It’s time for the final installment of my contest series. The first contest prize was a set of cookbooks, won by Chappy’s Mom. The second contest prize was a trio of IKEA big blue bags, won by Uberstrickenfrau.

I mentioned my fondness for the Hobbit tradition of giving gifts on one’s own birthday. Typically, these gifts are mathoms, described by Tolkien as “anything that Hobbits had no immediate use for, but were unwilling to throw away.” (Michael Quinion points out, quite correctly, that there’s plenty of use for such a word in our own society. Take a look in your basements, closets, and plastic storage totes, and you’ll see exactly what I mean.)

The cookbooks were mathoms. The IKEA bags—well, not so much (but maybe they’ll be employed as mathom storage). For my final contest, the prize consists mostly of mathoms of the knitting-related type.

First, there’s Crazy Aunt Purl’s book, Drunk, Divorced, and Covered in Cat Hair. The very excellent Blind Purls gave me this book, and now that I’ve fully digested it, it seems only right to spread the Crazy Aunt Purl love and send it to a new home.

I’ve been sorting through my yarn stash, and I’ve come across quite a bit of yarn that, frankly, I’ll never use. It’s all decent stuff—all sorts of different fibers in a variety of colors and totally unused. Some of these skeins are leftovers from past projects. Some were gifts that just don’t suit my knitting style. (With so little time and so many projects, I’ve resolved to knit only things I really want to knit with yarn I really want to spend a lot of time with.) And some of it is “where the hell did that come from?” yarn that must have snuck into my stash when I wasn’t looking because I honestly don’t remember how I got it. All of these balls and skeins of yarn are true mathoms. I know I will never use them, and I’m confident that they can find a good home with another fiber enthusiast. I won’t list all the yarns here, because I’m still in the process of selecting them from my stash. Suffice it to say there will be a lot.

I’m also including one of those IKEA big blue bags, ’cause I really love ’em and thing everyone should have one. And something yummy—though not, alas, any chocolate or meltable items, now that spring is here and temperatures are rising.

If you’re interested in getting this box o’ stuff, leave a comment to this post and tell me about your favorite thing that you’ve knitted (or crocheted, if you’re more of a hooker than a needler). If you’d rather post about this in your own blog, that’s fine; either include a link there to this post or put a comment here telling me to go read it there. On May 7, the eve of my birthday, I’ll randomly select one winner from all entries.*

My favorite knitted item? Hands-down, it’s one of my first projects: a baby blanket I made for Sylvia. Yeah, the seaming is really bad. But she loves this blanket, and I love her, so there are happy feelings all over the place.

*Alas, once again I must restrict this contest to residents of the USA. The mere thought of filling out customs forms for this package and dealing with international postage rates makes my brain hurt.

23 Responses to “The final contest: Yarn and other good stuff”

  1. Jennuon 29 Apr 2008 at 12:10 am

    My favorite has got to be my Clapotis. I treated myself to the Lion & Lamb (silk/wool blend) yarn in a colorway that looks great on me. And unlike some of the sweaters I’ve knit for myself–it fits!

    Great contest.

  2. Imperatrixon 29 Apr 2008 at 7:26 am

    My favorite is a Debbie Bliss toddler sweater I made for Impera. I had learned to knit as a teen (my godmother taught me) but then I put it aside for about 15 years. I wanted to relearn, so a friend of mine told me to pick a pattern from that book. It was knit in stockinette, with lots of pictures (rocking horse, jack in the box, rubber duckie) color-worked in. It was tricky, but came out great (It’s in IA right now, so I can’t take a pic). Impera wore it, and later Trixie wore it.

    It made me really, really happy.

  3. Amyon 29 Apr 2008 at 7:59 am

    So far, my favorite thing is the Branching Out scarf from Knitty. It was my first lace. I screwed it up. But I didn’t care–I learned about lace knitting, which I now love. And still screw up.

  4. Chrison 29 Apr 2008 at 10:15 am

    Um, can I just wish you a happy birthday and not participate? :) I have so much yarn that I just can’t provide a home for more yarn…

  5. Ginaon 29 Apr 2008 at 12:37 pm

    What a generous contest!

    Well let’s see…my favorite knitted item. I think it has to be that loopy scarf. You know the one. It’s sort of wine-colored, made with Patons Bohemian yarn (otherwise known as God’s chest hair). I was just thrilled with how that came out, especially since it was like the 3rd thing I ever knit. And it is a knitted item that I actually use. The pattern was a free download from However, I think that it’s gone now. I have a printed copy if you’d like it!

    A close second is the ball-band dishcloth. I love knitting those. They are just so cool looking!

    Happy Birthday!

  6. Sarahon 29 Apr 2008 at 1:27 pm

    My favorite thing has been a little hooded sweater for Anna. I think the pattern came from Cottage Creations. It had three buttons on the top of the bodice that I bought from Schoolhouse Press–lovely pewter buttons that were so delicate and perfect. The yarn was raised and spun in Northern Minnesota, so it was a natural, sturdy wool in dark brown. I knit it up with a thick garter stitch hood–warm! and edged it in a nice red wool. She wore it for the fall, winter and spring before she sadly outgrew it. But it was the best thing I’ve ever knit.

