The Sweater Curse: Avoid It or Embrace It

Some knitters want to avoid the sweater curse; others would rather use it to test their romantic relationships. Whichever way you want to go, you’ll find a pattern here.

Most knitters have heard of “the sweater curse.” I’ve seen it also referred to as “the curse of the love sweater” and “the boyfriend sweater curse.” But it all chalks up to the same idea: beware of knitting a sweater for a boyfriend. If you do, the boyfriend is likely to flee!

Does the sweater curse truly seem to have some merit to it, or is a myth? It depends on who you ask. There is of course a great deal of anecdotal evidence to support both thoughts. Hundreds if not thousands of women swear that the sweater they knitted for their men led to an abrupt breakup; others insist that THEY knit their men sweaters and THEY didn’t flee; in fact, they got married!

Me? I think the sweater curse has some merit. As has been stated in many blogs and articles about this so-called curse, a sweater is a test of sorts. Giving a man a sweater — or, sometimes, any knitted item — might force the man to consider just how committed he is to the relationship. If his significant other is into him enough to knit him a sweater, is that feeling reciprocated? I’ve seen some knitters actually view a hand-knit sweater as just such a test, and they declare that they WILL be giving their boyfriends sweaters to see if he is marriage material.

Every knitter, of course, must decide for her/himself if knitting such a sweater is worth the risk. Some knitters might want to test their relationships; others may decide that it could be too soon for such a test.

In this spirit, I’ve listed several different items that you could knit for your man, if you’re eager to knit him something but aren’t ready to take the sweater plunge just yet. And, if you’re feeling daring? I’ve also provided a few sweater patterns for you to try!

Avoid the Sweater Curse: Knit These for Your Man Instead

Hat: Of course, a hat is perhaps the most common sweater-substitute gift knit for boyfriends. I think you can never go wrong with the stylish “Turn a Square” hat, which is just different enough to be interesting, but not so much that your man will refuse to wear it!

Socks: Frankly, socks can take as long as a sweater to knit, but shhhhh… your boyfriend doesn’t need to know that! These “Java” socks are perfect for a knitter who would fall asleep knitting basic stockinette or ribbed socks. Knit in a neutral color, these make wonderfully manly dress socks.

Mittens or gloves: Every man needs mittens or gloves (unless he lives where it never gets cold), but men don’t always buy them for themselves. That makes them a perfect item to knit! Knit “Ken“gloves, “Cruiser” mittens, or “Don’t Skid, Honey” fingerless gloves.

Scarf: In blustery climates, a scarf is a must. Make it in a neutral color, without fringe, and he’ll have a happy neck warmer. This “New York Scarf” is the perfect fit.

Earwarmers: Some men hate to wear hats. For them, wide headbands — also called “earwarmers” — are the perfect solution. The “Intertwining Diamonds Cabled Headband” is incredibly stylish without being incredibly fussy.

Bookmark: If you’re in a really new relationship but can’t resist the urge to knit your man something, why not try a few bookmarks? Your man will be happy to use one of these “No Wrong Side Bookmarks” to keep his place in a book.

Knit a Sweater — If You Dare

Finally, here are a few simple yet stylish sweater patterns, if you’re ready to try the ultimate test!

Rogers-esque Cardigan Jacket
Men’s Broken Rib Cardigan

So whether you choose to circumvent the sweater curse altogether or embrace it and see what happens, you can knit something for your man to love!