Intro: IPod Covers
My default Christmas/Birthday/Whatever Present. Very easy - just knit 2 (or 4, for a double-layer padded version) times the length of the object, sew up the sides, and knit a 3-stitch-per-row lanyard. Almost everyone has some sort of electronic equipment to carry (mobile, iPod etc.), so it makes an excellent present.
It is also an ideal first knitting project, because it is essentially just a rectangle. And it's slightly more interesting than a scarf.