Knitting with FDR

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Knitting with FDR

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Franklin Delano Roosevelt with his wife Eleanor

My friend Daia stumbled across this photo and thought that I would find it of great interest since I am in the yarn business. The photo features the 32nd president of the United States, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and his wife Eleanor as newlyweds. I always find it exhilarating to see famous people knitting, so you can imagine my excitement to see one of our former presidents engaged in one of our favorite pastimes. I hope you all will enjoy this photo as much as I do.

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  • I enjoyed this picture too! Thanks for sharing!! 🙂

  • This is a wonderful photo, thank you so very much for sharing it with us..

  • It’s a cute picture, but FDR was only holding Eleanor’s knitting for a minute…he was a big stamp collector, but didn’t knit.

  • Lauren is absolutely right. FDR absolutely adored his wife & therefore, eagerly encouraged her to do whatever she wanted to do if it was something she enjoyed, whether it was personal or political. She loved her knitting & so did he.

    • If he adored his wife, why did he have an affair with Lucy Mercer, Eleanor’s social secretary?  It ended only when his mother threatened to disinherit him if he did not give up Lucy. 

  • Very cool. And it makes me jealous. 🙁

  • Amazing, I couldn’t believe my eyes. It’s awesome to see a famous person knit-(crochet)an art that I think binds us all together as having that in common, among other things. Thank you for sharing.

  • Is this a photo that could be easily found while digging through a library – or is it something rare and special that someone has? I would love to find a copy of it for my classroom.

  • Hi, Lisa – This picture has been published and one book where you can find it is in the book “Eleanor and Franklin” by Joseph P. Lash. It is also displayed on the wall in the FDR Presidential museum in Hyde Park, NY. Eleanor was the knitter and had her knitting with her often – knitting for the war effort was one of her causes.

  • Thank you SO MUCH Heather!

  • […] Knitting with FDR […]

  • Nice picture, but FDR is only holding her knitting for her. On the other hand, this is a great leap forward. Very few men would do even this. I happen to have one of the good ones.

  • Anne L. Macdonald’s _No Idle Hands: The Social History of American Knitting_ (1988) has MANY photos of men knitting, from elderly Civil War veterans to Columbia University students. Although I can’t find it now, there’s also a photo of the two British princes knitting in the 1930s.

  • I saw a documentary on Eleanor Roosevelt. She was a delegate to the Security Council of the United Nations. During the meeting she was knitting. I mention this when someone criticizes my knitting in a meeting!

  • What a fine looking couple they were. Even though FDR may only be holding Eleanor’s knitting, he looks supremely comfortable with it, as if it is something every man, of any status, would be happy to do. It should inspire more men to knit.

  • I loved the picture of FDR and Eleanor. She was a wonderful woman. Back inthe 1940,s my grandfather was hospitalized for a very long time with a lung disease. To pass the time he was taught to knit. He was a wonderful knitter and made many things for the family.

  • While in college in early 1950s, a handsome psychology professor had the most wonderfully colored hand knit sweaters, readily noticed by the female students! We learned that he had learned to knit while a long term patient in a military hopital; he also recommended that all of us learn to knit, or a similar craft,especially one that “brings results” for the effort. He recognized that some of us also made clothes. I studied tailoring later, do fine quilting, and knit and chochet (the latter left handed) yet, at 76. From Denver

  • Actually FDR did knit.

  • Washer…

    […]Knitting with FDR | Lion Brand Notebook[…]…

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