Knit, Purl, Upload: New Technologies, Digital Mediations and the Experience of Leisure

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In the last decade, there has been a resurgence of interest in knitting and an accompanying set of leisure practices from ‘stitch n bitch’ groups and pub knitting circles to fibre festivals and knit meets. Alongside this renaissance is a growing presence of ‘crafsters’ and ‘knitsters’ on the web, with blogs and podcasts devoted to the craft and social networking sites connecting a global community of knitters. The leisure experience of knitting now proliferates across multiple media sites and flows through various lifeworlds and circuits of consumption. This technological expression of the craft provides an interesting juxtaposition for exploring meanings and practices of mediated leisure and this article will argue that web 2.0 technologies have given users new ways to think about and engage with their creativity that, in turn, have become an embedded part of their construction and enjoyment of leisure practice. Technology use can be understood as a reciprocal and interconnected aspect of knitting as leisure and the study of techno-cultural change marks a territory where distinctions between leisure and technology are increasingly dissolved. Knitting as a material craft provides a useful example of the way in which virtual networks and environments have reshaped the consumption of leisure in rich and dynamic ways.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-321
JournalLeisure Studies
Volume33
Issue number3
Early online date25 Sep 2012
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Keywords

  • digital leisure
  • craft
  • knitting
  • technology use
  • consumption/production

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