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FREE Gender-Neutral Knitting Patterns for Babies

FREE Gender-Neutral Knitting Patterns for Babies

by Emily

I've noticed a growing trend in the past year for expectant parents to choose not to know the sex of their baby before it's born. Perhaps it's a reaction against the nearly-omnipresent "gender reveal" parties that seemed to overload our social media feeds with pink and blue explosions of confetti, or perhaps a desire not to color-code our children so intensely.

Before the mid 20th-century, most babies were dressed almost-exclusively in white gowns (aka, garments that could be bleached and then passed down to younger siblings), and most of us are now wise to the "blue and pink" marketing strategy by retail companies to sell us more (ultimately landfill-bound) stuff.

Regardless of the cause, I've been getting a lot more requests from customers for gender-neutral knitting patterns and color palettes for babies and newborns, so here is a round-up of some of my (heirloom-worthy) favorites, and some of my favorite lines of yarn (in gorgous palettes!) for baby gifts that will last a lifetime. I've personally tried out & vetted all of these patterns, and as an added bonus, all of these patterns are FREE!

Chevron Baby Blanket 

We recommend this baby blanket most often in the shop. It calls for worsted-weight yarn, which means it will knit up rather quickly. It's an easy pattern that looks more complicated than it is, and it suitable for beginners. Because chevron stripes are the main design feature, you can 1.) make the blanket for any palette and 2.) you can mix and match yarns if you can't find 750+ yards of any one color. Blue Sky Sweater Worsted is a classic choice for a baby blanket (it's machine washable AND dryable, comes in a ton of colors, and has no synthetic fiber content). For parents with a modern/vintage aesthetic, check out our new Misha and Puff Superwash Yarn (it is delicious). 

Purl Soho Mosaic Baby Blanket

Here's another genderless blanket pattern that I love. This is the pattern I used for both of my kids' baby blankets. I love it because the design looks very complicated, but in reality it's mosaic knitting, so the colorwork is created through slipped stitches, making it an appropriate project for a "newish" knitter. Either of the worsted-weight yarns above would work, but I used Malabrigo Rios for my youngest child's blanket (pictured) in the color "Frank Ochre", which is a lovely gender-neutral harvest yellow (and one of the most popular Rios colors of all time!).  

Magic Coffee Baby Hat 

Classic easy baby hat pattern. You can whip one of these out in an evening once you're on a roll, and the i-cord top is both cute and makes the hat easy to finish (just tuck the end into the icord and call it a night!). When I made this pattern for my first child, I made it in solid white as part of a "layette" for her hospital stay. It would be adorable made in extra yarn from a baby blanket. 

Modern Baby Bonnet

I made this bonnet in grey for my first child and she wore it nearly constantly (grey matches with everything!). Bonnets are a great "next level" baby hat. Because they involve either a button band or an i-cord tie, the hat actually stays on a wiggly baby's head. For this particular pattern, I opted to make an applied icord instead of the pattern's button band (personal preference). For this pattern, any DK-weight yarn (or fingering-weight yarn held double) will work well. 

Flax or Flax Light Baby Sweater

These are worsted-weight and fingering-weight versions of the same tried-and-true sweater from Tin Can Knits and its truly gender-neutral. We often recommend this as a "first sweater" pattern for adults, but the sizing goes all the way down to 0-6 month (how cute would matching Mommy-and-me or Daddy-and-me sweaters be??). I made the fingering-weight version for my kiddos twice. The second time, I used a variety of leftover yarns as a DIY fade (it would be fun to try this with a Koigu Paint Can!). But a single skein of fingering-weight yarn will get you the smallest size! This is truly one of those patterns that you can make over and over, for anyone.

I've called this list "gender neutral" knitting patterns but really, ANY pattern can be knitted for anyone. If you like the pattern and think the recipient will love it, find yourself a pretty color and go for it!

What are your go-to baby patterns? Share in the comments so we can add it to our list!

 

 

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