Sunday stitching: right or wrong?

September 26, 2009 at 3:29 pm | Posted in Knitting morals | 1 Comment
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A lovely S&B Londoner has been kind enough to track down The Girl’s Own Paper and Woman’s Magazine from March 1927. Where Flora Kilckmann answers the needling question below. We passed the question along to our Gerty to see what she had to say on the matter.

My husband and I have had an argument about knitting on a Sunday.  Will you decide for us?  Is it right or wrong?
Confused, Clapham

Dear Confused

Oh dear! Sounds like you need to hang up your circular needles on a Sunday to maintain domestic bliss in the ‘Confused of Clapham’ household! Nothing’s better than an easy life, right?!

Alternatively, you could just tell him to stuff it. Maybe you should ask him whether sitting around watching (insert sport here) all day is allowed on a Sunday. See what justification he has for his leisure pursuits on the day of rest! We’re all entitled to a bit of down time!!

Love and snuggly stuff,

Auntie Gerty

The original from The Girls own paper and Woman’s Magazine.

Edited by Flora Kilckmann March 1927

We have had an Argument about Knitting on Sunday.  Will you Decide for us?  Is it Right or Wrong?

No one can decide foe another on this point.  It is a matter for the individual conscience to settle, and must entirely depend on circumstances.

There is no decree in the Bible against knitting on Sunday.  The Commandment to do no work on that day does not necessarily affect knitting, because knitting is not always work – it may be recreation (though I do not mean to imply that all recreations are desirable for the Sabbath; some most certainly are not !).

You need to go much further back than the question of actual knitting to solve this problem.  The day has gone past when good women considered it allowable to pin a piece of frilling in the neck of their best frock on Sunday, but sinful to tack it in with a needle !  We need to look to the spirit rather than the letter of God’s ordinance which requires us to give special observance to His day.

Sunday was instituted that we might have a period each week free from the constant demands of work, and thus have the opportunity to think about the Creator.  Also, it was given us as a day of rest and recuperation.

Now, one point for you to decide is this: Granted that knitting is not your daily work but merely a recreation, does it hinder your thoughts from turning towards heavenly things?  If so, it is undesirable.

Or does it help you to quiet mental concentration?  I know several spiritually-minded women who find that knitting is an aid to deep thinking.  It can be a purely mechanical process that promotes thinking, just as walking enables many people to work out an article or sermon, or a problem more easily than if they were sitting still.

In this way knitting differs from most other recreations; you cant play golf or tennis for instance, and be thinking about the deeper concerns of the soul.  Whereas with knitting you can.

We all need some special time when we can drop, for the moment, the things that appertain exclusively to this world, and send our thoughts in the direction of the world to come.  Nowadays it is difficult to find time to be quiet, and also very difficult to sit still and do nothings with one’s hands in one’s lap.  The nervous tension of the age makes it almost impossible for some women to sit still for ten consecutive minutes without movement of some kind.

When knitting helps to compose and calm a nervous temperament (as it often does), and promote quiet thought, then it is desirable.

Nevertheless, one must remember that actions which are not sinful in themselves may yet have a hurtful effect on others.  Should your knitting prove a stumbling blovk to someone else, or even a cause of irritation to those who hold other views, then it should be regarded as one of those things which are inexpedient.

This brings me back to my starting point: Each person must think out and decide this question herself on its individual merits.  Our Heavenly Father evidently wishes us to give as much time as we can, on Sundays, to worship and prayer, and quiet thought about spiritual things.  It is for us to try to carry out His wishes in whatever way we find most helpful to this end—provided it does not hinder another soul who is striving to live aright.

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