This "Sunny Baby Blanket" designed by Lucie Sinkler is knit with just 800 yards of any washable weight worsted and gets softer with washing. Cascade 220 Superwash yarn is a great choice for this baby project with 200 yards per skein at about $9.50 per. You can also check out Plymouth Yarn's Encore for a plethora of colors in machine-washable worsted weight yarn at about $6.00 per 200 yard, 100g skein or organic cotton worsted, another wise choice.
There are only two serious rows of repeats in this easy baby blanket pattern and its knit on a US size 8 (5 mm) needle in an interesting pattern with subtle definition. The one you see in the photo above is by Carole in the UK. Cast on for baby blankets is usually done loosely and the long-tail cast on is a great way to accomplish this. See link below for knittinghelp video, one among many you can find on youtube. Another beautiful baby blanket pattern is this one from Tin Can Knits.
Lion Brand Nature's Choice Organic Cotton Yarn is a perfect choice.
More free baby blanket patterns:
Feather and fan and more heirloom baby blanket patterns
Rare Purls baby blanket in moss stitch
Polka Dot Baby Blanket pattern
Hugs and kisses baby blanket pattern
Darling baby blanket uses organic cotton worsted yarn and a US 8 needle
Pastille Baby blanket
Easy peasy baby blanket pattern
Free blanket and hat pattern from KnitCircus
Easy baby blanket in no time
"Sunny Baby Blanket"
"Tiramisu" free crochet baby blanket pattern
Garter Rib baby blanket pattern
Long-tail cast on video knittinghelp