Hand-knit baby blanket: check!
I started knitting this almost immediately after I found out we were expecting, and way before I knew we were having a boy. My mom crocheted a green and yellow baby blanket to take me home in, and for years I've dreamed of making something similar for my own baby. The woman in the yarn store actually cautioned me against getting started on it so early in my pregnancy, saying that it was bad luck...but a) I'm not particularly superstitious, and b) I couldn't wait.
For this blanket, I used a double thread of mint green and pale yellow cashmere blends. I like the idea of a pastel mixed with cream or yellow for a baby blanket, but two contrasting brights would also be an interesting effect (although that would make it a little harder to see the basketweave pattern).
To make a blanket approximately 28" x 36", I used size 11 circular needles and 10 balls of Cascade Cash Vero. The blanket thickness and amount of yarn you need, of course, will depend on what kind of yarn you select - just tell your local knitting shop what you want to make, and they'll help you out.
What this is, basically, is a knit border with a basketweave interior, and even if you're new to knitting, it's way easier than it looks, swear.
With 2 strands held together, cast on 80 stitches. Knit 10 rows.
For the next 10 rows, knit ten, then knit ten, purl ten three times (to make 6 basketweave boxes total), then knit ten to finish the row.
For the following 10 rows knit ten, then knit ten, purl ten three times (to make 6 basketweave boxes total, but the reverse of what you did for the previous ten rows), then knit ten to finish the row.
Do this, switching off every ten rows, eight more times.
Finish off by knitting ten rows and casting off.
(As an alternative, you can do a seed stitch on the border rather than a straightforward knit - it's easy enough and will create a little more separation between the border and the interior.)
Here's a closer look at the border:
And ta da! I hung my very first gift for our son on the edge of our otherwise-totally-bare crib (yeah, I already bought a crib; the one I wanted was hugely on sale and I was worried it'd sell out. It's also fun to have it here already :)).
(I know this looks like a completely different blanket; it's just different lighting. Weird.)