The moment The Sims 4: Nifty Knitting Stuff was announced, I started dreaming of building a knitting empire. I wanted to knit everything, from socks to beanies to little toy penguins. I wanted to cover my floors in knitted rugs and my mailbox in a knitted cozy. I wanted to earn a fortune on Plopsy, the Sim version of Etsy.
Before I could do any of that, however, I had a mystery to solve.
In addition to oodles of knitted items, Nifty Knitting Stuff includes a new aspiration: Lord/Lady of the Knits. Sims with this aspiration dream of mastering the knitted arts and crafting perfect knitted items. Mastering the aspiration allows you to craft a special companion (Yarny from EA’s Unravel), the Forbidden Sweater showcased in the pack trailer , and renders you immune to something known as “the Sweater Curse.” What was this foul magic? Was it all a myth, or was it something I should take seriously?
Surprisingly, the Sweater Curse is a real thing, or at least a real superstition. The Sweater Curse is the belief that gifting your partner a knitted sweater will lead to relationship doom. According to The New Yorker, this belief is backed up by numerous personal accounts. Some believe that simply starting to knit a sweater spells relationship doom. Others believe that the curse doesn’t start until after the sweater is given. Many believe that it’s only safe to gift a partner a sweater if the two of you are married.
Of course, none of that told me what the Sweater Curse meant for my Sims. I decided to hit the town, meet some Sims, and find someone that I could gift a sweater to.
After a night of spamming the “Get to Know” and “Flirt” interactions, my Sim found a boyfriend: Mitchell Kalani. Once the hapless Sim had agreed to the relationship, I celebrated by offering him a romantic gift of a hand-knitted sweater. While he didn’t put it on, he seemed pretty thrilled with the present, and no curse took effect. I tried again, opening my inventory, clicking on a sweater, and selecting “Gift.” Mitchell was once again overjoyed by my present, but this time, a new moodlet popped up, warning that my relationship was cursed.
At first, I was skeptical. Mitchell was more than happy to hold hands and dance around in the middle of my apartment. We even woohooed. The infamous Sweater Curse didn’t seem like anything to be afraid of.
The next day, Mitchell called me up and asked me out on a date. “So much for the Sweater Curse!” I thought, scoffing as I clicked to accept. Then we arrived at our destination, and I realized that the curse was very, very real.
Every single interaction I tried ended in double minus symbols and thought bubbles with my Sim’s face crossed out. My Sim could no longer blow kisses or pose without triggering an argument. Even friendly and funny interactions, like “Get to Know” or “Tell Joke About Mermaids” ended in anger.
Since everything I did resulted in conflict, I decided that my best course of action was to avoid my boyfriend until the curse was over. I would simply stay home, knit, and avoid dates until the curse moodlet disappeared. Maybe I would even complete the Lady of the Knit aspiration, dispelling the curse.
Unfortunately, I had given my Sim boyfriend a key to my apartment, which meant he could pop in and start fights with me at any time. He seemed to hate my mere presence, but in spite of that, he stopped by over and over again, which meant our relationship level declined further and further. Even if I didn’t interact with him directly, he would glare at my Sim as I knitted on the couch.
The default lifespan for a young adult Sim is 24 days, which means 7 days is a very long time. Since my apartment was no longer safe, I found myself spending more time outdoors, knitting on park benches and teaching other Sims to knit.
Finally, a full week passed, and the curse lifted, as though it was never there in the first place. Shockingly, I made it through the curse without a breakup, though my Sim boyfriend now considered me an acquaintance. Suddenly, I could invite him over, give him compliments, and talk about the weather without any ill effects. I could even give him non-sweater knitted gifts. In a matter of minutes, our relationship levels were back to normal.
Things seemed okay, but deep down, I knew there was no coming back from the Sweater Curse. Sure, my Sim boyfriend liked me again, but it’s hard to see a Sim in the same light after they spend a full Sim-week hating your guts. At this point, just seeing Mitchell in my apartment was enough to fill me with dread.
The Sweater Curse is great for story play, but if you’re not trying to find an excuse for a messy Sim breakup, I’d advise against gifting sweaters to your romantic interests. Having the tense moodlet for a full week kind of sucks, especially if you’re trying to get a promotion or level up skills.
If you really want to give your Sim partner a sweater, just offer them a romantic or friendly gift. While this might be a bug, gifting a sweater this way won’t trigger any curses. Alternatively, you can keep on working on the knitting aspiration until you’ve truly mastered the knitting arts. The best gifts — like The Forbidden Sweater — are worth waiting for.