Drive By Blogging

I spent the better part of the day at the hospital with Sam (all’s well – the cast is off, she doesn’t need surgery, and she’s ready to start physio and try to get her arm back) and it’s thrown me dreadfully behind. All you get from me today is finished pictures of Fanasæter.

Yarn: SMC Baby Wool – almost exactly six balls. Needles: 2.25mm.

I think I’m pretty happy with it, although I’m not sure that it’s as neutral as I thought it would be.  I mean, I think it’s neutral, and I think the parents will be happy to put it on either a boy or a girl, but several people have implied that it’s a smidge emasculating for a little guy.  I disagree.

I like it a lot – and besides, you all know where I stand on the crisis of little boys being taken for little girls and the opposite.  I don’t think it matters a bit.

125 thoughts on “Drive By Blogging

  1. I think its lovely. It looks perfectly gender neutral to me-those are snowflakes!

  2. If the p’s freak out becuase the baby is a girl and this is a different kind of neutral, take the sweater back and knit a pink one or add bows.

  3. Beautiful sweater! Great job on the embroidery! (And thanks for the warning; I won’t be making this one…)

  4. Looks great! I still think the embroidery makes the snowflakes look like flowers but I’m sure Luis doesn’t care.

  5. I think if its a boy and they put it on the wee one as a newborn and he up and tells his parents that its emasculating and he can’t wear it, they’ve got bigger worries than a sweater. just sayin’

  6. The people who comment are the ones who are slaves. If these parents have any brains at all — and they must have because you care enough to knit that sweater for their child — they will be grateful for a beautiful sweater that will last through six children, should they decide to have that many. Whether they are pink, blue or green.
    It’s simply a wonderful little sweater.

  7. Forgot the sweater is for a different baby. Oh well, most babies I’ve met don’t care what type of clothing they wear.

  8. I love the little sweater. I just don’t see the little “things” as snowflakes. They look like flowers to me too. Neutral color is just beautiful!

  9. Beautiful. My 2 month old daughter is having no problems so far with wearing her older brother’s clothes, and shows no lasting damage for occasionally being taken for a boy.

  10. I get sick from gender-stereotypes projected onto innocent babies, but I trust the friends of the YarnHarlot to be more open-minded than that. This little sweater is a piece of art and a family-heirloom-to-be, and whoever the new person is going to be, I’m sure she or he will be very happy wearing it, surrended by all the knit-in love. Great job – again!

  11. I didn’t know that snowflakes or gray related to a particular gender.
    And if the newborn is offended and says so, we will get to see the sweater on the 6 o’clock news, won’t we?

  12. Good luck to Sam and her physical therapy! I am guessing she will have to pitch in more on the chores now.

  13. When I look at it, I automatically think “boy” so I don’t think it’s emasculating at all.

  14. The sweater is lovely.
    Book recommendation: “Pink and Blue” – it’s a history of children’s clothing, and how we got to our current highly-gendered clothing situation. Which is really a very recent development in fashion.
    Meanwhile, my two girls refuse to wear pink. 🙂

  15. Glad to hear Sam doesn’t need surgery and is set to start getting her arm back. I had to check because it seemed not so long ago you posted the picture of Sam & the cast…less than 2 weeks! Wonderful. Just in time for spring weather.( note: positive statement) THEY say we have a 60% chance of snow on Friday (SE Iowa). Lawn lakes from the thunderstorms with pea sized hail rolling through here today with more storms in the forecast for tomorrow. Friday will take care of itself & will be over soon enough.
    The sweater is sweet, lovely & perfect for any baby.

  16. It’s funny, because I was skimming this post quickly and saw the pictures and went “That’s a very manly little baby sweater” before I realized that people thought it looked more girly.

  17. I love this sweater!! I probably won’t make it though, as I am rather a lazy knitter. I made EZ’s surprise baby sweater and like the fun and speed of that project.
    Our son, now 27, wore a sweet white bonnet when he was wee, and it had a lovely ruffle around the front. As far as I know he never held it against us.

  18. Glad you can’t reach through the computer to slap me for saying this, but I think it looked more like snowflakes before the embroidery. It’s beautiful, regardless.

  19. That’s funny. I thought you were going to say it might be more masculine than feminine. Clearly I think it’s gender neutral. If the parents care, they can pair it with either a pink or blue onesie and it wil lsuddenly be clearly girl or boy.

