Luckily, I just finished writing up a pattern from the LAST baby avalanche I went through, in which a bunch of the expectant parents opted to find out the baby's gender on the day of delivery. While I totally respect the decision--and even admire it, as I wouldn't have the willpower to resist finding out--it does throw a bit of a wrench in the works when it comes to almost any kind of baby gift. I am seeing that there is NOT a lot of gender-neutral stuff out there past the plain white onesie. Even the items that come in yellow or pale green (which are apparently, and respectively, the classic and contemporary code colors for gender-nonspecific baby gear) tend to have some coded gender references. You know, ladybugs or lizards, that kind of shit.
Knitting patterns aren't much better, although the silhouettes are at least more non-aligned. Where you hit the wall with those is in the baby-yarns section of the LYS, which just looks like Tinkerbell's toilet to me. LOTTA pastels on that wall, folks. Don't babies need basic black and classic navy too? Or, you know, teal and tangerine and deep, rich earth tones?
|If anyone knows a better way to style a baby blanket than draping it on a chair, please tell me.|
I'm not saying I've totally solved these problems, but along with the Peabey Bear stuffed animal (which is nice because it's soft and baby-safe, especially if you knit it up in and stuff it with organic cotton) the Tillie Blanket pattern is my stab at it. It's got a bit of eyelet texture, so it's not so boring to knit, and there's a subtle flounce at the edge, yet the overall effect is not so lacy and ruffly as to be categorically girly-girly. It works just as well in blue or pink as it would in yellow or soft green; I opted for a nice sandy neutral, which should go with pretty much anything (but coordinates especially well with burp stains). It's worked up in an easy-care sport-weight yarn that comes in a wide range of colors--including a fabulous tangerine orange, rich red, chocolate-y brown, and yes, basic black, if the baby in question has a daring fashion sense or artsy parents who would go for that. No more waiting 'till the baby comes out to cast on and start knitting!