We live in Australia. I am using acrylic yarn for this particular blanket as it is warm but not too warm. If I like how it looks when it is finished I'll make a pure wool one for very cold weather. Acrylic yarn can be machine washed which lightens the load a bit for new parents. The first version I made of this looked too loopy and horrible. Messy. So I changed the needle size and pattern and now the brick pattern is looking really cute. The brick stitch puts a bit texture and interest into two colour work and the medley yarn is adding some good colour combinations.
It is 8ply yarn and 201 stitches on 6.5 round knitting needles. The round needles will allow me to manage the weight of the blanket as it grows.