Tag Archives: curse

A Halloween Curse

I haven’t got anything pretty or cute or nice to show you today- I’m in-between personal knitting projects and neck-deep in super secret work knitting.  I had thought about writing about some cute knitted pumpkins I saw the other day.  Or maybe looking up spider-related knitting patterns (my kid is currently obsessed with the “Itsy Bitsy Spider”, or as he calls it “Pider Pider Pider”).  Or maybe writing a quick warning that we’re just under 2 months away from Christmas (which we are, so if you’re doing any Christmas knitting, you’d better get moving).

But no, instead, I will tell you a spooky Halloween story.  A tale of a real live cursed hat, and the person who must live with it (me).

Because, you guys, I’m totally and completely cursed.

Guess I'm Cursed

So, a couple months ago, I came across a call for a design, and I came up with an idea for a really cute cabled hat (I’d love to show it to you, but it’s currently embargoed.  Don’t worry, though, once it’s done I’ll be excited to share it).  “This will be an easy job,” I thought to myself.  Oh how wrong I was.

It’s a simple little cap, with a handful of semi-complex cables all the way around.  Nothing too crazy, but getting the sizing right on something like this is kinda tricky.

So, before I even submitted my proposal, I knit up the following:

  1. Swatch #1: The cable didn’t look the way I thought it was going to.  Ripped out.
  2. Swatch #2: The cable looked closer to what I was imagining , but needed some tweaks.  But, I figured I could do the tweaks on the hat that I was going to do next. Ripped out.
  3. Hat #1: Got about 3 inches into the hat and realized it was a hat for a giant.  Ripped out.
  4. Hat #2: Got about 4 inches into the hat and realized it was a hat for a toddler.  Ripped out.
  5. Hat #3: Made it all the way to the crown, but ran out of yarn about 5 rows from the end.  Ripped it out.
  6. Hat #4: Made the pattern slightly smaller, and made it to the end with about 3 feet of spare yarn.  Turned out cute!  Fit! Yay!

I wrote up the proposal, and figured, “Hey, if it gets picked up, great!  I have the pattern essentially figured out already.  And if it doesn’t get picked up, I’ve got a cute new hat. Win-win.”

A few days later, I got the news that the pattern was picked up (Yay!), but they want it knit in a different yarn (Oh no).  So the process started over again.

  1. New Swatch #1: Looks good! Right on the money, gauge wise (which is shocking, since my prototype yarn and actual yarn are quite different).
  2. New Hat #1:  This hat is killing me.  It’s taking forever, it’s super slow-going for some reason, and making my hands ache.  I can only knit on it for an hour or two at a time.  But then…

Last night, I sang a little song of triumph as I got to the crown.  I decided to stay up past my bedtime because I thought I might be able to finish!  I pulled out the US7 DPNs from my knitting bag, and switched them out for the circular I had been using.  Suddenly, the knitting felt weird.  A little too easy.  A little loose.

Y’all, I had been knitting the whole dang hat on US5s, instead of swithing to US7s after the brim.

There were swears.

So, I’m going to go rip out the hat.  Again.

Talk about a true Halloween horror.

Have you ever worked on any truly cursed projects?


The Cursed Sweater

I don’t know what’s happening to me!  I don’t think I disturbed any sacred burial grounds, or crossed any old crones-who-are-secretly-witches, and I definitely didn’t unearth any mummies.  Heck, it’s not even a full moon!

I’ve clearly upset the knitting gods (or at least some knitting trickster spirit), because this project is killing me, you guys.  You guys.  It’s killing me.

You remember my super-secret-project?  The one with the ribbing that I totally messed up?  Well, after repairing the damage in the dumbest possible way (really, Allison- why on earth did you think it was a good idea to get out the crochet hook?), I realized I had messed it up even more than I had thought.

I had cast on the wrong number of stitches.

Needless to say I was upset.  I ripped it out, rechecked my math and was on my way (for the third time).

Fast forward two weeks, and I think I have it under control.  I’ve checked all my math, and everything looks good.  My project is coming along.

Until, two days ago, I connected several separate pieces together (a very finicky step).  And.

Would you believe it?  I messed up again!  This was two days ago, and I didn’t notice until yesterday morning, when I had to rip out a full 24 hours of work!I’m finally getting back to where I was two days ago.  But hoo boy.  I’m struggling.

At least it’ll look good when it’s done.



Have you ever had a cursed project?  What happened to it?  Did you manage to break the curse?

