What are some niche hobbies you've come across?
March 17, 2019 5:02 PM   Subscribe

From creating board games from scratch, to building music instruments using pencils, what are some fun relatively inexpensive hobbies that are even more niche/unknown/unexplored? Bonus points if the hobby has available literature on it.
posted by SkinsOfCoconut to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (7 answers total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: As a longtime crossword puzzle solver, I’ve long wanted to try my hand at constructing one myself. Here’s a fun video that covers the basics.
posted by ejs at 5:26 PM on March 17, 2019 [5 favorites]

While pinball machines are scattered around most cities, I would describe going from casual to more deliberate pinball playing (all the way to competitive playing/pinball as sport) to be a niche and super lovely hobby. (I'm biased.) Plus there's a really fascinating movement of women's pinball leagues sprouting up all over the country, with friendly folx willing to apprentice you into new strats/flipper trickery/etc.!

I'm currently a few chapters into Pinball Wizards and very much enjoying it!
posted by elephantsvanish at 6:33 PM on March 17, 2019 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Coding Twine games! These are basically hyperlinked text games that you play from your browser. They can range from very simple Choose Your Own Adventure style to stuff with fancier effects, which requires javascript or CSS. Twinery.org has more information (if you're starting out, I personally recommend 1.4.2 instead of 2.2.1), it's free and open-source to download (Windows or Mac); here's one tutorial. (You can find others by Googling if that one doesn't suit you.)

Or if you want to play but not code, you can find listings by searching the Interactive Fiction Database or Googling for recs. Have fun!
posted by yhlee at 10:10 PM on March 17, 2019 [5 favorites]

Knot tying
posted by Jabberwocky at 10:54 AM on March 18, 2019 [3 favorites]

Lashing. I made myself a chair last summer.
posted by The corpse in the library at 12:50 PM on March 18, 2019 [1 favorite]

Best answer: My hobby is finding identified old photos on ebay- finding out who they are and reaching out to descendants with the link.
posted by beccaj at 5:30 PM on March 18, 2019 [6 favorites]

Best answer: I collect old (ideally pre-90s) small community recipe books (from say a church group or a school - that sort of thing) with the specific goal of finding recipes in translation (recipes from one culture made to work in another culture or context) or to track permutations of specific recipes that change depending on time, local tastes or access to ingredients. My interest is seeing how immigrants and ethnic enclaves cope and maintain their culture in the face of being surrounded by a larger and more dominant group or how that larger group is influenced by smaller groups. Generally, I pick these books at second hand stores for usually under $2 (usually less - just for pocket change often). I give myself bonus points if the book is heavily used and features hand written notes. I usually cook from them for about a week after finding them.
posted by Ashwagandha at 7:40 AM on March 19, 2019 [6 favorites]

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