Here are the fronts - Prairie Schooler 'Old World Santas II'.
You can see the ink blue shawl underneath. I used Sirdar ' Blur' with kid mohair, 50 gram balls. I knitted this one on the needle size recommended by Sirdar (5.5mm) and it blocked out to the exact size, but the next one I have started on 4mm needles which will make it a little bigger and lacier. The pattern calls for 100 grams of wool, which will be easily achievable from the 2 balls of Blur.
And now....the reverse of the ornaments.I chose to back the first one with fabric, but then preferred a cross stitch backing. So much for 'making them simple and keeping them quick'. The cross stitching is fast, but I find the finishing more time-consuming, but - definitely worth it. I just sit down and resign myself to the detail.
This not-very-good photo shows the edge and mixed stitch snowflakes on the back of the candy-cane Santa.
So what were yesterday's photos all about???
Well, here on the North East coast of England we still have teams of men who go down to the beach every day to collect sea-coal.
There are different theories about where the name 'sea-coal' comes from - some say it is the discarded fragments left over from the many coal mines in this part of the world, especially the Durham fields, all now sadly closed, others say it is coal washed into the sea from exposed seams along the coast, some say it is because this coal was an easy harvest from the beach, some that it was because coal was carried to the whole of England and beyond, by sea. It was gathered by the Romans and the Anglo Saxons, so there is a long and noble history.
It is not lumps of coal, but more a gritty dust which is washed in by the tide. The men who gather it walk along the beach with a rake, making circles in the sand as they go to gauge how deep the coal is, and then when deep enough, they rake and shovel it into the heaps shown on the photo.
Years ago, in harder times, men from the villages would bag it up in sacks and balancing it on the cross-bar of their pedal bikes, they would walk it home for domestic burning. I can just remember my Dad doing this.
Now small, very old, wagons follow the men and the coal is shovelled up onto them and taken, dripping, for burning to Power Stations. The price per tonne is tiny, it hardly seems worth all the mind-bending effort on freezing cold Winter mornings.
But men do it.
We are hardy people, we North-Easterners!
Thanks for visiting