The Cursed Project

The Cursed Project

You might not have ever knit a Transcendent Project, but you certainly have knit (or attempted to knit) a Cursed Project. The biggest problem with the Cursed (KUR-sehd) Project is that you don’t know that you’ve got one until you’re already committed to it.

Before I go on, I should make clear that a project being cursed doesn’t mean you don’t eventually finish it, nor does it mean that it’s not a cool project. I did finally finish the skull sock you see in the photograph above, and I even finished the second one. My father, who was the recipient of those socks, is probably wearing them as you read this. A Cursed Project is not an unfinished project. It’s just a project that unravels you as you unravel it.

How do you know you’ve got a Cursed Project on your hands? Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Did your yarn snarl before you even finished casting on?
  2. Do you have to adjust your knitting budget to include a visit to the chiropractor?
  3. Instead of ripping out your work, have you considered throwing it out?
  4. Have you reread the pattern for biohazard signs?
  5. Did you consider handing your knitting over to your cat?
  6. Does the airlines’ earlier ban on knitting needles make perfect sense to you right now?
  7. Do those scissors suddenly look like a lot of fun?

If you answered YES to any of the above, you are knitting a Cursed Project, and there’s not a thing to be done about it. No one knows what brings on the curse. Quitting won’t help; the unknit stitches will call out to you in your dreams, slowly driving you insane. It pains me to say it, but there’s only one way to break the curse on such a project.

Finish it.


  • sara says:

    oh heavens, that means i have to actually finish that horrible sweater for my neice i started 18 months ago? egads, the horror!

  • pipandtom says:

    Here, here!

    I just finished a cursed project.

  • Lisa says:

    My cursed projects were the first two (or was it three?) scarves I knitted…a couple years ago.

    My Transcendent Project I just finished. A silky-frilly scarf for my niece. Pictures on the blog.

    You were right to set up a counter. I floated in from to see this wonder of a male knitter!

  • Diana says:

    Brilliant! I’m laughing my ass off.

    Good luck to you, Yarn Boy!

  • Alia says:

    I’ve got a cursed project, and how. Intrelac. @*#&@*(*$&@! intrelac. I picked up a pattern book from Noro, and, thinking myself clever, selected to try what looked to be the simplest of patterns, an intrelac pouch. Except, somewhere in its multilingual journey to me, someone was on crack. The pattern is broken. I only learned this from a far more experienced knitter after 2 weeks of struggle, during which time I was positive I was an idiot. Nope. Pattern’s broken.

    Okay. So, I’ll find something else interlac and try that and then I’ll understand what’s going on with that turn, and I’ll still be able to make that pouch, right? (Pouches, actually, as I’d purchased enough Noro to do several as gifts) … Winter 05 came through for me and… Damnit, I *am* an idiot. Knitty doesn’t post bad patterns. Therefore, yeah, I must be an idiot. Even with a non-broken pattern, I get that first beautiful row of triangles and then…I stare stupidly at the printout for a few hours and wander off to wallow in self-loathing and hatred for all thing French. And the Japanese. Yeah, I hate them, too.

    Don’t mind me. I’m just over here in the corner, knitting socks, alternating my sobbing with curses that’d make a sailor blush.

  • Alan says:

    Curses, I am the father who is wearing the socks from the Cursed Project. These were my birthday present and now I wonder if I can continue wearing them or will my feet begin to hurt?

  • Yarn Boy says:

    No dad, your feet are perfectly safe. The completion of the socks broke the curse, and you should feel free to wear those socks in health and happiness.

    Just let me know if those skulls start talking to you.

  • gray la gran says:

    is there a photo of the cursed feet in the cursed socks?

  • Yarn Boy says:

    Not at the moment, but I might have one shortly. I just asked my father to take a picture. I’ll post it when it arrives!

  • Amy says:

    Thanks for the link!

    I am working one a cursed project right now. There are only 30 rows or so left so it will soon be vanquished!

  • xydrella says:

    I too have attemptted a pair of skull socks to no avail. Cursed Cursed skulls! But thanks to this post I most certainly will attempt to finnish them at some point before the holiday season. I must first work up the guts to face the project again.

  • Kitty says:

    I recently finished knitting one side of a purse which has turned out to be a cursed project. Funny enough, it’s also a fair isle skull and crossbones pattern. I’m almost considering making the other side a solid color just to make it easy. For now I’m leaving it alone, though. Maybe there’s something about skulls that almost guarantees the curse. o_0

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