wrong! all answers are wrong!

“What!” Sydelle Pulaski cried.

I repeat: Wrong! All answers are wrong! Partnerships are canceled; you are on your own. Alone.

Erm . . . wait, this isn’t The Westing Game (the best book ever written–and if you’re a fan, as all those who’ve read it are, you must click on that link). But that’s what I always think when something is wrong. Amazingly, despite 75 entries, no one hit on the number of knitting books I own exactly. Let’s take a look at the numbers.

The average was 40.5.

The median (middle) number was 42.

The mode (most common) were 27, 33, 42, and 44 (three each).

The highest offered, by Robin, was 112 (egads!).

The lowest offered was a tie, MeBeth and Elinor, at 17.

How many books do I have? I’m practically embarrassed to reveal it now. Let’s take a look at my bookshelf.

my knitting bookshelf

That’s it. I swear. 16 books. See, what you guys don’t seem to know about me is that I am cheap. My stash is rather small too, though the way I talk about it you might not realize it. I mean, what all do I knit? Hats that I make up myself, mittens that I modify for myself, sweaters from magazines, and socks. Small things. Free Internet pattern things.

The bookshelf is not usually this “organized,” but for the photo I moved the Interweaves and other magazines to one side. My most-used books are, of course, the Barbara Walkers–both stolen from my mom. Some were gifts, but as I’ve said before, no one really gives me knitting stuff as gifts. It’s not as if I don’t love knitting books, and not that I don’t find inspiration from them. The collection is growing–I’ve added a bit in the last few months–and I expect to see it grow. There is, however, one more book that I could put on this shelf, but it’s not a reference so I don’t, but I can’t deny that it’s got knitting content. It’s also the most hysterical book I own, and I’m proud to say I worked on it.

kitschy stitches

That brings the total up to 17, so I’m going to award the contest to both MeBeth and Elinor. (How could I pick just one or the other?) I meant to get to a knitting shop this weekend to see what I could get for the prizes, but I was crazy busy and didn’t get around to it. Both of you guys email me your mailing addresses, and I promise to come through soon. MeBeth, maybe we meet at The Point and I send you on a (small) shopping spree! We’ll get another of whatever you get (or something of equal value) for Elinor.

Now for the other winner. My 2000th comment came from Liz K. from Crossroad Knits! And I couldn’t be more thrilled that she hit the number exactly, because she’s such a delightful and loving person, who I’m so happy to count as one of my friends. A long while back we discovered a shared love of great cheese, and we would email with Philly restaurant recommendations and reviews. Since I moved to New York, she’s been an enormous source of support, sharing her own stories and just being there for me if I needed someone. Her blog (which she shares with two other amazing women) is a great read, too! So Liz, please email me your mailing address, and I’ll get something (again, a mystery–bad contest runner, Minty! [slaps hand]) to you soon.

Thanks to everyone for playing! I have a lot more blogs to add to my out-of-control blogroll, and I hope to see you more often in the comments section! And since I’ve revealed my pathetic knitting book collection: What’s the book I should own that I don’t? Recommendations?

31 Responses to wrong! all answers are wrong!

  1. Stacey says:

    I love love love that you quote the Westing Game – one of my all time favourite books. I could probably quote the entire thing. :)

    As for knitting books, I have about the same amount & many of the same ones. The book I can’t live without is Sensational Knitted socks. I also refer to Knitting Rules by Yarn Harlot quite a bit.

  2. Jessica Rose says:

    Congrats to all the winners. and to you for your first even contest. it was a lot of fun.

    i’m also slowly building my book collections. I’m equally as cheap. I’m not sure how many i have. but have purchased several new sock books in the past couple months (they are my favorite). My boyfriend decided it was high time i treat myself to something.

    anyways. congrats and keep it coming.

    Happy Knitting


  3. Ashley says:

    ACK–I wrote a long and thoughtful rsponse about which books you should add to your library, but then I forgot to enter the security code so it got eaten. Short version: Last-Minute Knitted Gifts and some Nancy Bush (probably Folk Socks).

  4. modjac says:

    You’ve got to be kidding me. Just the act of starting a contest about how many books you’ve got IMPLIES that you have enough that it’s worth guessing. And you don’t have the stitch -n- bitch books! Why not? Even *I* have those… ;)

  5. modjac says:

    Oh, and also, you can’t have more than one mode. There’s no mode in your data set if all the most common points show up more than once. Sorry for the extreme nerdiness I just displayed here.

