In true family style I started this cursed trend with my own child and he isn't even out of the womb yet. I found this link on Pinterest a while back and it reminded me an awful lot of my favorite crocheted blanket to date, the Lion Brand 5 1/2 Hour Throw (If you don't have a Lion Brand account this link will ask you to set one up, it's free). Both of these patterns call for the use of three strands of yarn crocheted together with an extra large hook, which makes for a beautiful and quick crochet project. Warning: It does use up a lot of yarn, so use up what you have or buy yarn on sale to save yourself some money!
So with dreams of a warm baby snuggled under a handmade blanket I started the Chunky Crochet Baby Blanket. I chose to use Lion Brand Baby's First yarn which can be found online and at most Joann Fabric stores and at certain Walmart stores. I used a combination of Beanstalk, Pixie Dust, and Splish Splash or green, cream and blue. This yarn is extremely soft and fluffy and thick... In hindsight the thick part should have been a warning, you'll see why in a minute.
I used the pattern in the link above as a guide but after starting my blanket I decided I wanted to make it fit the dimensions of our antique cradle (roughly 18X36) and that I wanted my stitches to run horizontally not vertically as they do in the linked pattern. So I ripped it all out and started over.
Here's what I did:
I used a size N crochet hook and 5 skeins of each color Lion Brand Baby's First yarn.
Starting Chain: Using three stands held together (one of each color) I made a starting chain of 51.
Row 1: Turn, single crochet in second chain from hook and every chain until the end (50), Chain one.
Row 2: Turn, single crochet in every chain until the end (50), Chain one.
Row3-79: Repeat row 2.
Row 80: Turn, single crochet in every chain until the end (50), fasten off.
This blanket turned out beautifully and will definitely fend off any fears of a cold baby... However, as my overly optimistic grandmother said "It's too heavy, you're going to crush your baby!" (That was sarcasm earlier... you got that right?!) As grandma so calmly pointed out it is very heavy, 4.8 lbs to be exact. Ok, so it's 5 freakin' pounds of baby blanket... I warned you. The upside is that it can easily be used for a play mat... or crib mat... or a weapon. Just kidding!
I will more than likely make this blanket again but either use thinner yarn or only two stands of the luxuriously thick Baby's First yarn. I may even use two strands with a slightly larger hook or do it in double crochet to give the blanket more stretch, that should also make it a little looser and lighter. My suggestion is to play with it and make it your own and report back to me! Save some other poor baby from the 5 lb blanket! Good Luck!