Although it shows up in the photo (this shows the 'right' side of the blankie) I think that's the flash reflecting off the nylon sewing thread, cause it's not so obvious in real life.
The first ball of Cottontots seemed thicker and very textured compared to what I remembered. There were some very thick and thin spots and the blanket didn't have that. The second ball (of which I used very little), was much smoother and even, even though they were the same dye lot. I wish I had noticed this sooner. I also ended up picking up too many sts on the sides (I used 3 sts per 4 rows, but you can't tell until it gets underway, and that's the one draw back of doing the border as one unit). If it had been for my kids, or not an urgent project, I would have ripped and maybe tried the other ball. The thicker border though gives a nice heft to the blanket now.
The mom was thrilled and I hope her boy was too. It still has the same cottony feel, and almost all the old blanket is still there, along with grandma's love :)