Did you know that at birth babies have about all the neurons they will ever have? In the first year, a baby’s brain doubles in size and by age 3 they are about 80% of their full adult sized brain. With all this growth, it is no surprise that parents want to be sure to give their babies the best “head start” they can. Whether you are having your own, or gifting for someone else – the Color ‘n texture Play Baby Blanket is designed with these ideas in mind!
Interesting effects color may have on baby brains and moods
We all have heard that babies can not see colors other than black and white. Surrounding a newborn with a monochrome setting can help baby with all sorts of brain activities! Brain functions that can improve include: memory, attention span and basic nervous system. (Make your blanket in black, or very very dark grey and white!)
Wait a few months however, and baby can see colors and bright primary colors are best for baby’s brain! With that thought in mind, don’t be stuck on making black and white – bust out those bright colors and start knitting!
Does mood determine color or does color determine mood?
Just like grown ups, baby’s mood can be affected by color! Think about what colors are around you and how they make you feel. Babies can also be impacted by the colors around them.
So now, how do you choose? Should you do monochromatic or go full primary? Pastels are a favorite of some parents. You can use the guide (link below), or click here to get a PDF guide to colors, moods, and color combination suggestions (hint: we use the color wheel!)
I do recommend that you try to pick two colors that have a different saturation. Using two colors of the same saturation will make it hard for baby to appreciate the colorwork. But if you pick two colors of different saturation – guaranteed baby sees and appreciates that colorwork!
Bottom line: Babies and grown ups alike love colors! Even monochromatic – we still love those colors! There is no wrong choice! With all the beautiful colors of the rainbow, go grab two colors!
Don’t touch the plate-it’s hot!
You touched it didn’t you? Why? Because since we were babies our methodology of how to learn about the world around us was through.. TOUCH!
If you’ve had a child, you’ve probably been told to get your child some sensory play. It is so important to babies’ and children’s brains to activate all their senses! We have already engaged their sense of sight with our colorful pattern, now we hope to engage the sense of touch.
I don’t know if I’m a weirdo, OK, I do know, and I am one. But that is not the point…
I LOVE textures. When my children were small, I always had sensory play bins. A bin with pinto beans, a bin of “magic sand”, slime, sand, water tables. Every article I read said – keep your child busy and work their brain with textures! So I did, but I also enjoyed the textures. I would often be right along side my little ones sifting beans, squishing the magic sand, making the slime, squishing the orbeez.
Texture play helps develop a child’s brain as they learn about the world around them. It helps them develop language as we apply words to things they are touching. Hard, soft, fluffy, sticky, wet, etc. As they play with texture, they use and engage their fine motor skills.
Think about your own love for texture. Do you like to walk bare foot on the grass in the morning or evening? Squish your toes in the sand at the beach? Run your fingers through your baby’s silky hair? We love texture! And so do babies!
Babies Love To Touch Their Blankets
If you have ever seen a baby with their blanket, what are they doing? They are massaging it, sucking on it, using it as a pillow, using it as a blanket, using it as a cape (my baby brother did that and it was ADORABLE!! See him in this photo!) If it is a handmade (crochet or knit) and has any type of hole in it, baby is squeezing their chubby little fingers through it. Basically, a handmade baby blanket is the ultimate gift.
When babies cry, what do parents do? They spring to action! Where’s the binky, blanky, bear? Why? Because yes, the parents and trusted adults comfort the baby and help the baby calm down. But so do these objects! The baby has bonded with the feel of these items and uses them to help self sooth. Self-soothing is an incredibly important skill for babies to learn. It is a skill that even some adults could use some work on….
So, give baby (and parent-hey, even if you are the parent!) the ultimate gift. Give them a handmade blanket that uses color and texture to stimulate baby’s brain and help with development of their senses, language and life skills. It doesn’t have to be this pattern, whatever pattern speaks to you!
Exclusive look at the Mood Board!
Here is the mood board for this design. I tried to find things that speak to the idea of colors and textures.
Obviously, the color books and texture playthings are major inspirations. But why should baby just have to enjoy color and texture with toys? They should be able to carry around a colorful and texture filled object with them everywhere!
Two Colors with Multiple Textures
When designing this blanket, I knew I wanted to use two colors. I also knew I wanted to incorporate different textures. I was drawn to the linen stitch because it has a very flat surface on the right side, and on the wrong side of the fabric, it’s a bit bumpy. I decided to use the linen stitch as borders around each block of color and texture in the whole blanket.
For the first section, I decided to use the grille stitch because it is easily knit with two colors – and I love the way the colors and textures pop together. Flipping the contrast colors 1 and 2 the third section is also knit with the grille stitch but swapping the dominating color. This allows the texture to be the same while having the colors change. The benefit to this is that it will stimulate baby’s brain, AND use up the same amount of yarn for both colors!
The middle section was the most difficult. I tried several different stitch patterns and kept coming back to just wanting to do a simple mosaic stitch. I still wanted to balance the use of both colors and not really have one dominant color and so I tried different ways of balancing the slip stitch pattern and colors. In the end, I decided to do blocks with solid color borders.
What I love about the middle section is how the slip stitch transitions between the two dominant colors. It creates a solid line of both colors between each block of dominant colors. The texture on these lines is also slightly different than the rest of the stitch pattern and adds a layer of color and texture fun!
I wanted to use both colors equally. So, I worked very hard to balance and make sure that both colors would be used equally. I feel that as a person who has knit many baby blankets, I always end up with a bunch of left over contrast color yarn, and very little and occasionally run out of the main color yarn! EEK!
I also thought that this balance would be good for baby too. Two yarns of very different saturation colors can be a delight to baby’s eyes as they see the colors and shapes and textures of this blanket all come together.
Are you ready to buy the pattern?
I’m so excited that this pattern is finally released and available! Subscribe to my newsletter to get a 10% discount and purchase your copy today! The pattern is available on ravelry, Etsy and of course here on my website!
If you’ve already obtained a copy of this pattern, thank you for test knitting or purchasing this pattern! I had so much fun designing it and thinking of how to make this so much more than a blanket.
Get the Color ‘n Texture Play Baby Blanket Pattern!
Credit given where credit is due
For more reading about babies and the helpful benefits of color and texture, here is a sampling of the fabulous articles I found in my research. I am not a doctor, therapist or health care provider of any kind. All statements in this blog post are for informational purposes only.
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