I read quite a few knitting and crafting blogs. I enjoy knowing what other people are up and all the clever things your average crafter comes up with. The other day I was perusing one of my regular blogs and I came across an article about the Sweater Curse.
The premise of the Sweater Curse is, if you knit a sweater for a person with whom you have a serious romantic interest, that relationship will either end before the completion of the sweater or immediately after. There is circumstantial evidence that this curse also applies to scarves.
One explanation of the Sweater Curse is, handmade sweaters are typically thick, clingy and stretchy. The handmade sweater suggests the maker wants to surround this partner with love and warmth. However, to some men* this is a sign that this particular knitter has serious plans regarding his future. For those not ready for such a commitment it can cause fear, anxiety and a crushing sense of claustrophobia. The love and warmth previously mentioned will be felt as the shackle to a ball and chain; thus this gift of love can cause the unintended side effect of turning your paramour into an Olympic sprinter headed for the exit sign.
Among my research, there was mention that a deliberate mistake within the knitting will negate the Sweater Curse by suggesting the article does not hold as much sentimentality as the gift would suggest.
When I knitted my first sweater I made it for Paul. I, of course, did not know about this curse at the time so felt completely safe making it. There were no catastrophic repercussions, but then again, the sweater was not perfect. The grafting was sloppy, the decreases were obvious and the yarn was absolutely huge! As it turns out I may have been saved by this little loophole in the Sweater Curse, the next sweater I made him was almost perfect. There were no glaring errors anyway, and by that time we were already engaged and planning our wedding.
Apparently the Sweater Curse need not apply to married or engaged couples. A handmade sweater for a husband or fiancé is alleged to keep him safe and warn off other women. If the handmade sweater is not enough, you can always put some colour-work on the back ‘PROPERTY OF MRS. ____________.’ To go so far may risk the unpleasant effects of the Sweater Curse to resurface.
I learned there was a Wikipedia article about this specific curse; I was thrilled. Usually I have a hard time finding really good references like this and I find it extremely amusing that it is in Wikipedia! Of all the things!
*I am using the pronoun ‘he’ since I have a ‘he’ at home… and it was exhausting to dance around gender specific pronouns.