The Magnetic Law of Man-Sweater Attraction: The powerful force of attraction created by a woman's positively-charged desire to wear her man's sweaters and the man's negatively-charged desire to hide them. Chuck Rosé
I gave an unfinished, hand-knit, saddle-shoulder, tweedy blue-grey cashmere cardigan to my golfer-man last year for Christmas. When I realized I had grossly underestimated the time it would take to finish the sweater, I wrapped it up with a nice shirt and a note about the beauty of unfinished things and put it under the tree anyway. I have been knitting The Saturday Golf Sweater on and off for almost a year now - a true labor of love for the intelligent, unassuming, quick-witted, rock of a man in my life. I can't wait to reveal the finished sweater! This is the first hand-knit anything I have ever designed and made for my husband and it has been a moving experience. Although incredibly supportive of my work, Chuck has never been a knitted hat, scarf or sock kind of guy so I've never pushed anything on him. But he is a beautiful, passionate golfer so a custom classic golf sweater has been on his wish list and my bucket list for years (think wool Donegal tweed cap and cabled cardigan walking the links at St Andrews). I can finally see the finish line on this special sweater and, quite honestly, I have a mix of emotions. There's the bliss of successfully finishing a custom sweater for him along with the melancholy letting go of a very personal project. I'm already feeling a bit of a grieving process as I get closer to binding off that last stitch and weaving in that last end.
Creation has a way of forging strong bonds and working on this project consistently brings me back to two thoughts - how richly Chuck blesses my life and how immensely grateful I am. He deserves this sweater.
I'm making The Saturday Golf Sweater out of Shibui Pebble (my favorite merino, silk and cashmere tweed yarn) held double in colorway Graphite which Chuck, himself, selected. It has a speck of blue in its grey, pebbly goodness. It has cabled front side-panels and a matching center cable panel down the back. I'm going to try knitting an attached i-cord around the neckline and fronts for a classy little corded detail (if I can get it to lay right) and will then pick up for 2 x 2 ribbed button bands to match the cardigan's bottom and cuff ribbings. With some dark grey tortoise-shell buttons and Chuck's stunning blue eyes - classic YUM!
We'll be wearing it by the time cooler weather sets in. ;-D
So - there's a lot of charming old folklore surrounding knitting for your significant other but I hadn't heard of The Sweater Curse until I ran into it online as I was gathering golf sweater inspiration.
As silly as it seems, this old superstition did cause me to pause for a little bit. It's not unlike the superstition surrounding the Macbeth Curse in theatre circles. The Sweater Curse says that if you knit a sweater for a boyfriend or girlfriend, the relationship will come to a demise by the time the sweater is finished. I was compelled to stop and do some research just to make sure the curse didn't apply to spouses. Whew! Safe! (See Wikipedia for a nice, rational discussion). I'll never have an occasion to test the validity of the sweater curse (not that I would ever want to) but I strongly suspect it was The Needlepoint Picture Curse* that sent a bad-for-me boyfriend packing back in the early 1980's - thank goodness! (*Totally made that one up)
And then there's my late mother-in-law, Peggy's, Sock Curse which is supposed to function like the Sweater Curse but obviously backfired on her. Peggy was a wonderful mother-in-law and a beautiful golfer and knitter. We enjoyed many golfing and knitting hours together when she and my late father-in-law, Cle, would visit. She once told me; "Be very careful who you knit for." Apparently she was knitting socks back in the 1940's and sending them to two men who had gone overseas to fight in World War II. So, naturally, they both came home after the war ended wanting to marry her which put her in a bit of an awkward position. It's such a fun story, but Cle, the lucky one she loved whose proposal she accepted, never really liked taking about it that much. He had always been in love with her and I'm sure the thought of losing her to another man mortified him at the time. As knitting curses go, though, this is potentially a good one! If you are single and searching, ladies and gents, I'd look no further than your sock yarn stash!
There are other curses: The Empty-Needles-Curse which brings bad luck, the Leave-At-Least-One-Mistake-Rule to keep the fairies away, the Knit-In-A-Strand-Of-Your-Hair-Charm to bind your love to you forever - just delightful little bits of knitting fokelore tra-la-la - but I did knit a strand of my hair into Chuck's sweater just in case.
Seriously, though, as fun as the knitting superstitions are to read about, I'm not really the superstitious type. I gather spiritual strength and wisdom from the wonder of God and His Creation and from the beauty of natural laws of science and math. So I tried the unfinished sweater on a couple of days ago and - it's looooove! I can't wait to give it to Chuck, but I'm sure he already knows that sweater will never be completely his.
I dubbed this phenomenon The Magnetic Law of Man-Sweater Attraction (MLMSA). Without missing a beat, my witty golfer-physicist said;
That's the powerful force of attraction created by a woman's positively-charged desire to wear her man's sweaters and the man's negatively-charged desire to hide them. Chuck Rosé
I nearly fell out of my chair!
Hilarious and so true. No man-sweater is safe. Like sleeping on his side of the bed when he's out of town - few things give a greater sense of comfort and familiarity than cozying up in his perfectly broken-in, oversized sweatshirt with leggings for Knitflixing in. Or donning his red merino sweater that's several sizes too big but irresistibly cuddly and stylish over a thick turtle-neck with skinny jeans and warm boots on a cold day. THIS sweater is going to be THAT sweater - only better! Yes- I could go buy a man's sweater for myself but it wouldn't be the same thing - not even close - because it wouldn't be HIS. That's the charm and appeal (he might say curse) of the hand-knit man-sweater. MLMSA! It's my love and creative energy custom-designed and hand-knit for him in a sweater that's big and comfortable and will feel and smell like him on the occasions I can't resist wearing it. As a new friend, Belinda, said; "It's like being wrapped in his hug. Mmmmmm - yes it will be. I love you "Rosey"!