One of my best friends recently had a baby. As she and her mom are both knitters, I figured they had the homemade blanket covered, so I went another route. I found a pattern for a crocheted, stuffed duck in Alicia Bergin's "Crochet to Go Deck: 25 Chic and Simple Patterns." For my first time making a stuffed critter, I think it came out rather well. It definitely has that handmade appeal - it leans a little to the left because of the way I stuffed and sewed it - but I think my friend's baby will get some good use out of it. Plus, it has no small plastic parts he can swallow!
(Thanks to LC for this fantastic photography!)