- Community Archives of Belleville and Hastings County - http://cabhc.ca -

100 Years Ago: Knitting Socks on Sundays

The Intelligencer September 1, 1915 (page 2)

“Knitting Soldiers’ Socks on Sundays. The Editor Daily Intelligencer:—Kindly permit me space in your valuable paper for a few thoughts. During these times of war and stress, as everyone knows, nearly all the ladies are engaged in knitting to supply the ever increasing demand for socks for our soldier boys—knitting on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday—yes, and on Sunday. To some this appears to be a most terrible crime; they regard it as a great sin, and those who indulge in the practice of knitting on Sunday are ranked as sinners.

I believe some of the Belleville ladies are knitting on Sunday. Just what view they take of the matter or what defence they offer for their evil doing, I am not prepared to say, as I do not live in Belleville; but suffice it is to say that I commend them for their action, for I am a sinner—I knit on Sunday. My firm belief is that it is just as right for us to knit on Sunday as it is right for the soldier boys—our sons and brothers—to fight for not their rights, but our rights, on Sunday; and not only our rights, but our homes. Why should we not continue making supplies for our boys on Sunday as well as on Saturday? Wherein lies the crime of sitting quietly knitting a few rounds on the sock that will keep some poor fellow’s feet from being cold? We are convinced that we cannot work fast enough to supply the need. Our boys are working nobly for us—giving their all, if need be—should we sit with folded arms just because it is Sunday? …

It seems to me that if the ladies even went so far as to take their knitting with them to church, and though their eyes be on their work, their ears be on the preacher; even then, I say, they would be able to repeat the text, instead of telling you that Mrs. So and So has a new hat, and Mrs. So and So’s dress is altogether too bright. …  I attend to my church duties (for I am a church member) as heretofore, and knit between times, and thus far I have felt no prick of conscience, nor yet feel that my standard in Christian work is lowered in the least. …

I invite a discussion on the subject and trust that through the medium of your paper, some broad-minded citizens—not knockers—may air their views. Thanking you, Mr. Editor. I have the honor to be, A RED CROSS WORKER.”