Saturday, July 3, 2004

Historical Yarn; More Invites

Last night the family enjoyed the local fireworks.  One of my favorites was one done in a light green, pink and purple with little glittery specks.  If I didn't know better, I'd say I was referring to the tam and camisole I had just finished crocheting for my daughter.  It was a great display and a time to reflect upon why our country is so great.

Yesterday I discussed that James Buchanan was a crocheter, and that Franklin Roosevelt was a knitter.  So in continuation of my Historical Tea Party thoughts, I decided to do a little research of how images of fiber were used in American history.  I learned that the image of yarn has been used in other Presidencies.  This means I have two more invitations to extend for my Historical Tea Party. 

Once you become a servant of the government, your image, your likeness, is no longer "yours" -- it's public domain.  And political cartoonists enjoy this liberty by drawing how they feel a particular President is doing (this practice still continues today!).  Please note that I will not be sharing my views on government policy, how good or bad a particular President is or was -- I'm merely thinking about how those in power either used fiber art, or were portrayed as using it.  That being said, I'll let you draw your own conclusions about our history, polices and such.

The first I'd extend an invitation to today is Abe Lincoln, one of our most honored Presidents pictured in the cartoon on the left. The cartoon, from an 1861 edition of Harper's Weekly, depicts Abe as untangling a ball of yarn that represents the turmoil the country was in -- the southern states wanting to exercise their rights to leave the Union; and the Union wanting to keep the country together as a whole, while granting freedom to a people in need.

(Now if they had another cartoon later on to follow it up after the civil war, it should be one of him knitting ... to represent becoming a "close-knit" country again; or one of him crocheting, as we're "all linked together.")

The second invitation today would be given to
William Taft.  In the cartoon to the right, yarn was once again utilized to depict confusion. Taft is shown as having too many issues for a President to deal with, and apparently, judging by how tangled he is in the yarn, he was really confused!  (Don't worry William, we can help you untangle it at the Tea Party and even teach you how to knit or crochet it.)  This cartoon, not shown in it's entirety, is Joseph Keppler's 1910 cartoon for Puck.

Now, let me give some credit:

1.  Lincoln's cartoon is available for sale at the following website:

2. You can see Taft's cartoon in it's entirety, and learn about other Political cartoons by visiting

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