That has to be one of the best blanket patterns I've seen in a long time.
Was it possible to carry the colors up the side and avoid extra ends to weave in?
I agree with everything you say about SPA yarn. I love how it feels in my fingers when knitting with it.
It has become my favorite yarn, especially for babies and young children.
It also machine washes and dries superbly.
I did a test piece after my first project using it and tossed it in a wash load of towels: hot wash, hot dry.
Also no fabric softener and it was even softer.
Very well done on your part.