  20. If I had to opine on this lovely little sweater, I would say that if anything made the sweater lean toward the feminine side, it would be the buttons. But really, it looks 100% gender neutral to this auntie.

  21. Simply beautiful little sweater. Perfect for a boy or a girl.
    As the mother of 5 girls and a boy, when Fred was dressed in pink and ruffled hand-me-downs and mistaken for a little girl, I just smiled and said, “Well, no, he’s a boy. But considering how many children I have, it’s just a wonder that he’s dressed at all.” (That is, you’re right — it doesn’t matter.)

  22. I had very short hair as a 13 yr old and grew up in the 60s/70s when the teen “uniform” was t-shirt and jeans. I was mistaken for a boy more than once, and it has not left lasting damage!! (smile) The sweater is stunning. Lovely work.

  23. My guess is that Luis is going to have more than enough elan to wear something like it at age 30, never mind now. The boy has charisma.

  24. That is one gorgeous sweater ~ I know I’d love one like it for my baby, boy or girl!

  25. Have a look through Ravelry for the adorable little black sweater (on an adorable little girl) that says “Je n’aime pas le rose” on the front. Can’t stand those stereotypes but it is hard to shake them, isn’t it?

  26. It’s beautiful, I wish I had the ability/gumption to knit one! As for emasculating or not – Luis is too little to know or care if he’s a boy or a girl, but he will know and care if he’s wearing a comfy sweater.

  27. It’s gorgeous, and it’s not emasculating at all, it’s a Norwegian pattern, and they’re not as hung up on feminine/masculine in the patterns as many are here in the states…

  28. How beautiful is this little sweater! You did a fine job on the embroidery, and the whole sweater is perfect no matter which gender baby turns out to be. Definitely neutral. 🙂

  29. I dunno, seems to me there are plenty of guys that like gardening, so whats a few flowers in the big scheme of things. Hey they used to dress boys and girls in dresses when they were really young turn of the last century and left them with long hair too. I like it, nice little sweater.

  30. Any little kid that has a sweater with that much detail at such a wee age is lucky, regardless of gender. He’ll wear it with pride!

  31. I think it is so cute for either a girl or a boy. My daughter is now 10 months old and I would have put her in that in a heartbeat. She did tend to get mistaken for a boy because her carseat/stroller is black with turquoise on it, though. People really cling to that blue=boy, pink=girl mentality. Seriously, one time she was even wearing a very girly purple dress with hearts on it, but that wasn’t enough to overrule the blue stroller (as I type that, I realize that it makes me sound like I think boys shouldn’t wear purple, which is not the case). I also never put giant bows or flowers on her head either though, maybe that would have helped… Anyways, I was never offended, and I’m pretty sure she wasn’t either.
    I think it may be the buttons that are making the sweater read “girl”. Maybe dark wooden buttons or something like that would look more manly if the baby is a boy.

  32. As one patron at a yarn shop said to my son, when he picked out colors/yarn (Sublime)for his chullo: “You are such a lucky man”. The baby is going to be a lucky little guy to have you in his circle.

  33. As we all know … the slightest hint of a quasi-floral design on a baby boy will guarantee that he will be a drag queen.
    And I hope that actually happens to any parents who actually believee that. May their children grow up to be writers and stand-up comics as well.
    Gorgeous sweater. Relax. A newborn doesn’t even know it is a BABY … much less does it care if it is a boy or girl.

  34. There is no evidence whatsoever that color choice in childhood has any effect at all on gender identity and subsequent gender preference. Get over it people! (And all babies are beautiful.)

  35. Gorgeous sweater. And let’s face it, parents who have gender issues with their infants are not the kind of people you’re going to be knitting for, anyway. Gender-schmender. High-five on the button choice. 🙂

  36. When our daughter was about a month old, I took her to her dad’s office to be shown off. She was wearing a very pretty, smocked, full-skirted little dress with a ribbon in her curly blonde hair. At least two people stopped me to say what a handsome little boy she was. Well yes, the dress was blue, but it was a DRESS!
    Didn’t seem to mark her, though. Nobody who meets her today, even when she’s arguing in court – even when she’s wearing blue – has any doubts about her gender!

  37. Poor Sam. I hope it goes well for her. And you. This said from one who toppled over and broke both, yes, both of her wrists in December. Not good for a knitter. Double casts, fingertips to elbows for 8 weeks. Then physio, physio, physio….. and now I am 100 % ! And she will be too.

