Breaking The Boyfriend Sweater Curse

It’s one of the most fervent superstitions among knitters that if you make a sweater for a significant other, the relationship is doomed. The myth has several different variations: the recipient will break up with the knitter shortly after receiving the sweater, or the relationship won’t even last through the knitting process. All variations of this legend have come to be known by the quaint (heteronormative) nickname of the “Boyfriend Sweater Curse.” 

My two-year anniversary with my beau is on the horizon–just under a month away. When discussing what kinds of gifts to exchange, my boyfriend brought up the prospect of receiving a sweater. I’ve knit him things in the past, sure–hats, scarves, socks–but nothing as substantial as a sweater. 

Of course I explained to him the lore of The Curse, but he quickly poo-pooed the belief and declared that our relationship has the capacity to withstand any sort of paranormal forces. Now, I don’t know if he was trying to be romantic or just really wants a sweater, but he really got me thinking. 

Thinking enough to pick out a pattern and invest in a substantial amount of Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Superwash in a fine assortment of heather browns and reds. I told myself that if, midway through the project I’m feeling the universe’s warning, I can just co-opt the sweater to be a present for my brother and my boyfriend will be none the wiser.

Still, my fellow knitters tell me to beware. One of my closest friends agrees that smaller projects are okay, but the sweater is just untouchable territory. “Maybe if you guys were married,” she offered. I don’t think I know anyone who’s personally experience the wrath of The Curse, but there’s this entire blog I just discovered with numerous tales. It’s even so rampant as to have its own Wikipedia page. Who knew? Aaaand I just read the term “pre-knitual agreement” and don’t want to live on this planet anymore.

Anyway, I have a few days until the yarn arrives, and my boyfriend is conveniently out of town for two weeks. As of this exact moment, I’m leaning towards “go for it!” but I can’t help but feel a sense of reservation attached to the whole thing. Have any of you ever taken the plunge and crafted a sweater for a significant other? Where have you found truth in the superstition if at all? I am curious to hear reactions to this whole mythos…and I will certainly keep you updates as to the progress of this garment (and my relationship!)


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