It is already evident that one of the prime pantomime jests evolved from the war will be directed at the untiring industry displayed by so many ladies just now in knitting and sewing. “Sister Susie’s sewing shirts for soldiers” is to be heard well-nigh everywhere, while the comic man tangles himself and all around in knitting of the wildest description. This good-natured satire does not go very far beyond the mark, for some of the exhibitions of feminine zeal in this direction are almost of themselves a joke. Perhaps it was carrying the joke a little too far when, at the recent State opening of Parliament, an indefatigable lady passed the time of waiting for the King and Queen by knitting in the Royal Gallery of the Palace of Westminster. When, just as the picturesque procession was about to appear, she dropped her ball of wool, which rolled right on to the red carpet, and was rescued and restored by a gorgeously-clad official just in time, a humorous scene was provided which not even the most daring pantomime producer would have devised. The overflowing industry, indeed, has led to a demand for the creation of a name to fit the myriads who practise it. “Knitster” is suggested on the analogy of “spinster,” and it would have the advantage of meaning precisely what it indicated, while the latter has lost its original significance. The new word, in any case, might be preserved in the language as one of the war’s results.
[“Sister Susie’s sewing shirts for soldiers” was a popular song of 1914. The words are given in an earlier post.]