Sunday, January 14, 2007

I Need an Opinion . . .

Do you think the February baby sweater from Knitter's Almanac is gender neutral? I'm a little unsure because of the lace pattern. I want to make something nice for a new niece or nephew due in the Spring, but since the parents-to-be have chosen to be surprised about the baby's sex, I'm not sure what to make. I know I could always do just stockinette instead of the lace pattern, but that seems a bit dull. Has anyone put a baby boy in this sweater? Do you think it works as a gender neutral garment if knit in white or cream (or maybe grey or navy)?

This will be one of my first EZ items (I'm also planning to make the longies for my son and will probably do those first, since he needs something warm to wear to bed). I had heard so much about EZ on blogs and in various chat groups that I was curious to learn more. I got a couple of her books for Christmas, and I'm just hooked! I love her casual, practical approach to knitting, and I'm looking forward to the empowerment of following recipes instead of patterns.


  • i think it is a sweater for a little girl. why don't you make the baby surprise or tomten which i believe is much more gender neutral. new parents can be so sensitive.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:43 AM  

  • why don't you make the baby surprise or the tomten. the february cardi is indeed very feminine.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:46 AM  

  • I made the lace pattern when i was expecting and didn't know the sex. I did the garter st in sage green and the lace in light blue. I put teddy bear buttons on it and it looks great on my son. If I had a girl I was going to put daisy buttons. He looks like a little prince. Not to feminine at all.

    By Blogger Annie in the Round, at 8:52 AM  

  • Nothing says you have to add the lace if you have hangups about boys and lace.

    OTOH, lace is not inherently feminine. And the gull's wing pattern is very angular, so the sweater will not automatically read little girl. And the lace helps make the sweater much more flexible on size. So I'd tend to go with lace and a vividly colored sweater. Bright red, navy, kelly green... Babies like bright colors.

    By Anonymous Emily Cartier, at 9:04 AM  

  • I have two grandsons, and friends who have grandsons. I can tell you from my experience, they would not put their sons in anything lacy. This has been a heartbreaker for me, since I love to knit baby sweaters in the style of EZ's pattern. Go for the Tomten or the Surprise, and choose bright, or dark colours. MY DIL put the boys in navy, from Day One.

    By Anonymous judith, at 9:11 AM  

  • I've done the baby sweater in question, in solid stockinette, for little boys. Just skip the lace pattern and knit and purl back and forth.

    By Blogger Julie, at 11:16 AM  

  • I knitted this EZ design (for a VK special KIDS edition) in all garter-stitch with stripes of very bright colors; looked great on boy or girl.


    By Blogger Meg, at 11:54 AM  

  • I think it's cultural. I would put a boy in the gull-pattern version. Indeed, it's very refined in Italy to put children of both genders in openwork sweaters.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:38 PM  

  • I knit it for my son in a tweedy brown, and put wood buttons on it. I didn't worry about the lace. I made another one in an organic brown cotton for a friend's son, but I'm pretty sure he never wore it. I probably wouldn't make it for another boy, unless the mom was a knitter who agrees that babies should just be babies, and not worry about whether or not he's dressed like a construction worker or jcrew male model.

    By Anonymous MrsPeterson, at 3:14 PM  

  • I agree that the lace pattern and the garter stitch yoke is very feminine. I think changing it to stockinette would work, though. Good idea.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:07 PM  

  • A friend of mine knit the Almanac pattern, but substituted a 7-stitch knit/purl zig-zag pattern (solid) for the 7-stitch lace pattern. Done up in khaki yarn, it looks great for a little boy. Look through a stitch pattern book for ideas, and find one that would fit.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:12 PM  

  • Thanks so much, everyone, for all your great input! This was my first post, and I can't believe the flood of responses to my question. It seems I've found a great group of knitters to share ideas with (and get advice from).

    I think I would put this sweater on my own little boy if I used masucline colors and buttons (I love the brown tweed idea with wood buttons!). But . . . since this isn't for MY baby, and I don't want to go TOO boyish, since it might very well be a girl, I guess I'd better be safe and do either stockinette or a more neutral 7-stitch pattern. I'd hate to have the sweater languish in the closet (or worse) because the parents thinks it's too girly for a little boy.

    By Blogger Kelley, at 5:28 PM  

  • I vote for tomten!!

    By Blogger Elena, at 10:06 AM  

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