Knitters use the term Sweater Curse or the Curse of the Love Sweater to describe a situation in which a knitter gives a hand-knit sweater to a significant other, who quickly breaks up with the knitter.
Well, Tom and I fortunately beat the curse the first time I made him a sweater. I started this CRINGE-worthy project three years ago, about a month after we started dating. I gave him my veritable labor of love on Christmas day. He was completely aghast that a woman he had so recently met would give him such a big, meaning-laden gift.
Fortunately, it didn't freak him out enough to break up with me, but he never wore it either. Why?
The only thing about the sweater that doesn't make me CRINGE is that it truly fits him perfectly. I have a friend who is built just like Tom - very tall and thin with long-ass arms - and I used him as my fit model. I am still proud that I managed to make a sweater for Tom that was both long and lean enough.
- I made the pullover out of a variegated yarn that produced uneven stripes all over his body. I just CRINGE when I think about it now. I hate variegated yarn and this sweater is why.
- I used Patons SWS, a quasi-cheesy wool/soy blend that I got from Michaels. This cheap yarn makes me CRINGE as well.
- The V neck is too deep for a guy. I used Sweater Wizard to make the pattern and didn't know then to check every detail and measurement. Big lesson learned, one that makes me CRINGE.
After the sweater debacle, we collaborated on a small trial project. I made him a fair isle hat from Hats On! using Knit Picks Merino - but only after he had officially approved the pattern and yarn. He loves loves this hat and wears it all the time during the cooler months - he even sleeps in it. Of course, when you're bald, hats are an absolute necessity for dealing with the cold.
Given this success, I decided a year ago that it was time to make another sweater for Tom, one that is plainer, lighter, and much more likely to be worn. I picked some patterns and got his approval to make Norah Gaughan's John's Sweater. Thank God Norah's significant other is a burly dude because Tom never would have agreed to it otherwise.
The rub: Tom doesn't want a bulky sweater. Norah and her man live in New Hampshire where Berroco Peruvia is just the ticket for a warm pullover. Tom, on the other hand, lives in Southern Maryland where the winters are fairly temperate. I picked a wool/cotton blend, Classic Elite Solstice, and made a beautiful swatch. He loved it. But when Tom saw a lightweight Berroco Vintage swatch I'd made for a different project, he insisted that the Solstice would be too heavy.
So I ordered a skein of Classic Elite Chesapeake, a DK cotton/wool blend, and swatched again. He loves it, grace of God. The new swatch actually meets the original pattern gauge so I won't have to do a ton of alterations. I'm going to add another cable repeat to lengthen the sleeves and torso and that should be that.