Purls of Wisdom

Handwork and History: Knitting with The First Ladies

Posted by Laura Kelly on Sat, Feb 18, 2012 @ 09:43 AM

This is President’s Day weekend, and while many folks take advantage of a few extra days off by going away, I’m going to take you to the nation’s capital.  No, it isn’t to go to camp with our comrades down at The Sidwell Friends School, but to the White House.  You read that right, The White House.  I don’t have top secret clearance, but I do have inside knowledge of the crafts that used to go on in The First House.  Time for a little bit of handwork and history my friends...Knitting Camp

 

During the time of the American Revolution it was considered unpatriotic to buy goods that were made in England, so many American women picked up needles & yarn and began to stitch.  Knitting was a symbol of liberty!

Do you know of any First Ladies that were handy with yarn?  Here’s a quick list:

  • There are records that show Martha Washington sold knitted socks to raise money for the Revolutionary era troops

  • Edith Roosevelt used to have knitting circles at The White House

  • Grace Coolidge sponsored a knitting competition that was judged by Vogue Magazine

  • Eleanor Roosevelt was once introduced as “first knitter of the land” and was pictured on her Christmas card knitting

Eleanor Roosevelt Knits

Crafts are important to thos of us that participate in them.  Whether it's sewing, crocheting, knitting, or embroidery there is probably a little bit of history involved in it that you never knew about.

I’ll bet that you never thought knitting was part of the fabric of our American History did you?!

Tags: crafts, history, teach kids to knit, stitch, Knitting, camp, Handwork