Try these tricks to make knitted blankets appeal to notoriously picky teenage boys
One of the most common complaints I hear from other women is how difficult it is to get a gift for the other sex — whether he is their father, their husband, their son, or their brother. What is it about the male species that makes it so difficult to figure out what they would enjoy?
For me, one of my biggest problems is that my husband enjoys expensive toys. He’s into technology, multimedia, and guitars. Not only are his hobbies expensive, but they also require knowledge I don’t have.
Even if I had the money to buy him a brand-new set of speakers (which I won’t be doing anytime soon because he has a ridiculous number of speakers already!), I wouldn’t know which were the best. Or even which he already had.
Women knitters have the same type of problem. When we want to consider what to create for the men or boys in our lives, we’re often stumped.
I suspect this is exactly why the head of the Philadelphia chapter of The Linus Project once said her chapter’s biggest need is blankets for teenage boys.
This may be the problem, in a nutshell: most charity knitters are women.
If you’re a woman (and I’ve yet to hear from any male readers of Knitting for Charity), what do you instinctively go for when you select yarn? Soft or bright colors, interesting textures, funky patterns — in other words, what women love!
Young boys often also enjoy bold patterns and colors, and older men are happy with anything that doesn’t scream FEMININE in capital letters.
But teenage boys — even those in need — are notoriously picky. (I happen to know a few teenaged boys, and… all I can say is “whoa Nellie is this true.”)
But need knows no gender. Teenage boys are in need as much as teenage girls are, and they deserve to know they are loved and wanted, too.
So how can we knit for teenage boys? There are definitely ways to make knitted blankets (just to name one example) more appealing to teenage boys.
Knit Blankets for Teenage Boys Based on Sports Teams
If you’re good at Fair Isle knitting or intarsia, you should have no problem with this one: grab some graph paper and knit some blankets for teenage boys based on popular sports teams. Even if you don’t hit the exact team, it’ll be a lot “cooler” than rainbows and flowers.
A few examples of charted sports logos and insignias:
And if you’re not good with colorwork? Just knit stripes in the colors of the recipient’s preferred team. Or, if you’re knitting for charity, try knitting stripes in the colors of a local sports team.
Here are a couple of patterns that use fun ways to knit stripes into a blanket for teenage boys.
Use Camouflage Colors
Camouflage colors seem to appeal to teenage boys on an almost primal level, which make them perfect for blankets. I love this Red Heart pattern for a camouflage patch blanket. As you can see, many yarn manufacturers stock camouflage-colored yarn.**
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Use Solid, Dark colors
Teenage boys tend to prefer to blend in rather than standing out, even in the comfort of their own rooms. So sticking to neutral and dark colors. The best are black, brown, gray, dark green, and navy.
If you want to break it up a bit, you might try using a tan or khaki color, or use cream or white. You can arrange these in stripes or blocks and add a nice dark border. (Any of the blanket patterns shown earlier would work wonderfully with this.)
Add an Edge
And no, I don’t mean a knitted edge! When considering blankets for teenage boys, keep in mind that they all secretly long to live on the edge.
A plain black or gray knit blanket with a cool embellishment — say, a skull in the bottom right square, or a lightening bolt, or a dragon — will go over much better than a boring old black square of cloth.
A few charted possibilities:
One final way to appeal to teenage boys is by using texture. Stay away from lace or frills, but textures like basketweave, moss or seed stitch, linen stitch, ribbing, or even brioche are all good choices for teenage boy blankets.
The following are some great examples:
With these tips in mind, knitting blankets for teenage boys doesn’t have to be as difficult as buying a gift for your husband or father.
Remember how many teenage boys are in need of warmth, love, and support. Why not consider knitting some blankets for teenage boys today?