Sweater curse

For day 3 of #blog12daysxmas

For Christmas this year Wayne asked for an orange knitted jumper. I spent ages looking for just the right orange yarn and eventually found it but the shop didn’t have quite enough for a jumper so, having discovered some beautiful chunky Debbie Bliss Donegal Tweed yarn, I asked if perhaps a mustard yellow might be an acceptable substitute. Yes!


I bought nine skeins of this lovely yarn, enough for Erika Knight’s Tweed Cable Sweater but, for reasons discussed back here, that plan didn’t work out and we decided instead on a vintage 60s pattern for a plain round neck jumper.

The vintage jumper would have used just seven skeins if I hadn’t messed up and had to re-knit the neckline, although I still have enough left over for another small project. Anyway, here is the jumper finished with the re-knit neckline. I went up one needle size when casting off the back of the neck and two sizes for the front which turned out much better so I’ll keep that in mind for future projects.


It’s the first jumper I’ve knit for Wayne but, after 23 years together, I think we should be safe from the (cue music of doom) Sweater Curse.

Knitters will know what I’m talking about and, astonishingly, there is even a Wikipedia entry for it, complete with footnotes.

Knitters use the term “sweater curse” or “curse of the love sweater” to describe a situation in which a knitter gives a hand-knit sweater to a significant other, who quickly breaks up with the knitter. In an alternative formulation, the relationship will end before the sweater is even completed. The belief is widely discussed in knitting publications and some knitters claim to have experienced it; a recent poll indicated that 15% of active knitters say they have experienced the sweater curse firsthand, and 41% consider it a possibility that should be taken seriously.

Despite its name, the “sweater curse” is treated in knitting literature not as a superstition governed by paranormal forces, but rather as a real-world pitfall of knitting that has real-world explanations and solutions. Several plausible mechanisms for the sweater curse have been proposed, but it has not been studied systematically.

Adrienne Martini touches on the sweater curse in her book Sweater Quest also noting that little is known of how the curse operates in same-sex relationships. So, there you go.

Since I bought it, the Debbie Bliss Donegal Chunky Tweed has been discontinued and there are closeout bargains to be had. Although I paid full price for the Mustard, I scored another nine skeins in tweedy blue Denim, a bargain at half price, which I’m planning to use for the Erika Knight Tweed Cable Sweater for myself, a project for next year.

Details of the yarn and pattern on my Ravelry page.


8 responses to “Sweater curse

  1. Interesting! We haven’t seen @waltpanorama modeling his gift. Did he like it?

  2. That was really interesting, Tony. Now are you going to tell us about whether @waltpanorama liked the end result? We haven’t seen him modelling it 🙂 But I suppose it’s not really the season.

  3. I loved it! And fear not, I think we are quite safe from the Sweater Curse.

  4. Just found your blog url through instagram. I’ve been reading through while listening to Christmas songs. Lovely! Thank you. x

  5. Q – I love it! And as for the sweater curse, the Hubs and I have been together for 40 years but he’s definitely NOT knit-worthy so I don’t have to worry about the curse. 😎 This is a man who throws his silk shirts into the washing machine and dryer! Sigh….
    Enjoying your site!

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