On the sofa lay Ethel, with a patchwork cushion behind her shoulders and a rug of knitted wool squares covering her legs. Her left arm was supported by a sling made of one of those vividly patterned red-and-yellow handkerchiefs which were once the working neckwear of the countryman.
Doe it mean that that rug consisted of knitted wool squares. So there was one knitted wool square next to another one and another one ... and they made up the rug? Yes. My mother still makes blankets like this.
I understand that such handkerchiefs were once worn by the working countryman. What does "neckwear" here mean? Maybe that they had these handkerchiefs just wrapped around their necks? Yes, probably tied in a loose knot at the front.
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