The Knitter’s Souvenirs

Many knitters enjoy discovering a treasure in a yarn shop as a remembrance of their vacation.   In the days before a LYS in Baton Rouge, I traveled with a yarn list so that I could purchase a year’s worth of knitting.  But what’s a knitter to buy in a place like Walt Disney World?  Never fear, gentle reader:  there are knitter’s souvenirs to be found!

Elizabeth Zimmermann named her Tomten Jacket for “the small Swedish elf who specializes in good deeds”.  I was in the Norway pavilion of Epcot, drooling onshopping for, looking at Dale of Norway sweaters, when I spotted this fellow. It was his red sweater and cap that got my attention, actually.  His hang tag said he is a Farm Nisse, a “small humanlike creature, which lives on farms in Norway.  He is not exactly an elf or dwarf.  He is simply a Farm Nisse.  He dwells mainly in barns, stables and stalls, but he also inhabits lofts and attics – so long as they are not too tidy.”  (Oh, he would be right at home in my studio!)  “The Farm Nisse is kind and helpful.  He takes care of people and animals all year round.  It is very important to be on good terms with the Farm Nisse, otherwise strange incidents can occur on the farm.  It is wise to remember the Nisse during Christmas and to put out a bowl of porridge for him.”    (Porridge, eh?  Some things just won’t translate well to Louisiana, I can see.)

Well, this Nisse must be the Norwegian cousin of Elizabeth’s Tomtem.  Clearly he needed to come home to my studio, and here he is, proudly residing on the shelves my Grandfather Z.  built. 

There was another knitter’s souvenir to be found in the United Kingdom pavilion.  This tote, a generous 12″ x 16″, is made of heavy-duty vinyl (shiny!), and lined with a silky fabric, complete with zippered pocket and magnetic bag closure. Its tag says it was inspired by “the famous paintings of Thomas Joseph, who lives in Carrickfergus on the shores of Belfast Lough.  Thomas loves to paint silly sheep and landscapes”.  Why, yes he does.  I love the red sheep print, too.  It is clearly a knitter’s bag.



  1. Knitnana said,

    May 22, 2009 at 11:34 am

    I ADORE those sheep – I’ve seen them around…he does a calendar, too I think!
    Your Nisse is perfect – porridge huh…I don’t have a recipe to share, sorry.

  2. Birdsong said,

    May 22, 2009 at 5:39 pm

    Very grand souvenirs! We have garden gnomes who help keep the place in order, and a dish gnome who often forgets to come by and do them:) I love the sheep tote bag, perfect for that Dale of Norway sweater or Tomten Jacket you have just gotten inspired to make.

  3. AlisonH said,

    May 22, 2009 at 7:05 pm

    Oh fun! I’ve got a knitting bag with “We Rogues of Wool” from Little Dee. Sheep thrills for our yarns.

  4. Debby said,

    May 25, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    Your Nisse and sheep bags are so cute! What great finds at Disney.

    Your Swing Swing sweater looks great on you — what a perfect color!

  5. Laura Gallagher said,

    May 25, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    Surely you can get porridge there.

    If not, I expect grits would meet the need.

    Nice to see those shelves again – I have always loved those, such a work of beauty he made.

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