I almost exclusively knit for myself, but every once in a while, I'll knit for people if they're special enough. Christmas this year I did three small knit gifts. Here's one requested especially for the recipient to help herself keep warm during marathon mentoring.
Reasonably Hip in a Ponytail
Yarn: Maybe 2/3 of a ball of Sirdar Denim Chunky, from the Southampton John Lewis
Needles: 4.0 dpns
Pattern: Reasonably Hip, by Elizabeth Cobbe for Magknits Dec '07
Notes: I knit the pattern as written and got a stockinette stitch short row band instead of garter. Apparently everyone else knew about this error but me (it's been corrected now). I knit most of the hat, then decided that the stockinette band looked really bad, so frogged and started again.
A specific request was to make the hat ponytail-compatible, as the recipient runs with her hair in a ponytail. At first, I was going to put the Reasonably Hip brim on Hannah (from the same issue of Magknits), but she really liked the shape of Reasonably Hip, so I just added a ponytail-sized hole, instead. Works beautifully.
The pattern is simple and easy to follow. It took me maybe two or three train trips to knit the thing (including the first frogged incarnation). The only thing I'd change is the way the brim is knit. I'd try to avoid having to seam the front of it, since it adds bulk I'm not so happy about.
(As a bonus, in that first photo, you can see the top of my Hourglass Sweater. Despite extra raglan decreases, I couldn't avoid the Flashdance look. I've worn it multiple times since I knit it maybe a year ago. I may still frog it.)