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"There wasn't wool enough in the basket to knit socks for those feet"

Posted by Neel Rocco on June 23, 2006

"There wasn't wool enough in the basket to knit socks for those feet".
This sentence appears in book by Irish author Sebastian Barry (A long, long way). It appears just after the main character (whose words they are) has been offended on his Irishness by an Englishman who considers himself very witty. We are in 1918 in the British army on the Western Front in Belgium.
Does anyone have a clue what this sentence means? Any help or hints would be appreciated - I am working on the Danish translation of this book.
Thank you