  38. I love the sweater. Working in a LYS as I do, I find that people have very strict ideas about masculine vs feminine baby patterns. Mostly, open and lacy patterns are considered feminine, whereas cabled and textural patterns are seen as masculine. When in doubt, I advocate stockinette or garter. Personally, I think that one should knit creatively; for me, it is all about the process.

  39. Here’s hoping for a speedy recovery for Sam. I had a similar injury (small fracture in the elbow end of my spindle bone – also acquired by falling with a bike) and it was amazing how quickly the arm got all weird. On the other hand, it also recovered fairly quickly once I got to start using it again. One week of immobility, and it took a month to get back normal range of movement, and a couple more months to get back to feeling normal too. Hopefully that’ll be the case for her as well 🙂

  40. I knew someone who came in second in a beautiful baby contest. His mother swore he would have won first, but he was fussing due to a wet diaper and she was afraid that if she changed it he might be disqualified because she had dressed him in bows and ruffles and entered him as a girl. Thirty years later, his wife thought it was hysterically funny.
    Glad to hear good news on the arm.

  41. Wow, what a gorgeous sweater. I hope you find a very deserving baby and parents for it, whatever gender the baby (and parents) are.
    I’m glad to hear Sam’s doing well.

  42. Emasculating? Really? Setting aside the question of how you emasculate a person too little to have a gender identity of their own, I think it’s perfectly gender neutral. Unless it was the parents who said so, I’d say “you get one vote for every stitch you knit, embroidered or sewed” to your detractors. (If it was the parents, though I suspect it was not, I can’t help you.)

  43. Yippee!! Happy to hear Sam doesn’t need surgery.
    On another note: Seriously?! Six balls for a baby sweater?!

  44. Not sure why so many people are afraid of gender-specific clothes, but that sweater isn’t. It’s just beautiful.

  45. I think this sweater is lovely, and if the baby has any taste, he/she will love it regardless of gender. I know that if I were a parent, I would be dressing my baby in this and cooing over them. It’s cute and not a bit emasculating.

  46. So glad that Sam is on the mend. Now it’s going to be a pain for her to get back to baseline. I can’t imagine any parent not loving that sweater. It’s beautiful and I’d put any baby in it!

  47. Emasculating? No way. I think it’s gorgeous, and I’d be proud to put it on my little guy (if he was still little – he’s 14 now). I think the parents will love it no matter what.
    Hope physio isn’t too tough on Sam, but she seems like a pretty capable young lady!

  48. I can’t tell what buttons you used, but wood or brass might ramp up the masculine look a little . The most beautiful sweater I’ve seen in ages .

  49. That is one perfectly beautiful cardigan destined for one perfect baby regardless of its ‘bits’. My Dad and Uncles were born in the 1920s when boys were dressed in dresses (well smocks actually) until they turned 4. And Dad had beautiful chin-length blond curls too. And they all grew up to be over 6 feet tall, Dad joined the Navy and my uncles become boilermakers and they all played football and other suitably masculine pursuits. Babies, bless them, don’t care. It’s only adults that care. And who cares? I would put any wee one in that cardi. In fact if it was bigger (a lot bigger!) I’d put me in it!
    Best of luck to Sam with her physio!

  50. Steph, you remind me of a conversation I had at Knitting Camp back 1998 or 1999. I was knitting a lovely purple Jo Sharp sweater for my husband, and people were amazed that he would accept something purple, thinking it too “feminine.” I replied that he happily wore whatever I knit for him – very true – and then realized, oh! he’s colorblind!
    I think that arbitrary rules about what each sex can wear are a shame. A beautiful sweater is a beautiful sweater. Hubby still wears his purple beauty with pleasure.

  51. The world will be a better place when we stop assuming that it’s an insult to mistake a little boy for a little girl.

  52. Just like Mary Poppins, this sweater is practically perfect in every way! 🙂 Will look forward to seeing the little person who will be wearing it.

  53. If you can make a little boy’s penis fall off by putting a cardigan on him, then you are by far the most powerful knitter on the planet.