Pattern:The Boyfriend Scarf

So,  if you can’t may your significant other  a sweater without getting cursed, what’s a girl to do? (Unless you want to be cursed, but that’s a personal issue.)  How about a fancy-enough-to-be-special-but-not-too-fancy-to-be-worn-every-day scarf?  It’s plain enough to be manly, but is made with gorgeous, soft, hand-dyed yarn to keep you happy as you knit. The Boyfriend Scarf will keep your main squeeze toasty warm, and is guaranteed not to be cursed. (I can’t promise that you won’t break up, but if you do, it is not the fault of this scarf.)

This project was designed to be given as a special gift, so I splurged on the yarn.   You’re welcome to use another more cost-effective yarn, but  you will not regret knitting with Malabrigo.  It’s a hand-dyed single-ply merino wool from Uruguay.  So soft and warm!  (If I had a million dollars I would knit myself a suit from it, but since I do not have a million dollars, a Malabrigo scarf will do nicely.)

The scarf is actually knit in the round, as one very long, thin tube, like a small sleeve.  Because of this, you’ll end up with a double-thick, non-rolling, smooth stockinet scarf.  The only problem with this construction is that it can get a tad boring, so make sure you have something good queued up on your Netflix.

The ends of the scarf are finished off with a simple fringe that serves two purposes.  First, it’s fringe, which just looks snazzy.  And, second, it closes up the ends of the scarf, so that you have a nice, double-thick scarf, not a weird tubey-thing around your neck.  If you/your guy is not interested in fringe, a neat whip stitch will finish the ends just as effectively.



2 Skeins Malabrigo Worsted (shown in Verdes 203)

1 Size 8, 8 inch circular needle

1 Size 8/H crochet hook (if you have a slightly smaller hook, that will work, too)

Stitch marker (optional)


Scissors and tapestry needle


1. Cut fringe:  Measure and cut 50 10-inch pieces of your yarn.  These will be your fringe when you’re done knitting your scarf.  Set them aside until later (I recommend protecting them in a Zip-Lock baggie or something, just to be sure they’re safe).

2. Cast on 50 stitches.  Place marker (if you like; it’s not technically necessary), and join in the round.  Work in stockinet (knitting all stitches) until your first ball of yarn runs out.

3. Join the second ball of yarn and keep knitting.  (I like using a spit join.)

4. Keep knitting

5. Knit some more

6. When you’re just about out of yarn, bind off.

7. Apply fringe: Dig out your fringe pieces from wherever you hid them.  Lay out the scarf flat (so that it looks like a scarf, not a sleeve), with one short end facing you.  Slip the crochet hook through both layers of the scarf, just above the cast-on or bound-off edge.  Pick up and fold one of the fringe pieces in half.  Use the crochet hook to pull the middle of the fringe piece partway through the scarf end.  Then pull the cut ends of the fringe through the loop you just made.  Pull the fringe tight.  Repeat the process so that 25 fringe pieces are attached to each end of the scarf.  When you’ve attached them all, trim any pieces that are a little wonky.

8. Block: Soak your scarf in warm water for about 20 minutes.  Squeeze out most of the water with a clean towel.  Lay out flat on another clean towel on a counter or a nice empty part of the floor to dry.

The Curse of the Boyfriend Sweater

So, have you ever heard of the CURSE OF THE BOYFRIEND SWEATER? (You’re supposed to read that like the announcer introducing a B-horror movie, in case you were wondering.)  The superstition is that if you make a sweater for your boyfriend (or girlfriend, I suppose), you’ll be broken up by the time you bind off.   I’m not making this up.  It’s even got it’s own Wikipedia page.

I’m not terribly superstitious, but I don’t doubt that this occurs.  (I know I refused to make a sweater for my husband until we got married, just in case.)   I propose that the “curse” actually happens for one of two reasons.

1. You picked an ugly-ass sweater pattern, or at least a sweater that you want your significant other to wear, but not one that he would ever be caught dead in in a million years.  These miscommunications can lead to hurt feelings, bickering, and general  unpleasantness.  Not good at all.

2.  Most sweaters take a loooong time to knit, unless you’re really on a mission a typical knitter won’t complete a sweater in less than several months.   Your typical dating relationship (that doesn’t go on to marriage and all that jazz) may not last quite that long. (Of course, I’m generalizing, but you get my point.)

So, I’m not sure that I buy into the whole superstition thing, but I certainly can see how there might be a correlation between sweater-making and relationship-ending.  So what’s a girl to do if she wants to dress up her guy in cozy knitwear?  How about a nice scarf?  A cozy hat?  Maybe a cool pair of gloves?

Unless, of course, you want your relationship to end but you don’t like confrontation.  In that case, knit away!  Might I recommend this classy number modeled by Mr. Cosby?