Caron Simply Soft Yarn--I cannot emphasize enough how much I hate, hate, hate working with acrylic. It is a special kind of hell to work with it when it is hot. And it feels like plastic. Simply Soft is the only acrylic yarn I can even begin to contemplate working with but I really needed the blanket to be hassle free for the mom.
I used a Size F hook.
The pattern is Rectangle Granny Square which is one my favorite patterns. It's very easy and you get into a rhythm with it so it's a relaxing project (if you are not up at 12:00 PM furiously crocheting trying to finish it for the shower that's happening the next day). A few notes about the pattern: I never break my yarn to start a new round. I simply slip stitch over till I get to the starting corner of the new round. I bordered the blanket with two rows of single crochet and one row of crab stitch. I had grandiose ideas of what I wanted to do with the border but ran out of time. But I think the simple border worked nicely.
Here it is on Ravelry.
I was very pleased with how it turned out. I'm not sure if the mom I made it for will like it but I put a lot of energy and sweat into it so hopefully that counts for something.