Here's How 'The Sweater Curse' Can Ruin Your Relationship

I've definitely fallen victim to this before.
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Love is a beautiful thing, isn’t it? It’s got multiple benefits for your physical and mental health, and can even improve your gut’s biome.

You know what else is good for you? Crafting! The process of making things with your hands can supposedly help with everything from your self-esteem to your sleeping habits. However, TikToker and knitter knotfancyknitter recently shared a video explaining that, if you want a healthy relationship, you might want to avoid mixing the two.

In a recent video, the TikToker told users “Alright, let’s talk about the sweater curse”.

Here’s what it is, why it might affect your relationship, and why it might  lead to breakups (or even divorce), and how I came to believe this is definitely a thing

The Sweater Curse is a crafting superstition 

If ― like me ― you’d never heard of the supposed curse before, allow me (and knotfancyknitter) to introduce you. The term refers to a belief among the knitting (and crochet) community that “if you knit a sweater for your significant other ― your boyfriend, your girlfriend, your husband, your wife ― that person will break up with you, or you’ll get divorced before the sweater’s finished, or soon after you’re done knitting it.” 

I know, I know, it sounds a little hokey. But as the TikTok creator says, it’s a known phenomenon ― she points to an article by The New Yorker, as well as the predictive purling predicaments’ own Wikipedia page, as evidence of its popularity. 

It’s hard to pin down where, exactly, the belief came from, though. “I’ve been researching it all day, and I can’t find a single origin story,” knotfancyknitter told viewers.

“I’ve managed to completely avoid this by never knitting my husband a sweater, despite being married for 20 years,” she laughs in the video.

Why does it happen? 

It might seem odd to link making a sweater (some crocheters say it applies to blankets, too) with a relationship breakdown. But the knitter offers some interesting theories. 

Firstly, she suggests that “the process of knitting for someone else, especially something big like a sweater, just takes a tonne of time. And, you know, if it’s not going great, you’re gonna notice.”

The average sweater typically takes a minimum of 40 long, involved hours to knit. And as someone who has previously attempted to make a less-than-ideal partner a cardigan before, I can confirm that sometimes, every new row builds fresh resentments ― especially if you feel your efforts in the relationship aren’t reciprocated. 

Secondly, the TikToker wonders if receiving such a heartfelt gift might make an unsure partner uncomfortable. After all, given the time and effort it takes, “it might feel like kind of a loaded event ― and if they’re not feeling really secure in the relationship, they might just bolt,” she says. 

Commenters appear to bolster her theories. “They realise they’d never put that much effort in for you,” one reply reads; another says “Not sure if others are like me, but I do find myself making a bigger effort (like [knitting] a sweater) if things feel uncertain. Trying to make things good.” 

Others say that knitting or crocheting a gift for their partner hasn’t harmed their relationship at all, with one TikTok user claiming that getting their partner to pick the yarn with them helped to quell the mohair malediction. 

Personally, I’d only gotten about five crochet squares into a cardigan pattern before my relationship ended. And now that I am 1) in a nicer relationship and 2) heading into autumn, you’d best believe I’m keeping my hook hidden away (for now, at least).

Here’s the whole video: