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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Curse of the Boyfriend Sweater

The Curse of the Boyfriend Sweater

Essays on Crafting

Alanna Okun

Flatiron Books


The Curse of the Boyfriend Sweater is a memoir about life truths learned through crafting.

People who craft know things. They know how to transform piles of yarn into sweaters and scarves. They know that some items, like woolen bikini tops, are better left unknit. They know that making a hat for a newborn baby isn’t just about crafting something small but appreciating the beginnings of life, which sometimes helps make peace with the endings. They know that if you knit your boyfriend a sweater, your relationship will most likely be over before the last stitch.

Alanna Okun knows that crafting keeps her anxiety at bay. She knows that no one will ever be as good a knitting teacher as her beloved grandmother. And she knows that even when we can’t control anything else, we can at least control the sticks, string, and fabric right in front of us.

Okun lays herself bare and takes readers into the parts of themselves they often keep hidden. Yet at the same time she finds humor in the daily indignities all crafters must face (like when you catch the dreaded Second Sock Syndrome and can’t possibly finish the second in a pair). Okun has written a book that will speak to anyone who has said to themselves, or to everyone within earshot, “I made that.”

Casting On

You can’t really know what a project is going to be until it’s done. This is true of many things—books, recipes, relationships—and it is especially true of knitting.

Say you want to make a hat. You knit an inch,...

Praise for The Curse of the Boyfriend Sweater

BuzzFeed: The 33 Most Exciting New Books of 2018
Goodreads: Most Popular Books Published in March 2018
Apartment Therapy: Books We’re Loving This Month

“This book draws you in just as an oversized, hand-knitted, and unexpectedly soft sweater does. Alanna is so sharp and so charming and so genuinely warm that, regardless of your prior experience with crafting, you will only want to put down this book if it is to make something yourself—and you know Alanna would approve.”
Katie Heaney, author of Never Have I Ever, Dear Emma, and Public Relations

“Alanna Okun’s poignant, hilarious, and infinitely instructional essays about crafting will help you have a more beautiful life, whether you ever pick up a pair of knitting needles or not.”
Jen Doll, author of Save the Date

“Okun’s writing is entertaining, often funny, and relatable even to noncrafters.”

“Relatable, witty, and comforting, this collection has a little something for creators of all types.”

“Through her essays, Okun discusses her deep connection to crafting in a way that brings meaning to every handmade object, and will certainly inspire all of your future projects.”
Apartment Therapy

Reviews from Goodreads

Alanna Okun

ALANNA OKUN is a writer, editor, and crafter. She's currently a senior editor at Racked, and has written for publications such as BuzzFeed, Brooklyn Magazine, Apartment Therapy, and The Hairpin, and has appeared on Today, Good Morning America, NPR, and many other local and national television and radio programs. Alanna lives in Brooklyn with a lot of yarn.

image of Alanna Okuno
©Mia Fermindoza