Jan 10, 2016

11 Color Combos for Kids

Soon, several babies will be joining our network of family and friends. In preparation for these happy events, I've been scouring patterns and playing with yarn and color in an effort to find just the right combinations for each new arrival.

Others view this as a strange obsession, but you understand. Creating things for little ones is just one of many threads that bind us together as makers

Decades ago, for example, my great aunt crocheted a charming baby sweater for my sister. True to her independent nature, Great Aunt M eschewed traditional girly shades and instead used a fresh mint green accented with cream, the perfect complement to my sister's lovely red hair and peachy skin tones. That little sweater may be gone, but its legacy lives on.

In terms of current trends, Pantone has selected not one but two colors of the year: rose quartz (soft pink) and serenity blue (periwinkle). Alone or in combination, they could be ideal for baby knits, and as an added plus, Pantone assures us they create "a sense of calm and relaxation."

That sounds desirable, but because I'm not totally convinced, I've continued compiling options. If knitting for a kid is on your list too, here are 11 color combos with universal appeal that might help jumpstart your own planning process.

Navy, cobalt, true blue

Bright pink, medium pink, light pink

Neutral Boy
Grey, soft turquoise, cream

Neutral Girl
Grey, rose quartz, cream

Neutral Unisex
Grey, butter, cream

Primary Pure
Red, yellow, blue

Primary Shift
Deep rust, gold, dark blue

Deep purple, medium purple, lighter purple

Rainbow Bright
Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple

Rainbow Soft
Rose, marigold, butter, mint, sky, lavender

Turquoise, coral, lilac gray

If many of the combos seem rather conventional, you're right: Year after year, kids gravitate to the same time-tested selections. We long to change things up, but they don't.

That said, I often find it difficult to land on the perfect combination for a particular child. If you struggle with this too, these strategies might help: For a baby, use the mom's preferred color scheme. For a young boy, opt for his favorite superhero or team colors. For a young girl, use colors worn by the lead female character in her favorite animated feature. For a unisex combo, go with the selection above or substitute minty green for butter yellow. For tweens and teens, use school colors.

If your project isn't secret, sit down with the youngster in question and scroll together through these selections to begin paring the list. If you're completely stumped, talk to the parents, mimic the kid's bedroom decor, or pay attention to the colors they wear most often.

Finally if all else fails, follow my personal kid-knit rule: When in doubt, opt for rainbow shades. It's one combination most children (and many adults) can't resist.



  1. Good timing and very helpful! Kid knits are on my list too.

  2. Those are some really gorgeous colour combinations - especially the coral and turquoise - I love using light bright colours for babies, or anything that steps a little bit away from the norm - I'm currently knitting a deep cadbury purple baby cardigan for a colleague expecting a little girl and it's going to look so sweet!

  3. Gorgeous blanket! And I love your color combos. I knit for babies, too, and I am seeing a lot of grays mixed with traditional baby colors, just as you have shown. I like to check out Pottery Barn Kids to see what's trending in baby bedding.

  4. Good tips :) When I'm making for my kids I usually let them choose the colours as even if I'm not the biggest fan of them I know they'll love the finished item and wear it all the time.

    And I completely agree, can't go wrong with a rainbow lol

  5. Gorgeous blanket and some lovely colour combinations.

  6. Rainbow colours all the way! My next baby knit is for a boy but I'm still doing a big bunch of colours, they're the best :)


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