  6. Kristen says:

    I haven’t even counted my knitting books, so I’m not sure if I’ve got more or less books than you do. My parents gave me a nice Amazon gift card for birthday/Christmas last year, so I got a lot of Nancy Bush and Elizabeth Zimmerman, but honestly…I still don’t know. Plus, there’s a bunch in storage (I think). I can’t count them until we find our own place. Perhaps I’ll have a contest to celebrate that when it happens :)

  7. Lynne E. says:

    You really should add a copy of Montse Stanley’s KNITTER’S HANDBOOK (aka HANDKNITTER’S HANDBOOK). As a collector, I probably have a lot more than 112 books, but Stanley’s is the one I’d want if marooned on a desert island. Every knitting technique you can think of is in there.

  8. sprite says:

    Somehow I always envision that other knitters have way more advanced libraries than I do. (This may be because, when looked at in the context of my library as a whole, knitting books form such a small portion of the books I own.) I’m glad I’m not the only one without tons and tons of books.

  9. Erin says:

    Great reference to The Westing Game!

    I have to say that Minty, of course, is correct with regard to modes. I’m no statistics whiz, but multimodal distributions are not rare.

  10. Jessica says:

    LOL. You’re just like me. I really don’t have many knitting books… but I’m working on it. ;) As for recommendations, I’d probably say any Nancy Bush sock book would be a good addition. I have a couple on the way myself.

  11. gleek says:

    wow, boy am i lucky to have such a big family that knows about my amazon wishlist :) that’s the only reason why i’ve been able to collect so many great knitting books! my only suggestion is that you stock up on nancy bush sock books. they are the ones that i use the most.

  12. SpaceCase says:

    Thank you so much for the Westing Game link! That’s still one of my all-time favorite books.

    I’m also a devotee of free internet patterns – I print them out and put them in binders for future perusal.

  13. Delia says:

    OMG, I LOVE the Westing Game. My 4th grade teacher read us a chapter a week through the entire year… and since then I’ve read it about 5 more times. Thanks for the link!

  14. schrodinger says:

    Congrats to the winners, I’m particularly pleased to see that Mebeth was one of them. Thanks for the competition, I’m happy to report that I am cheaper than you, with less than 10 knitting books on the shelves.

  15. Karen says:

    How funny that I just assumed you’d have many more than I do. I think I guessed 54 or something – I actually took the number off my row counter for a current project. :) I’d agree with those who said one of Nancy Bush’s books would make a great addition. Of course, I can’t wait to take a look at More Sensational Knitted Socs when that comes out!! That may be worth holding out for.

  16. Veronique says:

    Oh, you should definitely come to the Point and meet all the Spiders! They sell Nancy Bush sock books there, and I’m sure we can convince you to pick one :) Even though I admire your restraint… (Of which I have none).

  17. frecklegirl jess says:

    You have some good ones there- even if it is a little collection. :) NY apartments are pretty small so it is probably better, space-wise.

    The new lace style book looks cool but I don’t have it yet. I do like the new Interweave sock book.

  18. Jenn says:

    I am ashamed of my collection now…..and I keep adding to it! I love the new Interweave sock book – even with a good collection of Interweaves, it’s got several new patterns, and some that I don’t have from past issues.
    And I totally love The Westing Game – one of my all time favorites.

  19. MeBeth says:

    I’m cheap too – oh so cheap – when it comes to book shopping. I’m a big fan of the NYPL. And I would be delighted with random yarn rejects or any other prize, or just the prize of meeting up for coffee! And cake!

  20. nova says:

    Minty! Get thee some Nancy Bush…STAT!!

    I love that you have 17 books in your collection…your collection is the polar opposite of mine! There is quite a lot to be said for not “cluttering” your book collection though.

  21. Rachel says:

    Dammit! I knew I should have assumed Price Is Right rules and guessed 1. And done it just a few minutes sooner, too.

    If I bring 65 gift knitting books (or whatever it would have taken to get you up to my answer) to you in NYC this week, can I win retroactively?

  22. stacey says:

    I just finished that book!!!! I read it as a kid, and just had to re-read it!
    That’s a pretty respectable number of books – I don’t even think I have that many!

  23. Jennifer says:

    I have a similar collection! I would agree with the comment about the Knitters Handbook–I find it invaluable. Also Last Minute Knitted Gifts (but that was my first one, and it’s signed, so perhaps that’s why I like it). Although it’s not really a knitting book, I’m very glad I purchased The Yarn Harlot.

  24. beckie says:

    I have been drooling over the Barbara Walker books. But, alas, I am cheap also. Money has to come from somewhere and it is not in my pocketbook!
    Impressive selection..

  25. Jodie says:

    I almost put a small number! I have hardly any knitting books (5 or 6?) and I thought you would be more like me, but the Rowan books threw me off. Darn it!

    Great contest! I love seeing what other people have in their knitting collection.

  26. Kim says:

    I can’t say I see any obvious holes in your collection. I like to have the Finishing Techniques book and/or the Knitter’s Companion to help me remember the various kinds of cast-ons, decreases, increases, etc., but if you don’t need that (and it’s all on the Internet) then you can save your bookshelf space.

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