  7. olgaon 29 Apr 2008 at 1:46 pm

    Can I enter again even though I won blue bags? If so, here’s my fave item made for me, a barbie coat my mom knit a loooooooong time ago, I think it’s the only thing I have she made so it’s pretty dear to me. And I love the Hobbit theme here- love those little guys!

  8. olgaon 29 Apr 2008 at 1:48 pm

    well, duh. You meant something I made- ok, the mac and cheeze sweater set I made last month, I had sooo much fun making that and it looks so cute. The baby still hasn’t been born so I’m waiting to give it when she is.

  9. Ariannaon 29 Apr 2008 at 6:53 pm

    I’m with Chris in that I don’t need any more yarn, but that’s probably a good thing because, while I love the Hobbit tradition, I’m not sure what one does when they SHARE the same AWESOME birthday!!! :) It wouldn’t feel quite right, taking a Hobbit birthday gift…on my birthday, hehe.

    BUT, I have wanted to read that Crazy Aunt Purl book; I’ll have to check it out sometime soon, since I’ve heard many good things!

    I am sure that package will make some knitter very, very happy. That is so nice of you! I look forward to seeing more of peoples’ favorites.

    Happy almost-birthday, Marsha!!

  10. Ariannaon 29 Apr 2008 at 6:54 pm

    I always mix that up: it should be “people’s favorites,” shouldn’t it? D’oh. =\

  11. […] having her final of three birthday contests. Leave her a comment about your favorite knitted object and you could win yarn, a giant blue IKEA […]

  12. Heideon 30 Apr 2008 at 9:30 am

    I have multiple favorite knitting projects. Socks, of course. But to help dent the sock yarn pile I’ve taken a fancy to the Forest Canopy Shawls. They use up one skein of sock yarn each, the pattern is easily memorized and they will be wonderful for Christmas presents. And then there is that nagging “to knit” list of things I want to make. Why must we sleep?

  13. Diana Ton 30 Apr 2008 at 9:38 am

    Hey, Happy birthday!
    I found out about this from Stumbling over Chaos.
    My favorite knitted object would have to be the long, hand painted, cashmere feather and fan scarf I made for myself.
    Thanks for the contest.

  14. Turtleon 30 Apr 2008 at 11:05 am

    I would have to say that the blue sky organic cotton eyelet lace cardigan that i just finished a few minutes ago is so far my favorite knit! Going to wear it today and block it this weekend! Happy 3rd birthday contest!

  15. Paulaon 30 Apr 2008 at 12:46 pm

    Hee, hee. Deb needs more books. :0 I need more yarn storage.
    My favorite knitted object is my felted fishies, Fred and Bubba, that hang in my office.

  16. Kassiaon 30 Apr 2008 at 12:50 pm

    Happy Birthday!! I heard about your blog & contest from Stumbling Over Chaos. :)

    My favorite knitted items are socks I made for my son and daughter. They fit them very well and they love to wear them…and I love seeing them wearing items I made just for them! :)

  17. Ann-Marie MacKayon 30 Apr 2008 at 12:54 pm

    my favourite thing that I have knit would have to be my Ribbi Cardi.
    It took me a year (I stopped knitting when it got warm last spring and then lost my mojo)

    I just finished it a few weeks ago and I love it.
    I love the colour, I love the zipper….

    link to my blog:

  18. Cathy-Cateon 30 Apr 2008 at 4:37 pm

    No question about my favorite knitted thing;

    it’s the “Wedding Pi” lace shawl which I designed and knit for a friend’s wedding last November, from suri alpaca laceweight which I overdyed to get the colors I wanted.

    Pictures are here:
    (with more pictures on the preceding and following day, and here and there)

    It was the first big lace project I ever finished and the first really original design project I ever did. And it turned out just as I had hoped. Maybe it was the forty hours I knitted in the last week that did it….

    Now to write up the pattern, the way people keep asking me to! In all that spare time I have, right.

  19. Joanon 30 Apr 2008 at 6:48 pm

    My favorite knitted object… I knit it years ago. It was my first sweater. Remember the Bernat sweater made out of Gloucester (cotton)? It had a scallop shell on the front of it. I made it out of medium blue gloucester. I still have it and wear it occasionally.

    The runner up is an irish sweater my great-aunt made out of wool we got from Ireland. She knit it in about 1970.

  20. rosevtaon 30 Apr 2008 at 9:01 pm

    My most favorite project to date was the Elizabeth Zimmerman February birthday sweater in Lornas Lace Worseted. The pattern was brillant, the fancy work cute for a little one and I love the outcome.

    Thanks, Rosemary

  21. Knitmommaon 02 May 2008 at 2:43 pm

    My favorite knit object is the one I’m working on right now! (Almost always my favorite is the current one) Right now it’s my first ever pair of socks.

    If I had to chose from completed projects I would be hard pressed…there is the EZ’s Baby Surprise Jacket I made for my niece, the gloves I made for myself, and all the crochet little toys I made for my kids. Then there is my latest passion, spinning. Fun!

    Happy birthday to you!

  22. bethon 02 May 2008 at 4:02 pm

    My favorite knit so far is a sweater which I originally knit 20 plus years ago for my neice when she was a toddler and recently repaired for my daughter –

  23. bethon 02 May 2008 at 4:04 pm

    oops – niece, not neice