He fully accepts liability. I am pretty sure he is unaware of the term ‘boyfriend sweater curse’ but the notion is not alien to him. In his words, I knit him a jumper, he doesn’t like it, he doesn’t wear it, I get mad. However, I have some things working in my favour: I can’t stay mad for more than five minutes, I just want something to knit, and we have just cruised into our eighth year of going-outedness and we have never really broached the subject.
But… the subject had to be broached when it became painfully obvious that his favourite – and only – warm jumper is past its prime. It was christened Sheep Jumper many moons ago but I don’t know why. It’s made from a warm, shaggy synthetic and is beige with dark beige stripes on the cuffs and hem. It doesn’t look anything like a sheep. I think perhaps his presence around so much wool had a subliminal influence. Sheep = wool = warm? After many unfruitful shopping trips to replace Sheep Jumper I tentatively suggested I knit a replacement… which finds me cranking out a dark grey superwash this weekend and praying that it comes out in even a somewhat humanoid form.
Needless to say, the back of a dark grey stockinette sweater doesn’t lend itself to photography in the middle of November but it does lend itself to reflection upon the recipient. Shouldn’t I have started small? you wonder. A hat or socks or something? Tested the waters? Well, in my book, this is what gets you a jumper:
1. He not only eats my cooking but often compliments it.
2. He drives me around and rarely objects to a wool shop stop unless he is keen on “making time”. (I never “make time”.)
3. He uses logic to calm knitting rage. For example, if gauge is consistently cranky and insists on ruining not one, but four attempts at a jumper, he will suggest soothing solutions. These include increasing swatch size because (get this) a small swatch results in a large margin of error!
4a. He likes the knitting. He has absorbed so much terminology at this stage that he is prone to saying things like, “I sat on your double points but they seem ok” or “Is that a mitten or a sock?”. The understanding of said knitting greatly increases his sympathy when things go wrong. For example, the other day, I was knitting a colourwork hat. After about two inches it became apparent that it was going to be very small. I pulled it off my needles, frowned at it and tried to stretch it out. He said, “Oh no. What’s wrong?” I said, “My hat is too small!” He said “Oh no… I thought you were knitting the cuff of a sleeve!”
4b. He brags about the knitting. We were visiting friends last night and when I pulled on my mittens as we were leaving, he said, “See those? They’re like the fine china of knitting!”
5. The knitting allows for far more football and basketball watching than would normally be tolerated. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as I get lots of knitting done. I usually just listen to the commentary so I end up taking in far more information than I want to, which in turn means that I can have an in-depth conversation about the Premiership… without having any true interest in it at all. The basketball, on the other hand, has a lot to answer for. It seems I have become a die-hard Toronto Raptors fan.