  54. Of course I had to weigh in: If there’s anything feminine about the sweater, it would be the buttons and the pinwheels (I really don’t see them as snowflakes OR flowers!). If there’s anything masculine about the sweater, it might be the color being a slightly darker shade than one usually sees in little girls’ clothes.
    Bottom line, though, is that the wee one wearing the sweater isn’t going to give a damn. If the parents get nutsy, lecture them on how to pair it with pink, purple, lavender, and white (for a girl) or blue, dark green, brown, black and/or dark, dark red (for a boy). Also advise them to seek a fashion consultant for themselves, because they probably look like they dressed from a Sally Army dropoff box while blindfolded if they can’t figure this out on their own.

  55. PS for Sam: Glad to hear the cast is off. Hope the rest of your recovery goes quickly, smoothly, and well.

  56. I don’t see how the love that is embodied in a hand knit sweater could ever be emasculating! It’s lovely and gray and even if the snowflakes are mistaken for flowers, aren’t sweet little boys flowers too- beautiful and blooming and reminding us of possibilities? 🙂

  57. That is one beautiful sweater. The folks saying nay are really showing their own insecurities. Do the fishermen wearing Aran sweaters look emasculated. I think not.
    Glad Sam will be OK.

  58. I’m with you on the matter of people misidentifying babies’ genders; it doesn’t matter to the baby and it shouldn’t matter to the parents. Besides, people get it wrong no matter how sterotypically a baby is dressed; one time, my older daughter was wearing a pink dress with bows and someone thought she was a boy because her stroller was blue!
    Lovely, lovely sweater. No way I’ll ever make it, though.

  59. Step,
    It is beautiful as usual. You do great work. I’m glad Sam is on the mend. We were all worring about her.

  60. My parents tried taping a bow to my head and I’d still get called what a cute little boy. I think the sweater is perfect, although I don’t think I’ll add it to my queue. Embroidery is too much like sewing. I can handle the seaming, but that’s my limit.

  61. Just a beautiful sweater! As for the gender stuff: babies don’t care and I don’t get why we do.
    p.s. – glad things are going well for Sam’s healing!

  62. Absolutely neutral – a classic design. Such beeutiful work! Best of luck with the physio Sam, follow through with that stuff no matter what so you can have a fully-functioning arm for the next 90+ years. (It has to last.)

  63. such a lovely little sweater.
    I, personally would be happy to put it on my baby, boy, or girl, does not matter.
    Whoever will receive should be glad that they have you for a friend.

  64. “Almost exactly six balls”?
    That rings alarm bells. Looking back, I don’t think you said how many balls of this yarn you bought. Is there a tale there to tell, or do you now have a spare ball of yarn to play with another time?
    Still, it’s a lovely sweater. Personally, I’d say it is more boy than girl, but who cares? I knit one baby sweater when I was expecting my first (a boy). It is bright red, he wore it all the time and my daughter is absolutely rocking it this week.

  65. I think it’s lovely – and it could work for a boy or a girl.
    Oh, and Glenys wins all the awards for her comment!

  66. Wishing Sam a speedy recovery!! I think the sweater is wonderful. Who says little boys don’t enjoy flowers/snowflakes?? I mean really what parent would snub a gift for their child especially one that has so much work and love put into it? None that’s who.

  67. Huh. Looks plenty gender neutral to me. Is it the embroidery? That’s all I can think of, but, honestly, that seems a little weak a reason.

  68. My 19 month old daughter still gets mistaken for a boy even on the rare times she is wearing pink or in a dress. Her new shrug is blue and orange and her new sweater is a lovely green.
    I love Glenys’s comment. If that were possible I’d be making cardigans for the spare bulls my MIL does not want to sell because she thinks of them as pets.

  69. Time was you figured that a baby’s mom could be trusted to change out buttons on her baby clothes so they would be more gender-specific (if it mattered to her at all). Probably not today unfortunately.
    I recall that I made my son a simple white cardi (with the rayon thread wrapping) but couldn’t resist at the end and put french cuffs on it. With pearl cuff links yet. What a fashion statement that made!

  70. A beautiful sweater. My first thought was if it is for a boy it needs different buttons. As I skimmed comments to you I noted that there were a couple other people that thought that as well. Perhaps a two tone grey button would suit either sex.
    Accessories ( buttons) can make or break an outfit.

  71. Glad Sam’s arm is ok and she must be really glad to get the cast off. Yay Sam! The little sweater is adorable!

  72. If he’s 12 and being mistaken for a girl, a boy might have a problem. But at 1 or 2? Nope, not an issue. A lovely, lovely sweater!

