Thursday, 6 November 2014

Every Woman is Knitting

From the Manchester Guardian, November 6, 1914.

Bringing Their Work.

One of the many curious little social changes that have come about during the war is to be seen after dinner in the aspect of any of the big hotel lounges in the West End.  Every woman is knitting, and the talk is largely about knitting, but for the main part there is very little talk nowadays.  Aged women and middle-aged women, who had long since given up old-fashioned ideas of “bringing your work,” are now, in a way, living their youth over again through the impetus of the war.  Girls who never knew what “work” of this kind was are to be seen with stretched arms holding skeins of wool while others are winding it.  It would be difficult to conceive a greater change than the scene in these places—a few weeks ago tango teas, slit skirts, and feverish clutching at all that was bizarre and new and daring, to-day a scene of quiet, thoughtful dullness, like one from a Jane Austen novel.  These hands are very busy, but the thoughts are very far away.  Sometimes a letter is fingered and the knitting drops.

[Apart from confirming that there was a huge effort  in late 1914 to knit comforts for the troops, and for the sick and wounded, this report offers an interesting sidelight on the status of needle crafts in Victorian times, when evidently women were expected to have some work on hand to take to social occasions.] 

No comments:

Post a Comment