I belong to a group with lots of younger women. Lots of THEM seem to be having babies. Foolishly, or generously, I'm not sure which, I decided to knit them baby blankets. (The foolishness part has to do with how LONG it takes to do all the stitches in a blanket. Sweaters look more complicated and can definitely run amok. Blankets are straightforward and just have lots of stitches.)
Fibonacci pattern of row colors, then switched to basket weave once I got to the largest part of the diagonal. This is Lion Brand Pound of Love Yarn (acrylic)... so it should pretty much be indestructible; definitely washable and dryable. If well loved, a blanket lasts a lot longer than a sweater.
The blanket I made first was a "straight" (i.e., more traditional) white one in an "Old Shale" lace pattern. Even "easy" lace takes a fair amount of attention... but I didn't find any glaring errors in this AND" Mom" likes it. It is actually white, not pink. The pink is reflected from the magenta sweater I was wearing when I took the picture.