It’s Knot You The curious history of the sweater curse.

It’s Knot You The curious history of the sweater curse.

  • Words Precious Adesina
  • Photograph Christian Heikoop

There are many activities people are superstitious about: breaking mirrors, spilling salt and walking under ladders, to name a few. In the world of knitting, it is the “sweater curse” that strikes fear. Also known as “the curse of the love sweater” or “the curse of the boyfriend sweater,” it works like this: A person knits a sweater for their partner and it leads to the unraveling of their relationship. For many ardent knitters, this isn’t just superstition, but a phenomenon confirmed in the anecdotes of friends and online forums.1

Knitting your partner a sweater as an act of devotion has a time-honored lineage. In her 2007 book Son of Stitch ‘n Bitch, Debbie Stoller writes that “in [19th-cenutry] Holland it was traditional for a bride to begin knitting [the] sweater fo...

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