Sweater Curse - Proposed Mechanisms

Proposed Mechanisms

Although the existence of this effect remains uncertain, it is a common belief amongst the knitting population and several plausible and non-exclusive mechanisms for the Sweater Curse have been suggested within knitting periodicals and books:

  • Unlucky timing. Knitting a sweater takes a long time, and the relationship dies of natural causes during its making.
  • Rescue mission. The knitter senses subconsciously that the relationship is about to end, and knits a sweater as a dramatic gesture to save it.
  • Catalyst for analyzing the relationship. Giving or receiving a significant gift such as a sweater may cause either the giver or receiver to evaluate the relationship. For example, the gift may seem too intimate, too domestic or too binding to the significant other. It can be seen as a signal that makes them realize that the relationship is not reciprocal, prompting them to end the relationship before it involves obligations.
  • Aversion. The significant other may simply not want to wear anything hand-knit. A hand-knit sweater can also subject them to ridicule, either because the sweater looks bad (i.e., poorly made or unfashionable) or conveys overly domestic connotations.
  • Misdirected attention. The knitter loves their sweater a little too much, and pesters the significant other about the sweater instead of working on their relationship. Alternatively, the knitter loves to knit too much, and spends too much time with their knitting instead of with the significant other.
  • Delusion. The knitter imagines incorrectly that their significant other likes them, and is not disillusioned before knitting the sweater and giving it to them.
  • Different valuation for handcrafts. The knitter sees the sweater as a significant Thing, having chosen the pattern and color carefully, and having invested hours of labor; the recipient sees the sweater as a thing that can be bought at the Gap for $35.

Read more about this topic:  Sweater Curse

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