Canadian friends had a baby in January and the idea of giving them a thick, extra-warm blanket appealed to me. The pattern is simple and easy, two stitches alternated to form a thick basketweave, with a decorative fan border around the whole.
The finished result is dense but still light, is a nice size for parents with a baby in a stroller/car seat/carrier, and (big plus!) is machine washable. If you are of a mind, you can add an optional extra row to the border and weave in a pretty satin ribbon:)
If you are also a member of Ravelry, check out what other knitters have done with this pattern:
1300 yards of Sport weight