Other Knitting Superstitions

I was listening to an audiobook today that involves the theater, and was surprised to hear a character declare that “knitting on stage is bad luck”.

Having at least 50% of the qualification, and never having heard of this one — of course, I had to look into it.  And yes, I found several websites that insist that knitting on-stage — or near the stage, or to the side of the stage — is definitely bad luck — even at rehearsals!

However, some sources state that it is only a problem if the knitting is done by an actor or actress, so I guess that means it’s OK for the audience to bring their knitting.  (Thank goodness — I was beginning to worry about the Winterhawks hockey team.)

The most often suggested origin of the superstition is that pointy needles could rip a costume, or a needle on the floor could be stepped on by someone and cause them to fall.  A more romantic version says that the act of knitting will “entangle the production”, and connects this remarkable ability to the Fates — who may not be knitters, but they do weave the tapestry of Life, after all.

I also found a few other superstitions about knitting, aside from the well-known “boyfriend sweater” curse.  (Well, it’s well-known to me, in a very definite and experienced way, at any rate.)  For entertainment purposes only, please!


  • “Bad luck may befall a knitter who leaves a project unfinished.”  Well, this one pretty much puts me in the doghouse right there.  Anything else I might inadvertently do to cause myself bad luck — such as failing to hold my breath until I see a black, or possibly brown, dog upon hearing an ambulance — is probably completely overshadowed by this one.


  • The “bad luck from an unfinished project can be transferred to the intended recipient“, as well.  This is most often quoted in the context of starting projects for babies, which seems disproportionate to say the least.  Why doom an innocent child because I can’t get my act together to finish a pair of booties?


  • “Don’t stab your needles through the ball of yarn when you stop knitting, or anyone who wears what is created from that yarn will have bad luck.”  Unless of course your intended recipient is a baby AND you manage to finish the project WITHOUT having to resort to knitting it while on-stage.


  • I have to quote this particular impolite source verbatim:  “Ladies, not that he wants them anyway, knitting a pair of socks for your boyfriend may cause your man to walk away from you in the future.”  HA!  Not if he is smart.  Or maybe this is like the sweater curse, in that if the man in question is married to you, it’s OK.  This is not specified, though, so the best advice I can give is, knit socks for your man at your own risk.


  • “If you knit a strand of your own hair into an item, it will cause a closer bond to be formed between you and the recipient.”  It must be that this one only works if it is the knitter’s own hair:  because if it could be extrapolated to any old hair that gets trapped in the knitting, I think my husband would have run off with my cat by now.


  • “If you drop the scissors you are using to cut your yarn, it means your lover is cheating on you.”  Disclaimer:  some sources say they have to land open in the “V” shape for this to be true.  Some also say that someone else has to pick them up for you — no dire retribution is assigned if you pick them up yourself, but I suppose it’s going to be the ubiquitous but nonspecific “bad luck”.  I think it probably just means Rock Star has been knitting with the gin again!


so, Happy Knitting!  but for the love of sheep, NOT ON-STAGE, and be careful with the scissors.

  2 comments for “Other Knitting Superstitions

  1. 02/11/2011 at 12:18 PM

    ““Don’t stab your needles through the ball of yarn when you stop knitting, or anyone who wears what is created from that yarn will have bad luck.”

    Oh, oh I do this all the time. Does this mean that the recipient who wears my items is going to start having mirrors break as he walks past them?

    • 02/17/2011 at 6:01 PM

      who knows? 🙂 apparently “bad luck” can mean just about anything, and just about anything can bring “bad luck”! O.o

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