What to do with cursed yarn

With Halloween coming up on Thursday, I’ve got spooky things on the brain. The undead have been making cameos in my dreams for weeks. To fortify my defenses against the dark arts I’ve broken into a bag of fun-sized Milk Duds intended for trick-or-treaters. Chocolate and caramel are powerful and delicious deterrents to hexes and curses. Plus, their gooey, sticky substance has been known to gum the teeth of even the most persistent vampire.

Unfortunately, a curse made it past my defenses. Somewhere between the LYS and my front door it crawled into my knitting bag and clawed its way into two hanks of green Cascade 220 Heathers. I should have been carrying Milk Duds for protection.

This happened more than a year ago.

Since then, every project I’ve attempted with this yarn has failed.

  • I lose my place in the pattern, repeatedly
  • I acquire extra stitches or mysteriously drop them
  • I frog and re-knit with no discernible improvement

The yarn is holding up well to this abuse. It doesn’t look mangled at all.

So what do I do with this yarn? If I leave it in my stash any longer I’m worried that its bad juju might contaminate the other yarn.

Is there a cleansing ritual I could perform? A song or dance?

Or should I give it away? I don’t think the curse will go along for the ride. I firmly believe that yarn curses are individually targeted and cannot affect other knitters.


  1. While it looks too pretty and nice for it, you could try parabolic crochet/knitting. It makes an interesting ruffly thing that looks rather like coral. Basically you start with a round of however many stitches you want (smaller numbers are better, like 5 or so) and increase in regular intervals (every two stitches or every 4 stitches) and you just keep going. It gets big pretty fast, but it also look cool, you can find pictures on google. You could also try scrumbles, which are something my mom has done that I don’t really get but you apparently just knit and/or crochet randomly to make abstract shapes. My point here is if you don’t have a pattern you can’t mess it up!

  2. I think you just need to sit down with it and ask it what it wants to be. It may be moody and sensitive rather than cursed 😛 If you try to understand its point of view, it may settle down and become a nicely behaved FO, since it will be in harmony with its pattern. Otherwise, I bet it will continue to fight you tooth and nail.

  3. Seems to me that you should do a yarn swap with someone! Have that person pick the thing that’s haunting their stash and switch. If you want to go one step further, you could each knit something with the other person’s cursed yarn and mail it back. Complete the circle, so to speak 🙂

  4. I think a cleanse is in order. You’ve got to get the yarn out of the house and maybe the curse will get lost along the way. Take it to your knit night. Let people pet it and admire it. Maybe then it will return home well behaved and curse free:)

  5. Well I believe the original point of All Hallows Eve was to celebrate the good of the previous year and cleanse yourself of all bad things in preparation for the coming year.
    According to pagan tradition, you should set fire to it.

    Or maybe just swap with someone!

  6. Make tiny skeins and give them out to trick or treaters? Since you ate their candy, you need to give them something, and they can decide whether it’s a trick or a treat? 😉

  7. Oh dear that’s when I usually give it to my daughter to play with on her spool knitter. Good Luck.

  8. You must get it out of your house. Just put it in a bag (hopefully with the labels) and leave it on the bus, or in a coffee shop, a park bench or maybe the library. Someone will be thrilled to find it and the curse will be broken. It just needs some love….

  9. Probably safest to do a cursed-yarn-swap with someone who has the same problem – if the curse travels with the yarn neither of you will be any the worse off, and at least it would be a nice change to have someone else’s doomed stash rather than casting on the same stuff yet again (although it is a very pretty shade of green).

  10. Maybe it’s something about the green.
    I have this lovely invictus yarn that I made into a cowl that didn’t fit. So I frogged it.
    It didn’t like frogging one bit. I should have known at that point the yarn wouldn’t behave.
    Eventually I wrestled and got the yarn wound on the niddy noddy.
    Some how between winding it on the niddy noddy, soaking, and drying it has become a tangled mess.

    It is now sitting in the naughty corner.

    • If I give it away, do you think I should tell the recipient that it’s cursed yarn? Or should I “forget” to mention it. If I tell them, a) will that perpetuate the curse, b) will they refuse to take the yarn off my hands?

  11. Professor R J Lupin would be please! Stocking up on chocolate. I haven’t had any cursed yarn but I had a cursed row. Every time I tried to knit a certain lace row, no matter how careful I was it would end up off. Best of luck with the ‘clensing’.

  12. I agree that it must have something to do with the green colour.. I have some sock yarn which I just couldn’t make into socks in a similar heathered green. I started and restarted them about 4 times, and they are still half finished over a year later. However, I also have Drops Alpaca in green too, and it is quickly becoming a gorgeous cardi! There is hope!

  13. Some of your comments are so funny! I too have some cursed yarn. It is beautiful and gorgeous and I have tried to knit it so many times, but it never works. I think it’s because it doesn’t want to be what I think it should be. One day I’ll find the right thing for it. Your yarn looks like it wants to be garter stitch. That’s what it’s saying to me. 😉

  14. I have two skeins of exactly the same yarn that doesn’t want to be anything. I’m going to felt it in something.

    • Hah I wonder if it came cursed from the mill. The Curse of the Old Woolen Mill. Sounds like a Nancy Drew mystery.

  15. Maybe if you’d store it in a carved Jack o’ Lantern for the next few days? After all, they’re supposed to hold off any and all evil spirits and curses and suchlike.
    (And you’ll probably can’t go wrong if you throw in a few chocolate bars for good measure…)

  16. I thought that was so funny – a yarn curse, but – I know what you mean. I have the same thing happen every now and then. There is one particular hat that I make, which fights me all the way. I follow the pattern diligently – still it goes wrong, time and again. I WON’T be beat so I struggle on, cursing. Try putting the yarn with a crystal for a few days. That should do it.

  17. I’ve definitely had yarn like that. Sometimes an extended stay in timeout followed by using it in a totally different project works. Sometimes though, I have to give it away. Stupid curses.

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