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.

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Friday Fun

Our firstborn had a 4″ red ball she loved. We called the game “catch” when she was about two years old. In reality, she threw the ball as hard has she could, and we brought it back so she could throw it again.

Our parents lived several states away, so a summer trip home was organized to visit. My Dad had a jewelry store in a farming community. Because he was pretty much tied to the store during the day. he arranged for a local farmer to drop off a large basket of tomatoes at the store. When Dad came home for lunch, he brought the tomato basket, and put it on the floor near the refrigerator.

“Ball!” crowed dd, and ran for the basket. Before I could catch her she had picked up a 4″ tomato and (say it together now) thrown it as hard as she could.

Thank heavens she was turned towards the tile floor, and not the pastel oriental rug under the table. (Oh, see yesterday’s picture of Minky. The rug lives on, now in my living room.)

Friday Fun

I think every Friday needs a smile, so I am establishing my own tradition: Friday Fun.

My Grandpa Z loved to tell a story about the restaurant in the train station. It was a large, full service restaurant with high ceilings and glass walls. Well into the 1950’s it was considered classy. A fellow came in one morning and sat down at the counter, asking the waiter “F u n e x?”

“S, v f x.” he replied

“F u n e m? the man asked.

“S, v f m.” came the answer.

“I’ll f m n x.” was his order.

We never tired of saying this to each other. It’s a joke from the era of Marzey Dotes, after all. Just say it out loud, and you’ll get it. Happy Friday!