The Knitter’s Curse

Someday soon, when I finish the knitting for two more tests and the weaving in and blocking for two more, this blog will return to its regularly scheduled programming. In the interim, please enjoy this anecdote of an experience I recently had.

Sometime over the holidays (Christmas? Thanksgiving?) I was browsing a certain discount yarn website and saw they had a promo going. If you spent $x you could get a surprise goodie bag worth at least $20 for free. Well, their stuff is typically on the cheap side anyway and I’m a sucker for a good deal, so I decided to go for it. I placed my order and promptly forgot about it.

A couple of weeks later, my package arrived. The goodie bag contained:

-one skein of blue Zumrut Bamboo (I have a couple of skeins of this already, but they are pink. I still have to find something to do with it)
-one skein of Berroco Lacey in a cranberry red (maybe I’ll use it someday)
-one size E crochet hook, NIP (maybe I’ll use it someday)
-one Berroco pattern pamphlet (maybe I’ll…you get the point)
-one yarn requirements reference pamphlet from Interweave. This I could see being useful.

And, cue dramatic music:

-one knitter’s curse


In case you can’t tell what that is, it’s a giant WIP. It’s approximately five million mitered squares made from beautiful fingering weight yarn. Each is made by picking up stitches on the last one so, being a WIP, the shape and edges are very irregular. I’d like to state for the record that it is downright gorgeous. Someone worked a long time (and used a lot of very nice yarn) to make this. I will probably never know where it came from. This particular yarn seller liquidates estates and closed yarn stores and the like and sells the wares at a significant discount. This was probably part of someone’s personal oeuvre.

The problem, of course, with such a WIP is what on earth am I supposed to do with it? I reviewed my options.

  1. I could finish it. Except that I don’t have any chance of matching any of the colorways. Less importantly, I’ve never done mitered squares so it would have taken a bit to get the hang of it and get my gauge to match close enough.
  2. I could cut it up and use it for something else. My only idea on this front was to make pillows out of it. They would have been beautiful but I wasn’t sure exactly when I would get to making them (i.e., probably never) and it just might have killed me to cut into such beautiful knitting.
  3. I could use it as-is. Except it is a sort of weird giant V shape with irregular borders. I can’t think of any use for it.
  4. I could put it in my box of snoozing WIPs and get around to doing something with it someday (i.e., probably never).

I dismissed all these ideas. Someone worked very hard on it and it deserves better than to be stashed away and forgotten. It is about 435 gm, which means it could well be over 1700 yards’ worth of gorgeous. l didn’t want it to go to waste, but I also didn’t want the burden of someone else’s WIP hanging over my head. I’ve got enough of those of my own! So I decided to post about it on the yarn seller’s ravelry group. I asked if anyone had any ideas for what to do with it.

I got a couple of responses, but nothing particularly useful. Then, someone responded that the “curse” was right up her alley and that she would love to take it off my hands! We emailed a bit and decided to do a swap. I gave her general ideas about what kinds of yarn I like and she agreed to send me about $20 worth (the stated value of the freebie). I packed up the curse and shipped it to her. When she got it, she emailed me the link to the pattern the original knitter was probably working from: Oriental Jacket. She said it looked to her like it was about halfway done. I would highly recommending clicking through and looking at the pictures as it’s quite an impressive project. She also let me know she was adding more yarn to her swap as the curse was much bigger and nicer than she expected!

A few days later I got a package from her with a skein of Noro Kureyon Sock, two different colorways of Cascade Casablanca and a skein of handpainted Opal sock yarn in return. Sweet! The curse is removed and two knitters are happy! I am excited to see what she does with her new treasure!




  1. Cathy · January 23, 2016

    Thanks for sharing that lovely story ! I love that in the end you are both happy, the WIP is going to live long and prosper , and that the work of the original knitter isn’t forgotten !

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Stefanie · January 24, 2016

    That’s cool you were able to trade away the mitered blanket. It was actually a good one; the colors reminded me of the Earth’s layers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • alexand knits · January 24, 2016

      Yeah, I really liked it–just knew I wouldn’t do anything with it anytime soon. I was happy to send it off into the world and give it a chance!


  3. afthead · January 25, 2016

    This is awesome! You are a genius. I never would have thought to solve this problem in such a way. In fact, when I came upon my auction find ( complete with half finished sweaters and such I just unraveled them. I felt bad about it, but I never thought about giving another knitter a shot at finishing the WIP. I hope when I pass on that some kind knitter like you gets my stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ariel · January 26, 2016

    Awesome to hear it worked out, and you got some Noro AND some Opal out of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sarah · January 26, 2016

    I hope you get to see the end result if they finish that jacket- what a neat project! And how awesome, the way that worked out.

    Liked by 1 person

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