Jun 2021


ConferenceInformation Science Trends 2021
OtherThe last year has seen dramatic changes in the way we approach our research. As COVID-19 cases rose, research laboratories, and data collection opportunities in person all closed. The world went into lockdown. Our usual work activities were halted or pivoted online. After a year of change, it was time to reflect on the challenges and the opportunities we have experienced as a result of the pandemic. We are happy to say that #IST21 was a resounding success! With a final registration count of 108, we had three great days of interesting and inspiring presentations and exciting discussions. We require all accepted authors to upload their abstract with a CC-BY 4.0 International License at Zenodo (community: Information Science Trends - ASIS&T European Chapter Series). Please do this if you have not done so already.
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