I've crocheted 7 of these for Christmas gifts this year. Soft pretty throw or "Lapghan" I made from a very simple single crochet pattern I found here on Pinterest (see link). However, I made an 8" fringe of various textures and yarns to make it a little more interesting. I used Lion Brand Homespun "Lagoon" yarn for the body which is so soft and easy to work with.
Technique :: Learning tapestry crochet, harlequin pattern tutorial by Jules of Little Woollie. You'll become an expert in carrying yarn colors, counting stitches, reading a color diagram ✿Teresa Restegui http://www.pinterest.com/teretegui/✿
Crochet blanket - thinking this will be a nice winter time project. Per another pinner's comments: Rows of half-double crochet done in the back loops only, using bulky (weight class 5) or super-bulky (weight class 6) yarn with a P or even Q size hook.