I first ran into the notion of the cursed boyfriend jumper via a Talis Kimberly song. It’s a rather fascinating bit of modern folklore from the knitting community, and it goes like this: Making your boyfriend a jumper will doom your relationship. Boyfriend jumpers are cursed.
I had a bit of a poke about in this – it’s easy to find information online. Most of what’s out there ponders the practical and psychological reasons why jumper making may not be good for relationships. But, it’s more fun to talk about it as a folkloric curse and so of course that’s what people end up doing.
Having made a massive snuggly jumper for myself, I wanted to make jumpers for my household, which is what got more exploring the cursed boyfriend jumper. It’s a decidedly different thing to be knitting a jumper for someone who wants a jumper and normally wears jumpers – and there’s nothing weird, invasive or unsettling about making clothes for someone you live with. So we picked out the wool together and looked at stitches together and the result is something Tom likes. Imposing a surprise jumper on someone you don’t know well clearly has implications.
I learned a lot making this one. I need to stop assuming I’m bigger than everyone else because it turns out Tom’s chest is bigger than mine and I had to add some little inserts. I shall fettle my pattern accordingly for next time. I confirmed some ideas I’d had about how better to do collars, following on from my first jumper. The stitch is based on fisherman’s rib, but I think I was doing it wrong, technically! I really like the effect though, so, not a problem.
It turns out that the idea of a row by row, stitch by stitch set of knitting instructions terrifies me. But, a few broad theories of jumper and I’m happy to crack on with it. There are practical implications to this as well. Much of the body of this jumper was knitted at the Gloucester Steampunk Winter Convivial, while the sleeves were knitted the following weekend at Steampunks in Space. I’m finding that crafting at events helps me stay calm in face of what can otherwise be sensory overload, but there is no way I could manage a stall while following a detailed pattern.