I've been in a cabling kind of mood, and when I began to make a scarf with this reversible cable, it dawned on me how perfect it would be as a stash-busting project for holiday gifts. It goes really fast (those #15 needles) and is really cushion-y soft, again because of the large needles and wide reversible cables - whether you're using a luxury yarn, or a sturdy, washable acrylic. I made several with both Red Heart and Lion Brand Superwash Merino Cashmere blend, and all of them were soft and warm.
This cowl can double as a headband. It's unisex, as long as you choose appropriate buttons and call it a "neck gaiter" instead of a "cowl" for your male recipients! There are identical cables on the front and back. No seams, no visible cast-on edges.
This is knit flat; using a US #8 needle for the cast-on, bind-off and double-knitted rows at each end (creating tubular beginnings and endings with no cast-on edge). A US #15 is used for the 60 rows of the body of the cowl, which makes it knit up quickly.
Gauge is not a big concern, as you will just repeat the 12-row pattern as many or few times as needed for the length you require.
Note: There are several photos, but the last pattern page is a one-page, black and white "quick start" version in case you'd prefer to print out as little as possible.
150 yards of Worsted weight