I am now the proud owner of a Firkin.
It is not a new pet or a new electronic gadget or a piece of gardening gear. My Grandmother gave it to me a few months ago, after a conversation that went something like this:
Grandma "I have something for you"
Me "Oh, what is it?"
Grandma "Well, it belonged to your great, great Aunt Lucy and I think you will really like it."
Me "Wow - what is it?"
Grandma "It's a firkin."
Me: "A what?"
Grandma: "A firkin."
Grandma: "Here, just let me show you."
Turns out it was the round wooden thing that Grandma kept her knitting stuff in that has been sitting in her livingroom for years that Grandpa would sometimes set his glass of juice down on and get yelled at for it.
Why it is called a firkin was a mystery to me so I went to the answerer of all questions, Google. Turns out that a firkin is just what it looks like - A small wooden barrel or covered vessel. But why is is called a firkin?
A firkin is a British unit of capacity, usually equal to about 1/4 of a barrel or 9 gallons (34 liters). So, a firkin is the size of 1/4 of a barrel, so I guess they just called it a "firkin" to save time and eliminate confusion.
They date from the middle to late 1800's and were used to store liquids, butter, fish, lard, etc.
Or in our case, knitting needles.