  73. This very beautiful sweater makes me think of something that might have been knit centuries ago, maybe for the baby Prince Hamlet or the sister he never had. Whoever gets it, will love it of that I am sure!

  74. It’s which side the buttons are, what says if a sweater is for a boy or a girl. Left over right = for boys. Right over left = for girls, no matter what the color or the pattern say. That’s how it’s always been; changing that is just confusing. So this Fanasæter to me is for a boy.

  75. It’s a wonderful sweater! I’d happily put that on my child of either gender, and not care one bit. I’m jealous!!

  76. I don’t think, at that age, that you can be too girly or too manly. They’re babies, for crying out loud!

  77. I never got why people care whether an infant child is a boy or girl. It doesn’t understand. Gender shouldn’t factor in any way until puberty, when it even remotely makes biological sense. Even then, I think it’s silly.
    And how is being more feminine or masculine a bad thing suddenly? How does it have moral value?
    Beautiful sweater. It’s made with love, that’s all that matters.

  78. I think it’s the perfect blend of color and pattern that makes it wearable for either gender. Such an incredibly beautiful sweater Steph! That sweater rocks. Thing is, I think people are going to be oohing and ahhing over the sweater rather than the baby. LOL. 🙂

  79. Emasculating???? From which of the remaining eight planets do these people come? The sweater is the most gender neutral I’ve seen in a long time. Think Scandinavian, folks.
    My mother’s great story about my baby clothes was that she could take me out in a white eyelet baby bonnet and people would still say, “What a cute boy!” Of course, people were not politically correct in the 1950s.

  80. Looks like a family heirloom to me.
    Extra knitter points for persevering through the embroidery.

  81. So glad Sam’s mending!
    Sweater is so gorgeous, the snowflakes, overall design, execution and color choice are distinctive and lovely.

  82. Funday Friday ? yup!! 26:00 on this one. didn’t realize I was using the 45 # bar until riggs told me… halfway through the good mornings…

  83. My boys wore gowns when we portrayed a colonial family, doing 18th c living history, until they were 3-5 years old. They didn’t care, the per reenacting boys they played with did, too. They also know George Washington did, until about 7, as breaching age was older earlier in the 18th C! If it was good enough for GW, it was good enough for them!
    They though people who couldn’t tell they were boys, or were surprised were foolish.

  84. Symphonie got me to thinking. I knew that men’s and women’s clothing buttoned differently, and the most accepted reason had something to do with who dressed him or her self. So I went to eHow where I learned that wealthy women were dressed by servants and so the buttons were reversed to make it easier for the servant. Men, however, dressed themselves whether or not they had servants. Seems to me if people wanted life to be easier for the servants, they all would have dressed themselves.

  85. Beautiful. In my experience it doesn’t matter what you dress your baby in someone will still get it wrong. So it will definitely be ‘neutral’ enough (my girl can be covered in link bows and she still gets ‘he’)

  86. Of course that’s gender neutral! Your colour choice would look great with all sorts of other colours, including pink and blue. Why on earth do we have to colour code babies according to gender anyway?

  87. Maybe that’s one benefit to calling them “snowflakes” instead of “flowers.” I can’t really tell you why, since a teenage flower seems to have all the same intent as a teenage male, but for some reason snowflakes are considered much more masculine.

  88. I would love to knit this sweater for one of my grands, however, I can’t seem figure out where the pattern is available for purchase. Suggestions?

  89. I have two boys. I would put them in this without question – I don’t think you have to worry about “emasculating” a baby. I also think it weird that our society has gotten to a point where flowers are no longer representing anything but “feminine” – to me this is ridiculous. (Yes, I know they are supposed to be snowflakes, they kinda look like flowers – who cares? XD )

  90. As the mother of a boy whose favorite color is pink, I’d put either gender in it and not worry about it.

  91. Beautiful sweater! I’m going to enter this one on my sweaters to make bucket list. As for is this too girly? I made my baby boy a lacy sweater then bought (it was late spring) a boy cotton hat to put on his head. The only remark I ever received was “Isn’t that a lovely sweater, did you make it?” Well done!

  92. Love the sweater! Perfect for either gender… I’ve seen a lot of boys wearing clothes that looked more girly than this. Nope, gender neutral. Thinking healthy mojo for your daughter.

Comments are closed.