Ex-Husbands and Sweaters

Many (many!) years ago I overheard a conversation between my then husband (whom I shall refer to as Beelzebob – yes the typo is on purpose; he was an awful man) and one of his best friends.  His (very large) friend was lamenting how hard it was to find a nice sweater in his size.  The conversation went something like this:

Beelzebob:  “Oh don’t worry about it!  My old lady [me] will knit one for you.  I’ll get her to knit you one of those sweaters with those cross things [cables] on it – you know, the sweaters Irish fishermen wear.”

Friend:  “Really?!  Oh that’d be great!  What should I do?”

Beelzebob:  “Just bring her the yarn you want.  Better yet, bring her the wool ready to spin, and she can make the yarn.  No, no – I know – just bring her a FLEECE, and she’ll take it from there.”

Listening to this conversation, I shook my head, started humming “To Dream the Impossible Dream” and braced myself for what I knew would be the inevitable fight.  Here’s how the conversation went later that night:

Beelzebob:  “Babe [me], my friend is going to bring you a fleece.  I told him you’d  make him a sweater from it.  One of those Irish crossy-sweaters.”

Me:  “You should have asked me first.  No, I won’t.”

Beezebob (sounding astonished):  “What do you mean you won’t?!  He’s my best friend!”

Me:  “Then you make the sweater for him.  Don’t ever volunteer me to make a sweater for anybody … [proverbial pregnant pause] … and I think I want a divorce.”

It took him volunteering me to knit a sweater (starting with a fleece, no less!) before I thought seriously about a divorce!  I moved out a few months later.

Curiously, the fight about sweaters wasn’t over yet.  About a year after our divorce was final he told me that I “owed” him a sweater because in our 3 years of marriage I never knit him anything.  I laughed and shut my front door.

To this day my rule is I only knit, crochet, or weave items for dear friends of mine or for customers.  He was (and still is) neither!


About sweatyknitter

Fiber art devotee, author, and amateur artisan bread baker.
This entry was posted in Knitting, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Ex-Husbands and Sweaters

  1. I agree! Good rule to follow. 🙂


  2. domesticnews says:

    My guide is to only produce for those who appreciate the work. Maybe they create things, too. I never promise since my to-do list is too long and delays are embarrassing. 🙂 Otherwise, a cheerful, or sturdy and emphatic belly laugh usually helps to discourage these requests. Then, if needed, a grave, business-like tone asking what the proposed trade might be. Not much will measure up if it isn’t going to be a heart-felt gift anyway. Good for you.


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