As technology grows and grows, no one thought knitting and crocheting would take the world by storm in 2014. This new craze is called amigurumi, and is the Japanese art of crocheting and knitting small stuffed animals and anthropomorphic creatures. Amigurumi began to attract its fan base in 2003, yet already in 2006 it was reported to be the most popular item on Etsy; an online craft marketplace. Since then, its popularity has flourished, and they are very popular not only in Finland but all around the world.

Being at a loss for words does not become public announcers.

In our third story of sports-related hobbies, this issue we focus on public announcers.

The task of public announcer must be one of the most sought-after off-field duties related to sports. When the US professional baseball club San Diego Padres sought a new PA earlier this year, the first 460 hopefuls were granted an onsite audition, and after that the doors were closed – the queue was still crawling a long way from the Padres’ compound at that point.

While video games have entered the mainstream and mobile games are bringing gaming to new audiences, boardgaming also continues to attract new enthusiasts.

PLAYING games, once seen as children’s pastime or a hobby for the adolescent, has silently become a mainstream activity. The launch of the latest Grand Theft Auto game was a cultural event comparable to a new James Bond film, while mobile games are popularising the concept of gaming to those who have no interest in actual game consoles. And when the majority of Supercell, the Finnish mobile game company behind Clash of Clans and Hay Day, was sold to two Japanese companies for a reported 1.1 billion euros, everyone should have got the message: there is nothing childish about this industry.

The recent hoopla regarding Scarlett Johansson and her conflict of interest as both an ambassador for SodaStream and Oxfam has given many pause for thought regarding their choices as a consumer. Such was the scope of the public’s attention, given Johansson’s Hollywood celebrity status, that the situation with the West Bank was considered by many whose orbit the issue would typically never encounter.

Furthermore, in light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, consumers have considered boycotting certain Russian products along with hindering the sale of Russian oil.

In part two of a five-part series, we take a look at fan gear.

In today’s world, fan gear is a pretty big deal to most sports fans, allowing them to be identified as true supporters.