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Sarah E. White

Do You Believe in the Sweater Curse?

By February 13, 2008

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One of my favorite urban legends having to do with knitting revolves around the sweater curse, the idea that if you knit your significant other something like a sweater (or probably any other large, time consuming project) they'll soon after leave you.

Maybe it's because you're not very experienced and the sweater is so ugly they don't want to have to wear it in public. Maybe they're afraid of the level of commitment implied in all the hours you spent making something (even something beautiful and useful) for them. Or maybe there really is a curse.

I'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences with the sweater curse. Have you knit someone you were dating a sweater and it turned out well? Or are you living proof that the curse is a reality? Share your stories in the comments after answering the poll.

Poll: Do you believe in the sweater curse?
View Results


February 13, 2008 at 3:57 pm
(1) Judy says:

Several years ago my 16 year old niece knit a sweater for her boyfriend when he moved away. He emailed her a thank-you note and at the ended wrote that he’d met a new girl and she thought the sweater was gorgeous!

February 13, 2008 at 3:59 pm
(2) Lynne says:

My girlfriend knit a sweater for her husband just after they were married. He was quite excited watching its progress; he’d chosen the color and pattern and couldn’t wait to wear it. However, he wore it a grand total of 15 minutes! He claimed it was too hot and too heavy and it made him itch. My girlfriend suggested he wear a t-shirt under it and he said “That will make me look fat!” Their marriage survived, but she’s never knit him so much as a scarf since.

February 13, 2008 at 4:02 pm
(3) Pat says:

My daughter started one for her boyfriend but they quarreled and she unraveled it to make one for herself instead! A much better idea.

February 13, 2008 at 5:22 pm
(4) Mark says:

I got the “Cursed by a Sweater Curse.” A directory of my company gave me a sweater that his daughter made for him, but which wouldn’t fit him. I felt that I had to wear it.

February 14, 2008 at 7:58 pm
(5) Deb says:

I hope the curse is fake, I just gave my husband of 30 years a hand-made sweater for Christmas!

February 15, 2008 at 2:18 pm
(6) Vicky Savitz says:

When I first met my husband of 40 years I was a novice knitter, the sweater I knitted didn’t fit in all places, but He unpicked it and knitted it himself. Apparently when he was ill he knitted blanket squares and carried on from their. He taught me how to knit!!!!
Now thats love!!

February 15, 2008 at 4:20 pm
(7) Ann Hildebrandt says:

I have knitted many sweaters for my husband and other people. My husband and I have been married 57 years with no complaints.

February 15, 2008 at 5:16 pm
(8) Sasha Rock says:

A slightly different version of it happened to me – I began knitting a sweater for a dear friend and before it was finished we quarreled and parted ways. So I decided to give it to a different friend and we also quarreled and parted ways. I eventually kept it for myself and now only knit small items like scarves or shopping bags for friends. I’ve since reconciled with both friends, but I’m definitely never making another sweater for either one! Wouldn’t want to lose them again!

February 16, 2008 at 7:24 am
(9) Jen says:

Don’t know about a “sweater curse” but I fell victim to the “sock curse.” I went to a sock-knitting class to make a pair for my boyfriend. Couldn’t afford enough yarn for a sweater because he was a big guy. It took a long time for me to finish the socks and by then we’d called it quits. They were so big that I couldn’t wear them nor could my dad so I gave them to Goodwill. Hopefully somebody got some use out of them.

February 16, 2008 at 10:21 am
(10) Ann Costa says:

I have a different story. I knitted a very intricate cable sweater for my love. He has worn it twice. I often ask him why he doesn’t wear it and he says he doesn’t want to ruin it because he watched me make it and knew it was a lot of work. He has worn it to a family function on my side of the family and once on his side of the family. He says everyone that is important to him has seen it. Everyone complimented me on it. I have seen him looking at it but Why not wear it?

February 17, 2008 at 5:06 pm
(11) ka says:

ha! i have never heard of the curse but had it happened to me! knitted a hat for a boyfriend, he left me later on. i do think it was not because of just the hat but anyways..

February 18, 2008 at 1:47 am
(12) Mary Lee says:

Yep. I have a nice Aran Sweater that’s big and roomy – leftover from an X-boyfriend in 1983. He left, I got the sweater. Win-Win.
I also just knit myself a vest with yarn unraveled from another 1980′s Boyfriend sweater that never looked good on him. Maybe HE just never really looked good in IT! Yarn still looks good.
Debating whether to knit my husband a sweater…
I hope the sweater curse only strikes boyfriends and not husbands!
Doha, Qatar

February 18, 2008 at 8:12 am
(13) christie says:

i have a scarf curse. i knit scarves for men , they turn stupid. except for my guy friends, who love my scarves. but the guys i date, perhaps i spent too much time knitting and not enough dating them ? dragging yarn around..lol. so i have issued a moritorium on knitting anything else for someone i’m dating. the best people to knit for are people who are odd sizes, petite or big/tall. they appreciate garments that are finally comfortable. very tall people love long scarves.

February 19, 2008 at 8:41 am
(14) margaret wright says:

I knitted my then boyfriend a jumper and he wore it until it fell to bits, even after I’d machine-washed it and shrunk it a little. He has never thrown away any of the jumpers I have knitted for him and we’ve been married 34 years in June!

February 19, 2008 at 12:42 pm
(15) Rosa says:

Hi, this is the first time I hear about this curse.
I never knitted a sweater for my first husband, but he left me, when I was dating my second husband I knitted him a sweater, and two more sweaters after we got married and this marrige is growing better and better every year.

February 19, 2008 at 10:58 pm
(16) melissa says:

i just finished a beautiful silk cashmere sweater for my honey that i am incredibly proud of. He picked the pattern and later i found out about the curse. he said don’t be silly just knit the darn thing, so i did.
he loves it, and so far, still loves me!
either way, i know it will get plenty of wear cause it’s a perfect fit, and its gorgeous!!

February 20, 2008 at 7:31 pm
(17) Crass Panama says:

While I’m just learning to knit, my biggest project in the ‘yarn arts’ has been a very large afghan that I crocheted. It’s over seven feet long by five feet wide, of Lion Brand Wool-Ease. I don’t think it falls to the sweater curse, though, as I made it for both of us: I am six feet tall, and my boyfriend is taller. It is the only afghan we have that we both fit under comfortably!

February 21, 2008 at 10:12 am
(18) Stardust says:

I made a large ring patterned afghan for my new love while I was pregnant to do something while on bedrest. He left me in a very bad way. But the baby had the same colors of the afghan rings in her eyes so I told her it was fate that it was to be hers instead and she loves it.

December 12, 2008 at 5:32 pm
(19) Daniel says:

My mom knit my dad a sweater before they got engaged and they’re still together 37 years later!

October 31, 2011 at 8:59 pm
(20) Patricia says:

My book titled Curse of the Boyfriend Sweater is being released soon. It is a novel with seven original knitting patterns. I hope you enjoy it. http://curseoftheboyfriendsweater.blogspot.com/

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