Boy Colours

I like to make blankets for other people, and I especially like to make sure that any babies that are born receive a little blanket gift. I have only missed a couple of friend’s babies, I think, and that was because I had a newborn of my own.

I’m most comfortable working with a large selection of bright “rainbowy” colours, as you’ve probably seen from my projects page. These are particularly good for when people don’t want to find out whether they are having a boy or a girl: can’t go wrong with a rainbow ripple!

Sometimes though I do like to make blankets that are “boy colours” or “girl colours” (as much as I dislike colour “rules” and the idea that colours are limited by gender, you know what I mean by “boy colours”). The Pink Daisies Blanket, and the Boaty Blanket, and the Honey and Roses Blanket are examples of this.

Stylecraft recently released four new colours in their Special DK range, a lovely orange (FINALLY) called Spice and a gorgeous deep blue teal called Petrol. I really wanted to incorporate these into the blanket I intended to make for the newest baby in Andy’s family. My first instinct was to use it as part of the colour combo in the photo above: Petrol, Cream, Parchment, Camel, Cloud Blue, Spice and then whatever that brown one is called. Walnut? Dark Brown? I can’t remember.

Unfortunately my first attempt at using them was shockingly horrific and I’m a bit embarrassed to even show you the photo! It’s like some awful awful remnant from the seventies.

Subsequent ideas using these colours were also big fat ugly failures.

I tried a different combination, swapping the brown for the green “Meadow”. I liked this incarnation more, but the friends I discussed it with didn’t really think it worked. By this point I had been thinking about the colours so much I couldn’t even tell what looked nice anymore!

Then I thought, perhaps I will do a blanket of just five colours and repeat them only once, with big blocks of colour a bit like this blanket by the Purl Bee that floats around Pinterest every so often.

But then when I tested this idea, all I could think of was the French flag!

I tried out all of these colour combinations but none of them really clicked for me. The bottom left had potential though, which led me to the colours I actually used:

Petrol, Aspen, Sherbet, Denim, Parchment and Spice.

Just a little blanket, perfect for the car or in the pram. 30 squares using the Elmer Squares pattern, joined using this method and then the border is made from two rounds of Aspen (UK treble stitches) and one round of Petrol (UK double stitches) in the back loops only. It’s suffering a bit from curly edges, this can be rectified by steam blocking it with an iron as per the instructions in this post here (near the end.) I haven’t done this yet though!

I wanted to take some beautiful photos of this blanket but the weather and light quality has been awful here lately, and I need to get this posted off soon, so these photos will have to do. (Annoyingly, the best light in the house is in TTB’s bedroom, but as I can only take photos of crochet projects during naptime I can’t take them in his room!)

I’m really pleased with the colours I decided on in the end. A couple of friends commented about the placement of the squares, and how they couldn’t have made it themselves and kept two oranges in the same column, or had the “denim/petrol/denim” together on that bottom row. Personally, I think that with a small blanket and a small palette you are limited in the number of ways you can arrange the squares without it looking like a pattern. I wanted it to look random and the decision to put two oranges in the same column was deliberate. Anyway, I’m happy with it and hopefully it’s new owner will be too.

Oh and because someone usually asks, I used a 4mm hook because it’s dk weight yarn. You can buy Stylecraft Special DK at Wool Warehouse (this is my affiliate link).

26 thoughts on “Boy Colours

  1. Orange and dark blue look great together (I’ve always liked Orangina bottles). I love the way that the orange sort of ‘pops’ in your blanket. I have to confess, I actually quite like your first square though; it has a cosy retro feel.

  2. susan hall says:

    lucky baby boy ! it was nice to know that i am not the only one who to keep trying to come up with something that seems just right.

  3. Sue says:

    Another beautiful blanket. I like the new spice colour.

    I agree that using a limited number of colours is a bit restriciting when it comes to placement. I have spent too much time in the past fretting about placement. I must get out more LOL

  4. Those are great choices. I was deciding on shades for a “boy’s” blanket last weekend and chose slightly differently. Too many lovely colours in the Stylecraft range.


  5. I do like your blanket – the use of spice is an inspired choice but I also really like the squares in photos 4 and 6 (especially 4).
    Caz x

  6. Kath says:

    Another lovely blanket! I’m glad I’m not the only one who starts out with a picture in my head and then the final item ends up looking completely different. But like Caz I actually really like the blocks in photos 4 and 6: maybe you should come back to that combination next time?

  7. I can completely see the struggle you were having with colours and I absolutely love what you decided on! I’ve been having the same issue with an elmer squares blanket, which is currently hibernating but I hope to resurrect soon… Some people just seem to be able to do it with ease, but now I suspect (as I counted you among them) that maybe it does take a lot of trial and error!

    Your friends are right about the pattern, I think I’d try too much to make it even but then it would take away from the randomness. Do you have any sort of method, like grab a square and it must be used, or is it just completely random?

    N x

  8. claire coffey says:

    I’m liking this boy combination very much…am currently working on a mahoosive african flower blanket for a friend, and what I thought were quite vintage-y colours have turned out to be sort of a subdued rainbow effect, not what I planned, but I think it will be ok. I am really hoping to do an autumn themed blanket later in the year so I can use some of the lovely new stylecraft colours, possibly the willow square pattern from Jan Eaton’s book. So many blankets, so many colours, so many possibilities! Brain freeze imminent! love your solid squares, so pleasing to make xx

  9. Hi Heather, I know what you mean about trying so many combinations till you don’t know what works anymore.
    I love the colours you used and the blanket is great.
    I’m also happy Stylecraft has finally added an orange to their range….have to get myself some of that.
    Jacquie x

  10. Ooh I right like this one Heather!

    And you know, I hadn’t even noticed the two oranges in the same column until you pointed it out, and even when I went back and looked it still looks ‘right’ to me! Trying to style something that needs to look random is a million times harder than just making a blanket with a pattern!

    Ugh. Too many exclamation marks. Sorry.


  11. Wow what a gorgeous blanket. I think you got the perfect one in the end and I like the 2 oranges in a line/row (?). Mind, I also liked the photo of the square that you took on your knee (4th photo).

    I have just signed up for a crochet course so I hope soon I can make such beautiful gifts.

  12. Avril says:

    I love the colours and the placement of the squares. I am also loving the new stylecraft colours. The spice orange was well overdue – the shrimp and Jaffa were a bit bright! I’m already using some petrol wool, it’s going to be a very useful addition.

  13. Nanita says:

    I love it! The colour placement really really works, so much more interesting than a defined colour pattern. I really loved one of your earlier attempts as well, sixth picture, the squares edged with cream, but the final result is my favourite. Well done! :-) xxxx

  14. Wow, Heather, you really deliberated over this one! I can see though, why the first attempts were unsatisfactory and what you’ve created in the end is beautiful. I like the placement of your squares, actually. I think you need to put some similar colours together otherwise it looks contrived. Another lurvely blanket.

  15. Wow, Heather, you really deliberated over this one! I can see though, why the first attempts were unsatisfactory and what you\’ve created in the end is beautiful. I like the placement of your squares, actually. I think you need to put some similar colours together otherwise it looks contrived. Another lurvely blanket.

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