Sunday, April 1, 2012

Black and White for Babies

When my son was a baby, he became attached to a baby blanket that my grandmother had crocheted for my daughter's doll. My son carried the blanket around and slept with it. When I asked if he had his blankie, he would respond, "Nandy." So at my house, nandy means baby blanket.

Over 20 years ago I found a pattern for a rippled baby afghan. It was an easy pattern, but quite beautiful. I began knitting these small blankets as gifts for friends and acquaintances who were expecting. Then I tried selling them and made a few dollars. Whitaker Knits was born. I sold nandies to friends who needed baby gifts, and I sold a few at a local consignment shop.

Eventually I began selling other items, but there is so little demand locally that I was discouraged at the lack sales. Enter Etsy. Witha over 600,000 members, increased Whitaker Knits's sales exponentially.

The most popular items at Whitaker Knits are not baby items, but during the summer, winter hats and scarves are not in demand. Babies, however, come in all weather, so Whitaker Knits tries to keep nandies in stock all year.

The newest nandy in the shop is this unconventional black-and-white nandy. Several years ago child experts began telling us that infants prefer black-and-white images to color. Their eyes prefer the high contrast. Today baby items like mobiles and picture graphics and toys are offered in black and white. Baby magazines offer tips on designing a black-and-white nursery. This black-and-white blanket is a beautiful gift for expectant parents who like the idea of providing high-contrast visual stimuli for their babies. It also relieves the giver of the need to know if the expected baby is a girl or a boy; black and white works for both sexes.

Most people are still traditional, and baby showers are full of  pinks and blues and yellows. If you want a gift that will not be "the same old thing", go with black and white, and show that you are baby savvy.

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